We are continuing our list of best entertainment deaths. Weeks ago, we listed the saddest deaths (Mufasa. Tear.) Now we are listing the ones that we didn’t see coming.
Major spoiler warnings for LOST, Harry Potter book six, Game of Thrones season one, Dexter season four, 24 season five, The Stand, The Departed, The Sixth Sense, Se7en, Burn After Reading, Animal Kingdom, Full Metal Jacket, The Hurt Locker, Scream, The Dresden Files (books, not the stupid TV show), and American History X.
LOST - There were lots of deaths on this show, but the one we most loved was one of the best scenes of the whole series (according to Ern). Ben talked Locke down from the ledge, and we were touched at Ben’s show of humanity. Then Locke says some seemingly innocuous thing about Eloise Hawking and Ben’s face changes. Without warning, Ben kills Locke by strangling him in one of the most shocking and gripping TV scenes of all time. We were bummed, since Locke was awesome. Later, Ben got the chance to apologize and we were grateful for that.
Harry Potter - It’s the example of a big spoiler for a reason. If you were reading the sixth book, you knew Dumbledore was going to die. He was spending a lot of time with Harry and imparting wisdom. He had a nasty dead hand. But HOW and WHEN Dumbledore died made the death shocking. Raise your hand if you never doubted that Snape was good, even right after that. *Raises hand*
Game of Thrones - This show loves to kill people in gruesome ways, even if they are…the main charater?!! Up until the moment Ned Stark was beheaded, people thought Arya would find some way to save him. There was no hint that it was coming. No foreshadowing. After it happened, people were stunned. When Ern read the book in high school, the death was so surprising that it took Ern a while to pick the book up again. How can you kill one of the only (if not the only) character you could fully root for? In George R.R. Martin’s world, no one is safe.
Dexter - This show’s best season also got rid of one of its best characters. Sure, in season four Rita was starting to grate on people’s nerves. She was nagging Dexter, but when your husband is out at all hours of the night, leaving you with a baby, you have to wonder where he is. Obviously, Dexter couldn’t tell her. People wanted Rita dead, but then it actually happened. We thought the baddie was gone. Trinity was dead. Then Dexter came home and found Rita’s body in the bathtub. What a way to end a season! And we didn’t see it coming at all.
24 - In the season five premiere, the show offed two of our favorite characters from the previous seasons. President Palmer was the best president America ever had (shut up. He was real.) and Michelle Dessler was the most attractive woman on 24 thus far, not to mention the sweetest. After killing these characters, and gravely wounding Tony Almeida, the show turned in its best season. Way to start things off with a bang and then run with it.
The Stand by Stephen King - It’s been a while since we’ve read this book, so we don’t remember this guy’s name. We do remember that he was deaf and we liked him. He blew up in the middle of the book. Stephen King had a big case of writer’s block halfway through this puppy, and in order to get it rolling again, he had to kill this character. We understand that, but it doesn’t mean we have to like it.
The Departed - The end. Normally we would have hated deaths like that, but this movie was so strong, overall, that we just admired its balls.
The Sixth Sense - Duh. Almost all of us were surprised by this one.
Se7en - When John Doe took the two main detectives out to the desert to find his last two kills, we didn’t think any twist could live up to the rest of the movie. We thought the ending would be lame and a total letdown. But then the movie defied formula and had a head in a box and its hero blowing away a criminal who had already been caught. The deaths at the end left us viscerally stunned and so, so impressed.
Burn After Reading - It was surprising when Brad Pitt’s character, Chad, was killed in the middle of the thing, partly because of how it happened and partly because he was by far the most entertaining character in the movie. He took a lot of the movie’s fun with him, but his death was list-worthy.
Animal Kingdom - This movie had another surprising death that maybe came too early. Animal Kingdom made us like Baz, despite his criminal doings. Just as he was getting out of the thieving life, dirty cops shot him. It was good for the movie in that it made the audience root for the family over cops who would just murder a man, but we missed the guy as much as his friends did.
Full Metal Jacket - Pyle’s suicide. The whole first half of this movie is incredible.
The Hurt Locker/Scream - These movies killed its big names early. Scream had Drew Barrymore just to off her in the first scene. The Hurt Locker waived the likes of Guy Pierce in our faces only to blow all the recognizable actors up in their first scenes. The movie did this twice. We loved it.
The Dresden Files - Too few of you read these books, in our opinions. But for those who do: Weren’t you surprised in Turn Coat when Morgan died? After all the effort Harry expended trying to save him from unjust execution? Just when we started to like the douchebag too. These books are ending darker and darker. That death was followed by Susan’s in Changes, and while we never really liked her, it was horrible the way Harry had to kill her. Then Harry kills himself?!! We really didn’t see that one coming. Keep an eye on the people in this series. They are starting to drop like flies. We are preparing our tissues for the inevitable deaths of Ebenezer and Thomas.
American History X - This is the disturbing one. Does anyone know what curb stomping is? Now we do. The death at the end was pretty awful too. This is a tough movie, but Edward Norton has never been better.
Add yours, preciouses.