The following list has been assembled to honor the fictional fallen favorites from 2016. TV characters have a shorter and shorter shelf life these days (thanks a lot, “Game of Thrones”), and 2016 saw quite a few beloved men and women in their last episodes ever.
In case it’s not clear from the headline, there will be spoilers within this post. If you’re worried of being spoiled for certain shows but not others, simply click through to the next image. Only the series’ title is listed in bold — to help avoid unwanted information — so you should be relatively safe throughout.
RIP: Nina Krilova
Played by Annet Mahendru
Nina’s demise was a long time coming, as the ever ambitious risk-taker kept putting herself in situations she coudln’t win. That was part of what made Nina such a compelling character, and it was certainly one of the key reasons why we loved her. Her death was handled with grace and dignity, even with the quick trigger than ended her all-too-short life. Nina will be gravely missed.
Voiced by H. Jon Benjamin
After being teased in the premiere of Season 7, Archer’s death was all but confirmed in the finale. It took a few twists to get there, but here we are: Lana holding her baby daddy in her arms as a possibly fatal gunshot threatens his future. [Spoilers for Season 8 ahead] We’re well aware Archer will be back, but we’re only certain of his return in a slightly altered form. There’s no guarantee Sterling will ever come out of his coma, or what he’ll be like if he does. For now, we’re as worried as we are excited for Season 8: Will the teased creative pit stop in purgatory lead back to the light or to the ever-approaching darkness?
Played by Jenny Rainsford
Boo’s death was a short-lived secret in “Fleabag,” as the best friend’s untimely departure proved the catalyst for the series’ narrative developments. But in reliving her life through Fleabag’s memories, we’ve come to mourn the loss of Boo over and over again — just as Fleabag does. She was a good-hearted and loyal friend, qualities we can never get enough of on TV and in life. Even though we expect to see her in future seasons, she will continue to be missed, for she will never be forgotten.
Played by Kristian Nairn
Westeros is neither a fun nor safe place, but in this gentle half-giant’s presence, it felt more bearable and sane. Hodor may not have had many smarts, but he was dedicated to the Starks and forged on despite his fears and setbacks. His death is the greatest tragedy since the circumstances (and a magical time loop) were what caused his mental break in the first place, but he died as he lived: loyal and always on the side of right. We shall always endeavor to hold the door as he did. Hodor.
RIP Ramsey Snow
Played by Iwan Rheon
Okay, will we ACTUALLY miss watching Ramsay torture his way through the cast of “Game of Thrones”? Not really. But Iwan Rheon is a talent well beyond the scene-chewing material the show gave him, and if he doesn’t get anything more high-profile anytime soon, we will be sorry to not see him return to the screen in 2017.
Played by Kristen Bell
Technically, Eleanor being dead is the entire point of NBC’s afterlife comedy, but the fact that her death came before she knew any real personal growth means that she’s technically destined for the Bad Place. And we gotta say, we’ve grown fond of her despite her self-centeredness — watching a half-decent person peek through the cracks of her brash personality has been one of the fall season’s more surprising rides. We’re sorry Eleanor’s dead, because maybe if she’d stayed alive a little longer, that half-decent person might have made an appearance amongst the living.
RIP Richard Gilmore
Played by Edward Herrmann
It takes a strong man to deal with three generations of brilliant but chatty and scattered Gilmore women, but Richard Gilmore was the rock they all leaned on. This year, his steady presence and financial know-how were sorely missed after his passing. The memory of him colored all of their journeys but also helped fuel their breakthroughs. Reading the Wall Street Journal isn’t the same without him.
RIP Edward Meechum
Played by Nathan Darrow
Meechum’s loyalty may have been manipulated by Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), but a true (if not pure) bond formed after that. Possibly sealed with an intimate threesome between the President and First Lady, Meechum’s legacy will be that of cost: the cost of power Frank so desperately seeks. After all, not all his victims leave a mark on his black heart. But Meechum did.
RIP Jane Chatwin
Played by Rose Liston
The youngest of the Chatwin children who disappeared from our reality but ended up in Fillory, she had the unenviable task of trying to rid the land of her brother Martin, who has transformed into the Beast. She was incredibly resourceful and was able to reset time again and again, and even enlisted the help of Quentin, but in the end, she was slain fighting the good fight. Brave, good and tenacious, she was what heroes were made of.
RIP Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes
Played by Mahershala Ali
“Luke Cage” made quick work of establishing Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (played by likely future Oscar nominee Ali) as the clear big bad of the season, but even the earlier episodes showcased not just the character’s taste for brutality, but a sensitive side and hidden talents. When we got a glimpse of how, if Cornell had been allowed to pursue his love of music, his life might have taken a very different course, it made his violent death in Episode 6 not just unexpected, but more sad than we could have ever expected.
RIP Gideon Goddard
Played by Michel Gill
One of the most engaging aspects of “Mr. Robot” is how it depicts a world slowly descending into economic apocalypse. And in Season 2, we got glimpses of the full-blown apocalypse that might later ensue, once society truly starts to fall apart. Nothing foreshadowed this like the death of Gideon (Michel Gill), who lost everything thanks to the events of Season 1 before getting gunned down in a bar. Gideon represented one of the few truly decent people in Elliot’s (Rami Malek) life, and his brutal, random murder at the end of the premiere not only left us sad over his fate, but worried for the world he left behind.
RIP Poussey Washington
Played by Samira Wiley
“Orange is the New Black” Season 4 was clearly careening towards a tragedy, but this one hit us particularly hard. Beyond the way it invoked #BlackLivesMatter, the death of Poussey took away one of the show’s brightest lights and purest spirits. The finale’s flashbacks, which showcased Poussey during a beautiful night of pure freedom, technically served as a lovely send-off for the character — but that won’t make us miss her any less.
RIP Grace Shelby
Played by Annabelle Wallis
By order of the Peaky Blinders, Thomas Shelby could only marry a fascinating woman, and Grace Burgess was that. A barmaid who went undercover for the Birmingham police, she eventually fell for the gangster leader and his crooked ways, and he cleaned up his act for her (sort of). Unfortunately for the Shelby family, a craven assassin took her out. She is survived by her husband Tommy and son Charles.
RIP Barb Hollander
Played by Shannon Purser
Barb was the quintessential best friend: smart, loyal and just honest enough to keep you in check. Unfortunately, she was practicing her good friend skills waiting for Nancy when she ran afoul of the Demogorgon from the Upside Down. We’ll miss you Barb for your amazing ‘80s fashion, short perm, mesmerizing glasses and no bullshit discourse.
RIP Catherine Eaton (Selina Meyer’s Mom)
Played by Shannon Welles
Saying Catherine Sr. was a despised figure in her daughter’s life would be an understatement, but her death exemplified the worst feelings buried within Selina — and showcased the best of Julia Louis-Dreyfus. In Episode 4, aptly titled “Mother,” Selina gets great news just as her mother dies, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is then asked to feign sadness in front of her grieving daughter, Catherine Jr. (Sarah Sutherland). Louis-Dreyfus is simply astounding as she plays both sides of the two-faced politico to each extreme, and later — at her mother’s funeral — she’s able to do the exact opposite (play into Selina’s true sadness during a forced eulogy to her mother) to equal satisfaction. We may not have known Catherine Sr. that well, but we sure got to know Selina a lot better because of her.
RIP Glenn Rhee
Played by Stephen Yeun
Bright and unfailingly loyal, Glenn was the heart of the group of Atlanta survivors and was the reason why Rick joined to lead their group in the first place. In a world gone hungry and mad, the former delivery guy wormed his way into Maggie’s heart and gave us hope for humanity, even when we quit the show. In many ways, Glenn deserved better treatment: for his controversial fake-out death in Season 6 and for the brutal violence porn that brought out his demise. Or maybe we’re wrong, and he’s better off not being on the show any more.
RIP Theresa Cullen
Played by Sidse Babett Knudsen
We’d been preparing ourselves for the discovery that Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) was likely as artificial as the hosts which he maintains — but when “Westworld” decided to reveal Bernard’s true nature, it came with what the show itself called “a blood sacrifice.” Theresa’s tough nature and wry humor had grown on us over the course of the season, and her complicated yet surprisingly tender relationship with Bernard made for a unique love story. So not only were we sad to see her go, but Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) forcing Bernard himself to kill her made for tough viewing.