11 Heartbreaking TV Character Deaths in 2018 (PHOTOS)

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Gene Page/AMC

Carl Grimes (The Walking Dead)

There was hardly a dry eye in the Walking Dead fandom when Rick Grimes and Michonne said their final farewells to Carl in Season 8’s midseason premiere. Though the death itself wasn’t shocking — it was revealed that Carl had been bitten on his side during the midseason finale — the fact that the show was moving ahead with eliminating such a key comic role was certainly unexpected. Now, it seems Carl’s storyline will be going to the Kingdom’s Henry.

The Chosen
Diyah Pera/The CW

Thelonious Jaha (The 100)

If you didn’t catch the news that Isaiah Washington would no longer be a series regular on The 100 for the show’s fifth season, then his untimely death in “Red Queen” likely came as a gigantic shock. Jaha was one of the only “adults” left on the show (now it’s just Kane, Abby and Diyoza), and had been on the CW sci-fi series since the pilot episode. He used his final moments to give Octavia some sage advice, and died with his friends — Kane and Abby — by his side.

The Other Side
Bettina Strauss/The CW

Monty and Harper (The 100)

As usual, The 100 was no stranger to killing off beloved characters during the past year. Not only did the show lose Jaha, but it departed with fan favorites Monty and Harper in the season finale. Their deaths were both heartbreaking and heartwarming — while it was devastating to watch Clarke and Bellamy realize they’d never see their friends again, it was heartwarming to know they’d finally gotten the peaceful lives they always wanted. And they’re not completely gone; their son, Jordan, will be tagging along with Clarke and kru on their next adventures.

This Is Us - Season 2
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Jack Pearson (This Is Us)

Damn you, crock-pots! Early this year, fans of the weepy NBC drama finally got the answer to a question they’d been asking throughout the seasons: how did Jack Pearson die? If fans had originally assumed he died in the blaze, they were wrong. Jack’s death was the result of smoke inhalation and cardiac arrest, a heartbreaking complication from him going back into the burning family home to save photo albums and a dog.

Killing Eve 3-6
BBC America/AMC

Bill (Killing Eve)

Sure, this was probably foreshadowed when Bill started out the episode by (jokingly?) telling his baby “Daddy’s going to die!” But even then, it didn’t seem likely that a weathered professional could be caught off-guard or make such a huge mistake as getting trapped in a crowded club with a killer — then again, he wasn’t dealing with any ordinary assassin. Bill’s death, while heartbreaking, set in motion the fast-paced chain of events that led Eve to dealing Villanelle a near-fatal wound, and served as a good portion of the former’s motivation for tracking down the latter.


Nell and Hugh Crain (The Haunting of Hill House)

It was a sickening moment of realization when Nell’s fate became obvious, and it was finally clear that, in death, she’d become the bent-necked lady she feared so deeply in childhood. Thankfully, the show let her appear as herself one more time to her family. She gave them an emotional talk about how deeply she cared for them and how all the bad blood and years of squabbles between them was unimportant to her because she loved them and always would. “All the rest,” she said, “is confetti.” Equally shocking was Hugh’s decision to sacrifice himself so the rest of the Crains could escape Hill House in the season finale.

The CW

Elijah and Klaus Mikaelson (The Originals)

Whether or not these brothers were destined for a happy conclusion to their story, it seemed right that their endings were intertwined; after all, The Originals was founded on the idea that family was everything. They took their own lives to save and preserve Hope’s future, which — while certainly controversial for fans who had devoted years to the show and its characters — felt oddly poetic.

Canva Nick
Richard Phibbs/AMC

Nick Clark (Fear The Walking Dead)

Fear was full of heartbreaking deaths this year, considering it jettisoned two-thirds of its leading family. Because there were clues leading up to Madison’s death, Nick’s was probably the bigger surprise; the eldest Clark sibling was fatally shot by a child he’d once tried to help. Though actor Frank Dillane chose to leave the show, the loss was heartbreaking for the fandom at large. Thankfully the final image of Nick was one of peace, seemingly embracing the great beyond as he lay in a grove of blue flowers.

Richard Phibbs/AMC

Madison Clark (Fear The Walking Dead)

Though it seemed odd that Madison didn’t surface during any of the show’s first seven episodes in the present timeline, fans were convinced there was something deeper bubbling beneath the surface (maybe she was leading the Vultures? Maybe she’d been captured by them? Maybe she was still trapped in the Dell Diamond?). The truth was both shocking and controversial: Fear revealed the Clark matriarch had sacrificed herself to save her children, going down in a literal blaze of glory.

Wynonna Earp - Season 3
Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Season 3, Inc./SYFY

Xavier Dolls (Wynonna Earp)

Of all the deaths on this list, Dolls’ might have been the most shocking to fans of the series in question. He’s hardly the only character to die a heroic, self-sacrificial death to save his friends (and he wasn’t reacting well to the treatment that kept him human), nor is he the only character who it seemed might come back at first. But Dolls’ death was tragically permanent, and sparked a conversation within the fandom regarding representation and harmful tropes.

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The grim reaper was active on our TV screens in 2018, and he claimed some of our favorite characters from a variety of genres.

Click through our gallery above to see which character deaths we’ll still be recovering from when 2019 arrives.

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