10 Killed Off Television Characters We'd Like to Resurrect: A Seriously Spoilerish List
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10 Killed Off Television Characters We'd Like to Resurrect: A Seriously Spoilerish List

By Cindy Davis | Seriously Random Lists | March 10, 2014 | Comments ()


First, your second warning: There be spoilers here. If you’re behind on the current season of any of the following television series: Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Justified, Sherlock or Luther you may not want to read on. Perhaps you have a friend who’s up to date and can scan the list for you. Read on at your own risk…The SPOILERS START NOW:

Death becomes many television characters; there are those whose demise we root for (I’m talking to you, The Walking Dead’s Lori), and others bother us more because of the effect their death has on another character (Sons of Anarchy’s Tara) than the actual person who died. Some characters are so crazy—while they’re fun to watch—we’re not exactly sure we’d want them kept around, like Justified’s Robert Quarles. But there are a few deaths that, necessary or not, we’d love to reverse. We’ll never, ever emotionally recover from a couple of these gut punches; others would simply be fun to have around again.

10. Eli Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar), Sons of Anarchy


At the end of “A Mother’s Work,” the horrific kitchen scene left Jax broken, and us with our mouths open. While we all felt Jax’s loss, I think I was more upset by Eli’s death than Tara’s. I didn’t hate Tara, but the things she’d done had turned me off enough that I could suffer the consequences alongside Jax. But Eli? Eli was a decent guy. He had some kind of moral compass, which in a town like Charming, is a big deal. Even beyond that, he was a man who would take great care protecting those he might also be trying to bring down. In the wake of Unser’s decline, Eli is the guy we still need.

9. Richard Harrow (Jack Huston), Boardwalk Empire


One of the most sympathetic cold-blooded killers we ever had the pleasure of meeting, Harrow simultaneously terrified us, and tugged at our heartstrings. Sweet on kids and dogs, our Tin Woodman wanted nothing more than a family of his own…and dammit, he deserved better than that ending.

8. Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), The Walking Dead


Now here’s a man who was fun to have around…Daryl’s brother might have been polarizing and paralyzingly scary at times, but toward the end, Merle found his place in the pseudo-community. Character redemption rarely leads to longevity, so it would have been nice to see Merle play nice just a little bit longer. And from the look of things lately, Daryl could use some brotherly emotional support.

7. Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale), Justified


Here’s a delightful twist on television norms; a very smart female villain who makes her own moonshine and knows how to take on a town. Mags was frightening at times, but not in the we-have-to-get-rid-of-her Quarles kind of way; heck, even Graham Yost wondered aloud if he was crazy to kill her off. In light of this season’s awful big bad (not a compliment), Michael Rapaport’s cheesy Daryl Crowe, it’s all the more evident a character like Mags is hard to find.

6. Lane Pryce (Jared Harris), Mad Men


Any man who punches out Pete Campbell is all right by me. Lane Pryce was more than who he at first appeared to be, steamrolling in to reshape Sterling Cooper…tightly buttoned and of stiff upper lip. The boy inside the man still fought for respect and his foolish mistake came just as we were starting to love him despite his flaws. Of all the creeps running around the office, Lane is a guy we’d like to have seen succeed in business.

5. Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou), Game of Thrones


There are those who question whether Syrio is dead; the First Sword of Braavos was last seen fighting a group of Lannister guardsmen with only a wooden sword. Would that it were so, for Arya’s wonderful teacher has stayed with her in spirit—and with us too. “There is only one thing we say to Death: Not today.”

4. Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), Downton Abbey


After everything Downton put us through to bring Matthew and Lady Mary together, it was indeed the cruelest blow to rip him away. More than good looks and honorable manner, Matthew brought out the best in Mary—made her palatable to us, and herself. Not only has it been unbearable to watch Lord Grantham’s eldest sink into an endless well of self-pity, but her return to a pre-Matthew state leaves us wishing for his miraculous return.

3. Ned Stark (Sean Bean), Game of Thrones


When it came to Lord Stark, being a book reader meant nothing…and nothing could prepare us for Eddard’s untimely death. My eyes are forever burned with the sight of Yoren holding Arya close and those birds scattering across the sky. I still can’t believe it and would give almost anything to have him back.

2. Jim Moriarty, (Andrew Scott), Sherlock


Arguably, one of television’s best villains, Scott’s performance was over-the-top in all the best ways. Moriarty’s expressions, his ability to render Sherlock confused and wordless, and his insane antics are just too good to be gone. It’s possible Gatiss and Moffat agree…

1. Justin Ripley (Warren Brown), Luther


No, no, and no. This is unacceptable. We can take the loss of Luther’s wife…we can take him being investigated, despite the nonsensical drive and lack of evidence to take Luther down. We can take Luther losing almost anyone he’s close to, but not Ripley. Please, not Ripley. Fiercely loyal, yet of his own mind—not unquestioning—Ripley was the little puppy to Luther’s grizzled dog. Ripley balanced him out and became Luther’s best mate. Though series four has been ruled out, Luther’s story is intended to finish via feature film; Ripley should have been there until the end.

Cindy Davis, (Twitter) is a sword, that is all.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • ana arias

    syrio could still be alive. the other lannister guards were knocked out. it was only him and meryn trant who's to say he didnt pick up one of the other real swords while the guards were down. i refuse to believe syrio forel the first sword of braavos was defeated by meryn trant. if anything meryn would never admit to being defeated by dance teacher (which is what cersei thinks syrio is)

  • Green Lantern

    I haven't seen every series referenced, but the ones I have? Yeah, I'm with every selection.

    Though Repo is right...Wash is a GRAVE omission from this list. Though it can be argued that he died in the movie, not in the series. So there's that.

  • Ben

    So this list made me want a spin off of Game of thrones, Game of thrones: The afterlife, where all the dead characters meet up in a bar or something and without the pressures of the rest of the world just talk about their problems and sort all their shit out with eachother.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Hey, Phil is still alive so anything is possible.

  • Ozioma

    Given what's been revealed so far about the hows and whys of what brought him back, is that necessarily a good thing?

  • kirbyjay

    I'm trying

    Damn that sucked!

  • Leroy Grey

    No "Firefly" love in your top 10? I guess time heals all wounds...

  • The list is current series.

  • Leroy Grey

    My bad... Okay: JR Ewing.

  • Person Of Interest - Joss Carter. She left us as a hero, and fans of the show would give anything to have her back. It's sad that you people think you're too hip to watch this show. ::sob!::


  • Mrs. Julien

    There was a television character named JOCELYN and I MISSED IT?!

  • I've been trying to tell you all.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Completely agree. I didn't like the forced romance but other than that, it was a jarring loss of a loved character.

  • I didn't mind it. It wasn't so much a "romance" - Reese and Carter were always close and he was sure he was going to die in the next few minutes. He gets really sentimental when he thinks he's about to die, and I'd have kissed her, too.

  • Oh f*ck, I thought I was current on Luther. [insert stream of profanities of inchoate anger at not realizing my mistake in time and for the injustice of Ripley...] [head droops in sorrow]

  • Uriah_Creep

    Me too. Internet hug.

  • Ben

    Ripleys death in luther fucking slew me. That was just... god really? Him? Fucking seriously?

  • Guest

    RE: 5. Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou), Game of Thrones
    3.Ned Stark (Sean Bean), Game of Thrones

    If I could resurrect one character from G.o.T. so far it would be...

    Ros The Expository Whore.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I simply must find a way to introduce the phrase "The Expository Whore" into my daily life. A blog perhaps...

  • Ben

    When Luther introduced Ripley to his lady friend I knew the end was near. Cops never through lines of "This is Ripley. He's my best mate and I love him."

  • Ingrid Today

    Hm.. am I the only one okay with Ned being killed off?
    Maybe its the fact I started as a TV viewer and accidently found out so I knew not to be invested in his character. Personally, I found his one sided concept of morality/honor deeply flawed. He never tells Jon the truth about his mother. He gives him this half-assed "I'll tell you when I see you again" which is clearly going to be fucking years since Jon is going to the wall. He's not even honest with Jon about the Wall. If you believe in the fan theory about Jon's heritage then it's especially shitty he doesn't tell Catelyn or the Jon the truth. It's some serious bullshit.
    He doesn't properly warn Arya or Sansa about the dangers in Kingslanding. He gives them an incredibly vague "we're in a dangerous place". Way to go Ned. Don't bother telling the Queen/Joffrey loving Sansa the reality of what's going on. No, just kind of sort of warn them.
    Sorry, Ned is too blind (in a way his honor is a bit self-centered) to live.
    His death took the North and all the characters tied to it, to a completely different, interesting, and unexpected place.

  • DominaNefret

    I have been okay with pretty much all of the GoT deaths so far.

  • knifeyspoony

    "He never tells Jon the truth about his mother."

    if certain theories are to be believed, there is a very good reason for that.

  • The Luther movie is supposed to be a prequel to the series so maybe Ripley will be in it.

  • HerringGull

    Did you miss me?

  • duckandcover

    Matthew's death was really felt in S4. Not just because people were in mourning for a few episodes, but I think that it really, really set back the show ten steps in terms of character and plot development. They tried desperately to return Mary to how she was in S1, which was basically being unnecessarily heinous to Edith at random times and an untouchable ice queen. I felt nothing for her suitors (something sort of registered on the Richter scale for the guy who helped her with the pigs) and wished they'd just nixed any romance for her this season.


  • manting

    There is no evidence that Benjen is dead. There is some evidence that he may be undead.

  • duckandcover

    It just upsets me that pretty much every secondary character has had their storyline tied up in one way or another, but in the earlier Jon Snow POV chapters, it was all about Benjen and we didn't really learn anything about his fate.

  • manting

    Many believe him to be coldhands, though there is evidence that coldhands is much older than Benjen.

  • Slim

    I suspect Benjen's story is not over yet. The author is thorough to a fault.

  • Billybob

    While Michael Rooker is a joy to watch, I really hated Merle. I'm glad he had an awesome death, but I'm also glad he's dead.

  • lmtj

    Haven't finished looking through the comments, but yours was first to read my mind. I thought Merle played out exactly what needed to played with his character and that was enough. He would not have fit in with the group. Daryl would have eventually saw the light and completely chosen his new "family" over him with no exceptions, then Merle would be with a group like (SPOILERS!!!!) Daryl is with now. They don't give a crap about one another and still have no respect for value of life.

  • JustOP

    It's funny, because The Walking Dead has pretty much killed off all the characters whom I thought had pretty good actors (Merle, Shane, Dale) and left us with a largely incompetent cast. The only shining light in the show now is the ever-great Rick, and maybe Michonne if she's given any room to develop.

    Everyone else is completely one note.

  • Guest

    Two Words: Bad Writing.

    I still like Maggie and Glen but after that meh.

  • DominaNefret

    No, Carol.

  • DominaNefret

    /Rick is totally one note.

  • BWeaves

    Lane Pryce's suicide really upset me. I loved Lane and his drunk steak belt buckle.

  • Slim

    Wire Spoils.
    I want to bring Wallace back even though The Wire is no more, because of all the feels.
    The final episode of Season 3, Luther, I say to the husband, "Justin isn't dead, right? He can't be dead. No, that's not right." The husband just explained firearms to me.

  • Zirza

    Aw, man. Ripley broke my heart. He was adorable. But I suppose that's how the Luther Universe works. "Oh, hey, lemme introduce you to my girlfiend and tell you just how much I love you and recommend you for promotion and...Oh, hey, never mind I guess."

    I still have a crush on Warren Brown, though. He was excellent in Luther and needs to be in more stuff.

  • Target_Blonde

    I have the biggest crush on Warren Brown too, I died when Justin was killed.

  • Pretty Hate Machine

    THOSE MOTHERF'ers! HOW DARE THEY???? I know there were spoilers and I know that Luther was listed, but I somehow thought it was in reference to the wife..........I was so relieved when Ripley wasn't dead after being kidnapped in Season 2. I didn't realize how attached I was to him. Dammit.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Yep, the Boardwalk Empire spoiler surprised and saddened me as well. I was warned though.

  • DominaNefret

    Ugh. This. I had also forgotten that I am not actually up to date with it. I went NOOOOOOOOOO.
    It was the only one that really upset me. Fuck.

  • mairimba

    *AHEM* Where's Opie?!

  • Tinkerville

    Here there be Orphan Black spoilers! Look away!

    Helena. She's insanely mesmerizing as a character and an all around amazing antagonist. Some people seem to think we might not have seen the last of her, but she seemed very much dead.

  • Billybob

    Hey, Kira has a healing factor. Why wouldn't her mother's twin?

  • e jerry powell

    But for the fact that he wasn't actually "killed," I'd say Sal Romano, because because.

  • Ingrid Today

    I miss him :(

  • Keith Ballard

    Moriarty might not be dead, perhaps. It's hard to think much is concrete from that episode since Sherlock himself seems to come back from the dead, too.

  • Tinkerville

    Moffat's said that Moriarity is 100% dead, so I wonder how they're bringing him back in. That said, Moffat's word is worth about as much a toddler's, so take that as you will.

  • Ingrid Today

    A thing that annoys me about Moffat (aside from his less than stellar female character/development) is that he comes up with these interesting plots twist and his explanation for why or how something happened is always a half-assed "because".

  • DominaNefret

    I think you meant "interesting" plot twists.

  • Stephen Nein

    Fiendish plot from beyond the grave? Copycat? Logic bomb tied to Sherlock leaving the UK? Mrs. Watson being bad for a good reason? All might work.

  • John W

    Syrio lives! It is known. Just so.

  • Maddy

    Syrio is not dead, he changed his face and is Jaqen H'ghar. IT IS KNOWN.

  • No he's not. Benjen Stark warged into him at the last possible moment, and now he, the real Daario, and Gerion Lannister are chilling on a beach in Sothyros with a giant cache of dragon eggs laughing their asses off.

    It is known (ish.) /putting away tinfoil.

  • Maddy

    Hey, it's not as crazy as some theories I've heard. I think I spend way too much time on the internet.


  • And George R .R. Martin is George R. R. Martin, so...

    (I do hope the rumors are true.)

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Oh, see, now that would be cool.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Ah, yes. I had thought perhaps the First Sword was alive as the first series wound down. But then I realized that GRRM doesn't really play that way. And in a way, that's nice. His deux ex machinae are to create new characters (with weird new powers) rather than to resurrect the ones we miss.

  • Repo

    I about lost my mind but then realized these are all shows still airing. Because you know, WASH. :(

  • Ben

    Luthers not still airing.

  • It'll continue via film.

  • vic

    Son of a BITCH. Knew I shouldn't have read these comments; I'm not done with that show yet. Agh.

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