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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Television's 5 Most Traumatic Deaths

In the desert wasteland of television known as summer season, sometimes it's nice to stop and reflect on some of the characters we've loved and lost along the way. We decided to bust out the tissues over at GeekRex and compile a list of televisions' five most traumatic death scenes. 

WARNING: There are some very insane spoilers going on over here. Spoilers abound for: Lost, Dexter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Wire, and Game of Thrones

We're certain this will spark a deluge of very personal "But what about ___?" thoughts. So hit us with them! What characters have we shortchanged? 

5. Charlie, Lost 
"Not Penny's Boat"

It's no spoiler to say that a lot of people died on Lost, but Charlie was one of the first major players to bite the bullet during the season's third finale. Charlie's death was a shock, not only because he died, but also because scribbled an ominous note on his hand warning Desmond that a rescue boat waiting for them offshore was not friendly. 

4. Eddard Stark, Game of Thrones 

"You think my life is some precious thing to me? That I would trade my honor for a few more years... of what? You grew up with actors. You learned their craft and you learnt it well. But I grew up with soldiers. I learned to die a long time ago." 

For those who hadn't read the book, Eddard Stark's death would be the first in a slew of many heart-stopping moments that have become this show's signature. But Eddard's was both the first and arguably most shocking; Sean Bean was the most famous actor on Game of Thrones at the time of its debut, and one of only a few characters who felt like they were safe. If only we knew then what we know now... 

3. Rita, Dexter 

"Rita's inside. It was me."

In what goes down in most viewers' books as Dexter's finest season, Dexter finally takes down the Trinity Killer, played by John Lithgow. It seems like he's finally managed to control the off-the-rails plot developments, like usual, until he returns home to find Trinity's final victim: his wife, Rita. This writer may or may not have been yelling at the TV. 

2. Joyce Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer 

"Mom? Whadya doin'? Mom? ... Mom? ... Mommy?

For a show that played with such fantastical elements, the most shocking and emotional death was Buffy's mother, Joyce, who died of natural causes. Rather than being lost in the heat of battle or due to supernatural evil, Joyce dies alone, sitting on the couch, of a brain aneurysm. Buffy discovers the body and immediately throws up. The entire scene is played without backing music, and the sun is shining outside like any other day. The brutal realism of the whole scene caught everyone off-guard. 

1. Wallace, The Wire 

"Where's Wallace at? Where's the boy, String? Where's Wallace? That's all I want to know. Where the fuck is Wallace?" 

I'm not sure any fictional television death has cut deeper for me than Wallace from The Wire. Michael B. Jordan has gone on to have a successful film career, and his star's still rising, but this is where the world took notice. Jordan plays his death with utter shock and fear. Wallace pleads for his friends to let him live and goes down begging. It's completely heart-breaking. 
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