To Kill or Not to Kill? – Editor vs Editor


Sports Editor

Mark Sloan: Plastic Surgeon “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 2-9

During the season eight finale of “Grey’s Anatomy”, viewers watched as Shonda Rhimes, the creator of the ABC hit, killed two main characters and kicked another off the show. 

The two characters killed in the episode had been on the show for seven seasons, and both deaths devastated fans.

Although killing off characters has become popular in television, apparent in shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Walking Dead,” many times this tactic is overused and applied arbitrarily. 

For example, the actors of both the characters killed off by Rhimes decided to move onto other things in their acting careers. 

However, instead of having the characters leave the show in a happy way, both characters were killed as a result of a heart-wrenching plane crash.

With the multitude of television shows airing today, writers attempting to establish a captivating story line that keeps viewers watching and on the edge of their seats must face major difficulty. 

However, killing a character causes viewers, especially those in love with the deceased character, to cease watching. Fans of television shows fall for these characters and can devote hours to writing stories known as fan fiction and creating entire blogs about them.  

One aspect of removing a character from the show presents a difficult problem: the character can never, ever, ever return to the show, unless as an angel or flashback of some sort. 

If a character moves to a different town or gets another job, he or she can return for special appearances. Even if the character doesn’t return, the exit gives the fans the peace of mind that their beloved character lives peacefully somewhere else. 

Killing off characters can sometimes be excellent strategy, but it is often overused and can completely destroy a storyline.




Gabriel: Archangel “Supernatural” Season 2-5

Character deaths are a touchy subject for fans of a series. Whenever a favorite character is killed off, fans tend to riot – they cry, they write lengthy blog posts, and they cry some more. 

While many fans would argue that character deaths are never okay, there are appropriate times and places for them, and believe it or not, they happen for more reasons than emotional torment.

Oftentimes, character deaths make audiences love the characters more. Everyone hated Severus Snape from the “Harry Potter” series – until he died; then the fans immediately loved him. 

If a character is loved before his or her death, the death only serves to increase the fans’ love, as is the case with the angels Gabriel, Balthazar and Samandriel in the CW’s series “Supernatural.” 

These character deaths in particular have resulted in art pieces, short stories and entire blogs dedicated to the characters and to keeping up hope that they will return.

In certain media, character deaths provide an opportunity for said character to come back and be even better and more popular than they were before. 

In the case of Jason Todd, one of the many Robins in the “Batman” franchise, fans voted to kill him off, but he came back nearly twenty years later as the Red Hood, who is now one of DC’s most popular and beloved characters. 

While some character deaths happen only to give angst to the main character, they are often necessary to the plot of a story. 

The numerous deaths in AMC’s “The Walking Dead” advance the plot and develop characters, specifically the recent death of Lori Grimes, who was once thought to be a key player in the series. 

With her gone, the audience is rid of a character they despised, and they also get to see Rick Grimes, the show’s main character, descend further into madness.

As sad and upsetting as it is to see your favorite character killed by the writers, it brings the fans together in their distress, advances plot and character developments, and can make characters even better and more loved than they were before their deaths.