In Spotlight: Sean Bean’s best movies and TV shows – from Sharpe to Game of Thrones

The iconic actor has been in film and TV for more than 35 years. As he stars in BBC prison drama, Time, we highlight the best roles of his career so far.

By Becky Gamester-Newton Published: 4 June 2021 - 3.19pm
Getty Sean Bean in his Sharpe, GoldenEye and Game of Thrones days

Sean Bean is one of the UK’s most-loved actors.

After his iconic leading role in Sharpe, the Yorkshireman went on to star in Hollywood blockbusters and huge TV series.

As he returns to our screens in BBC prison drama Time, we take a look at his best career roles.

Time: Cast, plot and everything you need to know


Sean stars as Richard Sharpe, a British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars, in this series based on the novels of Bernard Cornwell.

Interestingly, Sean was not initially cast in the title role. His predecessor Paul McGann suffered a football injury two weeks into filming and Sean was offered the role partly because he was available at such short notice.

All five series of Sharpe are streaming on BritBox.

Patriot Games

Sean plays Irish terrorist Sean Miller in this action thriller, which sees Harrison Ford’s Jack Ryan testify against him in court. Miller swears to seek revenge after being convicted, sparking a series of attacks by a splinter cell.

The film is based on Tom Clancy’s 1987 novel of the same name and is the sequel to 1990’s The Hunt for Red October.

Watch Patriot Games on NOW with a NOW Cinema Membership.


Sean’s rogue MI6 agent tries to use a satellite weapon against London in this James Bond film – the 17th in the 007 franchise.

This was Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as Bond, while Judi Dench became the first woman to portray M after the serious returned from a six-year hiatus.

GoldenEye is available to rent and buy on Amazon Prime Video.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Sean stars as Boromir in Peter Jackson’s trilogy, with most of his screen time coming in the first instalment, The Fellowship of the Ring.

Boromir’s “One does not simply walk into Mordor…” speech has become one of the biggest memes on the internet – with Peter Jackson recently admitting that Sean was actually reading a print-out of it on camera because it was written at the last minute.

All three Lord of the Rings films are available on NOW with a NOW Cinema Membership.

Game of Thrones

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Sean plays Ned Stark in the first season of the show, which aired back in 2011.

Ned’s surprise execution at the end of the season is regarded as the most iconic death of the show, which had its fair share of big-name departures.

The Game of Thrones season 1-8 box set is available on NOW with a NOW Entertainment Membership.