Q&A: Which fictional character’s death first had an impact on you?

Albert Padilla sent a question:

Hey, Cav! You’ve been accused of ruthlessly killing off some of our favourite High Republic characters, and while true, which fictional character’s death(s) do you recall growing up having an impact on your life and what was significant about them?

The fictional death that first really affected me was Adric in Doctor Who.

It was 16th March 1982, and I was eight years old. Up to now, the Doctor’s companions came and went, largely leaving (it seemed to the young me) with their very own K9 to keep them company in their post-TARDIS life.

Then Adric was caught on a crashing spaceship and (spoilers) the Doctor didn’t save him. Couldn’t save him.

To ensure I was traumatised, the producers ran the end credits silently over the shattered remains of the ‘Star of Mathmatic Excellence’ Adric wore proudly on his costume. Sob!

Doctor Who didn’t seem so safe and cosy any more. Yes, the death toll in Who was always high, but the TARDIS crew were guaranteed to make it back into the vortex alive… or so I thought. Cliffhangers suddenly seemed more dangerous, my favourite characters’ fate more precarious.

And I loved it!



  1. There are a couple that immediately came to mind, from tragic to bittersweet to outright enraging deaths (The Blacklist Season 8, I am looking at you).
    * beware, The High Republic
    spoilers following *
    Loden Greatstorm is how you balance stakes with emotional connection and shock value right.
    In terms of being the most affected… that’s pretty much a tie between Dean Winchester (what an unsatisfying finale) and Stellan Gios (tragic, as his story was ended way too soon IMO). And one that hit me just right was the “death” (or was it …?) of AIDAN from the Illuminae Files. The way that story got me to root for a villainous AI was astounding, and the “ending” (I’m trying to be ominous here!) was perfect.

    • You won’t believe how much discussion surrounded Stellan’s demise. We went around the houses on that one, I can tell you. But as for his story ending? A character’s story doesn’t end with their death. Their legacy is felt for a long, long time, the impact of their absence often as strong as if they were still there.

  2. I think the first fictional death that really got to me, and it might have been the first one ever, was one of the elders in Lindgren’s “Ronja Räubertochter” (yes, I know). I remember reading the book with my mom in the evening a bunch of times throughout the years and always hating that part.
    As for recent ones – I cried so much at the end of TROS and Kylo/Ben dying. As well as Kevmo (POOR Kevmo!!!) in Path of Deceit – that one really shocked me. I didn’t see it coming at all.

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