HBO’s Rich History Of Shocking Character Deaths

Monday, December 12 by
Even when history dictates a character will die, HBO still manages to surprise us.  

This article contains pretty much nothing but spoilers.

Although HBO programming has no shortage of interesting characters, part of the allure of the channel’s offerings is that even the most beloved characters serve the story, and as such, can be killed off at a moment’s notice. Sure, losing a favorite character on a show sucks, but it offers up the conceit that anything can happen, ultimately making the shows more engaging.

We saw one such instance last night on Boardwalk Empire. I won’t reveal who it was here, but the death is listed below, so don’t read if you’re a fan of the show or plan on getting into it. That also goes for the following shows: Deadwood, Oz, The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, and The Wire.. I feel like I’ve been up on most of the “important” HBO dramas, so if you feel that a character from another show isn’t represented here, or if I picked the wrong character for a show that is listed, tell us about it in the comments.

Wild Bill Hickock – Deadwood

While Keller wasn’t a “good guy” the same way Wild Bill was, he was the sole source of happiness for Tobias Beecher, the only likeable character anywhere on the show. Further, he remained the most interesting characters in Oswald State Penitentiary. So when he through himself over the railing to his death, viewers found Tobias all alone all over again. Further, no more Keller meant no more passing shots of Keller’s penis, which didn’t bother me, but probably upset a very prominent demographic of Oz’s core fan base.

Christopher Moltisanti – The Sopranos

Of all the in stances in which Chrissy could have died, and all the different ways it could have happened, the from-out-of-nowhere car wreck, then the subsequent strangulation by Tony hit like a sucker punch. As we geared up for the climax between the two families in the final season, we expected casualties through the war, but this unexpected pit stop during the rising action did more to shed light on these characters than any mafia showdown could have. Without Christopher’s death, we would have never seen Tony on peyote, and that shit was awesome.

A pathetic death for such a tragic figure.

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