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 Lynley. With 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…
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. Tony. West 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. 😉