We’ve all had those moments of pure, gut-wrenching pain when a beloved person dies. And I’m not talking about someone you know in real life (though that is obviously painful). I mean those amazing people created from an author’s imagination. These characters are so near and dear to us, even though they aren’t real! Just think back to this past season premiere of The Walking Dead. No spoilers here, but many people on my Facebook feed were claiming they probably needed therapy after the episode. Why? Because a favorite character died (and from what I’ve heard, this character died in a very gruesome way)!
The author gives us a glimpse of who they really are on the inside.
Some may see a fictional character as just words on a page or an actor on the screen. But what’s really happening is that we fall in love with them!
Another reason we become so attached to fictional characters is because we put ourselves in their shoes. In many cases, we feel those characters ARE us and can’t help but feel like their death is personal.
MY top three fictional character deaths (WARNING SPOILERS BELOW).
- My book boyfriend of the year is Tyce from ER Arroyo’s Sovereign Series. He’s a bad boy with a soft side . . . I mean, who doesn’t love that? At the end of book two (it’s a duology with several prequels), Tyce sacrifices himself to save everyone including his daughter, who he and Cori (the main character) were trying to save. In my heart I knew that Cori and Tyce should have ended up together (because, let’s face it, I WAS Cori, so that meant Tyce was mine. I’m not crazy, I promise). His death was a tough one. I cried a lot and probably ate a pint of ice cream.
- This was years ago, but when the Harry Potter series was still being written and released, my siblings and I would snag a copy right when it came out and take turns reading it. When book four, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, came out I was ecstatic! But that moment that Harry and Cedric were going to both the win the cup . . . I was devastated. Cedric was murdered. I am pretty sure I cried then stared at a wall for a while after finishing that book. But the reason I was so heartbroken after this death wasn’t because I loved Cedric (although he was an awesome character). I was crushed because Harry was crushed, if that makes sense. All the pain Harry felt, I felt.
- Graham’s death in Once Upon a Time was a significant heartbreak for me. Graham was actually the Queen’s huntsman who opted not to kill Snow White back in the day. When the Queen finds out that Emma and Graham are snooping into some things and G breaks things off with her, she crushes his heart and he dies. I think the pain in this death was the feeling of potential for Emma and Graham in the future. He was an instantly likable character and then POOF. I wasn’t expecting it!
Why do you think we get attached to fictional characters? Put your answer in the comments below. What character death would you be crushed for if they died? What flavor of ice cream will you eat an entire pint of when your favorite character dies?
Katy Walker is the founder and writer on THE KATY blog, a site for geeks of bookish and fandom people alike.
Katy Walker is the founder/blogger of the geek and book blog called THE KATY blog.
She is slowly dipping her toes into more writing projects and is excited to make her author debut in an awesome zombie anthology titled “Tricks, Treats, and Zombies.” Her favorite stories to read and write are science fiction, dystopian, psychological thrillers, and paranormal type things.