Traditionally, Friday the 13th is known for being unlucky. (Did you know that the fear of Friday the 13th is known as friggatriskaidekaphobia?) So, today of all days, please be a little extra careful – use the crosswalk, don’t walk under a ladder, and don’t even think about crossing a black cat. It may just be superstition, but there’s no need to push your luck.
We’ve compiled a list of 13 of our favorite small screen deaths. Obviously, there are MAJOR SPOILERS ahead.
Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) – THE WALKING DEAD
Sure, fans of the graphic novel already knew Shane’s death was coming, but AMC’s take on it was still shocking and emotional as one of the cornerstones of Rick Grimes’ life died, zombified, and died again. Oh, the circle of life.
Omar Little (Michael Kenneth Williams) – THE WIRE
The infamous king of the baddies died a shockingly mundane death at the hands of an unlikely killer. Sure, he was known for psyching out his enemies by whistling childhood favorite “Farmer in the Dell” and robbing anyone and everyone, but he was also one of those villains you just tend to root for. All we can say about this is shiiiiiiiiit.
Ned Stark (Sean Bean) – GAME OF THRONES
Now wrapping up its fourth season, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has given us enough gruesome, shocking, jaw-dropping deaths to make a list all on its own. But Ned Stark’s execution in the penultimate episode of the first season still stands as one of our “favorites” because it proved to viewers that when it comes to playing the game of thrones, all bets (and heads) are off.
Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) – LOST
It wasn’t Penny’s boat.
Gustavo “Gus” Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) – BREAKING BAD
America’s favorite drug kingpin/fast food entrepreneur saw his day of reckoning in the appropriately titled episode “Face Off.” The always poised villain remained put together until the very end, adjusting his tie before realizing that half his face was blown to bits. This might be one of our most epic death scenes…and also one of the most implausible. But hey, it’s TV.
Jo and Ellen Harvelle (Alona Tal and Samantha Ferris) – SUPERNATURAL
The CW’s “Supernatural,” about a pair of demon-hunting brothers, is another show that has enough deaths to fill a vault. Almost every episode begins with someone, or something’s, blood getting splatted across the nearest flat surface. But this self-sacrificing death of a mother/daughter team really tugs on our heartstrings. Although they were female, so they were bound to die anyway.
Angel (David Boreanaz) – BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
You cried. You know you did. Buffy and Angel were the ultimate star-crossed lovers of the late 90s – the vampire with a soul and the slayer who loved him. Fortunately Angel’s death at Buffy’s hands (for the greater good!) didn’t stick and the brooding vampire continued to appear on the show until he got his own spin-off. You can fast-forward to about the 6 minute mark, or you can watch all 12 minutes of the clip.
Dr. Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards) – ER
The end of Dr. Greene’s shift on the long-running “ER” still stands as one of the most wrenching deaths on a show that had more than its fair share of demises, both of the main cast and the patients of the week. Greene succumbed to brain cancer and the scene, set to Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s rendition of “Over The Rainbow” was appropriately low-key and bittersweet.
Lady Sybil Branson (Jessica Brown Findlay) – DOWNTON ABBEY
Sybil’s death due to eclampsia was so shocking and so upsetting because, in a sad way, it was almost mundane. Childbirth is dangerous, even now, and her death might have been prevented had she been taken to the hospital. Obviously, she wasn’t.
Charles Percy (Robert Baker) – GREY’S ANATOMY
“Grey’s Anatomy” is infamous for killing off its doctors (RIP, well, everyone) and the end of season 6 was no exception. A shooter who was looking for Derek Shepherd took out Reed, one of the new residents, and then shot Charles. Now, the crop of newbies who were brought in were never really anyone’s favorites, but Miranda Bailey’s anguish as she tries, and fails, to save Charles in the midst of a terrifying situation was wrenching.
Nikki & Paulo (Kiele Sanchez & Rodrigo Santoro) – LOST
Deserved or not, no one liked Nikki and Paulo. In a show filled to the brim with characters and questions and plots, these background survivors were just, well, dead weight. And their deaths (getting buried alive) were oddly satisfying.
Adriana La Cerva (Drea De Matteo) – THE SOPRANOS
You could see it in Adriana’s eyes that she knew she was on the long drive to her demise. “The Sopranos” offed a lot of people during its run, but watching De Matteo break down in tears, knowing what’s coming, stuck with us for a long time.
Moira Queen (Susannah Thompson) – ARROW
Oliver’s mother’s death is both heartwrenching and a little gruesome. It established Slade Wilson as a serious threat for season two’s endgame, and it provided a real and devastating consequence for the mistakes Oliver had made when dealing with him. But it’s not Slade or Oliver who put this death on the list; it’s Moira. She died the way she lived: fierce, dignified, and willing to do absolutely anything to protect her children.
Did we hit all your favorites or did we leave something crucial off? What are some of the deaths that you think should have made the list?