There’s an abundance of television shows that have managed to survive the stiff industry competition for many years, but some TV characters that were surprisingly killed off these series were oftentimes the most beloved. So why did the writers cut their life line to begin with? And how did their disappearance affect the course of their respective television shows? Although the answers to these questions are certainly a matter of opinion, the audience ratings let production studios know whether their choice to kill off a character was the right one.
While in some cases, the roles that met their death were rather beloved, there were also character killings that alleviated the audiences’ heart. If you’re curious to know who infuriated the masses, check out our previous article on the 10 most hated television characters of all time. But in the meantime, let’s focus on stellar TV shows and why they shortened their cast. Here’s our list of TV characters that were surprisingly killed off.
4. Adriana La Cerva
TV Show: Sopranos
Given, Adriana wasn’t the most important character on the Sopranos, but after she was convinced by the FBI to spy on Tony and his nephew – her husband – Christopher’s mob affairs, the storyline changed. The sassy female who was everyone’s sweetheart suddenly became a threat and the audience already suspected that she had to go. Although her death didn’t come as a surprise per se, it was still heart-wrenching to see her be dragged out into the woods and shot in cold blood after several seasons of loyalty to the Soprano family.
3. Susan Biddle Ross
TV Show: Seinfeld
The creators of Seinfeld would have never dreamt of killing off any of the main characters – Elaine, Jerry, George, or Kramer – but it was a whole other story with the secondary roles. While the gang switched dating partners too quickly for them to become important in the show’s development, at one point George Costanza caught the love bug. Susan – a tall, slender, and wealthy blonde lady – was the object of his affection, but after getting engaged George started to panic and wanted out of the relationship. In order to feed into the sitcom’s comic demise, the creators put Susan’s life to an ironic end: she dies of intoxication from licking too many cheap envelopes, which held the wedding invitations.
2. Eddard Stark
TV Show: Game of Thrones
To anyone who followed the George R. R. Martin novels, this character death was no surprise. However, for those that discovered the intriguing story of conquering kings and magical beings through the book’s TV show adaptation, the end of Eddard Stark’s life was quite the shock. Not only was he one of the most noble, and therefore beloved, characters on Game of Thrones, but given his pivotal role as the king of the north it seemed unlikely that he would die at the end of season one. Nonetheless, the sadistic nature of his killing was of extreme significance, as it set the tone for the ruthless characters and high-strung conflicts that would carry the show through its next seasons.
And, the number one TV Character that was surprisingly killed off is Charlie Harper
TV Show: Two and a Half Men
Considering the fact that Charlie Harper was the main reason for Two and a Half Men’s success, it came as a huge disappointment to the show’s fans when the studio decided to kill him after season eight. Although Charlie Sheen brought this disaster on himself with his rash behaviour and remarks about the series creator Chuck Lorre, the decision to erase the shows protagonist was unwise. The ninth season’s ratings plummeted after it was revealed to the audience that Charlie Harper had been pushed in front of a train – thereby causing his death – and although Ashton Kutcher did his best to keep the show alive, it was never the same again. Without a doubt, Charlie Harper tops our list of TV characters that were surprisingly killed off.