[WARNING: *MAJOR* 2011 TV SEASON SPOILERS INSIDE!!!]
If you’re any kind of television fan, you’ve probably noticed just how many of your favorite characters are constantly being killed off – sometimes in the most horrific ways possible.
Of course, a year is pretty long… and you may have forgotten some of the characters we lost this year. Luckily, we at Screen Rant are very obsessive about television character deaths, so we put together a list of the 15 most shocking deaths from the 2011 TV season.
What does “most shocking” mean? Well, you’ll have to find out for yourself.
It should go without saying that there are MASSIVE SPOILERS contained within. If you’ve kept up with this season of TV (or don’t mind being spoiled), you shouldn’t have any problem – but if you’re behind on any shows (DVR/Tivo/Netflix) you might not want to read this!
Date of Death: November 15, 2011 (“Call of Duty”)
Cause of Death: Accidental
Killed By: Stepping on a land mind
Final Words: “You gotta be shittin me!”
Played By: Kenny Johnson
Initially brought in from Tacoma to provide extra muscle for SAMCRO, Kozik decided to stick around Charming for a bit. After settling his feud with Tig (Kim Coates) over a dog named Missy, Kozik began to feel like part of the family.
Unfortunately, when fighting the Logo Cartel, Kozik stepped on a mine and exploded into tiny pieces. Similar to Brian Austin Green’s death in The Sarah Conner Chronicles, it was was quick and the action never stopped to acknowledge what happened.
Date of Death: December 21, 2011 (“Afterbirth”)
Cause of Death: Hanging
Killed By: Hayden & Additional Ghosts
Final Words: “Viv!”
Played By: Dylan McDermott
While it can certainly be said that American Horror Story has an affinity for killing, well, everyone, the death of Dr. Ben Harmon came at a bit of a surprise. With nothing left to lose, the only thing he had to do was walk out the front door.
Too bad the ghost of his dead, pregnant mistress Hayden (Kate Mara), along with some previously killed intruders, was standing in his way. No matter how hard he fought, Ben couldn’t stop them from hanging him over the staircase. But, hey, at least “his baby” is safe… that psycho.
Date of Death: October 25, 2011 (“Family Recipe”)
Cause of Death: Shotgun to the chest
Killed By: Clay Morrow
Final Words: “Just leave her out of it, huh.”
Played By: William Lucking
One of the original nine members of the Sons of Anarchy, Piney not only served as the voice of reason in the club, but also a voice of reason to Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and his deceased father, John. When some of John’s letters from the past began to cause trouble for Clay (Ron Pearlman), he attempts to get rid of them any way possible – including killing Piney, the man that vouched for him to join the Sons in the first place.
Date of Death: November 9, 2011 (“Piggy Piggy”)
Cause of Death: Suicide
Killed By: Overdose
Final Words: “Get out of my house!”
Played By: Taissa Farmiga
A troubled girl who only wants to find her way in the world, Violet quickly became the first Harmon family member to actually figure out what’s going on in the murder house. Unfortunately, “finding out” means knowing that your boyfriend is actually a crazy serial killer, who is also dead – and that your house is filled with malevolent spirits who don’t want to leave, but will if you close your eyes and tell them to go away. Because for some reason that works.
After taking a bunch of pills, Violet’s crazed lover Tate (Evan Peters) attempts to save her by making her throw up the medication. While audiences assumed it had worked, it wasn’t until a few episodes later that we found out Violet had been dead for quite some time.
Just remember: If there’s a smell under the door and your boyfriend is a ghost, the smell is probably your dead body.
Date of Death: May 22, 2011 (“A Golden Crown”)
Cause of Death: A “Golden Crown”
Killed By: Unknown Dothrakis (ordered by Khal Drogo)
Final Words: “Dany, please!”
Played By: Harry Lloyd
Viserys Targaryen may very well be the most deserving of death on the list. If only someone told him that molesting your sister, treating people like crap, and generally being a terrible person wasn’t the best way to live one’s life, perhaps things would have ended up better for him. Of course, much better advice might be: If you are going to live that way, don’t sell your sister off to a Dothraki, let him impregnate her, then threaten to cut the baby Dothraki out of her – all while saying “give me my golden crown.”
Kahl Drogo may not be the smartest man in the Seven Kingdoms, but he sure knows how to kill his biggest pain in the ass by giving him exactly what he asked for – all without spilling any blood (which he wasn’t allowed to do in the Dothraki sacred city). I just wonder how long it took before all those Dothrakis wanted their gold back.
Real Name: Timothy Carter
Date of Death: May 19, 2011 (“Strawberries and Cream”)
Cause of Death: Shot in the stomach
Killed By: Patrick Jane
Final Words: “Your daughter smelled like sweat – and strawberries and cream. I suspect it was some kind of kids shampoo.”
Played By: Bradly Whitford
Ever since The Mentalist began, the mysterious monster, only known as “Red John,” was presented as Patrick Jane’s nemesis – and for good reason: he killed Jane’s wife and daughter. Always one step head of the famed Patrick Jane, viewers always wondered when they might meet the illusive mastermind.
When Jane was summoned to a busy mall, a man reading a newspaper quickly became his target. After the man calling himself Red John began to describe things only the real Red John would know, Jane knew what he had to do. As Red John was walking away, Jane had Red John turn around and shot him in the stomach. Of course, viewers found out next season that it wasn’t actually the real Red John, but just another terrible human being called Timothy Cater. Even though this isn’t the real Red John, watching Patrick Jane happily kill a man in cold blood is too shocking to forget.
Date of Death: October 31, 2011 (“Halloween: Part 1”)
Cause of Death: Hit & Run
Killed By: Unknown driver
Final Words: “Hey, wait for me!”
Played By: Jamie Brewer
Oh, Addie… You were the perfect creepy girl next door – and all you wanted to do was to be a pretty girl for Halloween. Unfortunately, you mother wouldn’t have any of that… even though you were 40 years old.
Stuck with a terrible over-sized mask that made it difficult for her to see, Addie attempted to cross the street to catch up with her friends. As she made her way across, a speeding car stopped her in her tracks. With the knowledge of how the murder house works and how the ghosts are created, it was heartbreaking to watch her mother, Constance (Jessica Lange), attempt to drag her dead body towards the house, in hopes of “saving” her.
With so many people being killed off in American Horror Story, the death of Addie is certainty the most shocking. Not the mention the fact that she was a really great character… that hussy.
Date of Death: May 12, 2011 (“The Hole in the Heart”)
Cause of Death: Shot in the chest
Killed By: Jacob Broadsky (sniper)
Final Words: “Please don’t make me go.”
Played By: Ryan Cartwright
One of the only 3 network television shows on the list, the death of Vincent Nigel-Murray on Bones certainly earned its spot. When you have a television show that is centered around death, it can be difficult to illicit profound responses to something you see on a weekly basis.
But when that bullet hit Mr. Nigel-Murray, you knew right away this wasn’t going to be your typical death. In what may be the first Atheist death represented on television, viewers were witness to not a calm and peaceful end, but one where the victim didn’t believe in an after-life and where the character’s logic remained true. Thanks to the exceptional writing by Carla Kettner & Karyn Usher, and terrific acting by Ryan Cartwright, the death of Vincent Nigel-Murray may very well be one of the most painfully heartbreaking scenes you’ll see on television.
Age: Very Old
Date of Death: October 09, 2011 (“Face Off”)
Cause of Death: Suicide
Killed By: Explosion
Final Words: “Ding-Ding-Ding”
Played By: Mark Margolis
If it wasn’t for Gus continuously berating Hector Salamanca on Breaking Bad, Walter White may have never found an opening to befriend his one-time enemy. Sure, Walter may have killed Hector’s nephew, but that doesn’t mean that can’t work together on accomplishing the same goal: Killing Gus.
With a little Walter White ingenuity, Hector Salamanca’s infamous “ding-ding-ding” quickly became the scariest sound you could hear. BOOM!
Date of Death: November 27, 2011 (“Pretty Much Dead Already”)
Cause of Death: Zombification
Killed By: Rick Grimes (shot in the head)
Final Words: Unidentifiable zombie groans
Played By: Madison Lintz
When Sophia Peletier ran off on The Walking Dead, audiences were divided. While some understood the character development that was occurring around the issue of Sophia’s disappearance, other viewers wanted Rick and company to find her quickly, so they could move on… to something else. With Shane attempting to divide the group, Rick needed to make sure everyone knew who was in charge. And he got his chance.
After news broke that farmer Hershel was hording some zombies in his barn, the gang decided to exterminate the undead. Of course, nobody expected to see little ‘ole Sophia walking out with them. As everyone in the group panicked and lowered their weapons, Rick Grimes stepped up, aimed at her head, and…. BANG! So long little girl.
For those counting, that brings us to two little girl zombie kills for Mr. Grimes.
Date of Death: May 4, 2011 (“Bloody Harlan”)
Cause of Death: Suicide
Killed By: Poison
Final Words: “I get to see my boys again; I get to know the mystery.”
Played By: Margo Martindal
It’s not easy to find a bad guy that you love so much, but Mags Bennett was as lovely as she was terrible. If she wasn’t offering you free moonshine and/or trying to sell you marijuana, she would be trying to kill you with the free moonshine and trying to kill you over her marijuana. But she had rules, and for some reason they made sense. Kind of.
Each time the legendary Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) came face-to-face with Mags Bennet, it was like watching two chess master battling it out. Each of them knew the other one’s strengths and weaknesses, and would always try to slyly outwit the other… even until the end. Repeating the line she made famous earlier in the season, Mags revealed to Givens that he didn’t have to worry about dying, because “the poison was already in the glass, not in the jar,” and she only wanted to kill herself.
Date of Death: October 9, 2011 (“Face Off”)
Cause of Death: Explosion
Killed By: Hector Salamanca
Final Words: “HAAAAWWWW!!!…” [cut of by explosion]
Played By: Giancarlo Esposito
Let’s roll Hector back over here for the background music, because “ding-ding” Gus is dead. It took a few years to find the right moment to take out the tyrannical lord of the Los Pollos Hermanos drug empire, but it finally happened.
In a move to show viewers just how badass he made the character of Gus (and how well Esposito played him), Vince Gilligan had him walk out of the explosion – and for a second, you thought that he had survived. Of course, it wasn’t until we saw the other side of Gus that we knew just how bad of a situation he was in. With half of his face gone, Gus straightened his necktie and then dropped dead.
Two-Face, eat your heart out…
Age: Mid-30s (according to the books)
Date of Death: June 12, 2011 (“Baelor”)
Cause of Death: Beheading
Killed By: Sir Ilyn Payne (by the order of King Joffrey Baratheon)
Final Words: “Joffrey Baratheon is the one true heir to the Iron Throne. By the grace of all the gods, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm.”
Played By: Sean Bean
What does it take to get an entire television viewing audience to wish that extremely terrible things would happen to a child? Well, having one of the main characters of the show executed just might do it.
Unless you read the books and were “in the know,” you were caught off guard when Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) defied everyone around him and ordered Eddard Stark’s head be delivered to him – by way of Ned’s own sword, Ice. Maybe if there wasn’t so much incest in the Lannister family, “Joff” would have turned out better.
“Perhaps if my sister wasn’t so attractive,” responds Jamie “nasty boy” Lannister.
Date of Death: August, 1921/December 11, 2011 (“To The Lost”)
Cause of Death: Shot in the head
Killed By: Nucky Thompson
Final Words: “The only thing you have to worry about is when you run out of booze, when you run out of company. And the only person left to judge you is your…” [cut off by gunshot]
Played By: Michael Pitt
Audiences are still up in arms over the death of Jimmy Darmody on Boardwalk Empire – and there’s good reason: he was pretty much the second-lead in the entire series. Next to Steve Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson, Jimmy Darmody was really one of the few characters that was fleshed out enough to be able to help drive a story concurrent with Nucky’s.
But something had to be done with that kid… and Nucky had to be the one to do to. Unfortunately, shooting someone in the face isn’t as easy as one would think (who knew) and Nucky had to shoot him once more to finish it, as Jimmy lay there choking on his own blood.
Date of Death: Summer 2011
Date of Funeral: September 19, 2011 (“Nice To Meet You, Walden Schmidt”)
Cause of Death: Being pushed in front of a moving subway
Killed By: Rose (his then wife)
Final Words: Unknown (probably something awesome, though)
Played By: Charlie Sheen
When you really think about it, there isn’t any other death that’s as shocking as the death of Charlie Harper on Two and a Half Men. Not just because brutally murdering the main character (whom everyone loved) of a comedic sitcom goes against, well, being funny – but because the circumstances surrounding Lorre’s decicion to kill off Charlie Sheen’s character was played out in the public eye for a majority of the year.
When 28 million people tune in to watch you screw your own television show… that’s saying something.
Well, there you have it. The list may not have been perfect, but it’s pretty close. There were a few deaths here and there that didn’t make the list, but that’s mostly because of technicalities, like they’re not actually dead or we don’t know yet if they’re dead.
That being said, I’m sure you’ll agree that all of the big ones were touched upon.
Of course, knowing our readers, the comment section should inform us of each and every misstep we made. Look forward to debating with you ;-).