Concerning Character Deaths

So yesterday I saw Divergent and wow, it was ever good! Of course, watching made me remember how the book went (it did follow it, although it was missing some things, but I honestly have zero complains here) and I just wanted to focus on something. Of course all my best lines happened in the middle of the night and I just couldn't stop myself. But I shall try to string together something like the whole debatical I had with myself concerning this issue. plus its something I can do on here lol


Character Deaths








Ever so often you read a series or watch a movie or tv show or whatnot have you--there will be a character death of some sort.


Now normally the reaction to said death should be an emotional one or one that at least impacts the storyline, character development of that character, those affected by it, the audience--and so on, there are many factors that a character death should create.


But what is the definition of a good or bad or even a neutral character death?


Like the quote from The Lord of the Rings that still strikes me hard in this way now.


“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”


There's various kinds of deaths that I've found over the course of the years that I tend to categorize and sort various deaths into, mostly because I'm always looking for the ones that don't make me say "they deserved better than that" because lately, I've been seeing those kinds as of late and they just make me go all:



I guess I kind of have a pet peeve regarding character deaths, especially when I'm writing. Sometimes when I'm writing I find myself surprised because a character will do something completely unexpected or the story will shift a certain way that I honestly didn't think of before. Yeah, I kind of just let them go wild after a while--produces far more interesting developments in my opinion lol.


Death isn't a fun thing to deal with, especially in real life. Despite the fact that we'll all eventually die, there are some not so fortunate to live out their entire lives that they should. Death impacts everyone whether you're directly involved or not--they do affect us. They create ripple-effects.  And these deaths always do stay with you, and they remind you that you really never know that last phone call for said person will be the last time you speak to them, or that last text you sent them will be the last they receive...the list goes on and on. Some scar you emotionally, others affect you privately, then there's some that impact you personally more than others may. There's lots of feelings and whatnot that attribute to death, especially when you come face-to-face with it yourself.


This is what I believe holds true regarding character deaths in books/movies/tv shows/video games/etc. Because in real life when one dies, those left behind must pick up the pieces and continue onwards, whether with renewed determination, goals, dreams, anything that helps them go and live. And those that die, deserve a death that makes you remember them for what they stood for. Like something that has always made me think about this is: Do not remember how they died, but how they lived.



yes i am aware some of these characters do not die, but these are examples of what i mean


Now the main overall reason for this whole post--types of character deaths.


There's so many kinds of character deaths that I've just wanted to make a list.


(1) AW WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! MY HEART MY FEELS death -- Those deaths that just stay with you regardless what happens. 


(2) Was that really necessary? death -- The kind of death where you question what was the point or just screaming FOOLS because it was just so unnecessary and you can think of a way easily how things could have done and avoided such a death or deaths


(3) Wow...that was um....quick death -- It happens so quickly you just think wow so much for da love and they deserved better than that, just


(4) Okay, I know you're dying but can you just die now? death -- for the monologuing death scenes where you wonder how are they not dead yet from the amount of blood loss


(5) Predictable death -- when it finally happens you just go "yup called it", this is usually pertaining to those characters or bad guys that you know it'll likely happen to


(6) Well... that lacked finesse death -- when the death scene just seems sloppy or something that you found weird or off about it


(7) Meh death -- those ones where they didn't really impact you or anything or just caused drama and you just 


(8) Understandably heroic death -- those ones where you're sad and proud of, and you end up accepting and believe they deserved that kind of fitting end, even if it ends up being rather cliched


(9) Those who's deaths set the plot into motion deaths -- their deaths become a reason for what someone does or gives motive for revenge, etc


(10) Those deaths that are very really unexplained so you wonder wtf was that death -- pretty self-explanatory, but this can include anything that just felt out of place with the situation or event or even the plot and everything about that just made to add up to said death, confusing I know that's the point unfortunately


(11) Those that you just accept that they'll most likely die out of spite via the creator deaths -- this is where Game of Thrones' creator Martin fits into for obvious reasons, its the kind of stories where you have to expect that not everyone is going to escape such a fate 



(12) The what the hell were you thinking?! deaths -- or rather those last minute deaths that happen just for the sake of "yeah we need something dramatic here, so why not death because everyone loves when fave characters die!" NO just HELL NO, it's just a way to severally rip off the audience and cause you to be hated


And lastly (for now)


(13) Heartbreaking deaths -- these are ones that you know are coming and you don't want it to but it has to and it just leaves you in tears and you feel that it was a perfect death but it just breaks your heart...because you know you have to say goodbye eventually...


There's many more but these are the kinds that I can think of off the top of my head at the moment.


Oh, and the reason why I went into this whole entire thing happens to deal with Divergent spoilers (with aspects from the entire trilogy overall, so yes SPOILERS a somewhat VAGUE sense...):

I've read the book series a while back, and now after seeing the movie I just realized something that made me irked a bit. The deaths. Especially Al's death. Doesn't help that the actor reminded me of my boyfriend a bit (notable with his hair down) so it pretty much killed me crying seeing his death scene. But even more how his death had to occur. It barely impacts the storyline. And the excuses towards justifying his death, to me feel rather...lame. He deserved more. He deserved so much more. He was too gentle, too too gentle, and all he wanted was to be brave. And the reactions to his death only fuelled my anger.


He deserved more than that. And he was a favourite character of mine, next to Christina and a few others. It's only my opinion, but he deserved more than that kind of death....he just deserved more.


And least I can understand why his death became essential, however I think his death afterwards for the subsequent remaining novels just felt dragged out. But again, I should not find fault in that since Will's death could not control it. It was merely a classic case of keeping secrets and Tris seriously blew it up bigger than it should have been.


Then I started thinking of all the deaths over the course of the trilogy. In the second book, I found that I was alright with the deaths, like they didn't feel ripped off or anything. However with the last book, I just.....asdfghjkl. It really twist and turned my head upside down. While I do commend them, I think it was more of a classic case of "wow, these characters deserved sooooooooo much more than that" or "was that really necessary?" among other thoughts that have plagued me since finishing it. It especially irks me since character deaths are a pet peeve of mine....hence I felt really conflicted on soooooo many levels. :/

(show spoiler)


So next time you're reading and you come across a character death, and after your initial reaction, think about this list and wonder was this particular death (or deaths) a good or a bad one, and why is that so?


And I'll end this with yet another Lord of the Rings quote (only because I find it fitting for this overall focus concern of mine):


"It’s like in the great stories, Mister Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mister Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something."


"What are we holding on to, Sam?"


"That there’s some good in this world, Mister Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”



Thank you for reading this entire ramble nonsensical thoughts of mine! <3