The star of the Belfast-made fantasy adventure Game Of Thrones has described graphic fight scenes in the series as “disturbing” — but does not believe viewers will be put off.
Sean Bean plays Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark in the new HBO series, which was filmed in Belfast’s |Titanic Quarter at the old |Harland and Wolff Paint Hall studio.
The show, based on the first book of George R R Martin's multi-volume A Song Of Fire And Ice series, chronicles the power struggles of noble families.
Bean has claimed the violence in the series, which is full of political and sexual intrigue, is “pretty awful”.
Bean, who stars alongside Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Alfie Allen, the younger brother of pop singer Lily Allen, told sci-fi and fantasy magazine SFX: “Some of the violence is pretty awful. One of my friends gets stabbed in the eye, and I just stand and see that, then I have to fight this man.
“It just erupts out of nowhere. There’s just a flashpoint and it is just very messy. I think audiences will be very interested.”
In another interview, the actor had also suggested the adaptation is “disturbing”, while executive producer David Benioff has described it as “dark, with violent content”.
Parts of the 2009 pilot were also filmed at other locations across Northern Ireland, including Carncastle, Shane's Castle, Castle Ward, Magheramorne and Tollymore Forest Park.
At the time it was announced that Belfast would play host to the HBO production, First Minister Peter Robinson said: “Securing a project of this size and scale by a worldwide brand such as HBO is a major coup for Northern Ireland.”
Game Of Thrones will be screened in April 17 on the Sky Atlantic channel.