Red Wedding

HBO

You know that character everyone loves? Well, the writers know you love them, and they aren’t above brutally murdering them, along with your hopes, dreams, and overall mental health. It’s one way of guaranteeing ratings, I suppose. There’s a disturbing trend nowadays, where it seems like any time audiences grow genuinely attached to a specific character, they will die a horrific death posthaste. In a world where television success often revolves around internet buzz (people don’t even wait until a show ends before they start discussing it anymore – anything less than live tweeting shows a deplorable lack of commitment), it seems only logical that they want to give their viewers something juicy to talk about.

So many people watch their shows days later, at their convenience. Half of the battle is making sure that your show is must-see television. People need to be afraid not to watch your show live and miss what happens. Kill off a few fan favorites, and those fickle viewers will get the message. Sure, there’s the potential for a serious backlash from the hardcore fans, but it’s worth the risk, because there really is no more surefire way to guarantee that everyone’s going to be talking about your show Monday morning.

P.S. I think most of these have been around for long enough to not really count as spoilers, but since these are major character deaths, I’m going to go ahead and put a big SPOILER WARNING on this one.

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This article was first posted on January 3, 2014