Several weeks ago the Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish was a choose your own adventure. The prompt was “Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who _____ (are musically inclined, have lost someone, have depression, who grow up poor, etc.)” I started writing this post then got wicked busy, let half a post marinate in my drafts for weeks, then finally finished and published it.
I decided to be depressing and talk about the ten book characters’ deaths that destroyed me the most (in no particular order). Obviously, there will be ~*spoilers*~ here.
1. Newt in The Death Cure
Newt’s death absolutely did destroy me. This is one of the only times I’ve ugly cried while reading. I had to put the book down and walk away, which I’m pretty sure is the only time that’s happened. It’s hard to describe my feelings for Newt. Minho was my favorite character in the series, but I loved Newt the most. He was so brave and strong but also caring and sweet, I didn’t know if I wanted to date him or give him a bath and sing him to sleep. Not only was the simple fact that he died devastating, but it was how he died that truly destroyed me. Between Newt having The Flare, losing himself as a person, attacking Thomas and being killed by Thomas….it was just too much.
2. Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Show me someone who wasn’t devastated by Sirius’ death and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t have a soul. Harry finally had family that is not only magical, loving and fun, but family who knew both his parents very well. He actually had a godfather who cared for him deeply and wanted to spend time and bond with him. There was so much potential for their relationship…just to have Sirius snatched away from Harry (and me) just two books after meeting him.
3. Johnny and Dallas in The Outsiders
Do it for Johnny!
Ugh. Johnny. So sweet and innocent and brave and just plain ol’ good. How could anyone not love Johnny? His death hit me hard and his letter to Ponyboy hit me even harder. Johnny telling Ponyboy to “stay gold” from beyond the grave will probably never not make me cry. Even though Dallas wasn’t my favorite character, his death was so unnecessary that it almost made me more angry than sad. He definitely had issues and I wouldn’t call him a “good kid,” but he had his redeeming qualities and I’m still really upset he died.
4. Finnick Odair and Primrose Everdeen in Mockingjay
Unlike most people, Finnick’s death hit me the hardest in The Hunger Games series. I know the go-to is Prim; she is the reason the whole series set in motion and Katniss’ motivation for everything…but for some reason her death did not affect me as much. I think it’s because I liked Finnick more than Prim. The thing about Prim’s death is that I was more sad for Katniss’ loss than for Prim’s actual death, whereas when Finnick died I was absolutely devastated by his death as well as for the family he left behind. In short, I cried for most of the last half of the book.
5. Augustus Waters in The Fault in Our Stars
“I lit up like a Christmas tree,” is one of the most depressing lines I’ve ever read. John Green is a cruel man for creating a teenage dreamboat and then ripping him from our lives. Augustus Waters is one of those absurdly and unrealistically perfect book boyfriends that ruins all real life boyfriends. Augustus ruined my life by not being in it, for that I can never forgive John Green.
6. Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
I didn’t believe that Dumbledore really died until his funeral, even then I wasn’t totally convinced he was really gone/wouldn’t come back until I finished the series. It was too hard to believe that Dumbledore wasn’t going to be around anymore. He was the most powerful wizard in the world and one of the best influences on not only Harry’s life, but Hermione’s, Ron’s and the rest of the Hogwarts students. I did not want to accept a world where Dumbledore wouldn’t be there to guide them.
7. Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Hufflepuff gets so much House hate, but if Hufflepuff is filled with people like Cedric then I don’t understand why. He is such a good, likable guy and he’s really genuine. Not always the most clever wizard, but still bright and promising. His death happened so quickly I didn’t have time to process it when it actually happened. It wasn’t until later when Dumbledore was talking to his parents that it really hit me and I shed a few tears.
8. Freakin’ everyone who dies in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Even though all the deaths in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were hard, overall it was a lot less horrifying than I thought it would be. I didn’t read this one until years after it came out (I have no idea why I stopped in the middle of the series for so long) so I heard a lot about it. Nothing huge was spoiled for me, but I kept hearing about how much death there was and how devastating it was. So I went in expecting an epic bloodbath and for one of the trio to not make it to the end of the book. So even though I will never get over the many losses in Deathly Hallows (especially Lupin and Fred), I was just happy that so many people (the trio, Hagrid, Neville, McGonagall) didn’t die.
[Note: I’m going to cheat. I haven’t actually read the last two books yet, but I have seen the movie/show and these characters deaths affected me too much for me not to mention]
9. Neil Perry in Dead Poets Society
I don’t even know if I will be able to read this book because this death hurt so much. I’ve seen the movie twice and even though I loved it, I’ll never watch it again. I first saw this movie shortly after Robin Williams died, so I was extra emotional when watching it. In addition to being in an emotionally unsound space, I fell in love with Neil Perry immediately. Unlike Augustus Waters who was clearly a level of perfection unreachable in reality, Neil Perry was a realistic kind of perfection. He was kind and smart and wonderful without being over-the-top, and he still had his short-comings. He was such a bright and talented person with a such high hopes for his future, which makes his suicide all the more depressing. I will never get over his death.
10. Robb Stark in A Storm of Swords
This death by far affected me worse than any other fictional character’s death (in any book, TV show or movie). George R. R. Martin is a sick and twisted man for the things he does to readers (and now viewers). The infamous Red Wedding is the worst thing I’ve ever seen with my own eyes. I’ve watched every episode of Game of Thrones at least 2-3 times except for this one. I dare not put myself through it again. I was never just sad for several days/weeks after a character’s death until Robb. Not only did Robb’s death take my favorite character out of the show, it essentially destroyed my favorite family in Westeros and pretty much annihilated any chance they had of seeking justice and power.