Every series needs an old friend, someone who is perhaps not constantly there, but who the story comes back to, and someone who the viewer thinks about in the back of his mind. The Sean Bean character was just that, a flawed individual yes, but someone also possessing admirable qualities that we can all relate to. There is no one else in the series like that. If the original book was responsible for his demise then it was a major writing blunder. You just can't kill off an old friend.
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