Television has a habit of creating iconic characters who stand the test of time in their stature as individuals in these layered worlds we love and hold dear. While groups of people can band together to create a formidable team in the television realm, there is all too often that one person who becomes invaluable and ultimately leads the way as indispensable. Whether this person is a lovable rogue, the captain of a renowned ship or simply the person with the strongest will to survive, they go down in lore as those particular individuals who simply cannot die on screen.
Any instance in which their life hangs in the balance is often met with the typical social media pandemonium, utter shock and questions as to whether a show could survive without them, rendering them the beacon and symbol for many a show – so what would happen if suddenly they were actually killed off? Many shows would experience a complete shift in dynamics, the very fact that another would have to step up to the plate instantly coming into force, but which would be affected the most?
Taking this into account, here is a list of those characters whose deaths would certainly leave a massive dent in shows and leave many an audience member reeling for weeks, if not months. Which of these guys and girls would you miss or are you secretly pining for that rug to be pulled from under us and a whole new change occurring within your favorite shows?
10 Peter Griffin – Family Guy
Seth MacFarlane has already played around with killing off a number of his main characters – only for them to reappear once more – but what if Family Guy lost its overweight, bumbling, signature guy in Peter Griffin?
One can’t help it would once again play out in the same manner as Lois or even Brian’s demise previously but it would certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons and have the audience talking. While essentially the show revolves around Peter, there are a strong number of additional characters who could play their part in helping to replace the main man.
Of course, things certainly wouldn’t be the same without Peter’s cheeky little snigger, his reminiscing of past endeavors and his inappropriate behavior almost all the time. We may soon grow weary of his absence, but it could be a risk to get people talking about Family Guy once more.
9 Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is one of those shows where anything can happen. Take, for instance, the various number of deaths wreaking havoc within a community of people that we’ve fondly taken the survival trip with through the seasons. We’ve become emotionally invested in a number of people as the show has drawn on, only for them to be dispatched by Walkers or even fellow humans, leaving jaws gaping and tears running down the cheeks, but one man who seems invincible is Rick Grimes. The very focal point of the show, Rick has gone from sheriff to leader of the survival group as he’s overcome death, destruction and so much more – but what would happen if he were to meet a dreadful end?
Ultimately, the group would need a new leader and there are a few competitors for that title. Darryl is a possibility, as well as Carol and Michonne, but one would expect difficulties that would immediately arise within the group, thus changing the dynamic of the show entirely. Would we see new clans evolve? Possible mutiny within the ranks? Would poor Carl give up the ghost or take his father’s mantle? You can’t tell me you’re not intrigued.
8 Captain Kirk – Star Trek
As a Captain of a ship you ultimately have full power. Taking charge of the ship’s course, making those tough decisions in the life-or-death situations and ensuring that your crew is organised and ready to fully support you, it’s a huge task and one that very few can handle. Take for instance, Captain Kirk, a true science fiction hero who is just as skilled in leading a crew as he is in taking down the bad guys. So what would have happened to the Enterprise should he have perished?
It’s a fate that few Trekkies would even want to contemplate but one that would certainly have send ripples through the rest of the crew. Almost definitely it would see Spock elevated to the highest rank, but would likely see his emotional state altered drastically. It would not only affect the whole crew emotionally, but would also see a distinct lack of possible love interests on the show and a true bonafied action hero within the ranks. Put simply, a ship does not cope without its captain, and James Tiberius Kirk was born to command that craft.
7 John Diggle –Arrow
While many of you may have been guessing that Oliver Queen would make this list for Arrow, it actually seems much more logical to imagine the effect that the loss of John Diggle would have. After all, Diggle has literally been at Oliver’s side from day one, originally providing security for the hooded vigilante before becoming very much a brother, as well as a best friend and Team Arrow member.
With that in mind, the very suggestion of Diggle being eliminated from the show would have a groundbreaking effect, meaning that all-too-often Oliver would have his most loyal confidante missing in those most personal of moments. Forget Olicity, moments with Thea or Laurel, this would be the one to really see a change in Oliver Queen’s actions and emotions. Let’s hope Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti don’t read this and get ideas.
6 Daenerys Targaryen - Games of Thrones
Admittedly, Games of Thrones features a host of major characters who have already been slain in cold blood and shocked us all, so it shouldn't ever come as a surprise should Khaleesi see the same fate.
That being said, the surviving Targaryen and Queen of Dragons is technically the rightful heir to the throne and one of the key individuals vying for the seat on the Iron Throne. Therefore, her death would shatter much of the narrative within the show, leaving a whole army without a proper leader and changing a huge section of the show's emphasis.
5 Sheldon Cooper - The Big Bang Theory
While The Big Bang Theory remains as one of those continuously laugh-out-loud options from the television world, it has been known to deal with death along the way. With this in mind, could you imagine the shockwaves that would be felt if Sheldon Cooper was to be killed off.
Arguably the main draw to the show, Sheldon Cooper's very mannerisms, his quirky tendencies and his ever-blossoming romance with Amy are the ingredients that help the show thrive.
Imagine all that gone; no friendly bickering with Leonard, no sly digs at Penny and that spot on the couch would never be the same again.
4 Jack Bauer - 24
The rumours continue to roll in with regards to another series of the hit show 24, and the likelihood of Jack Bauer not returning seems ever likely. However, you certainly couldn't imagine had CTU's finest been eliminated through the original series run.
Essentially known for that never-ending collective of 'Jack Bauer power hours', 24 played host to forging one of the greatest small-screen action stars of our generation. This was a show driven by the evolution of its main character, with us as the audience going through testing and difficult times with Jack.
Imagine that being wiped out halfway through a series, leaving us with little more than an analytical team and heads dropping at the thought of their main man falling to the terrorists.
Thankfully, we never got to see that and if we had then not even Chloe or Tony could have salvaged much from that wreckage.
3 Saul Goodman - Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad may have focused primarily on the double-act of Jesse and Walter in their crystal meth escapades, but they certainly wouldn't have got anywhere without that man. Saul.
Talking the talk, walking the walk and aiding them with the most important of questionable dealings, if it wasn't for Saul then this story would have been over way before those final moments we all watched open-mouthed to.
He may have had his own fair share of close shaves, but to our delight, Saul stayed alive and helped make Breaking Bad one of the greatest shows ever to be witnessed on television.
2 Kermit the Frog - The Muppets
God forbid if Kermit the Frog should ever perish, leaving his faithful crew without their leading man. A staple of television for decades, Kermit has forever been the face of Jim Henson's classic motley crew and you just couldn't see the show without the green figure of musical and comedic genius.
Not only would we have to withstand a truly distraught Miss Piggy, but the direction of the ensemble would undoubtedly crumble, leaving a void that would never be filled again.
Lucky for us, there's still plenty of life in old Kermie.
1 Phil - Modern Family
When you're representing one of the most famous families in television comedy, there can be no man left behind, so just fathom for a second if Phil were to ever to be erased from the picture. Yes, you'd be just as distraught as us.
The family clown, the mind-boggling magician and real estate genius is one of the key draws to this most eccentric yet lovable of families. Life without him would be extremely dull.
There would be no one for Gloria to share makeover tips with, a distinct lack of brilliant marital moments and the kids certainly wouldn't be the same. Even Jay would be affected, at least for a little while.