Ficticious Deaths - A Ridiculous Reason to Cry

So, my friend, John has thrown down the gauntlet and asked me to meet his challenge of which characters' deaths made me cry. Thanks, for that, GP. Ha! So borrowing a bit from his own blog on the subject, I will write. And also because I know my fellow readers Lauren & Crystal will enjoy this.


Let me first state that I read a LOT of books, but do not frequently read books where characters die for some reason. Some of that has to do with the fact that I read a good bit of Young Adult Fiction or maybe just the books that appear interesting to me often do not include mourning someone's death. Odd, I know. But it's true. Ok...onward.

Don't read if you don't want spoilers of Harry Potter or any other films....



Dobby - Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Dobby was arguably the most annoying character in the whole Harry Potter series, and on films, he became a near Jar-Jar Binks travesty. He appears first in Book 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and is irritating and weird. But in the closing tome of the series, Dobby dies in saving Harry, Ron, Hermoine, Luna , the Goblin & Mr. Ollivander from the Death Eaters at Malfoy Manor, as he transports the crew, Bellatrix Lestrange throws a dagger which lands just before they transport. Dobby dies in Harry's arms on the beach.
Why it Stings:
Like I said, Dobby began in the series as a weird and rather annoying creature. He's a sideline character, but Harry saves his life and Dobby is genuinely loyal to the protagonist of Rowling's epic series. In the final scene, you find Harry losing another "person" he cares about, and one who again gave his life to save his own. I think it's Harry's heart wrenching that makes Dobby's death so moving, as he demands that Dobby be buried with a shovel and he digs the grave alone - sweat, blood and tears. Good grief, I'm tearing up at the thought of it. It's a moving piece of writing and if you're at all invested in the characters, and you didn't cry at Dobby's death, you're a stone hearted human being. For the record, I also cried when the Weasley twin dies in the Battle for Hogwarts, because he was my favorite, but it didn't have the impact that Dobby's death did. :)

Inman - Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

I read this book for the first time this year, after a friend repeatedly told me it was a favorite film. I didn't understand cuz I'd only seen it twice and wasn't entranced by it much. I watched the film once more and found a depth of emotion that was missing from me when I saw it so many years ago. But when I read the book, I found Frazier's prose even more moving. Having moved to the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I could feel the love of the scenery ooze of the page right into the deep places of my heart. It didn't hurt that I read the story of Ada's journey towards self-discovery and Inman's epic journey home to the hope of love mostly on the back porch in full view of sunsets behind the Blue Ridge Mountains. Yeah, It was an epic read.
Why it Stings:
Inman's journey was brutal. He was a man who just wanted to go home (reasons you may or may not agree with, being a deserter and all) and return to the wisp of a memory. So when he returns, finds the woman he loves changed, but still loves her (props to him for that) and finds a precious few hours of happiness and delight with her, you are thrilled, you feel the relief rush into your bones as you turn the pages. And then...he dies. Of course, I knew that before I read, but for me, I think it was personal. I have always been one of those people who fears happiness for fear it's all going to go away sometime very soon. So when Inman dies, not getting much time with his happiness....I wept. I wept for Inman, but I also wept for me, because somewhere in the recesses of my mind, that's a great fear of mine.

Arthur & Morgan- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

This book is epic. It's feminist pagan worldview, no doubt. But man, is it an epic story. Marion Zimmer Bradley is an INCREDIBLE story weaver. And this book easily ranks on the peaks of my best loved books. It's a retelling of the Arthurian legend through a female lens, painting Morgan not as a villianess, but as a sister, and the story becomes humane. It's quite incredible actually, and one of my favorites of the Arthurian retellings. It ends just like all stories do, with Arther being slain - or taken to Avalon with his sister Morgan Le Fey. It's really quite unclear if Arthur and Morgan live or die, but the truth is that it doesn't matter, the story closes and we don't hear from the characters again because their end has come.
Why it Stings:
This book is the most final of all books I've ever read. Most books I read, when they're over - if it's good, I want to keep reading about the characters. If it's an epic book, it is complete when the final cover is closed. This was my first experience in reading a book that was DONE when it was done. And saying goodbye to Morgan and Arthur was like saying goodbye to a friend who I had spent nearly 1000 pages with. I teared up and didnt' cry properly, but I was moved quite truly in reading the final scenes of Arthur and Morgan's final moments.

Honorable Mentions:

Aslan - The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

I can't well leave this out, but properly, Aslan comes back to life, so it's hard to know if this qualifies. But whatever. Aslan - the Great Lion of Narnia, Creator, Trusted Friend and Guide to the Pevensie children and other Narinans is an important moment in literature.
Why it Stings:
Grace. It's GRACE. Aslan's death as a sacrifice for Edmund's life is representative of Christ's death on the Cross for you and me. I wept. I weep still. I cannot read, or see this without being moved deeply.

Catherine - Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Truly Wuthering Heights is the Height of depressing. It's sincerely one of the most dark, and devastating book to read. It's gothic and macbre. But I loved it....not because I love Heathcliff or Catherine - but because there is something that stuck with me for weeks after I read it. This book is at its core, a glorious story of the destruction of selfish and obsessive love - in essence glorifying pure love in it's exemplifying of the very antithesis of love.
Why It Stings:
Because Heathcliff, for all of his flaws and cruelty really loves Catherine and is a broken, empty, hallow man without her. And because Catherine, for all of her spoiled and unimaginably selfish ways, she loves Heathcliff - and they are both better for it. It's one of those dankly depressing books that makes you read it again and again hoping it changes because you know that if these two would ever stop being so selfish and cruel to each other, and really love each other, they would be transformed into better people. And that makes me weep because who doesn't want a love that will transform?


  1. I love Wuthering Heights too. I also cried.

  2. Ok...who are you and what have you done with my friend? The one who doesn't cry over a book, or a movie? You know, the vampire one? haha- love you both ways! :)

  3. Oh, and also I agree with you for the most part. I haven't read Cold Mountain or Arthur and Morgan, but Dobby's death made me cry, as did Aslan's. I cried reading Wuthering Heights, but that was just trying to get through the book. bahahaha


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