With incredible original programming including House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and A Series of Unfortunate Events, Netflix has solidified itself as the go-to place for dramatic adult-oriented content. Netflix is the premiere streaming service, and in recent years it has sought to provide incredibly deep and intellectually stimulating content that can be binged for hours on end.
David Fincher was able to lend his unique vision to House of Cards, and he made sure that the program would never sugarcoat the dirty political dealings in Washington. Orange is the New Black pushed the envelope even further by refusing to shy away from the prison environment, and by showcasing a genius female-led cast. From there, Netflix has won Emmy after Emmy, and its shows have sparked real conversations within the television loving community. Netflix was even able to bring darker/enriching content that’s great for children and adults with both A Series of Unfortunate Events and Stranger Things.
With a wealth of mature content comes a giant collection of shocking deaths, and this list will collect the most shocking deaths of all.
Without further ado, here are the 15 Most Shocking Deaths In Netflix Original Series.
15. 13 Reasons Why – Hannah
13 Reasons Why‘s quality is as uneven as its plot, but one particular aspect of the show that managed to stay strong throughout, was the relationship between Hannah and Clay. The format of the show proved to be pretty stunting character wise, but it did amp up the anticipation to find out exactly why and how Hannah went through with her suicide.
In a shockingly graphic moment for the teenage-centered show, viewers had to see Hannah go through with her suicide completely. It was harrowing to see her sit there and consider her options, grab the razor blade, and slowly start cutting her skin.
It was one of the hardest scenes to watch because of the sheer gore that was on display, not to mention it was an emotional rollercoaster throughout. It was a powerful scene, but viewers were definitely not ready for the haunting details the program provided.
14. Marco Polo – Kokachin
Kokachin, in the world of Marco Polo is an imposter of the “Blue Princess,” and she was the mistress of the real princess of the area, before it got invaded by the Mongols.
Marco Polo is first introduced to Kokachin through her fiancé, Prince Jingim. Marco falls for the young woman almost immediately, but he knows their love is forbidden, and he doesn’t want to upset the balance he’s tried so hard to maintain between himself and the Mongols. It is later revealed that the Prince and Kokachin are attempting to bear a child, but are having troubles. Empress Chabi is displeased by this and she ends up forcing a stable boy to rape Kokachin to produce an heir.
The Princess does eventually give birth to twins, but she is overcome by grief, both from her children who were born from rape, and at the fact her and Marco can never be together. The Empress helps her kill herself by holding her underwater until she drowns.
13. Luke Cage – Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth is easily one of the most intriguing villains in Marvel’s stable, in either the cinematic or the televised worlds. He is intense, intimidating, and is willing to stand up to even the likes of Luke Cage without flinching. Not to mention, Mahershala Ali can act circles around most Oscar winners, so he was able to elevate the role to new heights.
Part way through the series, Cottonmouth is visited by Mariah Dillard, who wants him to finally take care of Luke Cage permanently because he’s endangering her political. Their conversation heats up when they begin talking about Pistol Pete, with Cottonmouth insisting that Mariah had flirted with her own rapist.
Mariah finally snaps and smashes Cottonmouth across the head with a bottle and pushes him through his own window. He falls and Mariah follows him – full of rage and trauma, she bashes him to death with a mike stand. It was emotional and gruesome, but even more shocking was that Luke Cage killed off its big bad only partway through the season.
13. Jessica Jones – Hope And Her Family
Jessica Jones might actually be the bleakest television show in Marvel’s Netflix collection, which is saying quite a bit when it’s in company with both Daredevil and Luke Cage. The shows starts off dark with Hope Shlottman and her family, as we’re introduced to the character shortly before she murders all of them.
Kilgrave was actually the one who convinced Shlottman to go through with the murders while he had her under his control, and that she is having psychological breaks due to the trauma. The worst of it all is that Kilgrave eventually comes for Hope while she’s being released from prison and brings her to Niku.
12. Hemlock Grove – Destiny
Destiny Rumancek is a Romani witch in the series, Hemlock Grove, and she is a professional con-artist, a sex worker, and a psychic medium. Destiny is an extremely confident, proud, and protective individual that really helped Hemlock Grove to stand out from the rest of the Netflix content.
In a shocking turn of events toward the end of the series, Destiny is killed by Roman. After he punches her through a glass table, she is suffering from massive trauma, and the only solution Roman can think of is to snap her neck. It was a death for the sake of plot, and many fans of the show were left disappointed, thinking that it was ridiculous for a main character to die just to get Roman and Peter to fight it out in the climax of the series.
11. Daredevil – Anatoly Ranskahov
Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin was the best possible villain for Daredevil, and his character only grew more and more menacing as the series went on. The only problem with Kingpin early on was that he was more of a puppet master than an actual hands-on villain. That all changed when Kingpin smashed Anatoly Ranskahov’s head in with a heavy SUV door.
It was the single most shocking moment in the entire first season of the show, and it struck a true cord with audiences, and made them truly afraid of the now unpredictable baddie. This death was spectacular because Anatoly wasn’t really that interesting of a character – he was more of a hired hand/pawn – but never before has an uninteresting character’s death been so impactful. It was unexpected and unapologetically horrifying to watch.
10. Bloodline – Marco
In Bloodline, the Rayburn clan had gotten themselves into pretty deep water towards the end of season 2. All hell then simultaneously broke loose when Kevin decided to take all the family’s matters into his own hands. Kevin decided to go directly to Marco and pin the blame on John while admitting absolutely everything the family did. Marco didn’t see things the same way, though, and he told Kevin that he had enough evidence to put all three of the siblings behind bars.
Marco then sealed his fate when he told Kevin there was no way he would be able to cut a deal, and when Marco took a phone call and turned his attention from Kevin, Kevin took a blunt object and struck Marco in the head repeatedly. It was a tense series of moments that led to a terrifying reveal.
9. Stranger Things – Barbara Holland
Stranger Things fans are sure to be aware of all the “Save Barb” merchandise that had been made after the first season dropped on Netflix. Barbara was a friend of Nancy’s who ended up dying at the hands of the hideous Demogorgon that thrives in the “upside down.” It was a really brutal death, as viewers were forced to watch Barb fighting for her life in the “upside down” version of Steve’s parent’s pool.
Many Stranger Things fans are hoping for the best when it comes to Barb, and when we found out that Will was able to make it out alive, it only fueled these desires to see Barb shot-gunning beers again. This made the sight of Barb’s husked out corpse even more shocking when Eleven found it in the Upside Down.
7. A Series Of Unfortunate Events – Montgomery Montgomery
A Series of Unfortunate Events is a wonderfully made show that is incredibly faithful to its source material, even going so far as having the series’ creator attached as the writer for the program. We feel for the Baudelaire orphans almost immediately, as their snarky and witty personalities blend so well into the bleak, Wes Anderson inspired backdrop.
Just like in the books, every time the Baudelaires move on to a new guardian, we hope that the next one will be the one that sticks. The guardian that fends off Olaf and his crew, and provides the siblings with a loving home. But these dreams soon crumble away when we realize that every unfortunate event in the show precedes another, and the Baudelaires are back to square one.
Their second guardian in the first season, Uncle Monty, provided everything the Baudelaires needed and more. However, in a shocking revelation, the Baudelaires discovered their uncle dead on the floor, killed by the menacingly glib Count Olaf.
6. BoJack Horseman – Sarah-Lynn
Sarah-Lynn was the animated equivalent of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on Full House. In BoJack Horseman, she was the deeply depraved teenager whose stint on the popular family-centered program, “Horsing Around”, forced her into the limelight too soon.
She grew up without any real parental supervision, and she looked up to BoJack for life lessons, and because of this, she usually chose to pursue the wrong ideals. She was a drug addict and alcoholic, and she died in a truly sorrowful way.
Throughout the show, Sarah-Lynn had made it perfectly clear that all she wanted in life was to become an architect. In her final episode, she and BoJack are attempting to make amends for the wrongdoings they’ve committed. They end up going to the planetarium for solace, and Sarah-Lynn dies while watching the stars shoot across the dome above her. The saddest part of it all is that she reiterates her dream of being an architect one last time before she dies, and it’s ultimately revealed that she only wanted to go to the planetarium to admire the dome’s construction.
5. Bloodline – Danny
Danny is easily one of the most interesting characters on Bloodline, and Ben Mendelsohn gives a truly spectacular performance. The very first episode sets up Danny as a deeply troubled person with a distressing background, and the rest of the series shows how truly messed up he is.
He’s smuggling and consuming drugs at an alarming rate throughout the first season, and he puts his family in heaps of danger. When Danny goes against John’s wishes and gives Sarah’s necklace to his daughter Jane, it marks the final straw for the brothers.
4. Orange Is The New Black – Poussey
Perhaps one of the most shocking conclusions to a season, the death of Poussey in season 4 of Orange is the New Black was nothing short of appalling.
This stunning moment was vital to the arc of season 5, but it was disheartening to say the least. And it’s awful that we lost such an important member of the nonwhite LGBT character community, but it’s also an important moment for the “black lives matter” movement, and it’s great that the show didn’t shy away from such a sensitive moment.
It also sparked an interesting conversation about police culture in America, because the Warden of the prison defended the officer who struck her down, stating that it was an accident, and that an all-women prison also had the possibility for outbreaks of violence.
3. House Of Cards – Edward Meechum
The constant struggle for everyone who enjoys House of Cards is whether to root for Frank or Claire at any given time. They’re both such intriguing and magnetic characters (even if the correct answer is always, Claire).
The relationship that was built between the two of them and Special Agent Edward Meechum was touching and emotionally satisfying for viewers, as we got to see yet another person enter into the Underwood “circle of trust.”
Meechum proved to be extremely loyal to Frank, and it turned out that we got attached to the character far too soon. In the fourth episode of the fourth season, Meechum ended up literally taking a bullet for Frank at a rally, and sacrificed himself for his President and friend. It was crushing to see someone as kindhearted as Meechum take a fall for Frank – a devious, under-handed murderer – but Meechum ultimately did his job, and made a noble sacrifice for love.
2. A Series Of Unfortunate Events – The Quagmire Parents
It’s not easy for a live action telling of a novelization to confuse and bewilder its former readers, but A Series of Unfortunate Events pulled it off perfectly. Throughout the program, even the most die-hard readers were made to believe that somehow the Baudelaire’s parents had made it out alive, and were searching for their lost children. Of course readers assumed they would die at the hands of Olaf long before they would meet their kids, but they were not prepared for the real twist of the season.
In the morose climax of the seventh episode of the first season, the Baudelaires (and the viewers) are made to believe that on the other side of The Very Fancy Door would be their parents, with open arms and wide smiles, but of course this was not the case.
It turns out that the parents we believed to be the Baudelaires were actually the Quagmires, and by the last episode of the season, we find out that they also meet a tragic demise, leaving their triplets orphaned alongside the children we love so dearly.
1. House Of Cards – Zoe Barnes
This entry is easily the most shocking death in any Netflix Original Series. Nobody saw it coming, it was stunningly abrupt, and it took Frank to a depth that we thought not possible for his character.
Zoe Barnes was the hard-hitting reporter-turned-insider for Frank Underwood, who exchanged sex and information for more powerful information, and Kate Mara turned in a performance that even rivaled the likes of Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.
House of Cards proved to be a show that was so deeply grounded in reality that the audience didn’t believe something so immediate and spontaneous was likely to occur while Frank was occupying our television screen. Of course, we now know that Frank is willing to do anything necessary to further his political career, before Zoe’s death, we thought that even Frank had a limit. We were wrong… we were dead wrong.
Are there any shocking deaths that we missed? Do you have any particular favorites? Let us know in the comments below.
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