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Character Deaths – I Love ’em

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I Love It When Characters Die

Yup, I have to admit it, I do. I just realized this the other day actually, when reading a mini-review, that I really like it when characters die. Granted, I want it to be all spectacular and feels creating, but I LOVE those feels! I love it when an author takes away my safety blanket and shows me that no one is safe. It makes the action more palpable and the relief when other characters do make it out of a sticky situation so much sweeter. I definitely sob like a baby though….

Crying_icecream_eating

Mmm ice cream

These thoughts have been brewing for a bit due to the Allegiant reaction. I don’t know what the big thing is that everyone is upset about, but I’ve been playing a game with myself in placing bets on what I think it is. The death of a beloved character seems like to factor in to it. I’ve also been trying to decide what reaction I’ll have when I have a chance to read it. If I’m right about the character death, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be one of the lovers of Allegiant. (Note: please don’t post spoilers in the comments!!!!)

When authors end trilogies or longer length books without anyone dying, I’m actually kind of disappointed. Given the situations that our beloved characters end up in, it’s pretty darn unlikely that NO ONE would die. Sure, our MC probably shouldn’t die (until like the very very end I guess), since that makes continuing the story a bit awkward, but if none of MC’s friends die either, I’m less likely to LOVE the book. A book (especially middle-grade) can make up for this lack of injury and death with clever humor, setting a very different tone that I also love, but otherwise the book tends to taste bland to me.

Even with series that I absolutely love, and characters that I absolutely love (I’m looking at you Mockingjay), the death of a character is unlikely to ever anger me. Let’s be honest, there is a lot of death in Mockingjay, but I liked it more for all of them to be honest. I love that Collins was able to make me love these characters so much that their deaths left a significant impact on my mind. I’ve seen a lot of people express anger at certain deaths, but I can’t really tell if that is anger in a “omg I love this book so much that I am consumed with feelings that I would feel if it was real” kind of way or in a “I sincerely think the book would have been better without that event” kind of way. Until this point, I’ve been too afraid to ask because I don’t want people to get mad at me for delighting in the death of their favorite characters…. So please don’t hate me! I delight because I loved them!

This whole thought process has ended up with me looking at vague hints in reviews and hoping that the reviewer is referring to an astonishing and emotion-filled character death. Am I weird that I like when a book makes me sad? Perhaps my over-consumption of YA has driven me to crave grittier books that stand out from the crowd? How do you feel about character deaths in general and specific ones that were especially emotionally jarring (though let’s be vague about who dies please, no spoilers!) ? If you are a reader who gets angry at some character deaths, which kind of anger is it?

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2013 – 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. I love this post! I hadn’t even thought about HOW I felt about character deaths, instead just kind of focusing on ‘OW IT HURTS CURSE THIS AUTHOR GAH MUCH PAIN OW OW’ so I’m glad you brought it up! I respect authors who can pull of killing a character. I mean, it has to be for a good REASON – you can’t just do it because you want to up the angst, you know? In cases like that, the book’s probably better off without it. But when it’s important and necessary, and it adds to the story, then by all means, I give said writer permission to rip my heart out.

    But I can’t deny that in the moment, it is the most painful thing to have to grow though; to be lured into loving someone, and then having to deal with the aftermath… But I mean, it’s for experiences like that that we read books in the first place, right? To be pulled into the story.

    Anyway, great post! xo
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    • Definitely needs to be for a good reason! But that’s it exactly, in the end I love being pulled into a story that powerfully.

  2. I actually like it when characters die, it irritates me when no one ends up dying and the story ties up too neatly. Obviously I get sad (and maybe slightly crazy) when one of my favorite characters ends up dying but I usually don’t hold it against the author because it also gives me the thrill of knowing how special that character was and how sad it made me that they died.

    I wasn’t the biggest fan of Divergent series (hides from rabid fangirls) but I actually read every book and it actually made me happy. Not that I’m a saddist or anything but I didn’t like this person all that much and what happened to them actually made me like them better for such a long reason that would not only make this comment longer than I wanted it to but it would include so much spoilerage XD I was okay with the ending :)….it was actually the only book I came close to remotely liking.

    But what irks me the most is fake deaths, you move in from the deceased character and then BAM turns out they cheated death -_-

    • Exactly! If an author can get me to feel that way, that’s a pretty awesome thing!

      Omg, so agreed about fake deaths. There is one series that comes to mind as the biggest offender of this, I was thrilled when someone died and then the next book they came back at the end, ARGH! Especially since I wasn’t the biggest fan >.>

  3. I’m so glad you feel this way, because I’ve always felt this way too! For me, especially in a drawn-out trilogy, character death(s) are so important–when they’re done right, of course. When they’re done purely for shock value, I hate it (it feels like a cheap way to create drama). But when the death has significance, when it’s a sacrifice for the greater good, I love it. I think it shows character growth in many cases, and I love seeing how the surviving characters react. Character deaths are seriously the best (in the most non-morbid way!). Haha.

    • Haha, whew, I’m glad I’m not the only one! Yes, exactly, when well done, I love the sacrifice for the greater good element *sniffles*

  4. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads says:

    I can’t wait to see what you think of Allegiant. I was one of the people who loved the ending..lol

    For the most part, I’m okay with character deaths, as long as they are well justified. Meaningless deaths don’t really do it for me BUT if it’s a war, like the battle in HP and no one on the good side dies? That would have been unbelievable. So even though I wished certain characters didn’t die, it would have been worse had none of them died.

    As for authors like GRRM, I can’t believe he can still shock me with a death.. I mean, he kills off everyone and anyone..lol. From reading the comments above, what was the maiming you were talking about? Tyrion? Theon? Or is it in A Dance of Dragons? Or do you mean Ned in the first book?..lol So confused!

    Great topic!

    • Yup, agreed, when there is war going on, meaningless death almost seems necessary to show readers that it’s really a war. I’m not a fan of the good guys being watched over and protected and therefore not dying *sigh*

      There was a hand that was removed >.> And that sort of thing grosses me out a lot…..

  5. Truly well said Anya! I know what you mean, after being to hell and back with a set of beloved characters, it seems unlikely that none of them would die. Sure sometimes when reading it feels cruel and unfair, but life is rarely fair and to be honest, when a book can bring on the intense feels, it’s likely to become a favorite. When every single characters lives, I feel cheated. It’s not realistic and it comes off like those blockbuster Hollywood movies…

    PS-I’ve been meaning to tweet you about not being able to comment on my blog awhile back. I have NO clue what caused that but I’m glad it seems to be fixed (cause I sure didn’t know what to do!). No one else mentioned the issue but I hope it was only random. I hate when people take the time to visit and something frustrating like that happens! Thank you for your patience & return visit ♥
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    • Thanks :D Exactly! Those movies where you know everything will be resolved because it’s Hollywood, gah.

      It seemed like some widget was making the page refresh after a couple of minutes or something strange like that, all better though <3

  6. I like character death when it’s realistic and there’s a reason for them dying. Half of the deaths in Mockingjay were either easily avoided and the characters went OOC in order to put themselves in the line of fire, or else pretty much just in there to tug at a reader’s heartstrings, and actually by the end it got a little stale. So I like them when there’s a reason beyond, “I haven’t made anyone die in a while; who’s next on the chopping block?”

    • Fair enough! I can’t think of any deaths in Mockingjay that stand out in that way to me, hint at the situation to jog my memory?

  7. Hmm…this is quite the interesting opinion. On the one hand, I totally get your reasoning for why you love character deaths. Who doesn’t still want a sense of realism in the stories they read (even works of genre fiction)? But I think that sense of realism and grittiness can be achieved without major character deaths. In some ways, I think that when authors choose to allow major characters to die, it’s a sort of cop-out. It makes the resolution so much easier, because the characters aren’t forced to deal with the implications of their actions (and those burdens can definitely be hard to bear). I think Collins ended Mockingjay perfectly, but I cannot say the same about Allegiant.
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    • I must admit that severe injury is actually way harder for me to deal with than death for some reason, so a certain horrible maiming that happened in SoIaF kind of freaked me out majorly…. Interesting to hear that you liked Mockingjay but not Allegiant, that does give me pause… I’ll have to see!

      • I don’t just mean physical consequences. Psychological and emotional trauma can be difficult to handle at times, but that’s kind of how it should be in my mind. I know what you’re talking about with ASoIaF series, but I can understand GRRM’s logic behind that. It becomes a major point in that character’s storyline (as well as many others’ stories), and just killing him would not have made sense.
        I honestly don’t think Mockingjay and Allegiant ended super similarly. I mean, there are some basic parallels to be made, but Mockingjay felt much more deliberate and right. I’ll be interested to see what you think of Allegiant though!
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  8. I think my opinion on this one solely depends on WHO dies. HAHA! If it’s a character I love, I just feel cheated and tempted to discontinue a book, but if it’s someone I actually want to die, that’s when I’m all for it XD I am SO scared for Allegiant though. I don’t want ANY of them to fraggin die D:

    • Haha! That’s excellent! I have to admit that I don’t think a character I disliked has ever died in a book, weird huh?

  9. Character deaths make me so so angry. Yes, sometimes it is needed, but I feel that if I invest in a character that will just die, it is hard to hold my attention. I gave up on the Songs of Fire and Ice series because I am tired of watching everyone die away. I slashed my Mockingjay rating because the deaths angered me and left me feeling a bit betrayed. WHen I would read fanfiction, I avoided anything about character deaths.

    I’m a a death weenie.
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  10. For me it is a love/hate relationship with character deaths. At first, I’m all “how could they do this to me??”, but after the initial emotional avalanche is over, I can look back on it and be like “wow, that really made the story and ended it well.”

    This is a really interesting post!

    • I totally hear you! When certain favorite HP characters died, there was a lot of painful emotion, but looking back, I will never forget that moment now!

  11. I understand character deaths. I appreciate them. I even feel that we NEED them. It just has to fit the story. If not, then it doesn’t work. But usually, I’m ok with them.

    • That makes sense :D I agree about the need, even to the point that I think it needs to fit the story otherwise it’s just a cheap trick, haha

  12. This is such an interesting post, Anya. I don’t think I’d say that I *like* character deaths, but they are certainly impactful, and I do tend to love books where important characters die. THE FEELS!!! I think maybe for me, it has something to do with the realistic portrayal of consequences in dangerous times, or with the reasoning a character makes for sacrificing him/herself – which usually means their character-arc is complete and the death doesn’t cut off their development unnecessarily. Senseless character deaths to amp up the main character’s angst really annoy me, but ones with purpose… man. Those are so moving.
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    • The FEELS!!! :D Oo, true about the angst… If a MC is angsty, that would drive me nuts, I do like working through the loss with the MC if they deal with it in a not annoying way though ;-)

  13. I personally hate it when characters die! I’m all happy, all ducks in a roll kinda girl.

  14. Baillie Puckett says:

    For me–I think it really depends on what character dies. I know I’ve read plenty of books where the *right* character dies. But there are some point where I’m reading a book and I just sit there after a death and think: “WHY?” The character was mediocre and nobody liked them anyway. It is not like that death actually made an impact in the storyline. They just killed someone to kill someone.

    But I think my favorite death was–either in Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Redemption, or Sever. Great deaths, and each made me question my own sanity. XD

    • I completely agree with that! Especially when it’s fairly obvious that the author threw in the character just to kill them off later, ugh

  15. This is an interesting post. I don’t think I’ve ever thought of character death like this before, but you do have a point — those feels are part of the visceral connection you have with the book. Those emotions matter; those emotions are real. And if a book can make you feel that way when it takes away the life of one of your favorite characters, even though you’re sad for all the other fictional characters that now exist in a world where that character does not exist, you know that the book is doing something right if it can affect you that much.

    On the other hand, what matters to me most when a character dies is not the feels I get (though I do love loving books to the point that they make me feel things), but how essential that death was to the point of the book. A lot of people hate that JK Rowling didn’t have the “guts” to kill off one of the main three characters, but I love the way she weighed character deaths, really thought about what she was doing before she did it. Sure, some of it was random – they WERE in the middle of a war and there are innocent casualties, unexpected casualties in war all the time. But the very setting – the war – makes those deaths have a point. Those people died fighting to make the Wizarding World a better place. Even with the marauders – Sirius Black was empty without his dead best friends, and while he tried to make a go for it with Harry, there was too much sadness in his life. But I love that he died keeping his godson safe. And that he ended up with James and Lily in the end. I cried for the loss of Teddy’s parents, but I love the parallels with Harry, and I like that Remus and Tonks died together. And Snape and Dumbledore’s deaths killed me. Essential, but painful. And FRED. I will cry for Fred forever.

    But in Mockingjay, a lot of deaths didn’t do much for the plot (FINNICK. PRIM.) and I’m not sure what to do with those. I don’t think I could mourn those properly because it didn’t have that same affect on me. I loved the characters, but at the end of the day, I was left wondering, what was the point?

    I guess I like the JK Rowling approach because in real life, people die all the time, unexpectedly, abruptly, pointlessly. But in fiction, if it’s a character I love, I want it to mean something. I want the death to matter. And if it doesn’t, it makes me more angry than sad, if that makes sense.

    Great discussion!

    • Gah, trying not to start crying reading this comment, so many memories! I agree that the deaths in HP really made the war feel more real and all those people were willing to sacrifice themselves fighting for the world if they needed to.

      I think that that sort of idea is the same for Mockingjay. Prim and Finnick knew the risks they were taking and were willing to take them because the rebellion was more important than themselves. That willingness to sacrifice made real hits me hard. I have read that Collins kind of wanted you to wonder what the point of all the meaningless death in war is, so perhaps that was a success?

      In any case, makes total sense and thank you so much for commenting!

  16. I appreciate character deaths when it suits the story. I know this isn’t a YA book, but an anime that left a profound impact on me was Code Geass. The main character dies to create a better future, which sounds cliched, admittedly, but he arranges his death to be a day of celebration. It was somewhat saddening to see such a complex antihero die; however, the emotional payoff was amazing!!

    Unfortunately, I don’t see Allegiant’s ending following the same path. Veronica Roth obviously planned this ending from the beginning of writing Allegiant, but in order to have the death happen she destroyed much the plot and many of the characters. Everything felt so elementary, so when the climax came I didn’t really feel anything or care anymore. That Allegiant ended so disappointingly is depressing because Divergent had potential to go far.

    • No worries, I’m not a YA only blogger anyway ;-) That sounds like a great example of character death adding to the story!

      Fair enough, I’ve heard such mixed things, so I’m just going to have to read it and decide for myself ;-)

  17. See I’m totally with you on the character deaths. I love it when this happens because its so real and true to what would likely happen. Yes, I get that we’re following around a hero and that they are telling their story – but DUDE! HEROES DIE OK! Why not go out with a blaze of glory. Yes I love the stories where things turn out great and they go off to live happily every after – but I don’t want all of my books to end that way – that would be ridiculous and like eating the same meal every day, all day, for the rest of my fracking life…and I just can’t have that. I don’t get why people get so angry when a character dies. They are so shocked like “BUT YOU”VE BETRAYED ME!” and killed off their favorite character. I applaud authors when they have the moxy to kill off a character. I keep hearing all sorts of bad things about Allegiant too. Personally I’m not really in a rush to read the trilogy anyhow haha the first book has been on my shelf since release and I just don’t feel pressed to read it. But I’m glad that its done now so when I finally do I can devour in like 3 days. (If I even like it hehe)
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    • Exactly! It gets bland, haha. I definitely don’t understand the betrayal element at all, I mean, authors are telling the story and make no guarantees!

  18. I’m totally with you, Anya. And now that you mention this in regards to Allegiant possibilities, I am even more keen to start reading it SOON!

    To be honest, I’m almost kind of disappointed when a series ends with no significant deaths. And each time I read a part where the MC’s (or a significant character’s) life is threatened, I hope for them to die — especially if I dislike them. And it’s not that I have these murders intents, it’s just that it’s so uncommon that their death would really come as a surprise. (This is one reason I LOVED a certain book so much, maybe you know which one I’m talking about? Nudge nudge??)

    You want to know a secret? I have always kind of wished for a series where at some point the MC dies and you KNOW they’re dead and gone for good because the series continues with a different character’s POV. And then maybe THAT character dies, and the cycle continues. Why does nobody want to do that? :P
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    • Right?? As soon as my friend confirmed that someone dies and that’s what everyone was angry about, I was like “moving it up the TBR pile :D”

      Haha, I don’t think I’ve run into many characters I dislike to the point of hoping they’ll die, though I do know I was annoyed with characters, but perhaps they were never in obvious danger so I didn’t get to root for that?

      Crap, my spidey-senses are failing me, can I get a hint? >.>

      Oo, that sounds awesome! Then we would never be able to trust that anyone survived :D Or a multiple POV book with only a couple of characters narrating but a couple of them die off :D

  19. My husband made a comment the other day that it was nice to see me finishing a book without crying (I was finishing Crown of Midnight). He was being funny, but I do cry at a lot over character deaths, and I am okay with that because that means the book is so well crafted, the characters so wonderful, that I weep over the loss of them. Sometimes I do get angry, but I try to trust that the author has a good reason and will reveal it. And sometimes they don’t and I just agree to disagree with the author. Gayle Forman actually wrote an awesome blog on her tumblr about this; life is messy and not perfect and sometimes books need to be a reflection of that. So that’s why I am okay with character deaths, because death is a part of life.

    • I like that point from Gayle a lot, and I totally hear you about crying so much over books! Apparently Champion makes you cry in the first 50 pages, haha.

  20. I think of character deaths the same way I feel about nudity in Hollywood. I’m fine if it adds something to the story but if there is killing/exposure just because you can than I get a little annoyed.
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    • Oo, that’s a good point! And I completely agree, even GRRM’s Red Wedding is getting to be a little bit too much for me since it didn’t seem all that necessary!

  21. I think each to his own however I prefer a HEA. I don’t mind when characters die though. It just really depends on the book, character and situation. I will agree though it does make an impact when a major character dies which does seem to make the book more memorable.

  22. I love when characters die! It’s just so unexpected and emotional. I always feel like the author is brave and strong and is bucking tradition when they kill off beloved characters. It’s something that really captures me as a reader, and even if it makes me sad or angry or unbelieving, it’s the power of that emotion that makes it great.
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    • Exactly, when characters die and the writer didn’t develop them enough for me to care, meh, but when I have a deep emotional response to those deaths, that really says something about the writer’s skill!

  23. I love this post. I love character deaths, too.
    To be honest, I didn’t care for the Harry Potter books as a kid and I stopped after book 3. It wasn’t until years later when someone was telling me that it got crazy and people died that my interest was piqued. Seriously, the idea that major characters died made me look at the book seriously.
    I’m with you. Completely.
    Sure, it’s nice when main characters narrowly avoid deaths and I know a lot of people read to escape and don’t like to feel grief, but if I know a character probably won’t die, or I assume they wont, I’m not as invested.
    I’m one of those people who loves those tragic endings and Red Wedding moments. Others stop reading/watching something over deaths of people they love, but I say it takes a great author to have guts and also get me to care enough about the characters that makes their death so horrible.
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    • Yey! I’m glad I’m not psycho :D Oo yes, those deaths in HP definitely solidified the series love for me. I don’t plan to reread the first books ever since I’m kind of meh about them, it’s only the later books that I love with all my heart.

      Exactly, the chance of death really ups my investment in the books. I so desire to really feel connected to books because they really make me fear for the characters’ lives!

  24. I’m definitely a reader who gets angry about character deaths, especially when I feel like it could easily have been avoided (either by the characters not being stupid or by the author doing something else because the plot wasn’t impacted by the character’s death). There are a very, very few books which have made me sad and which I also love, but for the most part, I think my reading is very escapist and I prefer an all around happy ending with no major character deaths :)

    • Hehe, fair enough! What about noble sacrifices? How do you feel about those deaths?

      • Hmm, I would say acceptable as long as they don’t break the rule about being avoidable, haha. It is one of my least favorite things in a book when it seems like all of the characters could get away best together but someone insists on nobly sacrificing themselves anyway. But if it’s called for, it can be a touching moment when I share your enjoyment of a book making feel something.

  25. I’m very unsure whether I like when characters die. I think a big part of that is because I haven’t read a lot of YA books with character deaths. (Yeah, Hunger Games has a lot of deaths, but I have never read it.) It’s certainly heart-wrenching to see beloved characters go.

    I do agree that characters should die, depending on the situation, especially in a dystopian book or in a dangerous situation that there is absolutely no way out. However, I do feel hesitant about it because it’s sometimes a copout or unnecessary. I want their death to mean something and if there’s no impact on the other characters, I’d find myself sideeying the story.
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  26. Not only do character deaths add realism to the books for me, they also provide a much needed source of catharsis. Though in many cases I use books as escapism, using the deaths as a conduit for other feelings can be really soothing in the end. I don’t know why, but even though such deaths are heart-breaking, getting the feelings out helps a lot. ^_~

  27. You know what I hate even more?

    When a character dies and he/she returns from the dead.

    LAME. Although character deaths always make me want to weep and cry in a whole, I do get that sometimes it’s needed for the story line. It makes it realistic and let’s face it, it’s great when a book give you all these feelings :D
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  28. I actually think an author who is willing to kill of beloved characters will write a better book. But it still has to be done well, with respect for the characters. One of the best authors at this, obviously, is J.K. Rowling (all the feels for those deaths!). I love when an author has the guts to kill off a character, especially when they’re in a world filled with danger. I’m really curious though, obviously you think someone died in Allegiant, can I ask who you think dies?
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    • Yes! Yes, this exactly! Omg HP *sniffles* Haha, I am not willing to speculate I’m afraid, I’ve purposefully been not letting myself ponder ;-)

  29. I love your angle and I agree with it. I was one of the Allegiant lovers. I love that Roth took a chance and did what she felt was necessary for her to close her story. IMO critics will be critics and, while it might affect book sales, if the author is not true to what they believe then they are selling out to please the masses and that just makes me sad. I hope you enjoy this book when you do read it. And I agree that it’s unrealistic to expect all books to always have a HEA. It makes no sense, especially in certain genres (such as dystopia or thrillers) where part of what you see is death and destruction. Sometimes a main character must perish for the others to move on and grow. If it’s always HEA, then I feel let down.
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    • Completely agreed! I always want authors to write what is true for them, though I understand that people also feel how they feel about books, haha. I apparently have developed a grittier preference as I’ve been reading this year, weird!

  30. I don’t mind when character die if it is appropriate to the story. When it is just done for “shock” factor then I am not a fan of it. It needs to serve a purpose to the lead characters. It needs to be a spring board on to something more emotional or action taking.
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  31. kelpeterson says:

    It definitely depends on the character and the way the death is handled/comes about. If it’s makes sense and fits the story well, okay; if not, I call bad/lazy writing.

    In general, if a character is really annoying me and I want him/her to die, s/he will survive to the very end. The ones you want dead live and the ones you want to know more about or see get a bigger role die; I hate it when that is the case.

    I also roll my eyes when, against unbelievable odds, everyone survives an epic quest. Even Tolkien killed off a member of the Fellowship. (Granted, the rest all survived ridiculous circumstances after, but the point stands.) ;)

    • Agreed that some deaths come off as bad or lazy writing! Especially if a “cute” character pops up just to be killed to make us hate the villain, just such a cheap trick.

      Exactly, I hate the trend of everyone surviving unbelievable odds! I stop caring about action scenes because I know everyone will be fine!

  32. Most character deaths don’t affect me. So many are easy To spot. Either they come so often you stop caring, or you never really cared about the character at all.

    It says something about GRRM that he could have such a high body count and yet still manage to SHOCK me not once, but twice.
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    • I do dislike it when a character is created just to be killed, which seems to be happening in YA books more lately, ugh.

      For the Red Wedding, I suppose I was surprised that such central characters were offed, since it seemed like he would use them for plotlines far into the series!

  33. I don’t mind character deaths – I don’t love them but I don’t go all ‘I hate this author’ either. I agree with you that some deaths make the story more realistic. The whole universe of most book series is such that the death of someone is inevitable – maybe even the main character, if it leaves a profound impact on the plotline of the story. Anyway, I feel the story always belongs to the author first and then to us readers – we should let them tell their story and let them end it how they want to end it. If there is a backlash on an author because he/she ended the story in a certain way, then aren’t we just stifling their creativity. About the recent Allegiant drama, well – if G R R Martin can do a Red Wedding, then what is the issue here, I can’t understand! It’s a fictional story – enjoy it!

    • I suspect that Allegiant has a slightly different audience than GRRM so those of us who read both are more ready for it ;-) I agree though, if an author has a certain ending in their head and wants to write that ending, that’s fine with me!

      • Even if you consider the audience angle, it is not middle grade so it is fine. It’s not like adult literature got the sole privilege of offing characters. Realistically speaking, it is impossible for a character to not die in such a dangerous world and we as readers have to realize that the main character is not immortal (unless it is a vampire/witch/werewolf/god/demigod/other longliving types) and just like real life, where you are the main character of your story, death is inevitable. That being said, the death should also mean something for the story and not just for shock value.

        • So true! It just seems like YA has a bit less death historically ;-) I’m all for meaningful deaths over shock value though, I actually get kind of annoyed when it’s obvious the death is only to be shocking

          • I guess death being such an uncomfortable subject, most authors shy away from it. YA always straddles the line between MG and adult and so yo-yos between what is acceptable at that age.

  34. Characters we don’t think will die – well when they do, it’s so shocking and make me perk up and exclaim and … a lot of other feelings, but I don’t know if I like it either. Really interesting topic because it’s not something I’ve really thought of. I think I’ve only experienced it with the George Martin series.
    Tanya Patrice recently posted…Using Evernote As a Wine Catalog {The Simplest System Ever}My Profile

    • I think part of it for me is that after a character dies, I’m more on the edge of my seat since there isn’t a guarantee anyone else will make it ya know? I like that actual sense of danger from a book :D

  35. I don’t shy away from books where characters die but I am completely the opposite in that it is not something I prefer. I think GRRM’s books in particular, because of their success, have bred a current trend where authors feel like they must kill off characters to be seen as legitimate fiction. It can certainly be emotionally satisfying, in a very sad way, to be pulled into a story and have a character die. Some of my favorites have done just that. But I tend to prefer a ‘happily ever after’ aspect to my genre fiction. I’m just sappy that way.
    Carl V. Anderson recently posted…Lightspeed Issue 42, November 2013My Profile

    • Hehe, GRRM is a bit extreme, especially since things started getting to be violence for violence’s sake. I enjoy deaths especially when the character is making a noble sacrifice *sniffles*

Trackbacks

  1. […] her Feature and Follow.   Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings confesses her true feelings about character deaths (I am giving her an evil glare). Check it out!   Pixie at The Bookaholic is a double hitter this […]

  2. […] on her Feature and Follow. Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings confesses her true feelings about character deaths (I am giving her an evil glare). Check it out! Pixie at The Bookaholic is a double hitter this […]

  3. […] me, then I’m happy to cry; it means that it was a good book ya know? I’m also a huge fan of character deaths if they affect me that much, as we already know ;-). I’m going to try very hard not to write […]

  4. […] we all know, I’m a fan of characters dying in meaningful plot points and Touch of Power doesn’t hold back from those grittier and darker […]

  5. […] Character Deaths: I love ‘em at On Starships and Dragonwings […]

  6. Book Bloggery Week-in-Review (34) says:

    […] Anya says she loves character deaths. […]

  7. Bookish Recap: November 10th – 16th | A Bookish Heart says:

    […] Deaths – Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings explains why she loves character deaths. – Emz @ Icy Cold Reads talks about the good and the bad of character deaths. – Lexxie @ […]

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