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Collimator

(1,639 posts)
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:37 AM Dec 2020

Name a Time When the Death of a Fictional Character Really Threw You [Assume Spoilers Ahead]

For me, the death of Wash in Joss Whedon's 2005 movie, Serenity was pretty upsetting.

This does not mean that I was unmoved by Shepherd Book's demise earlier in the film. But Book was no longer living with the group by the time of the movie's events, so I had an inkling of what might happen. His character was older, as well, but most significantly, I had watched enough of Whedon's work to come to expect that there would be some sort of sacrifice.

Whedon had a habit of killing off beloved characters and I accepted that as part of his story-telling repertoire. For the story to have impact, a price must be paid by the heroes. (I was totally expecting Pepper Potts to be killed off in the first Avengers movie.)*

When Wash was killed, the moment felt real and disturbing and traumatic. I had one work-friend who had only just discovered Whedon's Firefly " 'Verse" and he declared that he would never forgive Whedon for killing off Wash that way.

What about you guys? Any fictional character deaths that you did not see coming, or just couldn't accept?

* I may not dislike Gywnneth Paltrow as much as others do, but it sure wouldn't have broken my heart to see the last of her in that particular movie franchise.

75 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Name a Time When the Death of a Fictional Character Really Threw You [Assume Spoilers Ahead] (Original Post) Collimator Dec 2020 OP
MASH Henry Blake. They just didn't do that in comedy shows back then. It was done soooo well. mucifer Dec 2020 #1
Beat me to it. Lochloosa Dec 2020 #2
Yes, sometimes the emotional impact and honesty Collimator Dec 2020 #6
My girlfriend at the time was furious SCantiGOP Dec 2020 #70
Not even the cast knew until Gary Burghoff walked into the OR. AngryOldDem Dec 2020 #72
Ole Yeller Maxheader Dec 2020 #3
Yes that and Bambi. I won't watch movies were animals die to this day Walleye Dec 2020 #4
same here. If a movie features an animal I will ask if the animal dies yellowdogintexas Dec 2020 #35
The two that immediately came to mind already here: MASH's Col. Blake and Ole Yeller hlthe2b Dec 2020 #5
Beth... Little Women 50 Shades Of Blue Dec 2020 #7
I expected someone to bring her up. Collimator Dec 2020 #8
Yes! And when Rachel so callously spoiled the ending for him, lol. 50 Shades Of Blue Dec 2020 #9
Yes, when Stephen King killed off the main character's girlfriend in... AmyStrange Dec 2020 #10
Ned Stark, Robb Stark, Tywin Lannister, ... Pick any Game of Thrones Character Xipe Totec Dec 2020 #11
This message was self-deleted by its author Chin music Dec 2020 #13
NEVER fall in love with a George RR Martin character. yellowdogintexas Dec 2020 #36
I think the main characters will generally end up how they did on the TV show NewJeffCT Dec 2020 #41
Corum in Michael Moorcock's two trilogies exboyfil Dec 2020 #12
West Wing Mrs. Landingham.... redstatebluegirl Dec 2020 #14
Yes! AirmensMom Dec 2020 #30
I liked Debbie too redstatebluegirl Dec 2020 #32
A friend of mine was so upset Collimator Dec 2020 #33
Yes! A_Woman_from_MI Dec 2020 #57
Yep. AngryOldDem Dec 2020 #73
Garp. Affected me for days. NRaleighLiberal Dec 2020 #15
+1 for Garp. Great pick! Earthshine2 Dec 2020 #17
"In the World According to Garp, we are all terminal cases." Mike 03 Dec 2020 #21
Wash's termination gives exact meaning to the term "sudden death." Earthshine2 Dec 2020 #16
Ah, yes. The Death of Captain James T. Kirk. Collimator Dec 2020 #34
Murder of Dobby in Harry Potter, even though I'd read the book. sinkingfeeling Dec 2020 #18
Same here. AirmensMom Dec 2020 #31
don't forget Hedwig, Harry's owl. yellowdogintexas Dec 2020 #37
I'm still not over that one. Nevilledog Dec 2020 #56
Spike from Cowboy Bebop n/t gay texan Dec 2020 #19
"Bang." sakabatou Dec 2020 #39
YES!!!! gay texan Dec 2020 #50
I think episode 24 hit me harder than 26. sakabatou Dec 2020 #54
Jo, the boy street-sweeper in Bleak House. nt July Dec 2020 #20
"Move along there, toughie." I could tell he would die. _ Bleak House_ is my favorite Dickens novel tblue37 Dec 2020 #46
Boromir in Lord of the Rings. bluedigger Dec 2020 #22
That was so sad! electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #59
Ruth, last show llashram Dec 2020 #23
Wilbur Larch. Owen Meany. John Irving knows how to rip your heart out NRaleighLiberal Dec 2020 #24
And never forget Fuzzy Stone...N/T flotsam Dec 2020 #48
Fuzzy. of course. NRaleighLiberal Dec 2020 #49
With John Irving RobinA Dec 2020 #68
The kid in "Pay it Forward" Shrek Dec 2020 #25
Yep, walked out of the theater like WTF was that? nt Phoenix61 Dec 2020 #29
Message auto-removed Name removed Dec 2020 #26
Aeris Final Fantasy VII. Because, like superheroes, theres always a way back. Volaris Dec 2020 #27
Your choice is a really good one. I am going to go to a lesser known series/characters. Ferrets are Cool Dec 2020 #28
Ned Stark in Game of Thrones NewJeffCT Dec 2020 #38
Pyrrha Nikos in RWBY sakabatou Dec 2020 #40
Lonesome Dove. Deets and Gus. Smickey Dec 2020 #42
The many women Little Joe was fond of. zanana1 Dec 2020 #43
Luther Mahoney, on Homicide: Life on the Street. Dem2theMax Dec 2020 #44
Other than Bambi? Another Joss Whedon character, when Angel killed Gile's girlfriend in Buffy. Midnight Writer Dec 2020 #45
Yondu Odonta adamas Dec 2020 #47
When Billy (Sam Bottoms) was killed in The Last Picture Show TexasBushwhacker Dec 2020 #51
John Hurt's character in Alien TexasBushwhacker Dec 2020 #52
Oh, yeah, several.... electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #53
Person of Interest. Dem2theMax Dec 2020 #55
Would u (at your leisure) be up to chatting... electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #61
I would need to re-watch it to have a proper discussion. Dem2theMax Dec 2020 #62
Don't want u spending money in these electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #63
I checked Netflix, and POI was there until the end of September. Dem2theMax Dec 2020 #67
Gandalf A_Woman_from_MI Dec 2020 #58
Spock, in The Wrath of Khan. consider_this Dec 2020 #60
Easy Rider - the end haunted me for days. nt leftyladyfrommo Dec 2020 #64
NCIS Season 2 Finale...when they shot Caitlin in the head... Wounded Bear Dec 2020 #65
You have to give the writers credit for the misdirect. Collimator Dec 2020 #66
Shenandoah, movie with Jimmy Stewart avebury Dec 2020 #69
Edith Bunker Totally Tunsie Dec 2020 #71
Emma in Terms Of Endearment AngryOldDem Dec 2020 #74
Most recently, Kate McKenzie out of Last Tango In Halifax musette_sf Dec 2020 #75

mucifer

(23,527 posts)
1. MASH Henry Blake. They just didn't do that in comedy shows back then. It was done soooo well.
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:42 AM
Dec 2020

IMO much of MASH doesn't hold up well. Some episodes are better than others.

But, killing off Henry Blake was the best decision they could make for the actor's departure.

Collimator

(1,639 posts)
6. Yes, sometimes the emotional impact and honesty
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:53 AM
Dec 2020

is worth the sense of loss.

I felt that way when Sweets died in Bones. It was heartbreaking. But it felt believable and worthy of the story being told. And they continued to honor the character in other ways as the series continued. I really appreciated that.

SCantiGOP

(13,869 posts)
70. My girlfriend at the time was furious
Tue Dec 29, 2020, 11:38 PM
Dec 2020

I thought it was necessary to remind people that, despite all of the comedy and good feelings among the MASH staff, it was still a war story and the purpose of war is to kill people.
That and the fact that it was obviously about Vietnam, even though set in Korea, made the death of one of the most likeable characters especially dramatic.

AngryOldDem

(14,061 posts)
72. Not even the cast knew until Gary Burghoff walked into the OR.
Wed Dec 30, 2020, 04:34 PM
Dec 2020

That explains the genuine — and realistic — reaction to the death.

I was 13 at the time, an avid fan, and I still remember being stunned that a character would be written out that way. Very pointed commentary on the waste of war, a subtlety the show lost in its later seasons.

(McLean Stevenson made perhaps the worst career decision ever, but I digress.)

Maxheader

(4,372 posts)
3. Ole Yeller
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:50 AM
Dec 2020



"The movie went on to become an important cultural film for baby boomers, with Old Yeller's death in particular being remembered as one of the most tearful scenes in cinematic history. "

yellowdogintexas

(22,250 posts)
35. same here. If a movie features an animal I will ask if the animal dies
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 01:04 PM
Dec 2020

if not, then I will watch it. Ole Yeller traumatized me big time.

hlthe2b

(102,225 posts)
5. The two that immediately came to mind already here: MASH's Col. Blake and Ole Yeller
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 07:52 AM
Dec 2020

I've scarcely been able to watch a movie with a beloved dog since--I try to check to make sure there is not a sad ending. It just makes me recall too intensely the loss of some of my own.

As for MASH, they handled it so well and it was so appropriate for the show's themes, that I can still watch the episode. Even though I cringe when I see Radar step out and then return.

Collimator

(1,639 posts)
8. I expected someone to bring her up.
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:06 AM
Dec 2020

Remember on Friends how upset Joey got when Beth started to feel poorly during his reading of Little Women?

 

AmyStrange

(7,989 posts)
10. Yes, when Stephen King killed off the main character's girlfriend in...
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:28 AM
Dec 2020

-

Salem's Lot.

In an introduction to one of the many editions of this particular title, he explained that he was following in the tradition of Bram Stoker, but I thought it was totally unnecessary.

I've read just about every one of his books, and I love his characters, but a lot of his endings are just plain lousy.

Anyway, I'm glad I read all those other books before that one, because I haven't read one since.
============

Xipe Totec

(43,889 posts)
11. Ned Stark, Robb Stark, Tywin Lannister, ... Pick any Game of Thrones Character
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 08:32 AM
Dec 2020

Fall in love with the character.

Watch in stunned silence while George R. R. Martin utterly destroy the character.

Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #11)

yellowdogintexas

(22,250 posts)
36. NEVER fall in love with a George RR Martin character.
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 01:09 PM
Dec 2020

with few exceptions, your favorites will die. The remaining Starks, Samwell, Tyrion and Ghost in the series come to mind.

As for the books, time will tell - I hope

NewJeffCT

(56,828 posts)
41. I think the main characters will generally end up how they did on the TV show
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 01:18 PM
Dec 2020

since they were working with what Martin gave them for the ending.

That said, I think the path to get to their end points will be more tortuous than what happened on the show (they seemed to rush through the last 3 seasons, IMO)

Collimator

(1,639 posts)
33. A friend of mine was so upset
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 12:46 PM
Dec 2020

by Mrs. Landingham's death, that he comments on it every time he sees the actress in a different role. I think that it helped him to watch--[looks up actress on line]--Kathryn Joosten--accepting death with settled peace in another role on the show, Scrubs.

Oh, that reminds me. Ben Sullivan on Scrubs-- I was starting to get attached to the character. Though, the reaction of Dr. Cox to his death was very powerful and meaningful to me.

AngryOldDem

(14,061 posts)
73. Yep.
Wed Dec 30, 2020, 04:34 PM
Dec 2020

Driving her new car.

ON EDIT: That led to one of the many powerful scenes in that series, when after her funeral, Jed stays behind in the cathedral, rubs out a cigarette on the floor, and cusses out God in Latin.

Mike 03

(16,616 posts)
21. "In the World According to Garp, we are all terminal cases."
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 09:47 AM
Dec 2020

I had read the novel. It was the first novel I read because I wanted to rather than it being assigned in school. That last chapter is simply devastating. He tells you how Helen dies too. That is heartbreaking. He lays waste to all his characters, and I know that is how Irving sees life. He does almost the same thing in Hotel New Hampshire.

So I knew what to expect in the movie, but I remember the audience reacting to that last scene in the helicopter.

Earthshine2

(3,994 posts)
16. Wash's termination gives exact meaning to the term "sudden death."
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 09:05 AM
Dec 2020

He was killed so unceremoniously and unnecessarily.

More than mourning Wash, I mourned the loss of the Firefly series. It was one of the very best.

I mourn the death of Justice League at the hands of Joss Whedon. He was great for the Avengers, but awful for Superman. I'm glad HBO is going to erase Whedon's JL as if it never happened, and resurrect Zack Snyder's version.

Cap't Kirk is my favorite fictional character of all time, since I was 4. I was strangely not moved by his death in ST:Generations.

I was really depressed by the (glorious) destruction of the Enterprise in ST:III.

Collimator

(1,639 posts)
34. Ah, yes. The Death of Captain James T. Kirk.
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 12:57 PM
Dec 2020

It was kind of underwhelming giving the the status he held within his fictional universe as well as our cultural one.

I think that part of the problem was that Shatner had begun playing Kirk as a caricature of himself. If you watch the earlier episodes of ST:TOS, Kirk seems less exaggerated in his mannerisms and you think, "Huh. Shatner was good."

And, yes, the destruction of the Enterprise was a real blow to those of us her loved her without having ever served upon her.

gay texan

(2,442 posts)
50. YES!!!!
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 09:33 PM
Dec 2020

I walked around in a daze for weeks after that. I mean we all knew he was going to go out that way. but we hoped he'd get away with it.

tblue37

(65,319 posts)
46. "Move along there, toughie." I could tell he would die. _ Bleak House_ is my favorite Dickens novel
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 05:24 PM
Dec 2020

RobinA

(9,888 posts)
68. With John Irving
Tue Dec 29, 2020, 11:13 PM
Dec 2020

I always tell myself to expect at least one violent, “bolt from the blue” death. Wait for it.

Response to Collimator (Original post)

Volaris

(10,270 posts)
27. Aeris Final Fantasy VII. Because, like superheroes, theres always a way back.
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:22 AM
Dec 2020

Not that time. It was exceptionally well done, and coined a new phrase in our pod...'that ones DEAD dead.'

Well played, Squaresoft.

Ferrets are Cool

(21,106 posts)
28. Your choice is a really good one. I am going to go to a lesser known series/characters.
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:36 AM
Dec 2020

The ending of Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom had me in tears. The "ending" of Reiji was so unnerving.

But, the end all, be all of tear jerkers was during Assassination Classroom. I bawled my eyes out during that last episode. I was so attached to Koro-sensei. He was definitely one of the most endearing characters ever created.

Nice topic.

NewJeffCT

(56,828 posts)
38. Ned Stark in Game of Thrones
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 01:12 PM
Dec 2020

I had grown up reading fantasy & science fiction - hundreds of books over the years from the 70s, 80s and 90s: The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings, anything related to King Arthur, The Sword of Shannara and sequels, Raymond Feist, the D&D Dragonlance books, and into the 90s, the Wheel of Time series. If it was epic fantasy & came out in the mid 70s through the late 90s, I probably read it or had it on my bookshelf "to read soon."

To me, Ned was the idea centerpiece to an epic fantasy series - brave, noble, honorable, etc. Plus, a plurality of chapters in that first book were Ned/Eddard chapters.

Then, he gets killed off and I was stunned. However, because so many Ned chapters had dream sequences (flashbacks to the death of Lyanna Stark and events surrounding it), I had to re-read the Arya chapter where Ned died and also the previous Ned chapter several times apiece because I kept thinking it wasn't real.

to me, that said this was a completely new way of writing epic fantasy. A real "game changer" for me and my expectations.

zanana1

(6,110 posts)
43. The many women Little Joe was fond of.
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 03:25 PM
Dec 2020

In Bonanza, every time Little Joe had a major crush on a woman, I thought "She's gonna die".

Dem2theMax

(9,650 posts)
44. Luther Mahoney, on Homicide: Life on the Street.
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 03:34 PM
Dec 2020

I think my jaw was on the floor for an hour.
Never saw that one coming. To this day it still blows my mind.

He was a really rotten person. So you assumed at some point he was going to get it.

But the WHO, what, when, where and why, well-written!

Midnight Writer

(21,745 posts)
45. Other than Bambi? Another Joss Whedon character, when Angel killed Gile's girlfriend in Buffy.
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 05:00 PM
Dec 2020

I was in love with Ms. Callendar.

TexasBushwhacker

(20,174 posts)
51. When Billy (Sam Bottoms) was killed in The Last Picture Show
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 09:47 PM
Dec 2020

Sam died of the same kind of brain tumor that John McCain had. He was only 53.

TexasBushwhacker

(20,174 posts)
52. John Hurt's character in Alien
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 10:04 PM
Dec 2020

The theater was packed and my boyfriend and I were sitting in the front row. When that thing popped out we were like HOLY SHIT!

electric_blue68

(14,869 posts)
53. Oh, yeah, several....
Mon Dec 28, 2020, 11:15 PM
Dec 2020




Babylon 5
.
.
.
.
Kosh (1)



Person of Interest
.
.
.
.
.
Ms Groves, John Reese



SW
.
.
.
.
.
Luke & Leia



electric_blue68

(14,869 posts)
61. Would u (at your leisure) be up to chatting...
Tue Dec 29, 2020, 01:57 AM
Dec 2020

about POI for a bit in DU?

On line I'm in a SW group, a Trek group, a LOTR group (least active of these 3)

But (I haven't looked in a while) not any active post series broadcast fan groups for POI. Never seen any.
Sure it's over but it's such a stellar and rich show between discussing it in all it's aspects, speculation of the characters futures, playing with alt scenarios...?

My sib who watched every season - we talked every week about it - never saw the last season! She and a different friend were sitting teary eyed at dinner after S4 last ep - that wild set up to compress The Machine to save it, Harold talking to The Machine 'I failed you, father..." etc Root & John trying to keep them safe. Samihn still in Samaritan clutches etc

Had it on their DVR for years, then system had glitch and they lost it! Arrrg!
I have to check and see what channel is still streaming it. Could watch it when they get to S5.

Give it some thought, and let me know. 🙂

Dem2theMax

(9,650 posts)
62. I would need to re-watch it to have a proper discussion.
Tue Dec 29, 2020, 02:51 AM
Dec 2020

It is on Amazon Prime. Will cost a bit but would be worth it. Anyone know if it's on Netflix? It would be a lot cheaper to watch it there. I was given a gift subscription for Netflix but have not activated it yet.

I didn't know very many people who were watching POI when it was on originally. So I didn't have many people to talk to about it.

I can warn you I'm not the deepest thinker in the world, but I absolutely loved that show.

I know someone who can check the Netflix listings tomorrow. If they have it I can start right away. Otherwise, probably take one season at a time. Binge watch here I come!

electric_blue68

(14,869 posts)
63. Don't want u spending money in these
Tue Dec 29, 2020, 04:17 AM
Dec 2020

difficult times! 😲

Think about it...

I have Hulu, CBS All Access ( the cheap price w ads)

Peacock (free)

Haven't checked in a while but it wasn't on any of them previously.
Don't have Netflix.

I'll check let u know Weds or Thurs if I've found anything.

I'm a pretty deep thinker at times in certain ways, but I'm also an easy & relaxed thinker, and I love comedy, too. And POI had it's share. 👍
I have friends who can really parse a story! I'm happy when I occasionally reach their level. LOL

Dem2theMax

(9,650 posts)
67. I checked Netflix, and POI was there until the end of September.
Tue Dec 29, 2020, 04:20 PM
Dec 2020

Would cost $125 to watch it on Amazon Prime. How do they get away with this stuff?

I don't have Wi-Fi, so it has to be something I could watch on my computer. If CBS All Access has it, that would be great.

Wounded Bear

(58,645 posts)
65. NCIS Season 2 Finale...when they shot Caitlin in the head...
Tue Dec 29, 2020, 11:22 AM
Dec 2020

Helluva way to transition to Ziva in Season 3.

Collimator

(1,639 posts)
66. You have to give the writers credit for the misdirect.
Tue Dec 29, 2020, 12:09 PM
Dec 2020

Damn! Was I surprised! And I watch so much (far too much) TV and movies that I am rarely surprised by most plot reveals. I can usually spot them coming a mile off.

avebury

(10,952 posts)
69. Shenandoah, movie with Jimmy Stewart
Tue Dec 29, 2020, 11:29 PM
Dec 2020

Watching the impact of the Civil War on his family (spoiler more than one family member is killed off). It is kind of heart breaking. One of my all time favorite movies.

Totally Tunsie

(10,885 posts)
71. Edith Bunker
Wed Dec 30, 2020, 11:28 AM
Dec 2020

Who didn't love the dippy Edith? Just the idea of putting up with "Aaa-cheeee" all those years made her a saint.

AngryOldDem

(14,061 posts)
74. Emma in Terms Of Endearment
Wed Dec 30, 2020, 04:36 PM
Dec 2020

The scenes of her saying goodbye to her boys, and her death...it was a long time before I could watch that movie without breaking down.

musette_sf

(10,200 posts)
75. Most recently, Kate McKenzie out of Last Tango In Halifax
Wed Dec 30, 2020, 06:12 PM
Dec 2020

We just watched all the shows over November and December. I felt it was kind of a cop-out to have her killed off on the day after her wedding to Caroline.

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