This year brought its fair share of awesome TV moments, like that perfectly choreographed hallway fight scene in Daredevil or Alison’s upside down twerking (while making it rain) on Orphan Black. But with great triumph comes great despair, and the writers were not afraid to break a few hearts by killing off some of their most beloved characters. Even if you don’t watch The Walking Dead, you probably heard about Glenn’s possible demise and the ongoing debates, which inspired a number of think pieces.
While the fan favorite did live to see another day, other characters like Noah and Deanna weren’t so lucky. Their shocking and heartbreaking deaths are just two examples of the many that happened on television this fall alone. With too many fallen comrades to count, we’re narrowing it down to the ones that made you gasp or question what you just witnessed.
These are the 12 Most Shocking TV Deaths in 2015. Obviously, this list contains SPOILERS.
12 Eddie Thawne – The Flash
From the beginning, Eddie’s existence was sort of in limbo. We knew that he and Iris weren’t going to last forever, so how long would he remain a part of the superhero gang? He didn’t have any powers and they already had a detective ally in Joe West. Even his descendant, Eobard Thawne, recognized his status as a semi-outsider and reminded him he had the power to change his future since he wasn’t a central part of the story. So he did.
The season one finale brought The Flash and the Reverse-Flash together for that long-awaited showdown and it wasn’t going well for our hero in red. Just as the Reverse-Flash is about to kill Barry, and then his friends, Eddie finally decides what to do with his life—he ends it. By shooting himself in the chest, he prevents his descendant from ever existing and ends up saving the day. The dramatic moment saw him die a hero, thus etching his special place in the timeline.
11 Jon Snow – Game of Thrones
You could call him the fan favorite of the series. As the bastard son of Ned Stark, Jon was never fully accepted by others. It’s hard not to relate to someone who has trouble fitting in because of something he can’t change about himself. He finally finds a home with the Night’s Watch, where his background really doesn’t matter. As a steward guarding the Wall, he becomes aware of the threat of the White Walkers and forms a controversial alliance with the Free Folk on the other side to stop them.
The alliance is short-lived after the White Walkers come tearing through and kill a large number of living men and women. However, if anyone were to get out of this sticky situation alive it would be him. That’s why it was quite the surprise when his sworn brothers formed a mutiny against him and stabbed him to death — Julius Caesar style. They blamed him for the massive deaths and we all blame George R.R. Martin for tearing out our hearts.
But there’s still hope! New promo posters suggest that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of the bastard from the north.
10 The Red Dragon – Hannibal
Francis Dolarhyde, or the Red Dragon as he is known, is seen in three different mediums: novel, film and television. The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage portrays him in the NBC series. In this latest iteration, Dolarhyde is the emotionally traumatized and physically disfigured serial killer who ends up being the antagonist in the show’s third and final season. With a penchant for killing entire families and Hannibal locked away, FBI profiler Will Graham is called out of retirement to stop him.
While the show struggled to find a strong audience, it never faltered with the production value— creating these cinematically beautiful moments whose screengrabs could wind up on the ceiling of a church were they not so violent. The Red Dragon’s death is no exception. He drops in on Will and Hannibal, which turns into a violent standoff ending in the duo stabbing him in the chest. The dramatic and slow movements set against the backdrop of a beautiful cliff give it a dreamlike feel that makes you question whether or not this is actually happened.
It did, much like Mason Verger’s surprising downfall underwater as an eel nests in his throat.
9 Kilgrave – Jessica Jones
Kilgrave (known as "Killgrave" in the comics) is perhaps one of the creepiest and most intriguing Marvel villains we’ve seen so far. With the ability to make people do anything (including murder and suicide) at a mere suggestion, his victims are left with the devastating after effects—if they stay alive. Such was the case with Jessica Jones, who experiences post traumatic distress symptoms after falling under Kilgrave’s mind control.
He violated her body and mind, along with many others, and Jessica makes it her mission to stop him. However, in order to do that, she needs some help. She calls in her friend Trish, one of Kilgrave’s former victims who experiences survivor’s remorse, to distract him. As an even more powerful Kilgrave taunts Jessica about having her friend take her place, she pretends to be under his control. That’s when she quickly snaps his neck, putting an end this disturbing and unsettling story arc.
8 Dewey Crowe – Justified
Most major deaths take place during the season finale, but this one happened to occur during the premiere of the final season. Dewey Crowe was a hapless white supremacist and one of the surviving members of Boyd Crowder’s “flock.” By the end of season 5, he had been imprisoned for confessing to killing a drug addict named Wade Messer.
At the start of season 6, he is released from prison and things are looking up for him. He gets accepted back into Boyd's crew but is then used as a decoy during a bank robbery. While reminiscing of better days, things go from bad to worse. Dewey shoots him in the back of the head for fear of ratting him out on the murder of Johnny Crowder.
7 Shayla Nico - Mr. Robot
Shayla Nico is Elliot's drug dealer. She gets her supplies from a man named Fernando Vera, who thinks that he owns her and calls her the love of his life. When Elliot finds her naked in the bathtub, she reveals that Vera had raped her. She begs him not to say anything but he reports Vera to the police anyway.
After figuring out the Elliot is the one who turned him in, Vera orders Shayla’s kidnapping from behind bars. He blackmails the hacker into freeing him from jail in exchange for her safe return. Vero’s men drive him around while he carries out their plan, and we are led to believe that Shayla will be returned alive. However, Elliot opens the trunk of the car he had been riding in and realizes that not only is she dead, she’d been dead the whole time.
6 Hook – Once Upon a Time
Killian Jones is the heavily eye-linered, leather jacket wearing pirate who joins the show in season 2. He points out that Peter Pan is not the beloved fairytale character everyone once believed. He’s actually the villain. He slowly charms his way into Emma Swan’s heart after helping her family defeat Pan and then joins them when they are once again cursed in Storybrooke.
The entire show centered around Emma Swan’s destiny as the Chosen One so when she becomes the Dark One, Hook makes it his mission to get her back to the light side. In a shocking twist, we learn that Hook also became a Dark One when Emma performed the only act that could save his life. During the midseason finale, these events come to a head when all of the past Dark Ones are called back to drag Emma and her family to the underworld. In order to save everyone, she plans to use Excalibur to absorb the Dark One's power and sacrifice herself in the process.
However, Hook begs her to kill him instead and, in a scene similar to when Buffy stabs Angel in the chest to stop the end of the world, she obliges. But it was all for nothing because Rumple (Stiltskin) double-crossed them and takes that power for himself. Ouch.
5 Mikael – The Originals
Mikel is a vampire that hunts other vampires and is also one of the worst parents on television. His sadistic Viking nature and hatred for his bastard son drives him to emotionally and physically abuse the Original Hybrid throughout his entire lifetime. Mikael is first killed by his son on The Vampire Diaries but is brought back on the spinoff The Originals.
Despite all of that emotional baggage, the dysfunctional father and son must work together to defeat a greater enemy: Mikael’s sister-in-law and Klaus’s aunt Dahlia, who stakes claim over both of their offspring. They attack with a powerful weapon meant to kill her but they get the ingredients wrong and lose the battle. Forced to redo the spell, Klaus double crosses his father and impales him with the white oak stake.
4 Paul Dierden – Orphan Black
We first meet Paul in the debut episode of this cloning series, when Sarah takes over Beth’s identity and snoops around her house. The military soldier joins Project Castor and is assigned to be Beth’s monitor. He falls in love with Sarah, who takes her place, and goes through great lengths to protect her. At the end of season two, he reveals that his loyalties lie with the military over Sarah and Rachel at the Dyad Institute.
He soon discovers he may have picked the wrong side after learning that the military clones are infected with a sexually transmitted disease that renders the women they sleep with infertile. Not on board with that, he stages a coup with Sarah but, as with all quick escapes, something goes wrong. Paul ends up mortally wounded and helps Sarah find an escape instead. After admitting he loved her all along, he locks himself in the camp and sets off a grenade. No one saw that coming.
3 Paul Woodrugh – True Detective
Paul, from the second season of True Detectivei, had a rough upbringing. He never knew his father and his mom resented him for ending her career as a stripper. At some point, he joined the United States Armed Forces and is suspected to have committed a few war crimes. He is also ashamed of his homosexual relationship with squad mate Miguel Gilb.
We first meet him as a motorcycle cop for the California Highway Patrol when a visibly intoxicated starlet tries to bribe him with oral sex after being caught driving dangerously on the road. It’s implied that he declined the offer but is still accused of sexual harassment and placed on administrative leave. In the week before the finale, his former lover Miguel shows up.
It turns out that he’s in cahoots with the security firm they worked for overseas and Police Chief Holloway. Miguel dies in the gunfire and it looks like Paul is going to escape with his life. That’s when he steps into daylight and is subsequently shot by Velcoro’s boss, Lt. Burris.
2 Malachi “Kai” Parker – The Vampire Diaries
Malachi was the twin brother of Josette and the antagonist for season 6. The surprisingly self-aware sociopath murdered nearly his entire family and was locked away in a prison world by himself to relive that day over and over again for decades. When Bonnie and Damon find their way there after the collapse of the Other Side, he takes the opportunity to hitch a ride back to the real world thanks to Bonnie’s magic. While he is a terrible person, his creepy-yet-charming nature and penchant for funny quips made him a season favorite.
Loose in the real world, his younger brother Luke endeavors to destroy him by completed the merge ceremony. However, Kai overpowers him and absorbs his powers, along with some unwanted emotions. Bonnie locks him away in another prison world and that should have been the last of him. If only he hadn’t been placed with a group of Heretics hell-bent on getting back to the real world. Cloaked by his new friends, Kai drops in on Alaric and Jo’s wedding where he murders his remaining family. Just when you think he’s finished, he transitions into a vampire and becomes a hybrid. That lasted all of two seconds because Damon appears about of nowhere and decapitates him, thus putting an end to his story. His legacy lives on in a spell that keeps Elena in a mystical slumber until Bonnie dies.
1 Tyreese Williams - The Walking Dead
Don’t get too invested in the characters on this show. Someone always has to die and chances are, it’s going to be the one you care about. In this case, it was Tyreese. We first meet him when he shows up at the prison with a small group of survivors. He and his sister Sasha eventually become core members of Rick’s group, and he ends up as a caretaker for Judith.
The gang decides to go to Noah’s compound after losing Beth. What they find is that the community has been lost to walkers. Tyrese and Noah locate Noah’s mother, who is dead. That’s when his undead twin brother pops up and bites Tyreese on the arm. The alleged former NFL player begins to experience hallucinations of almost everyone he’s ever met. He is later attacked by another zombie and allows himself to be bitten in order to grab his weapon. Michonne amputates his arm but even that isn’t enough. Tyreese still he succumbs to his injuries and another good guy is lost.
Is there a TV death you’re surprised didn’t make it on the list? Let us know in the comments!