Losing one of your favorite characters on your favorite shows is never easy, especially if you’re a loyal fan; but eventually, someone has to go.
Sometimes, a character’s death is expected, possibly due to news of an actor opting out of their contract to venture onto other things, or perhaps they were let go; but sometimes, their departure comes as a big shock, and throw audiences into a big loop.
Over the years, many characters have died, and left us wondering if we should keep watching our favorite shows. This list is comprised of some of the more emotional and shocking deaths of characters from some of our favorite shows over the past years, some old and some new.
***WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD***
If you’ve still haven’t caught up on some of your favorite shows, beware, because there are many spoilers ahead.
Here are the Top 20 television character deaths we are still mourning.
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20. The characters of LOST
With the shows synopsis, character deaths were expected, but still surprising, especially when you hoped your favorite would find a way to make it. Many died in the plane crash, others died on the island from being killed or from suicide. The most memorable death would have to be that of Charlie Pace. His sacrificial drowning to save Desmond was one of the more emotional deaths of the series.
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19. Jimmy Darmody, Boardwalk Empire
Jimmy tries to make amends with Nucky, a father figure to him, after a constant back and forth battle of control over the bootlegging of alcohol. Jimmy tries to help Nucky with his election fraud case by killing the main witness, however, the case ends in a mistrial. Nucky lures Jimmy to him by making up a kidnapping, and shoots him in the head twice.
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18. President DavidPalmer, 24
David Palmer was the President of the United States in 24, elected after a failed assassination attempt against him. Palmer was one of the primary characters in the series, which made his death in Season 5 a shock. Palmer was in his penthouse with his brother, Wayne, discussing his memoir. He was shot through his window by a sniper, right in the neck, killing him instantly.
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17. Andrea, The Walking Dead
In a zombie apocalypse, death is expected, and in The Walking Dead, death is very quick and unexpected. Andrea seemed to be the most hopeful of all characters. She seemed willing to work everything out, and have everyone live happily with everything going on. She was a negotiator, and tried to get everyone to see eye to eye. Though she can be in denial, her death in the series was a shock; there was no longer that glue to keep everyone together. She died after being bit by a zombified Milton, who was killed by the governor. She chooses to kill herself to stop from turning into one of them, while Michonne stays with her.
16. Caitlin Todd, NCIS
In the Season 2 finale, Caitlin and the team had successfully cleared a warehouse, shooting all the terrorists in sight. Kate died after being shot in the head by a sniper, with Gibbs and DiNozzo in shock. The murderer – the team’s old enemy, terrorist and double agent, Ari Haswari.
15. Vincent Nigel-Murray, Bones
Vincent Nigel-Murray was an intern in Dr. Brennan’s lab on Bones. Vincent is known to have a habit of reciting trivia while working. In Season 6, he is shot in the chest by sniper Jacob Brodsky, which led directly to his death. Brennan was very hurt by his death, even telling him that he was her favorite. Hodgins and Angela name their son after him.
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14. Lexie Grey, Grey’s Anatomy
Lexie Grey, in Grey’s Anatomy was Meredith Grey’s half-sister. She started as an intern and eventually became a surgical resident. She had a romantic relationship with plastic surgeon Mark Sloan. In season 8, she sustained life-threatening injuries after a plane crash, which ultimately ended in her death.
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13. Matthew Reginald Crawley, Downton Abbey
While many expected Matthew’s death, due to Dan Stevens’ decision to leave the cast, but his death was still an emotional and surprising one. Matthew became co-owner following the Crawley’s financial problems resulting from bad investments, where Matthew was able to come to the rescue through money inherited from his late fiancée’s father. Matthew marries Mary, the oldest daughter of Robert Crawley, and she became pregnant and gave birth to their son. However, Matthew was killed the same day in a car crash after a visit to his newborn and wife at the hospital, making George the heir of the title, earldom, estate and fortune.
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12. Ned Stark, Game of Thrones
The readers of the book saw this one coming, but for those who only watch the series were in a bit of shock. Eddard is the head of House Stark and Lord Paramount of the North. He is a husband and father. Eddard becomes Hand of the King to his lifelong friend, Robert Baratheon, when the previous hand dies in suspicious circumstances. He follows his predecessor’s footsteps and uncovers an incestuous relationship between Queen, Cersei Lannister, and her brother, Ser Jaime Lannister. Robert dies after being injured while hunting and Eddard challenges his successor, Joffrey Baratheon, but is betrayed and arrested for treason. He confesses to the crime to protect his family, but is executed by Joffrey’s orders.
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11. Lori Grimes, The Walking Dead
Another Walking Dead name makes the list. This time it’s Lori, Rick’s wife. Lori may have had some doubts about Rick’s decisions, and their relationship was in a bit of turmoil, but just when hopes of the two of them fixing things come to light, as well as a baby on the way, Lori is gone. She dies while Maggie performs a C-Section during an invasion in the prison. Carl is by her side, traumatized by the situation, Rick is put in even more stress, and little “Kick-ass” becomes the first baby in the zombie apocalypse.
10. Hank Schrader, Breaking Bad
In Breaking Bad, Walt’s former chemistry student, Jesse, and Hank, who works for the DEA, come up with a plan to trick Walt. Walt gives himself up and lets Hank arrest him. Jack’s crew then arrives (Walt called them to kill Jesse) and confronts Hank and his partner Gomez. Walt attempts to defuse the situation, but a gunfight erupts and Gomez is killed and Hank is wounded. Walt begs Jack to spare Hank, offering him the buried $80 million in exchange. Hank then identifies himself by his DEA title, ASAC Schrader, and then tells Jack to do what he’s got to do, at which point Jack shoots him through the head, killing him, leaving Walt an emotional mess.
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9. The Red Wedding, Game of Thrones
“The Rains of Castamere,” is the episode centered in the wedding of Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey, one of the most memorable events of the book series, commonly named “The Red Wedding.” The episode shows the massacre during the War of the Five Kings arranged by Lord Walder Frey as revenge against King Robb Stark for breaking the marriage pact between House Stark and House Frey. During the massacre, King Robb, his wife, Queen Talisa, his mother, Lady Catelyn, and most of his men-at-arms are murdered following the marriage feast. For those who did not read the book, this was definitely a shock.
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8. Lizzie & Mika, The Walking Dead
Probably one of the most haunting episodes of The Walking dead, was the deaths of sisters Lizzie and Mika. Lizzie was losing her mind in the apocalypse. She always thought the zombies were her friends, and that they were lucky to be able to die and come back to life. After killing her sister, Mika, to see her come back, Carol and Tyreese decide they need to take matters into their own hands in order to protect Judith, Rick’s baby. So Carol takes Lizzie into the woods, and kills her.
7. Opie, Sons of Anarchy
In Sons of Anarchy, Jax, Tig, and Chibs are being arrested on murder charges, and Opie punches Roosevelt so he can accompany them to prison to help protect them. Pope forces Jax to have one of his members fight to the death in prison. Tig volunteers, only to be told that Pope wants him alive so he will suffer in prison for the rest of his life. Jax is next to volunteer but Opie intervenes, selflessly giving up his own life in order to ensure Jax’s safety.
6. Adriana La Cerva, The Sopranos
Adriana, fiancée of Christopher Moltisanti, was threatened into working with the feds against the Soprano family. Her deception catches up with her after she reveals the truth to Christopher, hoping they can go into the Witness Protection Program together and start new lives. After she is beaten and strangled by Christopher, he reveals her status as an informant to Tony. Tony orders her death, and she is lured to a quiet spot. Silvio drives Adriana to the middle of the woods. As she tries to flee, Silvio drags her from the car and shoots her. Christopher is later seen putting some of her clothes in a red suitcase and dumping them, and then leaves her car at the airport.
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5. Walter White, Breaking Bad
While many viewers saw Walter’s demise at the end of the series, it was still shocking and emotional to see him go. After Hank’s death, Walter spends the next several months hiding in a cabin in New Hampshire while struggling with his cancer. He returns to New Mexico in order to visit his family one final time and seek revenge against Jack. Walter kills all of the gang’s members and frees Jesse, who escapes from the compound before the police arrive. Walter realizes he is mortally wounded from a gunshot and slowly succumbs to his injury as the police search the compound, and we see Walter dead on the ground.
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4. Detective Jocelyn Carter, Person of Interest
After an ongoing war with HR, Carter is finally at ease, bringing down most of the people involved. Reese shares his true feelings for Carter by kissing her, and in the end, everything appears to be going well, until one of the men who manages to escape, shoots Reese and Carter. Reese survives, but Carter dies from a shot to the heart. Reese holds her in his arms while she takes her last breath, cradling her and crying, while Finch watches in horror. This was one of the most emotional moments on television, shocking many viewers who were unaware of Taraji P. Henson’s exit, which was everyone.
3. Rita, Dexter
Just when we thought things would work out well for Dexter, his true love is taken from him. Dexter asks Rita to go out of town so they can have a belated honeymoon, but in reality, Dexter wants to keep her safe from Mitchell, who has learned his real identity and threatened to kill him and his family. After killing Mitchell, Dexter returns home and finds a message from Rita that she returned to pick up her identification for the flight. Dexter finds her dead in the bathtub; Mitchell’s last victim. He carries his son, covered in Rita’s blood, out of the bathroom, and we are brought back to his own upbringing, seeing the similarities.
2. Hershel Green, The Walking Dead
Hershel was the real glue that kept everyone together. His skills in farming and healthcare proved beneficial for everyone at the prison. When the Governor came to seek revenge on Rick, Hershel and Michonne’s lives were at risk. While attempting to talk him out of it, Rick tries to tell the governor that they can all live together, which resulted in the Governor killing Hershel. That led to chaos and a zombie invasion on the prison which caused the group to separate. This was the most emotional deaths in the series. Hershel was easily a favorite character, and seeing him go had a huge effect on Walking Dead fans.
1. Will Gardner, The Good Wife
In the end, we all wanted Will to work things out with Alicia. We hoped things will be back to normal, and possibly even a chance that they’d get together and have a real relationship. But all of that was gone when will was shot. In court, Will was talking with the judge after receiving new evidence to prove his client’s innocence. While speaking, his client grabs the guard’s gun and starts firing in the courtroom. Kalinda and Diane are also at the courthouse in different areas when the shots are heard. Kalinda enters the courtroom filled with distraught faces, and finds Will on the ground, dead. The fact that no one knew about Josh Charles’ exit from the show, made this one of the biggest shocks on TV this year. The most memorable and haunting image, is that of Will’s client, shooting the now empty gun at his own head, regretting not saving one for himself.