It's every Game of Thrones lover's biggest gripe short of – SPOILER ALERT -- Danery's uncharacteristic execution of several dragon fire war crimes in the series' penultimate episode – the frustratingly un-rhyming pronunciation of “Sean Bean,” the name of the actor who played Ned Stark. Infuriatingly pronounced “Shaun Bean,” instead of the much more satisfying options of “Seen Bean” or “Shaun Baun,” fans have regularly pointed to the actor's moniker as an example of one of the English language's many shortcomings …

… a uniting annoyance among avid viewers of the HBO series …

… and a prime example of how having it all isn't always a good thing.

But reader, what if I told you the actor's name, which is so universally loathed that one fan even launched a Change.org petition to alter its pronunciation, was all sham, that Mr. Bean – not to be confused with Rowan Atkinson's iconic character – was seemingly playing a sick and twisted joke on not only all of us, but the language we rely on every single day? Well, folks, I sincerely regret to inform you that such may actually be the case – Sean Bean's given name is Shaun Mark Bean. 

Allegedly changing his birth name of “Shaun” to the traditional Irish spelling of “Sean” towards the beginning of his acting career, Bean has stayed tight-lipped about the reason why, exactly, he switched up his stage name, leaving irritated fans and reporters alike to merely speculate, vaguely discussing how the highly-controversial move was likely in an attempt to “enhance his career,” per the UK's SomersetLive. Yet as Pop Culture Deep Dive noted back in 2016, one of the few blogs and news outlets that has delved into this mystery-shrouded topic, the typical reasons celebs adopt false names seemingly don't apply to the star. Unlike “Pony” artist, Ginuwine, whose given name is the knightly-sounding Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, Olivia Wilde, formerly known as Olivia Cockburn (ouch) or Hugh Grant, who conveniently dropped his middle name of “Mungo” before getting his big break, Shaun Mark Bean is pretty darn average. Furthermore, whereas other actors, like Meg Ryan, Emma Stone, and even Michael J. Fox all changed their names due to the SAG-AFTRA rule allowing one person to have one name, there are no notable actors or public figures named Shaun Bean, so although a possibility, a union-related name shift seems unlikely. 

With two of the most common reasons for celebrity name changes looking improbable, the rationale behind the actor voluntarily dubbing himself Sean Bean most plausibly comes down to one diabolical conclusion – apparently wanting to f@%# with us all. To paraphrase his iconic Lord of The Rings character, one does not simply go by Shaun Bean when Sean Bean is an option.

For more internet nonsense, follow Carly on Instagram @HuntressThompson_ on TikTok as @HuntressThompson_, and on Twitter @TennesAnyone.

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