As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time for TV fans to take a look back at the many characters that won’t be making the journey with us into the New Year.
The year 2017 was no exception to the rule that good TV often means good, poignant deaths. As a tribute to some of the fictional characters whose deaths still hit home, below is a list of some of the worst losses that fans have endured this year.
Hopefully this goes without saying, but SPOILER ALERT we’re about to talk about some seriously plot-heavy details for “Stranger Things,” “13 Reasons Why,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Walking Dead,” “This is Us” and “Nashville.”
Consider yourself warned.
“13 Reasons Why,” Hannah Baker
Not all TV deaths are good because they’re shocking. Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” makes no secret that the events of the series surround the suicide of a young high school girl. However, it spends a long time making you start to like Hannah Baker and sympathize with her struggle before showing the moment in question. Upset by the world and a collection of seemingly insignificant people unfairly putting her through the ringer, she uses a razor blade to cut her wrists in the bathtub. The scene is difficult to watch, but paints an important picture of how dark things can get young people without anyone realizing.
“The Walking Dead,” Sasha Williams
There was hardly a character alive on “The Walking Dead” that didn’t want to kill Negan in the most violent way possible. Sasha took her shot by engaging in a one-person assault on The Savior’s compound. It didn’t work, but rather than be used as a pawn to lure Rick and her cohorts to surrender, she swallowed a suicide pill provided to her by Eugene. Right in the middle of his big monologue, Negan opened a casket where Sasha was allowed to take one last shot at him. It failed, but her sacrifice helped start the big war for freedom.
“Nashville,” Rayna James
After surviving an encounter with her knife-wielding stalker, things looked to be all sunshine and lollipops for Rayna James. However, fans were left with mouths agape when her police car got into an accident on the way to her reunion with Deacon and her daughters. Although she looked like she was recovering well, she ended up dying due to the complications from the impact. It’s not rare that characters would die on a TV drama, but it’s not often that a show’s lead is among the victims.
“Game of Thrones,” Lady Olenna
Regardless of which side of Westeros’ politics your loyalties lie, it was impossible not to be charmed by the blunt, no-nonsense attitude of Lady Olenna. After the Lannisters tricked Daenarys’ army by yielding their home in favor of the second-richest location in the kingdom, Olenna found herself standing behind an under-equipped and under-prepared army that fell to Jamie Lannister’s good hand. He brought her some poison to allow her to take her own life, which she did. However, she seized the opportunity to take credit for the murder of King Joffrey, which is a pretty cool way to go out.
“Stranger Things,” Bob Newby
Bob was everything the Beyers household needed. He was a stable father figure, a kind boyfriend to Joyce and a brilliant mind capable of exceeding Will and the gang’s A.V. club expectations. Unfortunately, his good-guy persona and tech skills led him on a daring mission that resulted in him being eaten alive by baby demogorgons - A.K.A. demodogs - to cover the others' escape. If one has to die, it’s best to go out like Bob, a big hero.
“This Is Us,” William Hill
This falls under the category of a death that wasn’t surprising, but heartbreaking nonetheless. William entered his son’s life all too late, but Randall was aware of his diagnosis all the same. As a result, he tried to make every moment count with him, leading to a father and son road trip to Memphis, where the old jazz cat could bid farewell to his son and the world once and for all.
“Game of Thrones,” Viserion
They don’t need to be played by an actor to tug at fans’ heartstrings when they die. For years fans have looked at Daenerys’ dragons as the Westeros equivalent of nukes, but the Night King made short work of one of her three companions, Viserion. When she flew her dragons north to rescue Jon Snow and his party from white walkers, the Night King threw his magical javelin and took out the mighty beast. Just like that, the imminent threat caused by the army of the dead became all-too real for the kingdom. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the dragon was raised from the dead only to be used by the Night King to bring down the magical wall. Presumably we haven’t seen the last of Viserion, but his days as a member of team “good guys” are certainly done.