Let’s face it, some characters are crafted so horribly, it’s impossible not to laugh at their ridiculous lines and actions. Storytellers mess up too and when they do, we get imaginary people who are just that — not real. Even worse, their unconvincing behavior can break the suspension of disbelief and ruin an otherwise totally sound book, TV show, or movie.
Luckily, that’s not always the case and every once in a while, we relate to make-believe folks so much, we can even learn from them and grow as human beings. In fact, we can develop such a strong bond with them that their joys and sorrows start affecting us on a personal level. So we at Bored Panda decided to explore these beautiful connections.
Researching the topic, we came across a couple of Reddit threads (one and two) that we think you’d be interested to go through as well. They both essentially ask the same question: which characters’ passing away have scarred you the most? And people’s answers along with their explanations provide an interesting insight into our relationship with fiction.
Dobby. I’ve read the books before and knew he would die but when i saw him dying in the movie…. it just broke my heart. so i cried my eyes out in the cinema (i was ten)
Hedwig. Idk, hedwig was there from the start. Ken Miles in Ford v. Ferrari. He never got his full recognition. Although, the nod from Enzo was huge.
Rue from The Hunger Games. Rue getting speared and having Katniss sing to her. The 12-year-old me couldn’t handle that trauma
Fred Weasley from Harry Potter. The twins may have annoyed some people with their pranks, but their ultimate goal in life was to have fun and bring joy to their friends. They were generous and brave and clever and pure. To kill Fred and permanently tear them apart was the WORST! Especially when George had already been injured! You didn’t think they could be at risk anymore now that one of them had gotten hurt. They weren’t on my radar during the Battle of Hogwarts. I remember the moment I read it the first time. I was inconsolable
Ellie from Up. Up’s intro sequence was so beautiful: It told the story of a couple’s life together. Real life with all of the difficulty and broken dreams along with it. And it shows the deep and incredible loss Carl felt with her death. This short sequence imbues the film with a deeper sense of meaning, using almost no words at all, and gives Carl a profound gravitas you cannot find in many other films
Loki in Infinity War. Not because of some great affinity for the character but because I was absolutely certain that he was the ONE person who was safe from being offed. Of course, he not only died but he died FIRST.
Seymour the dog from Futurama. I normally skip ‘Jurassic Bark’ as I know I can’t handle it. But upon a recent rewatch from beginning to end, I decided to put on a brave face, knew what I was getting into, braced myself, and watched it along with all the other episodes. I had to stop watching because I couldn’t see the TV through my tears.
Poussey Washington from Orange Is the New Black. I cried for days. I love the character and the actor, and I wanted Poussey to get out of there so much. She really didn’t deserve to be in prison. It breaks my heart that she died trying to help her friend. Really shows how many people get lost in the system
Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter. This one gets me more now than when I first saw it. Then, as probably a lot of people do on their first read/watch, I looked at it from the perspective of Harry. His friend died needlessly, and it hurt.
Now, older and a father, I can’t help but look at it from Cedric’s dad’s perspective: proud and supportive of the man his son is growing into. And it’s all taken away in that horrid moment that they Apparate back
Rob stark. The whole episode was a mind f*ck and I’m sure all GofT fans will agree it’s by far one of the best episodes if not the best.
Ragnar, from vikings. He was the one aspect that balanced everything. After he went, their community went to sh*t. Also, he used is head to lead. Hvitserk and Ivar were stupid leaders concerned with superficial things. Ubbe and Bjorn were still much better and wiser. But anyway, after Ragnar left, i kinda got depressed man. What a character
Rosie from Jojo Rabbit. It took me a while to realize why Jojo was crying about the hanging victim he’d bumped into…and then it f*cking hit me. That one was absolutely brutal.
Andrea Cantillo from Breaking Bad. That’s the worst moment in Breaking Bad. It’s one of those moments that’s so awful, you almost resent the writers for putting it in there. In a way, it shows you how Jesse would feel, just wishing it wouldn’t have happened. That show always blows my mind with how they’re able to make you feel such strong emotions
Shireen Baratheon from Game of Thrones. It will all be over soon, Princess’ and the music. F*ck, it makes me want to barf. The series is full of scenes that are truly painful to watch, but the burning of Shireen is the worst.
John Coffey from The Green Mile. I’m a grown man, and his death makes me ugly-cry every damn time. Too much time thinking about it makes me tear up
Sarah Lynn from BoJack Horseman. God, just the fact that her last words were ‘I wanna be an architect.’ Her wish since she was a child, but that her mother took away from her. And that BoJack could’ve saved her but waited 17 minutes to call an ambulance and tried to set everything up so that he wouldn’t get blamed
Adriana La Cerva from The Sopranos. It’s one of the most heartbreaking, cruel death scenes I’ve ever seen on a TV show. Just brutal and sad and shocking
Prim from The Hunger Games. Unlike most character deaths, hers wasn’t in the midst of the action/excitement. It was after they’d won. It felt so spiteful and unnecessary. Fu*ck Coin
Opie from Sons of Anarchy. Opie’s death was the hardest in the show for me to watch. I love that after his funeral, SAMCRO all have an ‘In memory of Opie’ patch on their cut
George O’Malley from Grey’s Anatomy. I gotta mentally prepare myself to rewatch that episode
Joyce Summers (Buffy’s mom) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was the most traumatic and saddest. When she says, ‘Mommy?’ Ugh. And it wasn’t supernatural, just super sad
Ben Sullivan from Scrubs. When JD says, ‘Where do you think we are?’ That was one of their best episodes, but I have to be in the right frame of mind to watch it, or I get all blubbery.
Glenn from The Walking Dead. Such a genuinely good guy, too. Even to the very end, he was keeping an eye out for Maggie.
Maes Hughes from Fullmetal Alchemist. FMA was my introduction to anime, and Maes’s death shook me a lot. It’s such a raw, emotional scene
Brooks from Shawshank Redemption. It was so sad seeing that old man just trying to be normal but realizing his normal was within the cell walls and prison halls. It really bothered me when he was working at the grocery store, and everyone was b*tching at him while he was bagging people’s groceries. It truly goes to show that society will f*ck you if you don’t keep up. RIP.
The Iron Giant. Give me a good growling voiced “SuperMan” and I start to tear up.
Sam(the dog) in, I am legend. Because he was Will smiths friend and he had to put her down.
Uncle Iroh’s son from Avatar the Last Airbender: Tales of Ba Sing Se (the real Avatar- Last Airbender, not the hack version from M. Night Shamalan).
You’re never introduced to him, but you can convey from the deep sorrow Iroh pours out how his death affected his personal purview and moral edict. It made me cherish the worlds, friendships and lives you build with people because you are an influence to many, and pouring poison into a vessel is a quick way to make you regret how you passed along what you said and did.
Yondu. sh*t was sad asf and i actually cried a lil in the theater
But mostly because we don’t know how he died, and it bothers the f*ck out of me.
Logan. Cause I literally grew up with those movies and that character. When I went to bed after seeing it for a second time, I just…cried. Probably cried to sleep. It was as if my childhood ended there
Nell in Haunting of Hill House. The whole bent neck lady episode and the funeral episode were absolute TV masterpieces. The realisation of what happened is heartbreaking.
Jiraiya from Naruto.
The kid deserved a f*cking break. Grew up with no parents and in a village that resented him. He worked his tail off and made people respect him and realize he’s not a monster through hard work and determination alone.
Midway through Part I, Jiraiya enters his life, becomes a strong father figure (though he does have his flaws), and then he’s killed in Part II. Watching Naruto break down in the popsicle scene after Jiraiya passed had me bawling my eyes out.
I lived a childhood a lot like Naruto’s. Didn’t really relate well to my parents (they were abusive) and spent a lot of time alone as a result. I was also poor as hell and told I’d never amount to anything. I worked so hard growing up to be where I am now, and to see a character I identified with so much get something stolen from him that he truly deserved sucked.
I’mma go cry now.
Ben from Scrubs. He wasn’t even a major character, but at the time he was Dr. Cox’s only friend, the only one who made him a joyous person, and that gut-punch of a twist was something else. “Where do you think we are?”
Stoick from How to Train Your Dragon 2. Not so much the way he died, but the funeral scene, the music and the recital by Gobber.
Washburn in Serenity. He was my favourite character from Firefly, and I just wasn’t expecting it at that point in the movie.
Little Foot’s mom in The Land Before Time.
When I first saw it as a kid it was the first time that I realized that my parents could die. That thought had never even really occured to me at that point.
Even now as an adult that scene where he thinks he sees her but it’s just his shadow and the narrator says, “Then Little Foot knew for certain he was alone.” still gets to me.
It was a hell of a thing when Spock died. hell of a thing.
live long and prosper
When Stringer Bell died on the Wire I seriously considered not watching the rest of the series.
I’m glad I did continue, but later deaths like Omar and Snoop were no easier.
There’s a specific episode of Doctor Who, ‘Father’s Day’, where Rose goes back in time and saves her dad from getting killed in a car accident.
Her dad gets to meet her but because the timeline change caused complete chaos and destruction, he figures out he was supposed to get hit by the very car she saved him from. He then steps onto the road and … fixes the timeline.
I never bawled so hard. It was such a well-written episode. It was tragic and upsetting. At the same time it was haunting watching Rose’s dad accept his fate. I still cry hard every time I watch his death scene.
Boxer, from animal farm. He worked so hard his whole life and to be sent to a glue farm while his best friend screams and runs behind him, chills man.
Count Olaf in A series of unfortunate events (the books)
Just something about a man so shaped by his own misery becoming a figure of cruelty and greed, relentless in pursuing the misery of others. He believes all people are this way in reality, and cannot see through the darkness use his intelligence and skills for good.
Then he just dies, unredeemed on a coastal shelf, and no one has anything to say.
That’s also what I liked about the books as a kid. There was an underlying message of : sometimes terrible things happen and there’s not much you can do about it, but try to get out the other side kicking.
John Marston. He suffered so much in an attempt to move on from his past, killing all of his former comrades in the process. He finally reunited with his wife and kid, gets a small glimpse at a new life, and then he’s shot down in front of a barn like a damn dog. Was painful to watch, doubly so after RDR2 came out.
Thomas J from My Girl. When Vada is crying at his funeral, screaming about his glasses… that hits different. Gets me every time.
Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games. I remember being a junior in highschool, reading Mockingjay in class and then suddenly… Finnick dies. I was so taken aback and shocked, I had to look up from my book and glance around because I thought I had made a noise. Turns out, I didn’t but I had to read his death scene a few times to really understand what just happened. Needless to say I started to tear up and had to go to the bathroom to calm down, lol.
The Dad in the book “ The Road “. Maybe because my son was born just a month earlier, but it was incredibly sad.. the father tried so hard to live , to care for his son… who is now alone.. in the cold. Devastated
Poussey on Orange Is The New Black. She was one of the few characters I really cared about on the show and her death was just so unnecessary and realistic. Just devastating.
Greed from Full Metal Alchemist.
“Greed may not be good, but it’s not so bad either. You humans think greed is just for money or power, but everyone wants something they can’t have.”
Greed had the most selfless death and damn did it hit home.
Scooter in Tales from the Borderlands. I loved Scooter so much from BL2, and it hurt so much to see him go the way he did. The worst part was knowing exactly what was going to happen just before it did.
So long, Space Cowboy.
Chidi wasn’t the saddest but made me cry when he went to the door.
That polar bear in the Planet Earth (2?). Can’t watch it again, absolutely devastating seeing it just give up and die next to the walruses because it has no energy to hunt anymore.
The tenth Doctor.
“I don’t want to go.”
Only second to Donna Noble’s fate when it comes to sad endings on Doctor Who.
“I was going to be with you, forever.”
Practically everyone who died in Clone Wars. Specially during season 7.
Captain K’s death in Jojo Rabbit, watched it last night expecting the mom to die but the captain’s death made me tear up because it was unexpected
Legion, on ME3. That is heartbreaking, more if you choose to kill him
Rudy, The Book Thief. We read the book in middle school English then watched the movie. The entire class was sobbing because we had studied this book and fallen in love with the characters, and to see it brought to life was just heartbreaking. Great book and movie by the way. Edit: thank you SO much for the awards!
Blackadders Squad when they needed to get out of the trenches …
A british top comedy series starring many comedians with A tragic end….