In the past, killing a beloved character on a popular television show almost never happened. Viewers knew that they could tune in each week and know that all of their favorites would be there. Flash forward to the present and that dynamic has completely shifted.
Every show from The Walking Dead to Game of Thrones uses shocking deaths of their main characters to increase their social media presence and improve ratings. After all, the Internet and half of the world went crazy this Summer trying to guess who Negan killed with his barbed wire baseball bat, and that translated into huge ratings (unheard of for a basic cable show).
Unfortunately for fans who have a tendency to get attached to characters, death sells.
2016 saw many characters popular and otherwise meet their untimely demise in all kinds of creative and horrible ways. While some deaths were pretty easy to predict, others left viewers with their jaws on the ground and in uproar.
From the fictional world of Westeros to the bloody streets of New Orleans, death came early and often. But of all of the characters that were lost this season, who’s demise was truly the most shocking on the small screen in 2016?
10. Theo Galavan (Gotham)
When Theo Galavan made his big entrance during the second season of Gotham, fans were shocked by how cunning and powerful he was. Bent on revenge against the Wayne family, he positioned himself to become the Mayor of Gotham and almost succeeded in killing Bruce Wayne. Following that attempt, he was murdered by James Gordon and the Penguin, and his story was thought to be over.
Enter Hugo Strange. With a terrifying lab underneath Arkham giving rise to several powered villains, Strange (don’t call him Dr. Strange) was able to bring dead criminals back to life and once it was revealed that Galavan had been resurrected, many fans feared for the safety of Bruce Wayne and James Gordon.
Fortunately, Galavan did not remember most of his past life. Taking advantage of his missing memory, Hugo Strange was able to convince him that he was Azrael, a powerful deity in his previous faith. After tearing through the city and nearly killing Captain Barnes, he remembered that he wanted to kill and punish Bruce Wayne.
During his final attack on Wayne Manor, it looked like Galavan would finally be able to take his revenge. Then, out of nowhere, the Penguin and Butch enter Bruce’s driveway with a rocket launcher. Hoping that he would remain dead this time, Butch blasted Galavan into oblivion and shocked viewers who had no idea Penguin was coming.
Ending Galavan with style, Butch and Penguin give the stunned Bruce, James, and Alfred a humorous wave before confidentially walking away (in a great mic drop moment).