1. Walter White (Breaking Bad)
Heisenberg’s demise was an appropriate culmination for the former high school teacher turned meth drug lord, but it still took a toll on viewers. One the greatest television shows ever written seemed like purposeful plot as it went from understanding sympathy for White’s seemingly noble gesture to provide for his family, to power hungry Heisenberg and his lust for tyranny.
2. Debra Morgan (Dexter)
Dexter’s sister served as large of role on Showtime’s dark drama as the lead character, being a moral focal point many times in the show and driving at least some of Dexter’s human emotion. Although the finale had some shortcomings, Debra’s death was one of the more surprising events.
3. The Governor (Walking Dead)
This year’s midseason finale of Walking Dead represented one of the reasons that the show has been so successful: no one is safe. The continual angst of not knowing who’s demise will occur next builds great drama in the show. Hershel was an ethical compass for the group in the prison and his beheading was far more graphic, but The Governor’s role was larger on the show. It will be interesting to see who the next nemesis is (outside of the walkers).
4. Brian Griffin (Family Guy)
Some may argue that this could only be a temporary twist and cartoons can be revived without a ton of explanation. However, the Griffin’s family dog was as big of character on the show as Peter or Stewie and his void will be felt on Family Guy.
5. Robb Stark (Game of Thrones)
Readers of the books were not surprised by the event, but nonetheless the “red wedding” was tolling for GoT viewers. We lost a number of key characters including Robb Stark. The poor Starks just can’t seem to catch a break. Luckily, a little vengeance should occur early next season.