PLAYED BY: Sean Bean
Game Of Thrones is, in fact, the daddy of ’em all when it comes to offing major characters. It all began with Ned Stark, the Stark family’s head, who was, until then, seen as the lead character, having his head knocked off, and that was the moment when fans realized no one was safe in this show’s universe. The death count has only gotten higher with other significant characters getting murdered -Robb Stark,Tywin Lannister (who seemed to be the main bad guy) and Joffrey Baratheon (inarguably, the one death that delighted fans).
CHARACTER: Matthew Crawley
PLAYED BY: Dan Stevens
Sometimes, a show’s creators have to write off a character just because the actor playing the role wants out.That is what happened in the case of Dan Stevens who played Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey, who left because he had begun to see the show as “a very monopolizing job“and wanted “a chance to do other things“. Given that his character had a huge following, especially among female fans, they were understandably devastated. There was outrage on social media both against the series with some saying they will stop watching the show. They even sent condolence messages to actress Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary Crawley, following his character’s death!
CHARACTER: Rita Morgan
PLAYED BY: Dan Julie Benz
Given that Dexter is a serial killer, Rita (and her kids) were initially a disguise for him to make him look `normal’, but as the show progressed, she came to mean a lot more to Dex. The creators of the show wanted to portray how complex the life of such a man would be, when he has lost one of his emotional anchors. So, the character had to die. Actress Julie Benz apparently had heard of the character’s fate only midway into the show, but she understood that it was a very crucial move in the larger scheme of the series. But her literal bloodbath of a death was a punch-in-the-gut for many fans.
CHARACTER: Nicholas Brody
PLAYED BY: : Damian Lewis
Nicholas Brody was a key character in the world of Homeland and the first couple of seasons of the show were very much centred around him. Brody then became a Congressman in the second season, but when his tryst with terror becomes public knowledge after he gets blamed for a bomb blast, he becomes a most-wanted fugitive in the third season. But he is given a chance at redemption and sent on a covert mission to Iran, where he is caught by the authorities and hanged. While his death was tragic, it was nevertheless inevitable.The character also made a fleeting appearance in Season 4 in a dream sequence.
HOUSE OF CARDS
CHARACTER: Zoe Barnes
PLAYED BY: Kate Mara
A highly ambitious reporter, Zoe was a character who did not mind sleeping with her source if it means a scoop that will advance her career. The wily Frank Underwood sees through her the instant he talks to her and uses her as an important player in his power game all through the first season. She becomes his mistress of sorts so that she can get information out of him. However, when she starts realising that there is more to Underwood and starts digging into the death of a Congressman, she is killed in the first episode of the second season! While fans understood she had to go), the manner of her death -by being pushed in front of an incoming train -still shocked many.
CHARACTER: Teri Bauer
PLAYED BY: Leslie Hope
No one expects the wife of the lead character to be killed right in the first season and that is what happened in 24, which killed off the wife of Jack Bauer right in the final episode of the first season. Considering this was in a time when the concept of major characters dying suddenly was not in vogue, fans were shocked. That said, given that the amnesiac Teri had not really won over fans and was a punching bag for critics, there was hardly any outrage. Apparently, the creators had two other alternate endings in which Teri survives but went ahead with their original choice of getting the character off the show.