Oh bother! What one TV character’s death can mean for all of us! We have seen such an uproar over the recent death of a main character on Good Wife. (Spoiler Alert: If you DVR everything and don’t want to know what happens in some shows, you might want to stop reading at this point. If you don’t care, please keep reading!) In today’s television landscape, there is no such thing as “Oh they will never kill that character, they wouldn’t have a show without him/her/it.” Characters die all the time in television land. The Good Wife character, Will Gardner, has been one of several killed this season alone. In the recent past, even shows like Once Upon a Time kill fan favorites (at least this fan). Who knew tears could come over such a cheesy show?
In the old days, we were all safe. Characters found themselves in tight situations, but we knew the good guys, or gals, would persevere to get out of the high drama jam. Happily ever after occurred at the end of each show. Now, television has taken on a darker tone, one that is more realistic, but not nearly as heartfelt to watch. In many ways, the pendulum has swung all the way to the other side. Most viewers today expect death of a main character, even if it might be one of the favorites. Of course, there is only one reason this happens. It creates buzz! Buzz promulgated by social media sites like Twitter. One could even deduce that Twitter is the main reason so many characters die today. It creates a viral trend that skyrockets the show into the limelight.
Despite what you might think about this analysis, there has been an untold number of lists in the last month of the most shocking TV deaths. We have taken five of them to find out which characters appear the most. We have looked at lists from a wide variety of sources including Entertainment tonight, E Online, TV Guide, Time (yes this is still around) and Perezhilton.com. We require a time frame to narrow down the list so we select only TV deaths since the dawn of Twitter. Read on because you are going to be surprised by some of the ones making the list.
10. Walter White, Breaking Bad
One of the most highly acclaimed and watched shows in Television, no one argued that the death of Walter White was a shock. There was always the chance he would go the way of pearly gates, but one could always hope that the teacher turned drug dealer would save the day and still be able to live. He was able to do a few things before dying including saving Jesse and getting the money back to his family. He was a true anti-hero, which are always the easiest to watch go. You loved to hate the guy, but you are still sorry to see the character’s demise.
9. Matthew Crawley, Downton Abbey
Who will be the first to admit that some tears fell into a tea cup as you watched Matthew die on Downton Abbey? It was a surprise twist to kill this character. No one expected it. It was so devastating that Perez Hilton voted it the most shocking death in Television, EVER! And talk about cruel, it happened while the guy was driving the car of his dreams going home to his sexy, beautiful wife. Facebook was abuzz as was Twitter. No one wanted to believe it happened. Oh, the horror of the life at Downton Abbey without Matthew, many were heard to exclaim as they put away their tea sets for the season.
8. Jimmy Darmody, Boardwalk Empire
Jimmy should have known better. His rush to power was his ultimate demise. If you were going to assassinate someone, you better have gotten it right, especially with someone like Enoch “Nucky” Thompson. Nucky did not miss with his attempt as he killed Jimmy at the end of season two. A fan favorite, social media went crazy with cries of foul play. Jimmy should have been spared!
7. Lawrence Kutner, House
Kal Pen got a job in the White House. Why else would they kill off this character on House? He was the only normal one in the bunch. Nobody expected such a traumatic event leading to his exit from the show. Suicide was not expected by anyone. House needed the boost in the ratings and Kutner’s death created quite a buzz for the House fandom. One has to wonder what would have happened if they would have kept him alive because his gig in DC was short lived.
6. Sun-Hwa Kwon and Jin-Soo Kwon, Lost
Viewers had been treated to the up and downs of this couple through the Lost years. In the last season, they were killed off together so you can’t keep them apart in this list (or any of the other lists). Drowning in a sunken sub was not the way anyone expected them to go. It seemed so anticlimactic to die so peacefully while holding hands. Was anyone really surprised, however? Lost had been killing off characters left and right through the life of the show, creating a buzz that few other shows experienced.
5. Nicholas Brody, Homeland
Male lead, award winner Damien Lewis was a shoe-in to be on the never-get-killed list. Right? Many believed this true although the show runners said from the beginning it was their intention to hang the guy out to dry (literally!). No show shattered the myth of untouchable character like this one did. It made you want to go embrace all your current leads to ensure they didn’t get killed off. We all needed hugs from someone.
4. Sayid Jarrah, Lost
Like it has already been written, Lost characters were killed off so regularly that none of them really came as too much of a surprise. However, the way Sayid was killed, no one expected. Saving himself for the sake of the others was commendable for someone you had to dislike almost as much as you liked (the guy tortured people for a living!). Of course, wasn’t he brought back later on? Oh wait, that was the next guy on our list.
3. John Locke, Lost
John Locke was almost like a God in Lost. He was the center of everything in the show and no one had a bigger impact. When he died in the next to last season, we were sure it was all a mistake. How else were they going to explain some of the mystery behind the character? Oh, that’s right, they did that in the finale. Or did they? Does anyone really understand what happened in this show?
2. Eddard Stark and the entire list of main characters, Game of Thrones
Why didn’t someone tell us what would happen at the Red Wedding? To watch the central characters meet their demise at a wedding was harsh and shocking. Four of the five lists agreed(What happened, TV Guide?). Of course, we were told that everyone knew it was coming because it was in the books, but how many of us really have read them(Have you seen how thick those books are?)
1. Rita, Dexter
Four out of the five lists ranked Rita as one of the most shocking deaths in TV history (TV Guide again?) She was number one in Entertainment Weekly and E Online. As far as deaths go, this one was the shock to put all the other shocks to shame. Trinty got to Rita in that last moment. When Dexter found her, the scene leaped off the screen, Rita in the bathtub, the baby on the floor…Why, oh, why her? It was cruel event in an amazing show! It made all of us want to go back for more.