There are few things as shocking in the big world of TV than when a show decides to kill off one of its main characters.
Though death is an important, even necessary part of TV, it's still a hard-hitting move when fans are forced to say goodbye to one of their favourite characters and the actor bringing them to life.
From supernatural horrors to high fantasy dramas, such deaths are expected every now and again, in order to best capture the nature of the shows, but with others on this list, from lovable sitcoms to political thrillers, death is less certain and therefore can be even more surprising when it happens.
Despite it being a major risk, the following shows all took a leap and decided to kill off their biggest stars. Whether it was meant to happen for narrative purposes, the actors messed up behind the scenes or the writers simply dropped the ball, each of these characters were key figures in their respective shows, and the actors behind them were the biggest names in the series.
So, with that in mind, here are 10 TV shows that killed off their biggest stars. Major spoilers throughout.
10. Sean Bean - Game Of Thrones
Back in more innocent times, it looked as though Ned Stark was going to be the true main character of Game of Thrones, especially for audiences who had never read George R. R. Martin's novels.
Going into the show, Sean Bean was a beloved Hollywood megastar, having had roles in projects such as The Lord of the Rings, Patriot Games, GoldenEye, and The Island. A fan favourite, Bean landing the role of the Stark family patriarch proved to be a match made in heaven, as he brought great maturity and likability to the character.
Ned Stark was the moral centre of the show's first season, and looked poised to stay that way. That was, until Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) had him executed for treason when he was meant to be pardoned, shattering the hearts of fans worldwide in one swing of the executioner's sword.
It was a harsh end to a great and just character, cementing Game of Thrones as a show that would not be kind to its characters or the actors playing them.
Perhaps we were all naive, though, thinking there was chance Sean Bean would make it through the show unscathed.