Tears for TV characters

George Bell talks his picks for the most devastating TV deaths.

George Bell
23rd March 2020
Credit; HBO, IMDb
Watching TV gives you hours of entertainment and gets you to invest a lot of time in characters you can’t help but love. So, when the show decides to cut that character it hurts and you might need to fill out a PEC form so you can take some time to mourn. Time to grab some tissues, if you can still find any, and prepare for the worst trip down memory lane of some of the saddest deaths in television.

You can’t talk about the saddest deaths in TV without mentioning the sadistic bastard that is George R.R. Martin; author of the book series that inspired the global phenomenon Game of Thrones. The show was iconic for its tendency to kill off main characters left, right and centre, usually in shocking ways. From Ned Stark to Oberyn Martell and Margaery Tyrell to Hodor, no one was safe and everyone feared their favourite would meet a grisly end. But easily the most shocking and tragic death on the show goes to Robb Stark at the Red Wedding.

This article could very easily just be about Game of Thrones but it isn’t the only show that made us tear up over the death of a character.

The King in the North was a fan favourite from the pilot for being basically the opposite of Joffrey Baratheon and one of the few morally good characters on the show. His death at the hands of Walder Frey (fuck you, and your cat, Filch) during “Rains of Castamere” shook the show to its foundations and reduced many of the fans to tears and represented how amazing this show could be in its prime. His death is only as sad as how bad the show got near the end. This article could very easily just be about Game of Thrones but it isn’t the only show that made us tear up over the death of a character.

Another hit TV show where fans fear to grow attached is The Walking Dead, where the zombie apocalypse leads to some really gruesome deaths. It’s a long-running show so it's hard not to get attached and it definitely stings when favourites bite the dust. And the worst has got to be Glenn. One of the original characters on the show, Glenn was loved from the start as this ray of sunshine in a grim world and we got to watch him mature and fall in love. And it was brought to a brutal end in the season 7 premiere with Negan violently beating the character in the head with a baseball bat. The horrific scene had already played out with another fan favourite, Abraham, so adding Glenn was too much for many, especially with all his friends, and pregnant wife, being forced to watch. A horrible death for such a great character was undeserved.

Credit; AMC, IMDb

Losing a parent is an awful feeling, and can come out of nowhere. The sitcom How I Met Your Mother portrayed this perfectly with the death of Marshall’s dad. Throughout the show, we were shown how close the two were as a father-son duo and were a treat to watch on screen. So, at the end of the episode “Bad news” when Lily tells Marshall that his dad had a heart attack and died, we are forced to see as the usually happy and kind guy as he breaks down in tears. It’s a hard watch which doesn’t get better when its revealed that over the episode there is a countdown from 50 (a number per scene) to 0 and his dad’s death.

A show usually targeted at kids masterfully dealt with the issue of losing a child in a mature way

While losing a parent is awful, losing a child is just as bad, if not worse. This next death technically happened before the show started but it’s too emotional not to mention. Avatar: The Last Airbender Uncle Iroh’s son Lu Ten died before the first season but played an integral part to Iroh’s characters and arguably the most emotional scene of the entire show. In the episode “Tales of Bah Sing Se” all the characters go about on various tasks, Iroh goes about collecting various for a reason we don’t know. Turns out it was because he was visiting his son’s grave in a very emotional reunion. And if the waterworks hadn’t started yet Iroh begins singing the melancholy tune “Little Soldier Boy” before, like all of us, he burst into tears. A show usually targeted at kids masterfully dealt with the issue of losing a child in a mature way.

There are tons more deaths from loads of shows that I’m sure to have missed out, partially because I have a word count, but mostly because I’m sad enough as it is.

Credit; YouTube
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AUTHOR: George Bell
One half film addict, one part computer nerd. All parts Croc lover

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