Unforgettable Fictional Characters Deaths That Are Still Haunting Fans

Saturday, July 13, 2024


As viewers, we often find ourselves emotionally invested in the characters of our favourite TV shows and movies, much so to the point where certain characters’ deaths leave us emotionally drained for days.

Spoiler Alert! For animated characters such as Ellie from Up, the iconic death of Rob Stark from Game of Thrones and McDreamy’s accident in Grey’s Anatomy, all of us have cried a little inside when these beloved characters died.

Here is a list of some of the most iconic characters’ deaths that are still haunting the movie and show buffs. But let me warn you, proceed at your own risk because the article contains SPOILERS!

1. Opie Winton – Sons of Anarchy (TV Show)


Played by: Ryan Hurst

Opie Winston’s death stands as one of the most memorable and tragic deaths in the series. It was gut-wrenching to watch as he was brutally beaten to death with a Steel pipe.

The brutal and bloody death of Opie was made even more tragic when his friend, unable to do anything, watched Opie die in the most tragic way.

Despite the show wrapping up in 2014, fans of Sons of Anarchy remember his death as the most heartbreaking moment in the show’s history.

2. George O’Malley- Grey’s Anatomy (TV Show)

source: ABC Network

Played by: T.R Knight

George O’Malley was one of the most loved characters on Grey’s Anatomy and his death came as a shock to the viewers because one second he was present with the whole cast and the next second he was gone.

He gets hit by a car when he decides to leave the hospital after multiple heartbreaks and join the army.

He is brought in as John Doe as he is unrecognizable after the accident and as soon as Meredith recognizes him, he passes away.

Because of the abruptness of the character’s death, fans had little time to process it emotionally. This led many fans to be confused and angry at the show for quite some time.

3. Derek Shephard – Grey’s Anatomy (TV Show)

source: ABC Network

Played by: Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey aka Derek Shepherd appeared in Grey’s Anatomy for 11 seasons and stole everyone’s heart as McDreamy.

Derek gets involved in an accident on his usual route and is taken to a different hospital than Seattle Grace. He loses his life after being on life support and a doctor’s mistake to treat him properly.

There have been other tragic deaths on the show but McDreamy’s death was the most heartbreaking moment in the history of the the longest-running medical drama.

While Derek took his last breaths, Meredith stood by his side, watching this episode was gut-wrenching and some of us will never be able to overcome his death.

4. Ned Stark – Game of Thrones (TV Show)

Source: HBO

Played by: Sean Bean

Ned Stark’s execution in season 1 of GOT is the most impactful death of all time in the TV show that turned the trajectory of the series.

Trying to protect his friend’s legacy and the Irone Throne, brave but naive Ned Stark falls prey to the schemes of the Lanisters and gets beheaded in front of his daughters.

5. Mufasa – The Lion King (Animated movie)

Source: Disney

Years after the release of The Lion King in theatres, the classic Disney animated film, Mufasa’s tragic death remains one of the most painful memories of our childhood.

The sad scene takes place when Scar lies to Mufasa about his son being trapped in a stampede. Mufasa then runs to Simba’s rescue and gets injured.

To save his son, Mufasa climbs up a hill into presumed safety. Seeing Scar waiting on top, Mufasa pleads Scar to help him; instead of helping him, Scar pushes Mufasa.

The injured father falls from the rock in front of Simba’s eyes and dies a helpless death. The scene is etched into our hearts and we wept with the little lion cub as he tries to wake up his father and begs others to help him.

6. Bea Smith – Wentworth (TV Show)

Source: TVNZ+

Played by: Danielle Cormack

Bea Smith is shockingly killed off in season 5 of Wentworth after being repeatedly stabbed in her stomach.

Although many fans speculated whether or not Bea had actually died, it was later revealed to be the case.

Bea’s unexpected death emotionally upset fans, many of whom dropped the series after the revelation.

7. John Coffey – The Green Mile (Movie)


Played by: Michael Clarke Duncan

John Coffey is portrayed as a gentle giant with an ability to heal many ailments, despite John’s gentle nature he is framed for a crime he did not commit, which leads to his unfair execution because of an injustice and unfair legal system.

It is possibly one of the most unfair portrayals of justice in cinema history, John Coffey’s death left viewers with heavy hearts and mixed feelings about the injustice faced by him.

8. Jax – Sons of Anarchy (TV Show)


Played by: Charlie Hunnam

The series finale of Sons of Anarchy left fans angered and heartbroken after Jax’s suicide. Many fans speculated theories of how his death could have been prevented but most accepted the show’s ending with heavy hearts.

9. Dumbledore – Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (Movie)


Played by: Michael Gambon

Dumbledore’s tragic end came at the hands of Snape when he performed the killing curse, Avada Kedavra on Dumbledore.

Many fans theorized Snape performed the killing curse to provide a painless and swift death to Dumbledore to end his suffering.

The book fans already knew what the movie would bring as Dumbledore had planned his death to save Draco by instructing Snape to cast the spell, still it didn’t hurt less as Harry lost one of his biggest supporters.

10. Tokyo – Money Heist (TV Show)

Source: Netflix

Played by: Ursula Corbero

Tokyo’s death in season 5 is one of the major events of the series. Her death takes place after Tokyo is badly injured in an attack.

When she realizes there is no way out to escape, Tokyo makes the ultimate decision to sacrifice herself so that her friends can escape from the army.

Although heartbroken at one of the main characters’ deaths, fans admired the portrayal of heroism by Tokyo and her character development in the series.

11. Bruno – Boy in The Striped Pajamas (Movie)

Source: Amazon Prime

Played by: Asa Butterfield 

One of the most powerful and tragic depictions of real historical events in cinema, the film’s tear-provoking ending takes place as Bruno, along with Shmuel is sent to the gas chamber, where they both meet a heart-breaking end.

12. Snape – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (Movie)

Source: Wizarding World

Played by: Alan Rickman

Severus Snape’s death can be explained in just one word – heartbreaking! The whole series who we thought to be one of the antagonists, was one actually protecting Harry all along!

Snape’s redemption arc added emotional depth to the series leading to his ultimate sacrifice for Harry Potter.

The professor of the dark arts has been a fan-favourite character in the books and the movie series, his death emotionally impacted all of us, as many fans gained a newfound appreciation for him.

13. Boromir- Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring (Movie)

Source: HBO

Played by: Sean Bean

Boromir’s death in the Lord of the Rings movie series received a grand climactic ending when he is mortally wounded by multiple arrows while defending his friends from Orcs.

His death emphasized sacrifice, redemption, and Boromir’s character arc. Fans remember Boromir death to be an unforgettable moment in the Lord of The Rings Trilogy.

14. Hoban Washburn – Serenity (Movie)


Played by: Alan Tudyk

Hoban “Wash” Washburn’s death in the movie Serenity had a significant impact on the fans and storyline.

Wash was a beloved character known for his playful personality and humour, his sudden death left fans emotionally affected.

As Wash was a fan favourite, his death sparked discussions among viewers who expressed anger and unfairness at his demise.

15. Ellie – Up (Animated movie)

Source: Pixar Animation Studios

Release: 2009

What made Ellie’s death so tragic was the fact that she never got to fulfill her dream of reaching Paradise Falls.

The montage of Ellie and Carl’s life journey together from childhood to the portrayal of her passing in a touching way left the viewers teary-eyed and with a heavy heart.

Despite her physical absence, Ellie’s influence continued to shape Carl’s actions and motivated him throughout the film, making her a memorable and cherished character in “Up”.

16. Tony Stark (Iron Man) – Avengers: End Game (Movie)

Source: Marvel Studios

Played by: Robert Downey Jr.

Tony Stark’s death is one of the most agonizing moments in the Marvel cinematic universe. Stark’s sacrifice to defeat Thanos is an example of the character development he went through as Iron Man.

He passes away surrounded by his friends and allies, leaving a profound and lasting impact on his fans worldwide.

His death marked the end of an era and a tribute to his selflessness and heroism in protecting the world.

17. Cedric Diggory – Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (Movie)

Source: Wizarding World

Played by: Robert Pattinson

Cedric Diggory’s death marked a turning point in the Harry Potter movie series. Cedric faces an untimely death when the killing curse is suddenly cast on him by Wormtail at Voldemort’s command.

The death scene is significant not only for its impact on the characters and the plot but also for its portrayal of denial and grief as Cedric’s father holds his son’s lifeless body in disbelief.

Because of the emotional attachment to the character, the shock and sadness caused by his death made it one of the most unforgettable deaths in the Harry Potter series.

18. Robb Stark – GOT (TV Show)

Source: HBO

Played by: Richard Madden

The first 3 seasons of Game of Thrones had many major shocking deaths, three of the major deaths of GOT took place in The Red Wedding, one of which includes Robb Stark and his family.

The massacre that took place in the Red Wedding led to a brutal end for Robb Stark and his bannermen. Although the same episode followed many other major storylines, Robb’s death was made the centrepiece in one of the major episodes of GOT.

Despite being mentally prepared to bid farewell to other major characters after the shocking death of Ned Stark, fans still remember Robb Stark’s eventful death as just sad.

19. Eleanor Craine – Haunting of The Hill House (TV Show)

Source: Netflix

Played by: Victoria Pedretti

Haunting of the Hill House despite it being a horror TV show, is a story about family and sibling relationships.

The show’s death that still haunts us was Eleanor’s, the youngest and one of the twins of the Crain family.

Eleanor’s Craine death was more so impactful because watching her experience all that she went through, made it all the more unfair.

After struggling with her mental health and connecting with her family, she sacrifices herself to save her family from the malevolence of the house.

20. Bing Bong – Inside Out (Animated movie)

Source: Pixar Animation Studios

Release: 2015

Bing Bong’s death has remained one of the saddest of all the Disney animated movies so far, possibly because of the deep connection to childhood and nostalgia portrayed by the character.

Bing Bong is Riley’s imaginary friend from her toddler days. As Riley is seen to be outgrowing her childhood, she forgets bing bong which leaves him out of business.

Bing Bong’s death takes place when to help Joy and Sadness find their way back to the headquarters, Bing Bong sacrifices himself by jumping off the imaginary rocket wagon down to the memory dump.

The scene is made even more gut-wrenching as Bing Bong utters his final words “Take her to the moon for me” before fading into nothingness.

21. Jack Dawson – Titanic (Movie)

Source: Paramount Pictures

Played by: Leonardo DiCaprio

Although a bit cliche, Jack’s death is the most memorable and iconic so far. The classic Jack and Rose story from Titanic ended in tragedy when the ship crashed into an iceberg.

It is a classic tale of tragedy, even if a bit predictable, impacting all of us emotionally by recalling Jack’s sacrifice for Rose, as he passes away from hypothermia, before slipping into the deep sea.

22. Beth March – Little Women (movie)

Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Played by: Eliza Scanlen

In every adaptation of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, the heartbreaking early passing of Beth, the youngest of the March sisters, stuck with us for a while after watching the movie.

Watching the March sisters’ growth and development from heartbreaks to finding their paths, it is easy for us viewers to become emotionally attached to the characters.

So when the story moved to Beth and the prognosis of her illness, it was heartbreaking to watch her talk to her sisters about her dreams and hopes, knowing what is to come

Watching the March family struggling with the grief of losing their sister and daughter, Beth’s death will remain a tragedy both in classic literature and modern cinema.



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