There is something about books and movies that makes us really invested in their characters. Like really invested. Whatever the reason, each of us have that handful of fictional deaths that make us tear up even years later.
5 – Erik Killmonger (Black Panther)
Whether or not you were cheering for Killmonger’s success, you were probably shocked by his death. He spends the entirety of the movie striving to gain control of Wakanda for its unrivaled power in technology in order to start a revolution. His last line stays with each audience member, “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than bondage.”
4 – Fred Weasley (Harry Potter)
One of Harry Potter’s most beloved characters meets his end during the Battle of Hogwarts. Not only does his death stay with us long after the last movie hit theatres because of his untimely death, but also because of his separation from his twin brother, George. J.K. Rowling even had the jokester character die with a smile on his face to further the need for replacement book copies when the originals became too tear-stained.
3 – Rue (The Hunger Games)
Rue was the youngest participant of the 74th Hunger Games. Taken under Katniss’s wing, we as readers learn about this young character from the protagonist’s post of view. We quickly learn that she is only 12-years-old, the same age as Katniss’s sister, Primrose. Katniss is so struck by Rue’s death that she places flowers around the body of her friend. She sings a song repeated by the mockingjay that haunts not only the remainder of the series but our dreams as well.
2- Jack (Titanic)
We have said it once. We will say it again. Move over, Rose, you floating-rubble hog.
1- Mufasa (The Lion King)
The Lion King was probably the movie that drove your parents crazy. You may have broken the VHS and cried until it was replaced. Any true ‘90s kid can testify that you hid behind your security blanket as Simba yelled for his father to wake up. This fictional death definitely deserves its number one spot as most traumatic.