Have you noticed how popular TV series became a very cruel place? 2016 has brought a fair share of awesome TV moments to us, like the perfectly choreographed fight scene in the Battle of Bastards (Game of Thrones), or the fight between Meisner and the black claw army at The Beginning of The End (Grimm). With great victory comes great despair though, and the writers don’t hesitate to break hearts by killing off some of the most beloved characters. We’re uncertain if the epic battles or those uncalled-for deaths keep us glued to the screen.
The guys running the shows know this and put their best effort to make us lose our minds by taking a beloved character from us when we least expect it. This trend is relatively young (thanks, Charmed), and makes us go insane; get a nice, lovable character, and then kill him or her gruesomely when nobody expects you to do so.
Today, we talk about the most heartbreaking, upsetting and depressing character deaths of all time. We’ll open some old wounds, we know. But please don’t get mad at us; our beloved characters deserve to be remembered. Some particular deaths from our favorite TV shows were so heartbreaking that we’ll likely never get over them, wouldn’t you agree? We can definitely say that they will haunt us for the rest of our lives.
SPOILER ALERT: Well, it’s obvious; if you haven’t seen some of these TV shows, and you don’t want your experience spoiled, don’t read this article.
15. The Walking Dead: Dale
Fans of The Walking Dead are always on thin ice; they never know when their favorite character will end dismembered by zombies or worse. Many characters left a mark on the show, and rare are the ones who were truly honest and kind. We all remember Dave, a character giving his best to keep Rick’s group together and boost their moral when it was most needed. We can say for sure that he was a pillar of sanity to Rick; Dave always reminded him that his duty was not just to protect his group, but to remain a decent human being, even in times of great danger.
Because of Carl’s foolish mistake, when he failed to kill a temporarily immobilized walker, Dale paid the price with his life. Even though he was still alive by the time Rick got there, it was too late for Dale. The moment was really shocking. Since Daryl knew him a bit longer than Rick, he was emotionally shocked seeing Dale’s insides hanging out; when he heard his anguished screams, Daryl couldn’t stand it anymore so he performed a mercy killing. What a way to go. Good guys never deserve such a gruesome fate.
14. Sleepy Hollow: Abbie Mills
We continue with Abbie from Sleepy Hollow. Even though the audience got used to her switching dimensions and returning from the spirit realm, the season 3 finale brought an unexpected turn of events. In a tense and action-packed episode, Abbie sacrificed her soul to bring down Pandora and The Hidden One.
With bad guys defeated, we relied on Ichabod Crane to bring Abbie back, but the shocking fact blew our minds – Abbie was dead! There were many speculations that she would return prior to season 4, but they turned out to be false. The Headless Horseman returned, and Pandora confirmed that there was no possible way to bring Abbie back. For three seasons we watched Abbie and Crane fighting together as two destined witnesses and then all of a sudden, she dies. It felt like the producers took something precious from our hearts and tossed it aside like it was nothing.
13. Charmed: Prue Halliwell
Did you watch Charmed when you were younger? This show was the pioneer of the “Kill the Main Character” movement. The never ending fight between the charmed witches and demons from the Outer World rocked our TV screens during the 2000s. We enjoyed watching the Halliwell sisters trying to find the best possible ways to get rid of various demons. Among them, Prue was the oldest, the strongest, and most powerful one; a role model to the other two sisters. After three seasons of this amazing show, we couldn’t have guessed that the end of the third season would also be the end of Prue Halliwell.
From the beginning of the episode, a demon called Shax was trying to kill the sisters. Even though he was way stronger, the sisters fought hard. When the demon sought to kill the innocent one, Dr. Griffiths, Prue pushed the doctor aside and took the killing blow like a real hero. She sacrificed her life to save an innocent soul, and the other two sisters couldn’t bring her back. A heartbreaking death, indeed.
12. True Detective: Paul Woodrugh
A brave detective Paul Woodrugh got our attention when he appeared in the second season of True Detective. He had a rough childhood; never got a chance to see his father, and his mother blamed him for the end of her career. When he got old enough, he joined the US Armed Forces, which led him to be suspected for several war crime cases later. Now a motorcycle cop, he works for the California Highway Patrol. One day he pulled a girl over for reckless driving and she tried to bribe him with a dirty compensation. Even though he refused the tempting offer, she sued him for sexual harassment which got him placed on administrative leave.
His ex-lover Miguel, shows up in the week before the season finale. It turns out that Miguel had cahoots with the security company they worked for, together with the Police Chief Holloway. Following scenes revealed the crooked cop organization, and that triggered a gun showdown. Miguel gets killed in the gunfire, and it looked like Paul would escape. Soon after he got out of the tunnels and reached to the light, Lieutenant Burris shoots him dead from his hideout. This was the classic moment when you think the protagonist will save himself from the mess, and you get slapped in your face. RIP Paul, you were a good guy.
11. The Walking Dead: Tyreese Williams
Do not get too attached to characters from The Walking Dead. Someone always dies unexpectedly, and the chances are high that the person who dies is the one you care about. You never know. Here we’re remembering Tyreese – he showed up for the first time as a leader of a small group of survivors. Together with his sister Sasha, Ty became a core member of Rick’s group, and later he even ends up as a caretaker for Rick’s daughter Judith.
When the party decided to go to Noah’s compound after losing Beth, they found the community destroyed by walkers. Noah and Ty located Noah’s mom, who was already dead and turned. That is when Noah’s dead twin brother appears out of nowhere and bites Tyreese right in the arm. Not so long after he got bit, Ty started hallucinating and seeing everyone he loved. The hallucination scene was particularly creepy; the face of the Governor turned to be another walker who attacked and bit Tyreese on the same spot again. Tyreese had to allow that to happen in order to reach the weapon and kill it. Right after Michonne found him lying in the corner covered in blood, she amputates his arm but apparently it was already too late for the big guy.
10. Breaking Bad: Hank Schrader
We all knew Hank as a devoted DEA agent that was giving his best in his attempt to clean the streets from meth dealers and those who cook it. Breaking Bad happens in the very same area where his brother-in-law Walter White, lives a double life. A chemistry teacher and a cancer patient in the regular, and the best meth cooker and a powerful villain with a name Heisenberg, in his secret life. During four seasons of this excellent TV show, Hank was far from figuring out who Heisenberg was. When he started digging a lot and taking out bigger narco cartel bosses, we knew it wouldn’t end well for him. If you dig deep enough, you will get in trouble.
When Hank, Gomez and Walter got caught in the final season by Jack Welker (The leader of a White Supremacist Gang), we knew that something bad was going to happen. We expected Gomez to die in this scene, but when Welker pointed the gun at Hank’s head, we were all shocked. We all thought: “No way, Walter will find a way to stop Jack from killing Hank.” On the contrary, Jack Welker kills Hank in front of Walter. A jaw-dropping, OH-MY-GOD scene.
Remember the time when you started watching Game of Thrones? Learning about the story, finding out which character was good and which was evil, like in every other TV show. Remember how you had no clue that this show was about to become way too brutal when it came to dealing with main characters? Yeah, that’s the feeling.
We all developed affection to Eddard-Ned Stark as a firm and honest King of the North, a leader of the Stark family. A truthful, brave and as it turns out, not so smart man. He gets framed and set up for the crime of treason and conspiracy to kill the current king, Joffrey Baratheon.
We all thought he would manage to save himself somehow, but then that horrible scene happened. The main square of King’s Landing packed with people, Ned on his knees. Executioner beheads him with a massive sword in front of everybody. Joffrey ordered his death despite the urges of Cersei and Sansa to spare his life and send him to the Night’s Watch. Many cried themselves to sleep that night.
8. Grey’s Anatomy: Lexie Grey
When we talk about Grey’s Anatomy, all those who watch this show are no stranger when it comes to occasional character death, especially in the season finale. One of the most traumatic deaths for Grey’s Anatomy fans was probably the death of Lexie Grey. When Lexie and her colleagues took a plane to assist in surgery, the aircraft ends up crashing down in the middle of a forest not so long after it went airborne. Surprisingly, everyone who was on that plane survived; some with physical injuries, but nothing serious.
It turned out, everyone but Lexie. She was completely crushed under a huge piece of the plane wreckage with no way of getting out. The other members of the crew soon realized that even if they could have pulled Lexie out, she would have still died from injuries. Grey’s Anatomy is known for some intense scenes, but watching Lexie die that way was almost too much. To make her death even more tragic, in the following season, it was revealed that her body was eaten by the wolves, which made everybody furious.
7. The Walking Dead: Noah
Here’s one of the most shocking deaths of all time. Many couldn’t sleep after that night’s shocking turn of events for sure. Noah was a side character in the show, a young man who found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time. The apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead isn’t a place for the weak and naive. Noah had helped several characters in the series, especially Beth; these two lived in the hospital for a while until they escaped. He was a decent, brave and smart guy. He became interested in learning the architecture of Alexandria and planned to devote to that matter with Reg.
Unfortunately, Noah got trapped in a revolving door with Glen and Nicholas, and a lot of walkers on the other side. The problem is, if anyone was to exit this claustrophobic maze of death, the other side would be open for zombies to enter and devour one of the characters. Being a coward and a traitor, Nicholas started pulling himself out without remorse for the guys on the other side. His coward move opened the side where Noah was situated, and zombies grabbed him. Glen was forced to watch while Noah was being dragged into a huge pile of zombies and forced to a glass while several zombies ripped and devoured him simultaneously.
6. Sons of Anarchy: Tara
The Sons of Anarchy season finale offered a sense of hope and optimism for the fans, as Jax and Tara agreed on what was the best option for their children’s future. To protect Tara, Jax was planning to turn himself in to the police in exchange for immunity for all the crimes that Tara had committed under the SAMCRO organization. Tara was to take the kids away wherever she wanted and save them from this lifestyle. Just when it looked like the plan was really going to work, angry Gemma Teller showed up to make a mess.
She thought that Tara betrayed everyone by trying to take her grandchildren away and talking to the cops, so she started a violent fight with her daughter-in-law. In the following scene, Gemma started drowning Tara in the kitchen sink. Just when we thought that Tara would die from drowning, Gemma grabbed a meat fork and started stabbing her in the head. As Lieutenant Roosevelt entered the house, he saw Gemma stuck right next to the wall in complete shock, mumbling over and over: “It had to be done, she made a deal.”
5. Game of Thrones: The Red Wedding
Remember that time when you sat comfortably in your bed and prepared yourself for another Game of Thrones episode, probably thinking about how Robb Stark would have Joffrey’s head on the plate soon?
Well, guess what? George R.R Martin had different plans, those that included killing an entire Stark family in the episode called “The Red Wedding”. Those who went through the Game of Thrones books knew that this was coming, but George prepared a surprise for them as well; Robb’s pregnant wife Talisa, got stabbed in the stomach repeatedly, killing both her and her unborn child. She wasn’t even supposed to be there!
Rob desperately tried to avenge his beloved wife, but since he took too many arrows to the chest, he was quickly finished by Roose Bolton. Seeing this, Catelyn Stark gets overwhelmed with grief, and she slits the throat of Walder Frey’s wife, moments before the Black Walder Frey cut her throat. We can all agree that this was one of the most gruesome and shocking episodes, that left us with our mouths wide open, thinking: “What the hell just happened!?”
4. Sons of Anarchy: Opie
Sons of Anarchy was a brutal show. Incredibly real, well-written and filmed, played to perfection, and created with the influences of classics like Hamlet. Deaths and violence were a regular part of this show and drama moments and shocking secrets revealed were the spice that made anybody who watched this show a loyal fan.
A loyal friend, brother and a devoted SAMCRO lieutenant, Opie was people’s favorite. Even though he appeared as rough and quiet, he was there for Jax and the club with his whole heart. He would do anything for Jax, and he showed that in the dramatic ending of the fifth season’s episode #3. Jax, Opie,and Chibs, are in prison, and one of them has to die to settle the score with the corrupted Warden. Things get really tense. In the last second, Opie decides to bite the bullet for the club and Jax. He got a slight chance to defend himself, but eventually he gets beaten to the death with a bat while Jax and Chibs watch behind the glass. Poor Opie.
3. The Wire: Omar Little
In The Wire, we all had a feeling that it will not end well for the legendary brave man in his heroic effort against the Stanfield organization. For five seasons, Omar Little was definitely a The Wire fan favorite criminal. Despite the fact that he managed to escape many death traps, the tragedy of Omar Little’s death is in the way he died.
We will all agree that with his moral code, Omar deserved to die an honorable death on the battlefield, not in some random market. We can’t believe that his story came to an end by the hands of a mere 12 year old boy named Kennard. It all happened without any preparations – young boy saw an opportunity and took it. This was a bitterly ironic end for our hero, and we can all agree that Omar did not deserve a death like this. Nobody wanted (or expected) he would die like this. So cruel and irresponsible of the writers to hurt our feelings like that.
2. Grey’s Anatomy: George O’Malley
Another shocking death comes from Grey’s Anatomy, and it’s hard to decide which one is worse; the death of Lexie or George O’Malley. O’Malley was a kind and generous person. During five seasons, he became one of the most beloved characters on Grey’s Anatomy. After weeks spent not knowing if Izzie would live or die, George was the one who left the show in the most unexpected way, leaving us shocked to the core.
It all started going down right after George said to Dr. Bailey that he was planning on joining the Army. Bailey didn’t receive that news well and tried to talk him out of it but failed. After some time, the hospital received an unknown hero from the Army, and they gave him the John Doe identity, a hero without a name.
George threw himself in front of a bus to save a complete stranger. This heroic move destroyed his face to the point where no one could recognize him. John Doe remained unknown until that one time when he wrote 0.0.7 on Meredith’s palm. At that moment she realized that John Doe was actually George O’Malley. In an explosion of feelings and stress, the hospital staff tried to save both George and Izzie at the same time, leaving us all in shock. The 6th season aired to show us that Izzie survived, and George died.
1. Game of Thrones: Hodor
Did you recuperate from the latest GoT shocking death? Have you participated in the viral #HoldTheDoor campaign on Twitter? Do you crumble and fall in an elevator when somebody yells to you: “Hold the door, please”.
The sixth season is over, and it brought a lot of death, catastrophe, and took some of our favorite characters. George R.R Martin knows how to play with our feelings, and this season he took our beloved friendly giant Hodor. It all happened when Bran accidentally alerted the White Walker King and his army about his whereabouts.
The White Walker army arrived at the cave while Bran was deeply in his trance. Meera desperately tried to wake him up, while the Children sought to defend the cave for as long as possible. White Walkers overwhelmed the cave, killing Bran’s direwolf, all the Children, and Three-Eyed Raven. While running away from them, Bran used Hodor’s body to open the door, close it, and to hold it as long as possible. Bran was in the past simultaneously, exploring the life of young Hodor and Winterfell at the time.
When Bran saw a young Hodor in his trance, suffering on the ground shouting, “hold the door! Hold the door!” he realized that he messed up Hodor’s mind with his time travel. Hodor stood firm and held the door while being lacerated and bitten by White Walkers to the death, to give them enough time to escape. This sacrifice brought many to tears and anger. Will this show leave at least one kind soul alive?