The 2015-2016 TV season was one of the most blood-soaked of all time. Vox found over 230 deaths of characters who appeared on three or more episodes (because counting all the deaths on Law and Order would be too much work for any sane person). Let me be clear — THIS ARTICLE IS FULL OF SPOILERS. IT’S LIKE CONSTANT SPOILERS. SPOILERS FOR The 100, Person of Interest, The Americans, The Walking Dead, Sleepy Hollow, Grey’s Anatomy, Arrow, and Game of Thrones.YOU HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENTLY WARNED. Here are the TV deaths this year that sparked the most controversy.
1) Lexa – The 100
Lexa is undoubtedly the most controversial TV death of recent years, as she’s the only character death that’s resulted in a real-world movement. LGBT women made up .08 percent of characters on network TV this year and 10 percent of the deaths. LGBT viewers have had enough of the unfair treatment and lack of representation. Young gay girls who were delighted to finally see themselves represented positively on TV were crushed when she was killed with a goddamn stray bullet RIGHT after getting it on with the love of her life. Lexa fans have paid for billboards around Los Angeles saying that #LGBTViewersDeserveBetter.
2) Lincoln – The 100
Lincoln was a fan favorite and critical character on The 100 who was given almost nothing to do for an entire season before being unceremoniously shot in the head. And it’s not like his death affected the overall plotline or drove forward any story arcs (besides Octavia killing Pike, which so many people had reason to want to do anyway). Add to that that Lincoln is black and The 100 has been accused of killing off their black characters in thoughtless ways. People of color are still way underrepresented on television and are killed off at higher rates than white characters, making this death controversial both in the world of the show and in our world.
3) Root – Person of Interest
Aaaaand another dead lesbian. Great. Like Lexa, Root was killed off Person of Interest shortly after actually hooking up with the girl of her dreams. And like Lexa, after her death she became a piece of technology. What?! Too weird. Of course, the creators of the show claim that Root’s death has been planned for a really long time and is super important to the story and has nothing to do with her being gay and they’re suuuch good writers that it was totally worth it.
4) Nina – The Americans
Nina was a beloved character who had a somewhat meandering final season before an extremely shocking end. This death is controversial because some people think it was an unfitting end for such a great character, while others think it’s an example of how TV deaths can be done right. Nina’s death meant something in the world of the show and while it was shocking, it was also a logical continuation of her storyline.
5) Glenn – The Walking Dead
For ages, viewers have wondered if beloved former pizza boy and love of Maggie’s life Glenn was ripped to shreds or not. Why can’t The Walking Dead just give us a straight answer anymore? Leaving everyone hanging for four goddamn episodes was just cruel.
6) Whoever died in the season finale of The Walking Dead
We still don’t know WHO died at the very end of the season finale of The Walking Dead, and that’s exactly why it’s controversial. Teasing Negan (and Lucille) all season long and then ending with a cliffhanger is pretty sh*tty.
7) Abbie Mills – Sleepy Hollow
Many fans were frustrated when the African-American female lead of the show was killed off to provide motivation for the white male lead. There’s a whole trope related to this called “women in refrigerators“, and it’s pretty aggravating seeing as women are people on their own, not just plot points for male characters. There’s also talk that Nicole Beharie wanted to leave the show and that the producers wanted her to leave. Keep that drama on the screen!
8) Derek Shepherd – Grey’s Anatomy
Derek Shepherd – MCDREAMY – has been half of the heart and soul of Grey’s Anatomy since the very beginning. It sucked to watch Derek and Meredith have marriage troubles when we all know they were meant for each other. And then his death was devastating and frustrating — after a car accident, he died from a doctor’s mistake. A MISTAKE! Many fans felt that such a great character deserved better.
9) Laurel Lance – Arrow
When Laurel Lance died, fans were super bummed, especially those who’d been rooting for her and Oliver. She died in recovery after surviving surgery and didn’t have time to say goodbye to her dad. People were pretty freaking pissed that she was all “I’m glad you found happiness, it’s okay you don’t love me but I love you” right before she kicked it. Not a befitting ending for a strong woman.
10) Shireen Baratheon – Game of Thrones
Killing a kid on TV is always going to be controversial, especially when you take one of the only characters that’s retained any innocence and sweetness and then burn her at the stake.
Did I miss any big controversial TV deaths this year? Which ones really pissed you off? Tweet at me and let me know!@erikaheidewald!