68 Fictional Character Deaths We Will Never, Ever Get Over

From animated classics like The Lion King to TV faves like Grey's Anatomy, here are the deaths that broke our hearts forever

By Jenna Mullins Jun 16, 2015 7:01 PMTags

First, here is a big, fat SPOILER WARNING. Because as you can tell by the title, we will be talking about fictional character deaths from TV shows, movies, books, etc. etc. Some of these are decades old, while others are fairly recent, as in the season five finale of Game of Thrones. So if you don't want to be spoiled, we suggest proceeding with caution. If you are ready for a good cry, let's all scroll past the spoiler GIFs and get to the heart-wrenching sadness...

There are certain deaths from fiction, be it television shows or books or video games, that we will just never, ever get over. They will haunt us for the rest of time. Even if these characters do come back in some form or another, the original death will burn forever in our heart of hearts. Today, we'd like to talk about the most heartbreaking, depressing, gut-wrenching, upsetting, George RR Martin, Joss Whedon, Shonda Rhimes-y character deaths of all time. So press play on this song so you can get some mood music and let's remember the fictional fallen:

1. Fred Weasley, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Fred and George were never supposed to be separated by anything!

2George O'Malley, Grey's Anatomy

R.I.P, 007.

3. Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars

20th Century Fox


4. Alaric Saltzman, The Vampire Diaries

Yeah, he's back now but did we ever really forget the pain from his death?

5. Marissa Cooper, The O.C

Remember when Misha Barton spoiled her own death? Still didn't make it sting any less.

6. Old Yeller, Old Yeller

What are you doing with that shotgun, Travis? Seeing the death of Old Yeller changes a person.

7. Mufasa, The Lion King

AKA the first time we learned that Disney was not f--king around anymore with their animated films.

8. Severus Snape, Harry Potter

This death destroys us. After all this time? … ALWAYS.

9. Shadow, Homeward Bound

OK, this one isn't really a death but we do think that the old timer is dead for a good 10 minutes and that is 10 minutes too long to think a beloved dog is dead! And that is why we included the reunion scene instead of his "death" scene. The heart can only take so much in a post about dead characters.

10. Oberyn Martell, Game of Thrones

So close to revenge. So. Close. Good night, sweet prince.

11. Joyce Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer


The silence in this scene is deafening.  

12. Artax, The Neverending Story

A childhood-ruining moment that sticks with whoever watches it for the rest of time. (And no, the horse did not actually die during filming. That's an urban legend.)

13. Rufio, Hook

"I wish I had a dad like you." 

14. Ben Sullivan, Scrubs 

For a comedy, Scrubs wasn't afraid to bring on the feels. And that is how we learned that when Dr. Cox is in pain, we are all in pain.

15. Hoban Washburne, Serenity

Damn you, Whedon! He strikes again.

16. Gwen Stacy, The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Fans of the comic book series knew it was coming, but can anyone really be prepared for the look on Peter Parker's face when he realizes that he's lost her for good?

17. Leslie Burke, Bridge to Terabithia

You also know her death as the moment you realized you can't even trust children's books.

18. Matthew Crawley, Downton Abbey

Congrats, you're a dad! And now you're dead. What the hell, Downton writers?!

19. Allison Argent, Teen Wolf

Giving her life to save Lydia and dying in Scott's arms isn't the worst way to go, but it was still awful to watch.

20. James Novak, Scandal


21. Tara Knowles, Sons of Anarchy

Watching Jax's cradle her in devastation was worse than her actual death scene.

22. Spock, Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan


23. Brooks Hatlen, Shawshank Redemption 

"Brooks was here."

24. Lady Sybil, Downton Abbey

Fans are still not ready to talk about this one.

25. Lori Grimes, The Walking Dead

What was more depressing: her death or Carl having to shoot her to make sure she didn't become a zombie?

26. Jimmy Darmody, Boardwalk Empire

No! Not Jimmy! Damn it, Nucky!

27. Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

When Dumbledore died, a little piece of our hearts died with him.

28. Antie, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids 

Did you forget about this one? Well, let us remind you about how this brave ant sacrificed himself to save everyone. And then he died. And now we're crying again.

29. Jack Dawson, Titanic

There was room on the wardrobe door, Rose! 

30. John Coffey, The Green Mile

But…he's afraid of the dark!

31. Little Foot's mom, The Land Before Time

Nope. Still not over it.

32. Wilson, Castaway 

How did we all manage to get so upset over a volleyball?! What movie black magic spell did they use?!

33. Nick "Goose" Bradshaw, Top Gun

"Talk to me, Goose." Oh, you can't because you died tragically.

34. Bubba Blue, Forrest Gump

He just wanted to go home.

35. The 10th Doctor, Doctor Who

David Tennant's face as he says "I don't want to go" is forever burned into our memory. 

36. Seymour, Futurama 

Without a doubt one of the most depressing TV deaths of all time. Try and argue with anyone who watched that dog wait for the rest of his life for Fry. Just try.

37. Thomas J., My Girl

He can't see without his glasses!

38. Will Gardner, The Good Wife

Still crying.

39. Lady, Game of Thrones

So, about half of this list is Game of Thrones deaths, and it's hard to tell which one is the absolute worst. Just kidding, it's this one. A death that just never needed to happen by someone who never wanted to do it. 

40. Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

So, the other half of this list if basically Harry Potter characters, as you are probably noticing. This one was extra painful because we all thought Harry was finally getting a real family. Nope, J.K. had other plans. And that plan was our suffering, apparently. 

41. Ellie Fredricksen, Up

How to Write the Best Love Story and Depress Your Audience in Under 10 Minutes, a Novel by Disney

42. Dr. Lance Sweets, Bones

Oh, sweet Sweets. Why did this have to happen to you?!

43. Opie Winston, Sons of Anarchy

Most depressing death of that series? Discuss.

44. Bobby Singer, Supernatural

Sure, we saw him again. But losing him was like a punch right to the gut.

45. Sam, I Am Legend

What do you say about easily one of the most upsetting movie scenes in history? Nothing. Let's just cry and move on.

46. Sophia Peletier, The Walking Dead

Viewers were so sure they would find her and then…they opened the barn door. Ugh.

47. Nicholas Brody, Homeland

We knew it would eventually have to happen, but it was still awful to watch the main character meet his end in such a gruesome, dishonorable way. 

48. Boromir, Lord of the Ring

Can't Sean Bean catch a damn break?!

49. Penny, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Whedon strikes again. Basically, we now always assume Whedon will kill off the character we love most.

50. Dobby, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

At least he died a free elf.

51. Mike Ehrmantraut, Breaking Bad

This death just didn't need to happen, which of course made it 1,000 times worse. 

52. Herschel Greene, The Walking Dead

That damn Governor...robbing us of our hopes and dreams!

53. Maude Flanders, The Simpsons

Death by t-shirt cannon is certainly the most original death on the list, but still incredibly sad.

54. Jen Lindley, Dawson's Creek

That video message for her daughter? STOP THE TEARS.

55. Primrose Everdeen, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

Senseless and unnecessary, in our opinion. Will the movie version kill her off, too? We'll find out soon enough. 

56. Rita Morgan, Dexter

Fans were scarred for life after that episode.

57. Charlie Pace, Lost


58. The Mother, How I Met Your Mother


So we spent 10 seasons waiting for this woman. Then we meet her and fall in love with her over the final season. And then you kill her? Worst. Finale. Ever. 

59. Tris Prior, Allegiant (Divergent Series #3)

Of course she died sacrificing herself for her family. 

60. Omar Little, The Wire

We'll never get over poor Omar's demise.

61. - 65. The Red Wedding deaths, Game of Thrones

George R.R. Martin hates happiness so we all should have seen this coming. R.I.P. Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark, Talisa Stark, the unborn Stark baby and Grey Wind.

66. Tadashi Hamada, Big Hero 6

Disney does it again and shatters the hearts of viewers within the first 20 minutes of an animated film.

67. Derek Shepard, Grey's Anatomy

One of the OG doctors snatched away from us just like that? After all he's been through with Meredith? Shonda does not play around.

68. Jon Snow, Game of Thrones

A death so shocking that everyone has a theory on how this death couldn't possibly stick. Denial is a warm place, and that's where we will stay.

We know we missed a bunch of horribly emotionally scarring moments from TV, movies and whatnot, so tell us down below in the comments about the fictional character deaths that you will never, ever get over.