Skip To Content

    19 Characters Whose Deaths Broke People's Hearts Into A Million Little Pieces

    I'm not crying. You're crying.

    Recently, Reddit user squeezeday posed the question: "Which character death hit you differently, and why?" Here are some of the heartbreaking responses:

    Warning: Some of these moments include violent deaths, and there are major spoilers ahead!

    1. Rue from The Hunger Games

    Rue looking up at Katniss as she dies

    "Rue getting speared and having Katniss sing to her. The 12-year-old me couldn’t handle that trauma."


    2. Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter

    Cedric Diggory holding his wand
    Warner Bros. /Courtesy Everett Collection

    "This one gets me more now than when I first saw it. Then, as probably a lot of people do on their first read/watch, I looked at it from the perspective of Harry. His friend died needlessly, and it hurt.

    Now, older and a father, I can’t help but look at it from Cedric’s dad’s perspective: proud and supportive of the man his son is growing into. And it’s all taken away in that horrid moment that they Apparate back."


    3. Opie from Sons of Anarchy

    Opie in a prison uniform
    Prashant Gupta / FX / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "Effing devastating. I'm a grown-ass man, and I cried like a baby that episode. I even almost refused to watch after that...almost!"


    4. Ellie from Up

    Ellie and Carl side by side grinning

    "Up's intro sequence was so beautiful: It told the story of a couple's life together. Real life with all of the difficulty and broken dreams along with it. And it shows the deep and incredible loss Carl felt with her death. This short sequence imbues the film with a deeper sense of meaning, using almost no words at all, and gives Carl a profound gravitas you cannot find in many other films."


    5. Ben Hargreeves from The Umbrella Academy

    Ben asking his sister to hug him as he goes

    "The 'Can you hug me as I go?' was sad AF. Ben was starting to become my favorite character on the show and I was certain none of them were gonna die because of how Allison survived in Season 1. But also because Ben was already dead."


    6. Rosie from Jojo Rabbit

    Rosie talking to her son, and then Jojo hugging Rosie's shoes
    Searchlight Pictures

    "It took me a while to realize why Jojo was crying about the hanging victim he'd bumped into... and then it fucking hit me. That one was absolutely brutal."


    7. John Coffey from The Green Mile

    John Coffey looking up
    Warner Bros./ Courtesy Everett Collection

    "I’m a grown man, and his death makes me ugly-cry every damn time. Too much time thinking about it makes me tear up."


    8. Legion from Mass Effect 3

    Legion talking about sacrificing itself
    BioWare/ Electronic Arts/

    "Legion dying hurt — a lot — but its sacrifice giving true sentience and freedom to the Geth at least made the whole ordeal bittersweet...especially if you convinced the Quarians to cease fire."


    "Legion was my friend, and that unit had a soul."


    9. Brooks from Shawshank Redemption

    Brooks hunched over and wearing a sweater
    Columbia Pictures/ Courtesy Everett Collection

    "It was so sad seeing that old man just trying to be normal but realizing his normal was within the cell walls and prison halls. It really bothered me when he was working at the grocery store, and everyone was bitching at him while he was bagging people’s groceries. It truly goes to show that society will fuck you if you don’t keep up. RIP."


    10. Prim from The Hunger Games

    Katniss yelling her sister's name, and the explosion going off

    "Unlike most character deaths, hers wasn't in the midst of the action/excitement. It was after they'd won. It felt so spiteful and unnecessary. Fuck Coin."


    11. Maes Hughes from Fullmetal Alchemist

    Maes bleeding onto a picture of him and his family, and his daughter telling the men at her father's funeral to stop putting dirt on him

    "First time I ever got truly sad and angry about a fictional character's death. He was the best man."


    "I still cry at the funeral scene when his daughter starts crying and screaming for the men to stop burying him."


    12. Lee from The Walking Dead

    Lee talking on a train
    Telltale Games/

    "When Lee died in The Walking Dead video game... That shit made me cry."


    13. Fred Weasley from Harry Potter

    Fred and George laughing together
    Warner Bros. /Courtesy Everett Collection

    "The twins may have annoyed some people with their pranks, but their ultimate goal in life was to have fun and bring joy to their friends. They were generous and brave and clever and pure. To kill Fred and permanently tear them apart was the WORST! Especially when George had already been injured! You didn’t think they could be at risk anymore now that one of them had gotten hurt. They weren’t on my radar during the Battle of Hogwarts. I remember the moment I read it the first time. I was inconsolable."


    "Fred Weasley was the most devastating death to me. I have a twin sister, so it hit extra hard for me. Picturing life without my twin is not a life at all."


    14. Poussey Washington from Orange Is the New Black

    Poussey trying to help her friend then being pushed onto the floor and accidentally suffocated by the guard

    "I cried for days. I love the character and the actor, and I wanted Poussey to get out of there so much. She really didn't deserve to be in prison. It breaks my heart that she died trying to help her friend. Really shows how many people get lost in the system."


    15. Shireen Baratheon from Game of Thrones

    Shireen screaming while tied to the stake

    “'It will all be over soon, Princess' and the music. Fuck, it makes me want to barf. The series is full of scenes that are truly painful to watch, but the burning of Shireen is the worst."


    "Seeing Davos’s reaction when he realized who had been burned was heartbreaking."


    16. Boromir from The Lord of the Rings

    Aragorn telling Boromir he won't let the White City fall. Boromir calls Aragorn his captain, his brother, his king. Aragorn responds, "Be at peace, Son of Gondor."
    New Line Cinema

    "First time I ever cried during a movie."


    "'I would have followed you, my brother. My captain. My king.' As a kid, Legolas was so cool. As a high school/college kid, Gimli was the party/fun dwarf. As an adult, Boromir. I understand him."


    17. Stanley Mellish from Saving Private Ryan

    Mellish holding his helmet on his head
    DreamWorks/Courtesy Everett Collection

    "It truly captured the brutality of war and the effect it has on individual human beings."


    18. D'Angelo Barksdale from The Wire

    D standing in a leather jacket

    "You spend so much of that season with D as the focus that it's hard not to want a good ending for him, especially once he starts seeing through the bullshit and wanting to get out of the game. But in the end, he gets unceremoniously dropped like a sack of potatoes because all he ever was was just another pawn."


    19. And finally, Marley from Marley and Me

    Marley the dog lying down
    20th Century Fox/ Courtesy Everett Collection

    "I got this movie and thought Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, a comedy! Needless to say, when Marley died, I cried so hard that I had snot coming out my nose."


    Which character's death broke your heart into a million pieces? Let me know in the comments below!