It happens time and time again with big TV shows; they pull audiences in with the story, introduce them to characters they fall in love with and then cruelly snatch them away. Thats the nature of drama though; so as painful as it might be to watch a great character die, it's often what's best for the show.
The downside is that some shows can get it wrong; theyll kill off a character not out of necessity, but for the cheap shock value of it. Stunts like this always come across as hollow, and it tends to make people angry instead of sad. What makes them even angrier is if that character dies horribly while another, considerably less useful one survives.
At its worst this can feel like a troll on the audience, whove invested in the show only for it to toy with their emotions, as is the case with these particularly annoying examples.
Michael Rooker really made an impression with his scene chewing turn as Daryl Dixons older, angrier brother Merle. He was a bad guy whod made peace with his badness, seeing it as a strength in the post-zombie world.
He made an evolution from trigger happy racist to one-handed henchman, who was later forced to play nice for the sake of his brother. It was great to watch the character grow and develop something close to a conscience, so if he hadnt pointlessly sacrificed himself trying to kill The Governor, then later seasons could have seen him grow even more.
He was turning into one of the most interesting characters on the show, and his early exit was a real disappointment.
Who Should Have Died Instead: Beth Greene.
While she eventually got some stuff to do in later seasons, Beth was without a doubt the most useless character during Season Three. This season was ruthless with killing off pointless characters, yet she somehow survived the cull.