I love a good trending hashtag on Twitter when it is one that I can get involved in. It’s always awesome to see as well when it’s one you’re interested in what other people have written in response to the hashtag and what their opinions are too.
When I went on Twitter yesterday morning I saw that #FictionalDeathsIWillNeverGetOver was in the top ten (by the afternoon it had changed to a more boring #FictionalCharactersIWantToMarry which I didn’t participate in) and the trend has still carried over to today (Tuesday 5th March). I did some research, and thought the answers as I scrolled through the hashtag not so much surprising, but just how many people agreed on the same ones.
Most popular ones I found were:
Mufasa in The Lion King.
Marley the dog in Marley and Me
Ellie from Up
Countless Harry Potter characters
Jack Dawson in Titanic
All worthy of inclusion, the most popular being Mufasa, Marley and Ellie. There was the odd surprising nomination of Boone (Ian Somerhalder) from LOST and Nicky (Joe Pesci) from Casino. Shocking and brutal as Nicky’s murder is, and the fact I have never listened to House of the Rising Sun in the same way since, I’m pretty sure I got over his death quite quickly. But if anything, the hashtag has shown just how much the death of a beloved character in a film or TV show can affect people and reduce the most hardened of hearts to blubbering emotional wrecks.
So without further ado, grab your Kleenex and a tub of Phish Food and please join me on my top five run-down of #FictionalDeathsIWillNeverGetOver
5. John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) in The Green Mile
Just, so, so hideously unjust. Played to utter devastation by the late Michael Clarke Duncan, Coffey is on death row for the rape and murder of twin girls in Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel. What everyone apart from a select few of the prison guards don’t know is that Coffey has the power to heal sick people. Yes, a bit like Jesus. Sentenced to die in the electric chair, the prison guards silently weep to themselves as they know the truth behind Coffey, his abilities, and the identity of real murderer of the young girls.
4. Professor Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
My favourite character in Harry Potter bar none. When Voldermort murders Snape in the final films, God how I cried. For two reasons; one, because he had just been killed and in a most horrific way, and two, the revelation of Lily Potter. We always knew Snape was a good guy. Always.
3. Coral the clownfish (voiced by Elizabeth Perkins) in Finding Nemo
Crikey if those guys at Pixar can do anything then surely it is stirring up snivelling emotion within people over the death of a tiny orange fish who has been on screen for less than ten minutes. Nemo’s mum, Coral, is eaten by a barracuda as she tries to protect her unhatched eggs from being consumed by said beast. It’s over in seconds but will stay with me forever. Three times I saw Nemo at the cinema, and three times I wept openly in public at her death.
2. Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) in Star Trek: Nemesis
I will try and summarise this in a few lines, though inside I will always be seething in paragraphs of confused rage at Data’s death. To save Picard and get him off Tom Hardy’s enemy ship and back to the Enterprise, Data, the beloved android of the Next Generation, sacrifices himself by giving Picard the only transporter they have so that he can return safely. But it transpires that the transporter is a one-time-use, personal one. Go figure. The aftermath was poorly executed too and on the whole I still struggle to this day to see why Data was killed off. And don’t get me started on B-4.
1. Hazel the rabbit (voiced by John Hurt) in Watership Down
Oh God. Okay, so some people have Marley and Mufasa, I have Hazel. Watership Down deals with death and religion in every other scene and if you have managed to survive the whole film until this point without needing valium, then just you wait until the final scene. It reduces me to a catatonic mess each I watch as Hazel lies down to die and his spirit leaves his body to live in the afterlife. I’m welling up just writing these words. Bloody Simon and Garfunkel.
If you aren’t familiar with these heart-breaking scenes of trauma then you can rectify this by buying the films here (and supporting your local independent bookshop, too):
Finding Nemo – not available at time of writing, being rereleased this summer in 3D.
Watership Down (currently unavailable)