Death can be a tricky nut to crack in any media - get it right and you've got audiences eating out of the palm of your hand, but screw it up and it might even sour their entire perspective of the show forever more.
While there are certainly examples of sudden character deaths which came totally out of nowhere and blindsided viewers in a good way - that death in Game of Thrones' first season, for starters - often it leaves fans feeling that the character had so much more left to give.
To be clear, fans weren't simply upset that these characters were killed period, but that it was done before they'd reached maximum maturity, whereby their death would've had the strongest dramatic impact.
Indeed, these 10 TV characters all got put in the ground a good while before audiences were ready for it, and certainly a long time before their storytelling utility had run out.
Had these characters stuck around for another couple of seasons, few would've complained...
10. Stringer Bell - The Wire
Stringer Bell (Idris Elba) will always rank highly in debates about The Wire's single greatest character, given how fantastically he skirted clear of typical gangster conventions.
As intelligent as he was ambitious, Stringer served as the second-in-command to drug kingpin Avon Barksdale (Wood Harris), and thanks to Elba's masterful performance, it was tough to imagine the show without him.
But sadly, Stringer's time prematurely ran out at the end of season three, when his lofty plans to unseat Avon from his own empire spectacularly backfired.
Ultimately, Avon caught wind of Stringer's plot and set him up to be gunned down by Omar (Michael K. Williams) and Brother Mouzone (Michael Potts).
Though in fairness it's a terrific death scene, a sliver of the show's magic was unmistakably gone for those final two sans-Stringer seasons, because many fans begrudgingly wanted to see his Machiavellian scheme play out in full.