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Most upsetting character death? *spoilers*

Discussion in 'Booktalk' started by joacqin, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    [​IMG] Or disapearance or somesuch. Characters have a tendency to return after a while (take Gandalf). But which character death has upset you the most?

    Beware for those who may care, there will probably be lots and lots of spoilers in this thread.


    The character death which I found the most upsetting was Whiskeyjack's in Steven Erikson's "A tale of Malazan book of the fallen" series. Not that I was overly sad or anything like that it just felt so pointless and stupid. Here we have a great character who is really coming into his own and then he dies in a way that was so stupid. Note that I do not bash Erikson's writing, it was superb but I atleast was not ready to have Whiskeyjack ripped away from me.

    Martin also has some rather upsetting deaths, the one which touched me the strongest was Ned Stark's because up til then I was not used nor prepared for any major character dying in a fantasy novel. It just came like a shock, all the time you expected something to happen to save him but it never did and his head ended up on a pike.

    [ September 23, 2004, 21:21: Message edited by: Taluntain ]
     
  2. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Gandalf was the first for me. I remember skimming ahead in the book to see if he really was dead, and was shocked when I didn't see anything.

    There are lots in Martin's books. Eddard because I liked him, and he was barely there before being killed off. Robb and Catelyn and Mormont as you can see in this thread:

    http://www.sorcerers.net/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/16/357.html#000000

    There was at least one in the Iron Tower trilogy by McKiernan, but it's been so long I can't remember the character's name, but he was one of the main ones through the whole thing.
     
  3. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    By definition, this whole thread is 100% SPOILERS.

    The funny little furry creature that Shimrod adopts in Lyonesse: Suldrun's Garden by Jack Vance (Grifwolyn or somesuch name). The poor little guy gets strung up by thieves whilst bravely trying to defend Shimrod's house.

    The Hound in the Song of Ice and Fire.
     
  4. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    The Hound aint dead! It hasnt been completely and fully verified! I refuse to accept his death! Didnt Arya just leave him bleeding and feverish? If we got confirmation of his death I have repressed it. Damn he was/is cool.
     
  5. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    AFAIK, joac is right, though it looked pretty bad.

    BTW joac, your PM box is full.
     
  6. Harkle Gems: 16/31
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    I encountered most upsetting character death when I was reading Jean Rabe's Dawn of a new age -Dragonlance series few years ago.

    I was quite upset after I read the first book, it introduced many new characters - and bang - one kender died quickly - and in the end one of book, the pirate woman, Sharon, died too.

    But that wasn't nothing - in the second book, the red dragon, Malyx, took Dhamon under his control and forced him to kill Goldmoon. That was just too much for me - my hands were shaking and I was furious about her death.

    I had strong sentimental attachment to characters of first Dragonlance books, the Chronicles (probably because I really enjoyed those books and they were first fantasy books I read after Lord of the Rings) All characters were important, but their deaths weren't so bad, because authors brought them back in different ways (ghosts, spirits, visits in Abyss)
     
  7. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    Easily number one would have to be the death of the main character in 1984. His breaking down and acknowledging that Big Brother was right and asking to be killed was down right depressing.

    In terms of a more fantasy setting - I would have to say that Gandalf would have been number one if he hadn't come back from the dead.

    I suppose that John Ross' death in Angel Fire East was one of the more disappointing because I found him to be an interesting character and I would have liked to have been able to read more stories about him.

    Bothari's death in The Warrior's Apprentice was very appropriate for his deeply disturbed and flawed character but again I would have liked to have read more about him before he passed away.

    Petris and Livadhi's deaths at the end of Against the Odds was very shocking in that I really didn't expect the book to end in such a loss for the main characters. You kind of expect the good guys to win in the end and when it doesn't happen it is really quite a surprise.
     
  8. Enagonios Gems: 31/31
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    i agree with this.

    In the Wizardwar by Elaine Cunningham, it was the death of Basel Indolour. And in The Brotherhood of The Rose by David Morrell, it was the death of Chris (codename: Remus) :( Can't think of any others right now but I'll add more later :)
     
  9. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    [​IMG] Gandalf was a definite shocker.

    The other one for me was in the Dark Sun novel series involving Sorak the elf/halfling hybrid. The very sudden assassination of his lover, Rania, who's been with him since he was a toddler, struck me so suddenly and so forcefully. Ouch ...
     
  10. Spellbound

    Spellbound Fleur de Mystique Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    The most upsetting character death to me was the death of Flint (in The Annotated Chronicles of DL) and Tasslehoff's reaction to it. When Flint died and Tas threw himself on the body of his best friend, refusing to get up, with Tanis trying to pry him off (with Tas's little arms and legs flailing), I thought my heart would break. I sobbed just like a baby. The words still stick in my head:

    "No Flint!....You can't go off adventuring without me!! You'll get into all sorts of trouble, you know you will!!!"

    "It'll be the first moment of peace I've had since we met", the dwarf said gruffly. He goes on to reassure Tas that everything will be ok, that he's taught him everything he knows, but now it's time for him to go-- but that he'll be waiting for him on the other side.

    Then a bit later the dialogue switches to Flint again, having passed on and sitting under a huge tree, waiting, with a spot reserved right next to him for his best friend whenever he arrives.

    Nothing has ever affected me as much as that scene.
     
  11. Colthrun

    Colthrun Walk first in the forest and last in the bog Veteran

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    @ Spellbound
    Flint's death was so anti-heroic and senseless in adventuring terms, and yet perfectly natural, that resulted into an even more shocking event. Sad as it was, I loved that part of the book.

    I was very disappointed with Verity giving his life in Assasin's Quest to awaken his dragon, especially when a few pages later you discover that there was no real need for it.
     
  12. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    As I understood it and remembered it, he had to finish it if it had begun. A manifestation of the skill addiction. I also think it served to help with the awakening of the other stone dragons. Also Verity didnt awaken his dragon, he became the dragon.
     
  13. Colthrun

    Colthrun Walk first in the forest and last in the bog Veteran

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    But in order to become the dragon he had to give it his life, his memories and feelings. In doing so he stopped being himself, joining with Kettle in that amalgam of skill and memories that formed the creature. The other dragons where awaken just using the Wit and some blood IIRC, which pretty much made Kettle and Verity's effort pointless.
     
  14. Benan Gems: 20/31
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    The Flint death in Dragonlance. And the Sturm Brightblade one as well. Just because it was Kitara who kills him which is the ultimate betrayal, and he was my favourite character.
     
  15. Gehn Gems: 7/31
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    On the topic of the Assassin books, the death of Nighteyes in "Fool's errand" has to be very high up there for me. Oh boy did I cry. And i'm not normally the cying type! But, oh BOY did I cry when he died. I was in a state of depression for about 4 days afterwards. Everytime I tried to pick the book up again I had to stop because I didn't want to drench the pages. The way the whole scene was written, just really set it all off. Beautiful.

    FURTHER SPOILER AHEAD...sorry:

    "Wait!" I cried. And in shouting the word, I woke myself. Nearby the Fool sat up, his hair tousled. I blinked. My mouth was full of salve and Wolf-hair, my fingers buried deep in his coat. I clutched him to me, and my grip sighed his last stilled breath out of his lungs. But Nighteyes was gone. Cold rain was cascading down past the mouth of the cave.

    Ah hell i'm welling up again.
     
  16. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    The constant death/recreation of Duncan Idaho in the Dune series really got to me as well as the death of the origional Teg, just as soon as he becomes the greatest Mentat-Warrior ever he runs off on a suicide mission.
     
  17. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Aaaargh! I can't help but see all the spoilers in this thread when the short text comes up on the "Today's Active Topics" page. I've now inadvertantly learnt about 3 surprise deaths in books that I'm planning to read.........
     
  18. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    @Gehn, I had intended to add Nighteyes as well but it wasnt really upsetting as you saw it coming for quite a while. I too cried my eyes out however, but then again, I find myself crying quite a lot when reading Hobb.
     
  19. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    Thorin, Fili, and Kili's deaths I found to be very oomphy. Especially when Bilbo says goodbye to them as he's heading back home.

    And yeah, Nighteyes, that was very strongly foreshadowed. It had a feeling of inevitability about it, and was very powerfully written. But you knew he was doomed, so it didn't come as any great surprise, just - hmm, y'know, I think I'll stop trying to describe that now before it goes into the realm of Herf's Yellow Feeling.
     
  20. NonSequitur Gems: 19/31
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    Sturm's death blew me away. I was about 13 when I read "Dragons of Winter Night", and Sturm was always my favourite Chronicles character. I was crying when it got to his funeral in the High Clerist's Tower, when the elf-gem faded miles away. It was just such a senselessly heroic way to go - he knew he was going up onto those battlements to die, that he didn't have a chance of surviving, only of buying Laurana time to use the Dragon Orb. And he was doing it because no "true" knight could, because the majority were dead after Derek Crownguard's suicidal assault on the dragonarmy. That whole part of the book really wrenched at me, a man trying to conquer his fear of not being able to save his friends even at the cost of his own life, that his existence had no meaning and his death would serve no purpose. That his former friend (and according to DoSF, former lover) was his killer was secondary to what I saw as Tanis' betrayal... which he realised in time.

    Flint's death didn't affect me much at the time - but thanks to Spellbound and Colthrun I think I'll have to re-read the series. I do remember one heartwarming bit from Dragons of Summer Flame, though, when after the defeat of Chaos, Tas finally catches up with Flint. I didn't bat an eyelid for Tanis, though.
     
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