Nobody likes to say goodbye, but all good things must come to an end, especially in the world of television. Some characters in particular really know how to tug…or in some cases yank on your heartstrings. Whether they go with a bang or a whimper, these characters secure themselves in your memory, so get the tissues at the ready, because here is a list of our top 5 television goodbyes. These are characters that are central to the show’s plot for a considerable number of episodes, before leaving in a dramatic, and heartbreaking manner. It’s pretty obvious to say, but spoilers ahead.
5. Charlie – Lost
J.J Abrams’ critically acclaimed series became known for its twists and turns, and had everyone guessing what would come next. So when Desmond told comic relief character Charlie that he was going to die, everyone was waiting for the moment when the pair would beat destiny, and Charlie would live on happily. No such luck. In the series finale, and in one of the most heartbreaking moments of all six seasons, Charlie realizes that he must sacrifice himself in order to save Desmond, and locks himself in a room rapidly filling with water, in order to prevent the rest of the submarine from flooding. With his last ounce of strength, he writes a message on his hand warning the group that the people who had come to save them weren’t who they said they were. After this, Charlie smiled, and quietly accepted his fate, in a scene that had the audience, as well as Desmond screaming for Charlie to open the door.
4. Rose Tyler – Doctor Who
Companions don’t seem to last long on Doctor Who, and neither does the doctor for that matter. With a cast that changes so frequently, it’s risky to get attached to any particular character, yet still we do. We make the mistake of falling in love with them, making it all that much more painful when they get trapped in a parallel universe, never able to return. After the Battle of Canary Wharf, the Doctor opens the gateway to the Void, pulling in all the Daleks and Cybermen, and almost pulling in the Doctor and Rose too. The duo cling on for dear life, but Rose slips, and is almost pulled in, until she is saved by her father who teleports in to save her. She is then whisked away to the parallel world, and with the gateway closed, she can’t get back. Their final moments on a beach remain as some of the saddest in Doctor Who history, and the fact that they are separated again before they can say their final words makes it all the more emotional.
3. Ygrette – Game of Thrones
Similar to Doctor Who, it’s incredibly risky to get close to grow fond of any of the characters. George RR Martin is notorious for making characters likable, before slaughtering them unexpectedly and often brutally. Ned Stark, The Viper, The Red Wedding, all tear jerking moments, but the death that hits home hardest is the Ygrette. The wildling with fiery hair and an even more fiery temper. The lover of Jon Snow, a Watcher on the Wall. When her people attacked the wall, a huge battle ensued, in which Ygrette received an arrow. Dying in Jon Snows arms, and whispering her iconic words “You know nothing Jon Snow”, the two could finally admit their true feelings for eachother. Unfortunately, Ygrette had mere seconds left. It was a final moment that could draw tears from even the coldest of hearts.
2. The Tenth Doctor – Doctor Who
The second entry from the ever popular franchise comes in the form of the Doctor himself. Although the character didn’t technically leave the show, each doctor secured themselves as their own characters, so we’re counting a regeneration as a character exit. David Tennant was a fan favourite, and still remains to this day as many peoples’ Doctor of choice, so his exit was guaranteed to be emotional. After being forewarned that the bringer of his death would “knock four times”, the Doctor takes this to be the beat of four that is driving his arch enemy the Master insane, and assumes his battle with the Master to be his last. When he survives he rejoices, and so do his fans…until dear old Wilf knocks four times on the glass room in which he is trapped. The Doctor’s face drops, and so do ours. He must sacrifice himself to protect Wilf from the radiation that is about to flood the room, but not before Tennant delivers arguably his best dramatic performance as the Doctor. He screams about how much more he could do, and puts across the feeling that maybe this is Tennant talking, as opposed to the Doctor, especially when you take into consideration his last words – “I don’t want to go…”. Well it’s safe to say, neither did we.
1. Kenzi – Lost Girl
Considering some of the entries on this list, it’s surprising what the number one choice is. Lost Girl isn’t an amazing show. It’s okay, just something I have on in the background. Apart from when Kenzi is on the scene. Then the show gets my full attention. Acting as a sister to the central character Bo, as well as a vital member of the team being a master of disguise and wielding a sword called Geraldine, Kenzi was also charismatic, witty and undoubtedly the most likeable character on the show. However she always had doubts about her place in the gang, being the only human amidst the supernatural creatures around her. In the final episode of Season 4, she realises that she is Bo’s heart, the one Bo loves unconditionally, and must sacrifice herself to fulfil the prophecy, closing the portal from which Bo’s powerful and evil father was about to emerge. Bo’s muted screams of protest whilst being held back by Dyson create the lump in your throat, but it’s when she turns and smiles before stepping into the light that really makes you lose it. Lost Girl is far from my favourite show, but Kenzi is undoubtedly one of my favourite characters, not just of this show, but of any show. Not only that, but she is the only character on the list (and the only character ever – including in films) that actually managed to draw a tear as she died, thanks in no small part to Ksenia Solo’s outstanding performance. The only thing that gives me hope is Bo’s declaration at her grave that she would stop at nothing to bring her back. We’re all behind you Bo! Do it for the fans!
Please excuse me whilst I go and cry into a pillow. In the meantime, let me know if you disagree! Which character exits had you bawling like a baby?