Why do Authors kill characters?

No, I’m not listing down reasons for the death of characters. I know it’s because people die, death is natural, feels for the readers, blah blah blah.

But honestly?

I hate it when authors kill characters. Especially the good ones. And all of them do it. Especially all the top YA ones. Want proof?

Here you go …

This post is spoiler ridden because I have no idea how to do this otherwise.

spoiler alert

1) J.K. Rowling

She gets the numero uno position because c’mon! All the Harry Potter series deaths have been devastating on a different level altogether. It started with James and Lily Potter, then Cedric Diggory, Sirius (I need a tissue!), Dumbledore (I need tissues, emphasis on the ‘s’), Hedwig, Lupin, Tonks, Fred and Snape! Now I need at least a dozen packets of tissues.

But, yeah, The Queen knows how to kill characters.

2) George R R Martin

He is almost at par with JKR (Ooo! That rhymed!). I mean, the honorable man up there warning people about the spoilers? Yep, Martin killed him. HE KILLS NED EFFING STARK! And Robb Stark! And Catelyn Stark! And Khal Drogo! And God-knows-how-may-more. Me? I’ve just read two books and watched two seasons. Can I tell you a secret? I’m actually scared of reading further.

George R R Martin 😥

3) Suzanne Collins

Rue dies!
Prim dies!
Finnick dies!
Ares dies!
Do I need to say anything more?
Okay Ares was a bat. But he was the best damn bat that ever lived!

4) Rick Riordan

Okay, so he isn’t that cruel when it comes to killing characters. But Bianca and Zoe! And Beckendorf! And Silena! And Luke! I ended up not hating Luke. Weird, but he was a hero in the end.
And Blood of Olympus definitely has someone dying. It was there in the prophecy, so he’s getting there.

5) John Green

The only thing I’ll say is ‘Augustus Waters’.

6) Veronica Roth

She killed the main protagonist! It can’t get more painful than this.

So why am I ranting about authors and dead characters?

I finished reading The Giver quartet today. The third book in the series- Messenger made me cry buckets. Yeah, someone dies. But even the death was so beautifully written! I officially love Lois Lowry!

God, I’m sleepy. I’ve not been sleeping well for the past few days. Bizarre dreams that suspend me somewhere between sleep and alertness.

I hate such dreams. Honestly, once I dreamed about locking up Billie Joe Armstrong in the lift. Not that I will ever do that when I’m awake. Dreams are way too weird at times.

Anyway, do you think any other author deserves to be in this list? Tell me in comments!


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. aditi1641
    Aug 23, 2014 @ 06:17:22

    Look, we all knew Augustus Waters was going to die. I can’t say anything more that it being a good, meaningful death. You know what I mean. He was selfless, courageous in the literal face of death, and he definitely didn’t live a life of regrets. Except the biggest one. (Cancer 😦 ) John Green justified his death from the beginning, whereas all the other authors you mentioned just died in an instant. I understand you feel bad; even I feel bad. But I just wanted to make the distinction.



    • theintrovertedschmuck
      Aug 23, 2014 @ 14:29:27

      Yeah, I get what you mean. I also get why authors kill characters. I’ve done it too (Chase). But sometimes, it just hurts, you know?
      And some authors tend to kill more than others. Especially George R R Martin but I love him anyway. Maybe even because of that because if say he hadn’t killed off someone, I wouldn’t have felt that intensely for the book.
      So it’s okay mostly but sometimes I wished they wouldn’t. It’s the kiddish part of me, the one that believes in HEAs.



  2. aditi1641
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:11:43

    I think it’s like to take what you learned from them, and cherish the memories, you know? Another reason maybe, because there were too many characters at one point in the story, or maybe a character wasn’t needed at all. But these deaths… okay, you’re right. I don’t get what goes on in an author’s head when they kill characters. But I think Alaska’s death hurt the most, you know. (Considering I haven’t read George R.R Martin’s books, and have read HP only once.) Tell me what you think.



    • theintrovertedschmuck
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 16:00:03

      Alaska dying was the biggest shock. She was basically a very alive character, as in, she lived her life! And her death was an ironic joke of sorts. It hurt!
      The Harry Potter deaths made me cry when I reread. And GoT! Don’t even get me started on that! I haven’t been able to watch season 3 for the fear of some deaths.

      I think, it depends upon the importance of the character for the protagonist. Or maybe just the way the situation is. Like Rue from hunger games? She wasn’t there for long but when died, most of us cried. She had become a sister for Katniss.
      Have you read The Hunger Games?



      • aditi1641
        Aug 28, 2014 @ 16:11:03

        Yeah, I sort of didn’t like the direction in which the Hunger Games was heading… By the time I read Mockingjay, there was a person dying in every chapter in the second half of the book… But I think Rue was like all of us. Stuck in a situation where she didn’t want to be in. And that’s why I think that death resonated with everyone the most, and that’s why everyone felt bad. And she’s only 11! 😦


      • theintrovertedschmuck
        Aug 30, 2014 @ 16:47:34

        Seriously! Mockingjay was not very good. Finnick died! I don’t think most of the deaths in mockingjay were necessary. Especially Prim. I mean, what’s the whole point if Prim dies?
        Rue was innocent. Everyone else had done something violent or killed someone else. She didn’t. She signified that even the innocent are affected in such wars and violence.


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