JK Rowling famously stated that she cried after having to kill off the character of Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter book series. Some writers share this sentiment, proving reluctant to kill off even minor characters. Others take a wicked glee in portraying a penchant for a drastic killing. Which television shows have had the most shocking deaths?
1) The Red Wedding, Game of Thrones
No other death story could occupy the first slot on this list. No other death has truly shocked an audience like the death of Rob Stark, his wife, his army, his mother, and his unborn child at the wedding feast. No other death has created a library of reaction videos on YouTube of viewers watching the scene and crying, shrieking, and wailing.
There’s only one rule in Game of Thrones: a man comes under your roof and he is safe. The Lannisters and the Walders broke this rule in the most dramatic fashion possible, luring Rob Stark to Castle Frey for the wedding of his uncle Edmure, then assassinating him and all those who he loves. With the death of Rob, the rebellion in the North ends with a whimper rather than a bang.
What’s more, the Stark family tree is whittled down to Sansa (in the clutches of the Lannisters), Arya (on the run), Bran (exiled to north of the Wall), and Rickon (exiled with Bran), likely to never rise again.
It was the single most shocking moment in the series history, and possibly all of television history as well.