Thank you 2016, please turn off the lights on your way out. In a year which has claimed the good and the greats, who the hell would want to be a celebrity this year? However, while we have said goodbye to R2-D2, Professor Snape, and Willy Wonka in real life, it has also been a big year for fictional character deaths.
From The Walking Dead to Stranger Things, we have been on an emotional roller coaster as some of our favorite shows and films have tried to match the Grim Reaper's body count. I'll "hold the door" as we look back over the year and just who had the most emotional on-screen death.
Let's check out the Top 15 candidates — as voted for by you!
15. Kate Beckinsale's Career Choices - 'Underworld: Blood Wars'
Oh Kate, you are in serious danger of Brendan Fraser-ing yourself. Clearly milking that Underworld cash cow for all it is worth, does anyone really want a fifth Underworld film? Did we even ask for the fourth? You have to hand it to Beckinsale though, 13 years after the first #Underworld, she still looks bangin'.
Once tipped to be the next Milla Jovovich, unfortunately Kate Beckinsale's roles in the likes of Van Helsing, Total Recall, and Stonehearst Asylum have all sort of bled into one action mess. It will undoubtedly be playing the vampiric Selene which Kate will be remembered for, but she isn't exactly going to win an Oscar. Where is the Hollywood reinvention, the pushing the envelope, the actresses story arc? Could Underworld: Blood Wars be a film too far and drive a stake into the career of K.B?
14. Leonard Snart - 'Legends of Tomorrow'
It is true that #LegendsofTomorrow may not exactly be groundbreaking television, but it still tackles the ideas between heroes and their everyday lives. There is love and loss, accompanied by the token dramatic death. 2016 was no different when the terrible Time Masters threatened to destroy the timelines of our heroes. Someone would have to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save the team, and it just so happened that it was Wentworth Miller's Captain Cold who showed he didn't have a heart of ice.
Will there ever be a show where Wentworth Miller isn't spectacularly killed off? Probably not. This is the first of two DC deaths on the list, but we all know that comic book deaths don't necessarily mean the end of a character. While showrunners have remained coy on if Snart will return, we have already seen a possible future where he fights alongside Flash and The Atom, so don't feel too left out in the cold.
13. Laurel Lance - 'Arrow'
OK, well this one definitely doesn't really count as she is *spoiler* back and flapping her Black Canary wings (we think). However, that doesn't mean that Katie Cassidy's departure from Season 4 of #Arrow didn't knock the wind out of us. Laurel Lance's death was made even harder to swallow by the fact that the rest of the Arrow team had to stand back and watch helplessly. The cards had been on the table for a while, and all clues pointed to Neal McDonough's Damien Darhk offing Lance, but we still refused to believe it, even as Lance was stabbed over and over again in front of us.
The "name on the grave" storyline was dragged out for far too long, but having Lance's name etched on it was nonetheless powerful. More importantly, Laurel's death, and the events since, marked a turning point in the show — some even say that Arrow is back to being better than ever before!
12. Aunt Bella - 'Hunt For The Wilderpeople'
What a feel good family film! Oh wait, it killed the kindest character right off the bat. Rima Te Wiata's Aunt Bella dominates the first part of #HuntfortheWilderpeople as the loving wife to Sam Neill's cantankerous uncle. Singing songs, showing off her sewing skills, and taking in poor foster boy Ricky Baker, Aunt Bella set the tone as a happy film. It all changes for the outing that titles itself as a comedy (and is hilarious), with a stark contrast when Bella passes away.
Forget the first 20 minutes of settled life in the New Zealand heartland, after Bella dies there is a faked suicide, a burned barn, and a chase through the wilderness — but don't worry, it still remains a belly-aching comedy. Bella's death may have been needed as a plot device to drive the film forward, but having her peacefully pass away is like watching Joyce Summers die in Buffy, it never gets easier!
11. Jesse - 'The Neon Demon'
#TheNeonDemon was disturbing enough as it is, let alone when the lead character is fatally wounded in the final act, eaten, then regurgitated, then eaten again. The death of Elle Fanning's Jesse wasn't necessarily emotional in a sad way, more it left you drained from how emotionally f*cked up it was.
Fanning's Jesse represented the clichéd story of a young girl with so many hopes and dreams, only to be chewed up and spat out by the system. Nicolas Winding Refn's film may have been a clever commentary on society, but seeing the eyeball of Princess Aurora from Maleficent roll out of someone's stomach is something we should never have to see.
10. Wes - 'How To Get Away With Murder'
ABC's popular #Shondaland show used an Arrowverse-style extended mystery of "who doesn't make it out of this season alive?" by keeping the body hidden beneath a sheet. The decision to kill off Alfred Enoch's Wes Gibbins will surely impact the show moving forward, but that is what they always wanted it to do. Creator Peter Nowalk said that having Wes at the heart of the show, then having him die, would affect the group dynamic with the passing of a major player.
Wes's death was one no one saw coming, having previously seen to be alive and kicking earlier in the episode. HTGAWW pulled a full LOST on us and messed with the timelines, showing you should never believe what you see (or don't). The "bigger" big twist was that Wes had died before the house fire, meaning that he was muuuuuurdered by a mystery assailant. Well, the clue is in the show name.
9. Matt - 'American Horror Story: Roanoke'
The sixth season of Ryan Murphy's #AmericanHorrorStory always maintained that there would only be one survivor — you have to admit though, some deaths hurt more than others. As we waited for the cast to be whittled down by those vicious Roanoke ghosts, no one expected that leading lady Shelby would go from scorned lover to murderous mistress. Being killed by the woman you still love is one hell of a way to go, so adios Matt.
Lily Rabe's Shelby shacked up with the actor that played her ex, but it looked like she still harbored feelings for André Holland's Matt. Seeing him doing the nasty with witch Scáthach down in the cellar, Shelby went full bunny boiler and smashed Matt's skull in. The emotional rollercoaster didn't end there though, a gutted Shelby then went and slit her own throat in a great two for the price of one deal.
8. Lexa - 'The 100'
CW's #The100 doesn't do the whole "TV hates lesbians" argument any favors, and the death of Alycia Debnam-Carey's Lexa was one of the most talked-about deaths of the year. Lexa as a character was well received, but her relationship with lead character Clarke was called unnecessarily tragic and lead to the "bury your gays" debate.
As we entered the third season of the show, and Clarke and Lexa's relationship blossomed, no one expected the leader of the Grounders to bow out in Episode 7. All the more poignant, Lexa was shot by a stray bullet from her second-in-command shortly after she made whoopie with Clarke. It was the typical Scream rule of sex = death, but was there any need to cut their romance so short? For emotional TV deaths of 2016, yes, yes there was.
7. Seok-woo - 'Train To Busan'
An arguably better version of World War Z, #TraintoBusan confined the fast-moving zombie genre to a cross-country train. At the heart of the story was one man's mission to protect his daughter from the ravages of a zombie apocalypse.
While the ending of Train to Busan rode the rails to a typically grim genre ending, getting there was still one hell of a ride. You could have picked Gong Yoo's father as a tragic finale early on, and it was a little cliche to have only the pregnant woman and the little girl make it out alive, but Seok-woo's sacrifice to save the others was still expertly done. The finale shot of a fuzzy flashback, accompanied by his shadow falling off the back of the train was the perfect way to wave goodbye.
6. Barb - Stranger Things
While we are promised that the death of Barbara Holland won't be forgotten in Season 2 of #StrangerThings, we just can't get enough of "Justice For Barb." The frumpy, sweater-wearing, student definitely didn't deserve to be devoured by a Demogorgon, let alone in Episode 3. Barb wasn't your typical boozing, sex-addled teen: Barb had final girl written all over her.
Few characters have had such an impact in such a short space of time than Shannon Purser's Barb. Many of us hoped that somehow she had survived her ordeal to the Upside Down dimension, but alas, someone else will have to wear thick-rimmed spectacles in Season 2. In terms of shock factor, the disappearance of Babs is right up there for feels of 2016.
5. Theresa - 'Westworld'
Gone too soon — poor Theresa Cullen, we hardly knew ya. The chain-smoking power bitch who turned out to be one of the more lovable characters on the wild plains of #Westworld. Spare the finale episode, the first season of Westworld was relatively light on the human body count, that was until Theresa's face met with a breezeblock wall in the close of the seventh episode. The signs were there, Sidse Babett Knudsen was signed up for fewer episodes than the rest of the cast, but I guess we just assumed she was going on holiday.
Theresa clearly got in over her head, outsmarted by ruler of robots and smirker of smirks, Anthony Hopkins's Dr. Robert Ford. If seeing Theresa's grisly goodbye wasn't enough, her death came at the hands of her on-again off-again lover Bernard, who was also dealt the kicker of realizing he was a robot. There was a final cherry on top when Dr. Ford deleted all knowledge of the murder and Bernard and Theresa's relationship from Bernard's memory.
4. Poussey - 'Orange is the New Black'
Netflix's prison drama has always looked at the lighter side of life behind bars, but that doesn't mean that #OrangeistheNewBlack isn't without its heartache. Unlike the UK equivalent Bad Girls, which had character massacres every week, Orange is the New Black has had only a handful of deaths in its four seasons. However, if you thought The 100 was bad for crushing a lesbian romance, OitNB literally squeezed the life out of it.
The death of Poussey was so subtle. There was no big prison riot, just a canteen protest gone wrong, where Samira Wiley's character found herself crushed under a guard. The episode was also interwoven with charming flashbacks to Poussey's life outside the prison. If this had been a show like LOST, you would be forgiven for thinking the Poussey flashbacks were her looking to the afterlife. Given a year that has brought "Black Lives Matter" to the forefront of the news, Poussey's death was a carefully timed social commentary and an emotive reminder that the show isn't all sanitary towel slippers and trips to the commissary.
3. Glenn - 'The Walking Dead'
AMC, you bastards. While audiences had an agonizing summer wait to find out who kissed Negan's baseball bat, the payoff of his two victims was worth it. Not that Abraham's death wasn't also tragic, but it wasn't a patch on the "big" victim of the Lucille incident. #TheWalkingDead teased us for just a little bit that it wouldn't follow the comic books, but in hindsight, we always knew it would be Glenn.
The iconic skull-smashing from Issue 100 of Robert Kirkman's comic played out in scene-for-scene accuracy for the opening episode of the show's seventh season. With a show so packed full of death, it must be hard to make a character's goodbye stand out, however, showrunner Scott Gimple certainly did. We are already seeing the ramifications of Glenn's death, with a hardened Maggie vying to take over The Hilltop. Just as the comics constantly refer to the deceased delivery boy, expect the show to keep paying tribute to Glenn Rhee.
2. Margaery Tyrell - 'Game Of Thrones'
You just keep screaming, "get out, get out." The death of Margaery Tyrell in the sept massacre of #GameofThrones is one that still haunts me now. Of all the waste of life in the show about dragons and ice zombies, why did it have to be Natalie Dormer's buxom beauty? It finally looked like we had a match for Lena Headey's sadistic Cersei, but then Margaery had to go and get herself blown up at the trial of her brother.
As the High Sparrow went up in a blast of green flames, we saw the grim realization in Marge's eyes that her time had come to an end. A skillful queen who was adored by the people and could outsmart her enemies, no one saw Margaery bowing out quite when she did. Moving forward into the final two series, and with a more determined Cersei, it makes sense that Margaery didn't survive, but that doesn't mean we won't keep mourning her.
1. Hodor - 'Game Of Thrones'
If you think the collateral damage of waving goodbye to the Tyrell dynasty was a big one, how about a character that was built for six seasons just for their own death scene. As the bumbling two-syllable giant, Kristian Nairn's Hodor was one of the show's biggest enigmas. Season 6, Episode 5's "The Door" was a tribute of sorts, focussing on how Hodor came to be the lumbering watcher of Bran Stark.
#GameofThrones is known for its shocking deaths and karma of people getting what they deserve, but Hodor was a rare pure sole in the show. There are a lot of people who deserve to die in George R.R. Martin's world, but Hodor was not one of them. The entire character was cleverly crafted around three words which will echo through the TV — "hold, the, door."
It was hard to hold back the emotion as we see a young Hodor undergo his transformation from chubby child to blabbering vegetable, especially when his fateful end was brought about by the boy he was protecting. However, perhaps the most depressing fact was that Hodor's demise revolved around an entire lifetime destined to hold a door shut. Hodor's death will be immortalised as one of television's most upsetting.
Someone pass the tissues!
Get yourself a big mug of mulled wine, a tub of Ben & Jerry's, and watch It's A Wonderful Life to recover from the trauma of our fond farewells and sorrowful swan songs. Here's hoping that 2017 will be more like an episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt than the macabre monstrosity that has been 2016. In the meantime, let's raise a glass to all those we have said goodbye to and remember the good times.
Relive Hodor's goodbye in this moving tribute video, and don't forget our poll below!