Shocking TV Deaths

The most shocking or unexpected character deaths on TV. Warning: spoilers!
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1.
Torchwood (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The members of the Torchwood Institute, a secret organization founded by the British Crown, fight to protect the Earth from extraterrestrial and supernatural threats. (50 mins.)
“ Character Death: Ianto Jones

Why was it shocking? Ianto went for two series in the background, with very little in the way of character development. In series 3 CoE, his relationship with Jack started to develop and, in the absence of Tosh and Owen, he became one of the leading cast members. Whereas the deaths of Tosh and Owen underlined the tragic nature of their relationship and served a point to close the series, Ianto's death seemed pointless and as a device to merely strip away the last of Jack's humanity. ” - littlemishaps
 
2.
Skins (2007 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The story of a group of British teens who are trying to grow up and find love and happiness despite questionable parenting and teachers who more want to be friends (and lovers) rather than authority figures. (46 mins.)
“ Character Death: Freddie McClair

Why was it shocking? Ok so Skins deaths are not new territory (Chris?), but Freddie's death was horrific. Beaten to death by Effie's shrink, his death was completely unexpected to the viewer which added to the terrifying nature of the event. ” - littlemishaps
 
3.
Spartacus: War of the Damned (2010 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Watch the story of history's greatest gladiator unfold with graphic violence and the passions of the women that love them. This is Spartacus. (55 mins.)
“ Character Death: Varro

Why was it shocking? Varro died at the hands of Spartacus on the whim of spoiled brat Numerious. Totally shocking as it ended the series' major bromance. However, it did make Numerious' death in the Season finale that much more satisfying when it came. ” - littlemishaps
 
4.
Game of Thrones (2011 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  
Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while a forgotten race returns after being dormant for thousands of years. (57 mins.)
“ Character Death: Ned Stark

Why was it shocking? To be honest, any character played by Sean Bean is pretty much guaranteed to meet a premature (and grisly) end, so on paper this shouldn't have been shocking. However, the belief that Ned's life had been spared only to have his execution reinstated at the last moment by boy king Joffrey was a kick in the gut to the viewer. The fact that Ned Stark had been a main character and one of the 'good' guys right from the first episode only increased the 'Oh No They Didn't?!' factor. ” - littlemishaps
 
5.
Dexter (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
By day, mild-mannered Dexter is a blood-splatter analyst for the Miami police. But at night, he is a serial killer who only targets other murderers. (53 mins.)
“ Character Death: Rita

Why was it shocking? The Trinity killer's parting gift to Dexter, even those indifferent to Rita's character would have been hard pressed not to feel emotional at Dexter's grisly discovery in the bathroom, compounded by finding their crying son sitting in a pool of Rita's blood. Seemed a pretty unnecessary way to end the season, although perhaps a good way to demonstrate how Dexter was getting too comfortable playing the role of family man. ” - littlemishaps
 
6.
MI-5 (2002 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The missions of MI-5, the UK's domestic intelligence organization. (60 mins.)
“ Character Death: Helen Faulkner

Why was it shocking? Although not involving a major character and early in Season 1, this is one of the few TV deaths that has really stuck in my mind since its broadcast in 2002. It was the nature of the death, rather than the death itself, which has landed it a place in this list. Tortured by having her hand, then head, forced into hot oil and then shot, this was one of the first hugely violent moments on Spooks and certainly memorable. ” - littlemishaps
 
7.
Prison Break (2005 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Due to a political conspiracy, an innocent man is sent to death row and his only hope is his brother, who makes it his mission to deliberately get himself sent to the same prison in order to break the both of them out, from the inside. (44 mins.)
“ Character Death: Sara Tancredi

Why was it so shocking? Ok, so this is a bit of a cheat because, as it later turns out, she's not actually dead. But at the time of writing she was not supposed to return so when broadcast she was actually dead (if that makes sense?). Prison Break was the show of the close call; no matter how hopeless the situation, the main cast members always managed to escape. Until Sarah's head turned up in a box... ” - littlemishaps