The Death By Cow List
“That’s the thing about Brits they have the grounding in the classics and theatre, … That’s why we’re good. We go to America and people respect that because we’ve been through the theatre, we’ve made discoveries and also made our mistakes there, and that’s a wonderful environment to be in. By the time you start to make television and films you’ve got some experience behind you, an anchor. All those things, when you put them together, give you a certain amount of confidence and a certain belief in yourself, and the ability to adapt and change to some of the different roles you play. You need to be a good actor to play a villain, and we’re always getting cast as villains because we play them well.” – Sean Bean
Sean certainly has played a lot of villains over the years, and to exquisite perfection, even in films of questionalble quality. Too often, its been Sean’s death scenes that have made many of his films memorable. Here then is the Death By Cow list, originally begun on Nona’s Compleat Bean website, it has been updated with Sean’s most recent screen demise.
Beware!!! There be spoilers ahead!!!!!!
Dead, Dead, Dead
Game of Thrones – Lord Eddard Stark, facing a charge of treason, realizes his life is forfeit in spite of his coerced false declaration of guilt when Cersei’s bastard son calls for his head. No one is there to ride to his rescue or intercede on his behalf and ever so quickly Lord Ned loses his head.
Wicked Blood – The hateful, nasty piece of redneck work that is Uncle Frank gets his comeuppance at the hands of the seemingly-innocent niece he’s barely spared a moment of thought about. The clever, cunning girl plays a brilliant game of chess, masterfully manipulating everyone around her to achieve checkmate, with Uncle Frank bleeding out while his drug empire burns.
Death Race 2 – Revenge certainly is a dish best served cold as the smarmy, arrogant uber-villain gets a taste of his own medicine at the hands of an assasin just as the Death Race reaches its ultimate conclusion. Frankenstein lives, but Marcus Kane isn’t so lucky.
Ca$h – Master manipulator Pyke gets his just desserts when he tussles with Sam over a gun at about the same time that Reese is being released from jail.
Black Death – Ulric tied with ropes at arms and legs, a horse on either side, evil necromancer, angry villagers, the outcome is obvious, but in a final act of retribution, Ulric reveals his contagion thereby dooming the village.
Red Riding: 1973 – The monstrous villain John Dawson is shot along with his bodyguard by reporter Eddie Dunford when wrongfully set up by the corrupt police to eliminate them both.
Crusoe – Sean’s last scene shows James Crusoe deathly ill of consumption on his death bed while one of his daughters watches over him. Discussion reveals that he isn’t expected to last much longer.
Far North – Horrified, Loki runs off into the tundra, naked. Given the Arctic conditions, it is presumed he soon froze to death
Outlaw – Wounded in the neck, Bryant makes a stand with his fellow vigilantes against a police tactical team, dying in a hail of bullets
The Hitcher – There were two different versions that were filmed, however, in both he dies at the hands of the Grace after she decides she’s had enough of this psycho and takes him down with a shotgun at close range
The Island – Death by Clone. Merrick is shot in the throat by a grappling hook attached to a cable that gets wrapped around his neck. In the fight with Lincoln, the catwalk collapses, he falls and is strangled to death
The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion – Martin Septim (the son of the Emperor, aka The Lost Heir) is turned into a dragon statue, there to remain until the Oblivion returns and he is needed again. (Dead for all intent if you ask me.)
Macbeth – He gets bloodily executed and his head is impaled on a spike
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – Death by Orc. Boromir. Arrows. The greatest death scene in cinematic history.
Henry VIII – Robert Aske meets a gruesome end at the hands of Henry VIII’s executioner
Don’t Say a Word – Patrick Koster gets his property, but is justifiably buried alive
Equilibrium – Partridge, having gone off of Librium, is executed by his partner and fellow cleric
Essex Boys – Jason Locke meets a nasty end, executed in a Range Rover
Scarlett – Lord Fenton is mysteriously dispatched by a knife to the chest in his sleep
Airborne – Death by Boss. Shot by his treacherous ringleader
GoldenEye – Alec Trevelyan falls from a satellite transciever during the climactic
fight with Bond, falls into the satellite dish and is crushed by the transceiver
that falls on top of him
Patriot Games – Sean Miller in the climactic fight scene is beaten and boathooked and finally blown up with the boat when Jack Ryan aims it to run aground while on fire
The Field – the source of the phrase Death by Cow – Tadgh falls over a cliff while trying to head off a herd of stampeding cows
Caravaggio – Rannuccio gets his throat slashed after confessing to the murder of his girlfriend
Clarissa – Lovelace lets himself be skewered by his best friend in an attempt to redeem himself
Lorna Doone – Carver Doone drowns as a fitting act of justice for his lifetime of villainy
Tell Me That You Love Me – Gabriel Lewis, after a desperate attempt to win back the woman he is obsessed with, skewers himself on a knife and quickly bleeds to death before her eyes
War Requiem – The German Soldier dies from wounds received, but returns in the afterlife
Romeo & Juliet… We all know THAT story!
We’ll never know…
Age of Heroes – Major Jack Jones is last seen in the company of his loyal sergeant preparing to fight off an overwhelming number of Nazi stormtroopers. Given their limited amount of ammunition, the sheer number of enemy soldiers, and their precarious position with their backs up against a rocky ridge, and no reinforcements on the horizon, the outcome is left to the imagination. You’ll have to wait for the sequel to learn his fate.
(Leo Tolstoy’s) Anna Karenina – Vronsky is last seen on the train heading to the battlefront in Hungary with anything but a desire to go on living
The Fifteen Streets – Dominic O’Brien is last seen being trundled off to a ship bound for America. Given that he’s a particularly nasty young man, its likely he will meet an ignominious end as an immigrant hustler on the streets of New York City or Boston
The Bill – The chretinous Horace is left alive at the end, but given his propensity for violent crime, the odds of dying an old man are very much against him
The Lost Future – Loki rides to the rescue in the final battle with the mutants only to be seen being cut down and falling from his horse. But, as luck would have it, he survives, a bit bruised and wounded, to pass along some words of wisdom at the conclusion.
National Treasure – In an early version of the the script Ian Howe got eaten by alligators in the subways of
New York. Thanks to a rewrite, he’s presumed to be spending time as a guest of the Federal Penal System.
As for the rest of Sean’s filmography, his characters manage to survive, villains and heroes alike, although there aren’t many villains left.