We have all been there, 110% emotionally invested in a character and then BAM the author pulls a George R. Martin and kills them shattering our feels into ten thousand little pieces scattered across the floor. Personally, I’m the equivalent of an emotionless robot over here but even I sometimes leak water out of my eyes when one of my darlings is viciously and cruelly stolen from me. So I wanted to ask… Do some character deaths destroy us more than others?
I have a list of 8 character death tropes and the way they affect me emotionally and then I have my first ever poll on this blog (YAY to the birth of polls on Book Enthral!) to poll which death you guys think is the most soul destroying!
The White-Knight Death. When a character, usually an important side character, dies protecting the protagonist. This BREAKS MY ROCK HARD HEART because usually I flipping LOVE the side character!
The Out-Of-The-Blue Death. When a character is killed in a horrible freak accident (car crash, or city under attack from waring nation) and it’s a completely surprise to both your protagonist and yourself and you’re both a sobbing mess on the ground.
The No-Explanation Death. Where the author murders off five or six character all at once, usually happens during a big battle, and the protagonist never actually knows how any of them died so you as the reader never learn either. This one doesn’t break my heart as bad but still I am a massive fan of side characters and to kill off six of them in 20 pages is like a stab through my heart.
The Hero-Rallying Death. This death usually happens at the start of a book, when a side character close to the protagonist is murdered, usually by a corrupt government, and the murder is the catalyst the protagonist needs to get up and start a rebellion! I find this death to be pretty unemotional to me, I never really get to connect to the character so it’s no wound on my heart.
The Treasured-Mentors Death. When a protagonists mentor, who’s usually a very important main role model or parent-type figure for the character, dies. This death doesn’t affect me to much (unless we talk about a specific death in a not-to-be-mentioned-wizarding-world) but your protagonist normally goes through a huge emotional moment.
The We-Know-It’s-Coming Death. Usually predominate in Sic-Lit, when we know a character is going to die (terminal illness, or a story is told in nonlinear timeline) yet the death still hits us right in the feels. I’m usually a mess at these deaths because contemporary writers are pure evil and introduce THE-BEST-CHARACTER-EVER and then rip them away.
The Love-Interest Death. When an author kills off the protagonists love interest, usually at the end of a book after they’ve fallen in love. Okay you want to talk about a death that destroys me, it’s this one! I’m a inconsolable mess after these types of deaths.
The Plot-Twist-Protagonist Death.This is a very rare type of character death but I have read several books featuring it. It is when the protagonist of the story dies in the last 50 or less pages. This death doesn’t really have me crying it more pisses me off – I get so annoyed at the author for having me rout for the character the entire time only to kill them in the end.
There you go!! Eight character deaths and how they affect me! Now it’s your turn to vote! I have no idea if this is going to work (after all it is my first one) but below is a polldaddy, and I’m generally curious as to which character death you find the most soul destroying.
Who did you vote for? Were there any character death tropes I missed out on? Off the top of your head, which character death destroyed you the most?!!! I had to reframe so hard from adding examples into my post so if you want to cry with me about character deaths let me know below.