Update June 2011: Sean Bean was who I had in mine as Ned while reading the books so I was utterly thrilled when they did cast Sean Bean as Eddard Stark. He played the role well and was the perfect Eddard Stark.
Eddard Stark also known as "Ned", was Lord of Winterfell, Lord Paramount of the North, and Warden of the North.
Ned was fostered by Jon Arryn at the Eyrie when he was eight years old, alongside Robert Baratheon. Ned befriended Robert, and came to consider Lord Arryn a second father. After Ned's father and brother died by command of King Aerys II, the king demanded that Arryn send him the heads of the two wards. Arryn refused and instead launched a rebellion, in which Ned and Robert joined as lords of their houses and chief commanders.
Shortly before the final battles of the rebellion, Ned married Catelyn Tully, who had been betrothed to Ned's brother Brandon before his death. Ned was present, along with Howland Reed, at a tower on the Dornish border known as the "tower of joy" when his sister Lyanna died there, an incident surrounded in mystery that haunted Ned ever after.
Once the conflict had ended and Robert had taken the throne, Ned returned home, bringing with him a bastard son, Jon, about whose origins he refused to speak, even to his own wife; he quickly silenced rumors that the boy's mother was the Dornish noblewoman Ashara Dayne. He spent the next fifteen years as Lord of Winterfell, a task he had never expected and did not always feel equal to; he rarely left his lands, and did not involve himself in the complex intrigues of the southern courts.
After Jon Arryn's death, King Robert asked Eddard to replace him as Hand of the King, the monarch's closest advisor.
Sean Bean was my choice to play the honorable Eddard Stark in this major epic series A Song of Ice and Fire.