After writing about what might be an interesting alternative to a Spoilerish reveal about a certain Walking Dead character’s fate, I started thinking about the old “anyone can die” television trope. Especially in the last ten years or so, it’s become quite popular to shock audiences with major character deaths; people we might have believed to be “safe” have dropped like flies I won’t list them here because these days, who the hell knows what’s still considered a spoiler? You know who they are, and don’t pretend you haven’t cried or cheered right beside me. After thinking about how easily I could let go of **Spoiler** or the suggested substitute, it quickly became clear how many main characters are relatively extraneous. A commenter remarked things feel a little bloodthirsty around here today, but please don’t take this as a comment on the actors (or even whether or not we like the characters); many are favorites around these parts. It’s merely interesting to contemplate who’s actually necessary for a story to move forward, and to realize some characters we believe are central could easily be *ahem, Fargo* disposed of.
Kevin Garvey, The Leftovers
After the fantastic episodes introducing new neighbors, the Murphys and the excellent “No Room at the Inn” (featuring a mind-blowing, hour long performance by Christopher Eccleston), it became very apparent Kevin’s story was no longer necessary to carry on this story. If what happened at the end of “A Most Powerful Adversary” had truly taken place, what matters is how that would affect the other characters. There are new arcs that overlap and dovetail with Kevin’s, but just as with the Guilty Remnant, Garvey could disappear and it wouldn’t much matter.
Rick Grimes and Maggie Greene, The Walking Dead
Yes, Rick is pretty much THE main character, but the way his arc has run this season, there’s not much that Rick is involved with (other than boinking his new friend, and not watching his kids). We’ll forever love Grimes, but at this point he’s become much more disposable than Carol, Daryl, Michonne and Morgan.
Maggie, I’ve already covered.
Carrie Mathison, Homeland
Carrie has been a great series lead, but her days should really be numbered. By now, we can predict her behavior, erratic or not, and the effects of her bipolar disorder have been explored from all angles. Peter Quinn, Saul Berenson and Dar Adal are a great Homeland core and if the series continues, a new CIA agent should be brought in to expand from that base.
Peggy and Ed Blumquist, Fargo
It seems a foregone conclusion that Ed and Peggy will ultimately meet the business end of a Gerhardt gun or a Dent dagger. Whether they meet fate sooner or later doesn’t much matter, the Blumquists are the easiest targets for a flame-eyed Jabberwock.
Thea Queen and Laurel Lance, Arrow (obviously)
This truth is self-evident. Thea spends most episodes angrily glaring and complaining; Laurel’s Black Canary is woefully unqualified. These are two main characters Team Arrow can easily do without (bring back Sara for good).
Tyrion and Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones
I can hear your screams from wherever you’re reading, but you know the underlying insinuation is correct. Much as we live for Cersei and Tyrion’s wonderful wordsmithery, their biting quips and determined self-preservation, there isn’t much further either character can or needs to go. I say this not as in-the-know book reader; the show has already explored prophecies. Regardless of any Song of Ice and Fire plans, winding down the television series could be completed with fewer Lannisters on hand.