10 TV Shows That Killed Off The Wrong Character –


It happens time and time again with big TV shows: they pull audiences in with the story, introduce them to characters they fall in love with, and then cruelly snatch them away. That€’s the nature of drama though; as painful as it might be to watch a great character die, it’s often what’s best for the show.

Sometimes they get it all wrong; they’ll kill off a character not out of necessity, but for the cheap shock value of it. Stunts like this always come across as hollow, and tend to make people angry instead of sad. What makes them even angrier is if that character dies horribly while another, considerably less useful one survives.

At its worst this can feel like a trolling the audience, who’ve invested in the show only for it to toy with their emotions. Some executives should be feeling guilty over these particular executions…

10. Merle Dixon – The Walking Dead

Gene Page/AMC

Michael Rooker really made an impression with his scene chewing turn as Daryl Dixon’s older, angrier brother Merle. He was a bad guy who’d made peace with his badness, seeing it as a strength in the post-zombie world.

He made an evolution from trigger happy racist to one-handed henchman, who was later forced to play nice for the sake of his brother. It was great to watch the character grow and develop something close to a conscience, so if he hadn’t pointlessly sacrificed himself trying to kill The Governor, then later seasons could have seen him grow even more.

Who Should Have Died Instead: Beth Greene.

While she eventually got some stuff to do in later seasons, Beth was without a doubt the most useless character during Season Three. This season was ruthless with killing off pointless characters, yet she somehow survived the cull.

9. Hamri Al-Assad – 24

20th Century Fox

The sixth season of 24 is widely considered the worst; it padded itself out with pointless subplots and useless characters, as well as recycling storylines from previous seasons. It tried to make up for this with more action, which just made it feel hollow.

The most disappointing part is that the first few episodes were great, as it hit the ground running and introduced charismatic terrorist leader Hamri Al-Assad. He arrived in America to help stop a wave of terror attacks, a complex, nuanced figure that attracted and repelled the audience in equal measure.

Assad was later killed as he was due to give a speech with President Wayne Palmer – not because this was best move for the story, but because the actor had to leave early and the writers couldn’t figure out what else to do. His early death was more wasted potential in a season full of it.

Who Should Have Died Instead: President Wayne Palmer.

David Palmer’s younger brother was always a bland character, and given that he ends up leaving the season early anyway, his death could have left room for Al-Assad to grow.

8. Charlie Pace – Lost


While Charlie could be a little annoying at times, he was one of the most complex characters on Lost. A former rock star and recovering heroin addict, he finds new meaning in life when he ends up as one of the survivors of the plane crash.

He falls in love with Claire, he helps her raise her newborn baby on the island, and despite his many flaws, he’s typically brave and heroic. Season Three was teasing his death from the beginning, so while he got a fitting end, the show really missed his presence afterwards.

Who Should Have Died Instead: Claire Littleton.

While she may have been Charlie’s love interest, their ‘will they or won’t they?’ romance was more irritating than cute. Claire was kind of a useless character for most of Lost, as she was always complaining or needing rescuing.

If she had died in Charlie’s place then he would have had to take care of her son Aaron, which would have been a more interesting direction for the character to go in.

7. Professor Arturo – Sliders

Sci-Fi Channel

Professor Arturo was the best character on cult show Sliders; he was cranky, pretentious and prone to complaining, yet he always had the best one-liners and was the voice of reason for the other characters.

While he may have been the glue that held everything together, actor John Rhys-Davies grew tired of the writers ripping off movies for their plotlines, and he asked to leave. So at the end of Season Three Arturo catches a bullet, with Sliders quickly dipping in quality from that moment on.

Who Should Have Died Instead: Rembrandt Brown.

Rembrandt somehow managed to be the only original cast member remaining when the show ended, having made the switch from comic relief to leading man.

The problem with this is that he was easily the weakest character, so if he’d taken that bullet instead of Arturo there would have been far less complaints about it.

6. Cordelia Chase – Angel

20th Century Fox Television

Joss Whedon is addicted to building up great characters that audiences adore, only to cruelly take them away when he wants to. This is a tactic he’s used on all of his shows, with the death of Cordelia being one that stung more than most.

She started out as the comic relief before becoming a fully fleshed out character, who was funny whilst being brutally honest with other characters. Her relationship with Angel would become crucial to the show’s success, so the decision to replace her with Spike and kill her off would ultimately damage the programme, leaving it weaker as a result.

Who Should Have Died Instead: Connor.

Introducing a whiny teenage character into a show is never a good sign, and Angel’s son Connor was no exception. He was universally disliked by critics and fans, so if someone absolutely had to die people, it should have been him.

5. Hershel Greene – The Walking Dead


Yep, The Walking Dead again.

Following the death of Dale in Season Two, Hershel took over duties as the group’s resident wise old man, a role which suited him perfectly. He could always be relied on for sage advice, he was calm under pressure AND he could fire a shotgun fifty times without reloading it.

He was basically the really cool granddad everybody wants, and he didn’t even let the loss of a leg slow him down. But when The Governor launched another attack on the prison, somebody significant had to go, with old Hershel sadly drawing the short straw on that one.

Who Should Have Died Instead: Tyreese Williams.

In the comics it was Tyreese who got the literal chop by The Governor, but as Hershel was better developed they used him instead. It would have been better if Tyreese had kicked the can, as they could have recreated an iconic moment from the graphic novel, plus it would have let Hershel live just a little longer.

4. Adriana La Cerva – The Sopranos


On a show full of morally dubious characters, Adriana usually stood out as one of the more decent human beings. She might have been a little shallow and ditzy, yet her loyalty to her boyfriend and her family was always one of her defining features.

Adriana was forced to become an FBI informant in later seasons, which she eventually confessed to Christopher hoping they could go into Witness Protection together. Christopher – being the nice chap that he was – instead called Tony and told him the truth, resulting in Adriana being driven out to the woods and murdered off-screen.

Who Should Have Died Instead: Christopher Moltisanti.

This little toad somehow managed to survive way past his expiry date; he was arrogant, cocky and whiny but unlike the other gangsters on the show, he didn’t have much charm to make up for that.

If he€’d been killed as punishment for bringing an informant into the crew, then they could have severed ties with Adriana and gotten rid of their weakest link.

3. Jimmy Darmody – Boardwalk Empire


In the first two seasons of Boardwalk Empire, the heart of the show was the relationship between politician/gangster Nucky Thompson and his bodyguard Jimmy Darmody. They had a troubled partnership, which went back and forth between them being like father and son or bitter rivals.

It looked like they would finally set their differences aside at the end of Season Two, only for Nucky to betray Jimmy and shoot him dead. It was a shocking ending, which was apparently the result of actor Michael Pitt being difficult to work with. The writers themselves admitted that Jimmy’s story was meant to continue for longer, so his early demise really left a gap in the show.

Who Should Have Died Instead: Manny Horwitz.

The Jewish gangster was a rival of both men, and the one responsible for killing Jimmy’s wife. Jimmy met with Nucky expecting that it would result in Manny€’s death, only to be double crossed. Since the character later met the business end of a shotgun in the next season anyway, it’s not like his death would have affected the show in any significant way.

2. Tywin Lannister – Game Of Thrones


It appears to be the rule on Game Of Thrones that the good must suffer while the bad prosper, at least judging by the body count so far. There are a number of hateable villains on the show, with none being as enjoyable as the late, great Tywin Lannister. The father of the Lannister clan was a cold, ruthless figure with the ability to verbally destroy anyone in his path.

He seemed to hate his children almost as much as the people of King’s Landing did, yet even at his most horrible there was something compelling about him. While Tywin got a much deserved demise when Tyrion shot an arrow into his heart- while he was on the toilet no less – both he and Charles Dance were greatly missed throughout Season Five.

Who Should Have Died Instead: Cersei Lannister.

Probably the most hateful character on the show, Cersei’s continued survival is a complete mystery. All she does is complain, be spiteful and scheme for more power. Her conflict with Tyrion was brewing for over four seasons, so it would have made sense for him to take revenge on the sister who enjoyed ruining his life.

1. Gus Fring – Breaking Bad


Gus will go down as one of the great TV villains of all time – a calculating, ruthless sociopath. He may look calm and friendly on the surface, but when he gets angry things quickly turn nasty. His conflict with Walter and Jesse made for the best years of Breaking Bad, so while his death was always inevitable, the final season really missed his casual menace.

The White Supremacist gang were a decent threat, but they weren’t up to nearly the same standards as Gus. Maybe if Gus had been forced to disappear at the end of Season Four, only to return with a new gang to destroy Walt’s life, that would have made for a slightly stronger ending. That being said though, Gus’ death is pretty epic as it is.

Who Should Have Died Instead: Marie Schrader.

She was never anyone’s favourite character to begin with, and her death would have really driven Hank to catch Walter in the final season. It would also have reinforced for Walt the consequences of his actions, making it even more powerful when he decides to return to making meth anyway.

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