Sean Bean’s most famous onscreen death is when Ned Stark meets the business end of an executioner’s sword in the first season of Game Of Thrones, but it’s far from the only time that he’s met a grisly end on screen. As Boromir in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, he goes down valiantly defending his little hobbit homies after not one, not two, but three Uruk-hai arrows make their way into his meaty parts. The “Sean Bean death reel” supercut collecting his various death scenes from 21 different films doesn’t even contain them all.
The awareness of Sean Bean’s tendency to die onscreen is a big part of the marketing campaign for TNT’s new FBI drama Legends, in which Bean stars as an undercover agent who questions his own sanity after an encounter with a mysterious stranger. Building a campaign around a #DontKillSeanBean hashtag is perhaps a surprisingly meta and vaguely campy way to promote a heavy-sounding show that deals with dark themes, but it is considerate of the network to take into account that Bean’s fans are conditioned to expect him to meet a gruesome end pretty much every time he shows up on their screen, and to mitigate those concerns.
The #DontKillSeanBean billboards began appearing at Comic-Con, and Bean posed for photos in a #DontKillSeanBean t-shirt–and now Funny Or Die is in on the act with Bean himself starring in a behind-the-scenes video from the set of Legends in which he tries to convince the director that just maybe he ought to have a heart attack when he checks his email, or maybe his drink ought to be laced with organ-devouring acid. If you’re Sean Bean, eventually you just get used to dying a whole lot.