Once upon a time, J.K. Rowling, authoress of the best selling, block busting Harry Potter franchise, gave serious thought to offing her protagonist’s best ginger-headed friend, Ron Weasely. When I was reading the books dependent on their publishing dates, waiting with bated breath for the next novel to plop on to store shelves, I always half-expected Rowling to mess with convention and kill off one of Harry’s two best childhood friends. I presupposed that Hermione was too important to the series to murder all willy-nilly, as without her gifts Harry himself is rather worthless, so it stood to reason that Ron’s death would make both logical and narrative sense. Spoiler alert! It didn’t happen, which is as good a gift as any to the Boy Who Lived, and Then Saved All Of Wizardingkind.
Unfortunately, the characters listed below circumvented tradition too much, and thusly found themselves on the wrong end of character assassination. Of course, because none of the below cinematic deaths were wanted, or warranted, the filmmakers ensured their demise would be that much more memorable and affecting to the warmhearted viewers amongst us. Still, it wouldn’t have been unwelcome if these Five Movie Sidekicks Had Survived to escape the Dead Sidekick trope. After all, a few of these were much more useful, and much less ridden with angst, than Ron.
Beware all, you who entres-vous. Possible spoilers abound.
Mr. Spock (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, RIP 1982):
Goose (Top Gun, RIP 1986):
Donny (The Big Lebowski, RIP 1998):
Ed (Shaun of the Dead, RIP 2004):
Boltie (Super, RIP 2010):
Jonathan Brandis (RIP, 2003):
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force and tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar. He thinks it’s too bad Chris O’Donnell’s Robin never died in the Joel Shumacher Batman movies, he’d have loved to have put him on this list.