Despite having died in Game of Thrones ninth episode, Ned Stark—the greatest man who ever lived (fact)—continues to cast a long shadow over everything that happens across Westeros. While Ned’s lessons to his children and the impact of keeping his dying sister’s secret are still crucial to the plot, it turns out Sean Bean himself has also influenced almost every single episode of the series. As we’ve just learned via raven, the accents of House Stark and the North are all based on his real voice.
In an interview with Build Series, Yorkshire-born Bean said he “established” the way the Starks and denizens of the North talked. Bean said it all started when the cast gathered for the first time to go through the pilot. “We were doing the [first] read-through and the producers and the writers said, ‘Why don’t you just keep your own accent?’ And I said, ‘All right! Good for me.’” This isn’t some empty boast (as if Ned Stark would do that); the show’s casting director Nina Gold confirmed his account to The Huffington Post.
So just like Ned’s presence has been felt for all seven seasons, the influence of Bean’s voice has been ever present, too.
You can hear all of Bean’s comments on Game of Thrones—which also include him admitting he hasn’t kept up on the show, how much he knew about Jon’s true parentage, what it was like when the series became a worldwide phenomenon, and who he thinks should end up on the Iron Throne—starting at around the 13:20 mark.
If you really want to appreciate how influential Bean’s own accent has been, though, the best example ever is a video of his “daughters” Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner doing their best impression of that famous Winterfell accent by reciting the lyrics to “Hakuna Matata” like Ned Stark.
It’s only fitting they “all had to talk” like Ned Stark in the end. He was the greatest man who ever lived. Who else would you want to emulate?
Can you hear Bean’s influence on the North’s accents? Who sounds like him the most? Aye, tell us which character you think does the best Ned Stark in the comments below.