TTT: ‘Til Death Do Us Part.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week is an open topic. And I’m afraid I’ve picked a bit of a morbid topic. I read a lot of murder mysteries, so death in books is no stranger to me. However, there are just some deaths that stick with me. Haunting me if you will.

You see, I’ve got three Elizabeth George novels on my shelf, waiting to be read. Her Inspector Lynley novels used to be my go to books. The second I could get my hands on a new Lynley mystery I devoured it. And then came With No One as Witness.

Ms. George warned us – there would be a major character death in this outing. I was prepared. But I wasn’t. About 3/4 of the way through the book, there was a random shooting, not tied to Lynley’s case at all. When this character fell, I closed the book and put it down. I didn’t pick it up to finish reading for another six months.

I’m warming back up to Lynley. It’s taken me a long time to read the two books since the death (I don’t count What Came Before He Shot Her, I just read the end of that one where Scotland Yard comes in). I still order the latest in the series, hoping that once I catch back up these books will still hold the same promise that they used to.

Top Ten Character Deaths (That I Just Can’t Get Over)

Obviously this top ten is SPOILER RIDDEN. If you don’t want spoilers for the books pictured, STOP READING RIGHT NOW. You’ve been warned…



1. Lady Helen LynleyWith No One as Witness by Elizabeth George. Helen and Tommy’s relationship had it’s ups and downs throughout the series. In this 13th outing, they are happily married (finally!), expecting their first child. It was devastating when Lady Helen was the victim of a random shooting. And even worse when Tommy had to make the decision to try and keep her on life support in the hope of saving the baby. In the end, he lost them both. I really put the book down after she was shot and didn’t pick it up for at least six months.

2. Old Dan and Little Ann. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. Honestly, I can’t remember which dog it was that died first. I think Little Ann, and then Old Dan lived longer. What I do remember was reading this book in elementary school and bawling my eyes out. Who kills a dog?! Mr. Rawls, obviously. This was the first book death I had ever read, and it stayed with me. I remember I loved this book but to this day I will never read it again.

3. Fred Weasley. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. There are plenty more characters I could name here, but Fred’s was ultimately the saddest for me. How Jo was able to kill off a Weasley and make it one of the twins, I cannot fathom! At least she let Arthur Weasley live in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. But then because Arthur lived she killed off Lupin and Tonks instead, and that’s really not much better. That whole book was just a bloodbath.

4. Augustus Waters. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. What a plot twist. The kid you assume is okay is the one who really isn’t. Mr. Green was excellent in making me feel the anguish that Hazel did when she lost Augustus. So sad.

5. Beth March. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The sweet, quiet supportive sister who loved to play the piano. Beth’s loss was felt by all the sisters. A few years ago I saw the musical Little Women and her death was a heart breaker in that, too.

At the moment, I can only think of five books which dug deep into my psyche and stayed there. So…

Movie Bonus!

I can actually think of a TON of movie deaths, but I will just keep my top five. And I am limiting it to movies and not TV shows to keep the list down as well. Some TV producers LOVE to kill off characters.


1. Bambi’s Mother. Bambi. Thanks a lot, Disney. (I could name a TON of Disney films here. Old Yeller, The Lion King, Up, I could keep going. I just picked Bambi because it was the first one I happened to experience. Also to this day I will not touch venison.)

2. Po’s Mother. Kung Fu Panda 2. My youngest son must have been about four when we went to see this film. Let me tell you, I will never forget the uncontrollable sobs my little guy had as he watched the fate of Po’s mother, leaving her baby all alone and running into the woods to be killed by wolves. And his little voice asking me “What happened to his mother? Is she alright?” Thanks, Dreamworks.

3. Shelby Eatenton Latcherie. Steel Magnolias. I haven’t seen this in forever, but what a great film. Such a tear jerker.

4. Fantine/Gavroche/Enjolras. Les Miserables. I love, love, love the stage production of this. I cry EVERY time I see it. The movie isn’t quite as good, but I still cried. A lot.

5. TonyWest Side Story. A local theater had a showing of West Side Story on the big screen when I was about 18. I went with my dad to see it. I love musicals, and he loved West Side Story, so I knew it would be great. What I didn’t know was that musicals could be sad. Up to this point, all the musicals I had ever watched ended on a happy, upbeat vibe. Not West Side Story. RIP Tony.

Whew. We made it! What character deaths have stayed with you over the years? And please link up to your own TTT, after this Debbie Downer post I could use a lift. 😉

18 thoughts on “TTT: ‘Til Death Do Us Part.

  1. Have you ever read or seen Ordinary People? That one stuck with me a long time not so much because of the deaths (the main, plot-driving one before the book even starts) but because of the surviving brother’s issues with living after that point. Deeply touching.

    For years I wouldn’t read anything or watch anything with animals in it because of a fear they would be hurt or killed. Now I wonder if Red Fern was behind it! For me, Cedric was a bigger shock than Fred in the HP series because I really didn’t think she would *go there* with a student – until she did. After that I was suspicious of EVERY character getting killed off at all times and hated most of them.

    Augustus Waters took me right back to a loss of my own. I can, unfortunately, tell you that much of the last part of that book rang absolutely true.

    Beth March – again, I couldn’t really believe that happened when I first read it. Then, every time I read it again (and definitely when I saw the movie) I would get to the part where Beth gets better and think “Wow, I really misremembered this!” (or, for the movie, “they really screwed that up!”) and then a little further along – oh, right, nope, nope, nope.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess you didn’t realize that West Side Story was a Romeo & Juliet retelling before you saw it, huh? 😉

    I used to love to cry and would re-read death scenes on purpose (weird morbid teenage phase). I remember re-reading A Summer to Die, The Outsiders, and Anne of Green Gables ALL the time.

    My husband gets really mad about Bambi’s mother’s death because he says it gives people a horrible misconception about hunting. It’s actually illegal to hunt does when they are pregnant or have fawns.


  3. I saw Bambi once as a child and I’ve never been able to see it again. I was completely traumatized by Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller. Out of all the horrible deaths in the Harry Potter series, the death of Sirius affected me the most. I cried so much I gave myself a wicked case of the hiccups! My husband took the book away from me and wouldn’t let me start reading again until I had calmed down. Unfortunately by that time I had also given myself a migraine so I couldn’t pick the book up until the next day. 😦


  4. Great topic choice! One death that stands out to me was Granny Weatherwax’s, from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. I actually teared up when it happened!


  5. I’m the same way about Where The Red fern Grows- had a big impact on me as a kid when the dogs died. We read it in elementary school too (same with Old Yeller). I wouldn’t re- read either one! I got sad when Charlotte died too in Charlotte’s Web… and I remember being embarrassed at the time because I didn’t think it was a “guy” book. Silly I know… books are books. Glad I read it now.


  6. Great list! I also cried as a kid from Where the Red Fern Grows. I don’t remember the story anymore, but I still remember how it made me feel. The Fault in Our Stars was another one that had me crying like a crazy person. In public. As for HP, Fred was bad, but the one that tore me up the most was Hedwig.


  7. Well… Spoiler alerts!! 😛 I’m totally just kidding!

    I read Where the Red Fern Grows in middle school and loved it so much. That, Flowers for Algernon, and Tuck Everlasting are probably MG reads I’ll never forget. Thanks for sharing this list, Kristi!


  8. Morbid but awesome topic! I think the most recent heartbreaker was Gus McCrae in Lonesome Dove. Such a fantastic book but I don’t think I can read the sequel without Gus. Les Miserables is a total killer – I ball my eyes out every time I see it.


  9. Awesome topic. Thanks for making me cry over my coffee! 🙂 Beth March just devastated me as a kid. (And did you ever see the Friends episode where Joey reads Little Women? It’s a classic.) Fred Weasley… just tear my heart out. But then again, so many of the HP deaths killed me — Sirius, Remus, Tonks, Snape, Dumbledore. Wow, J K Rowling is mean!


  10. Where the Red Fern Grows destroyed me as a kid. A Dog Called Kitty did as well, for the same reason. I think it got me even more because I didn’t see it coming, whereas I had a pretty good idea of what happened going into WtRFG.

    For HP, Fred’s death affected me the most as well. Sirius and Dumbledore I expected, but I couldn’t conceive of the twins being divided like that. It still hurts. *sniffle*


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