TV's Saddest Deaths
Renly, Game of Thrones
Renly (Gethin Anthony) wasn't a major character on HBO's fantasy drama, and his death-by-shadow-baby didn't have the same punch as last season's offing of Ned Stark (Sean Bean). Still, his assassination was wonderfully creepy — and the fallout from it will affect events in Westros for seasons to come. Bonus: Now awesome Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) can really come into her own.
Lexie Grey and Mark ''McSteamy'' Sloan, Grey's Anatomy
?And you thought the shooting was bad! The plane crash that cost Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) her leg also felled two of Seattle Grace's most beloved doctors: Lexie (Chyler Leigh), who died after being half-crushed by debris, and Mark (Eric Dane), who eventually succumbed to his injuries back at his home hospital. It's some small comfort to know that if nothing else, these on-again, off-again lovers are together now.
James Moriarty (Andrew Scott), Sherlock
?Holmes' arch nemesis (Andrew Scott) went out with a bang: After cooking up an elaborate plot to kill those nearest and dearest to Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), Moriarty coolly notes that as long as he's alive, the detective can still save his friends. Then he sneers ''good luck with that'' and shoots himself in the mouth. Now that is how a villain dies.
Mike Ehrmantraut, Breaking Bad?
The untimely, unnecessary demise of one of this show's best characters hit us like a bullet to the gut, fired by an ex-high school chemistry teacher. But at least New Mexico's greatest fixer (Jonathan Banks) got the chance to tell Walt (Bryan Cranston) to ''shut the f--- up'' one last time before he died in peace.
Lane Pryce, Mad Men
The accountant's death itself wasn't surprising; foreshadowing throughout the season indicated that a major death was coming, and sad sack Lane (Jared Harris) always seemed like a likely candidate to kick the bucket. But the way Lane died — he hanged himself in his office, leaving a boilerplate resignation letter to serve as his suicide note — was shocking, disturbing, and utterly unforgettable.
Bobby (Jim Beaver) came to be a father figure to Dean and Sam following the death of their father, John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), in season 2, so when he took a bullet to the brain at the start of the year, it rocked the brothers' world — and ours. And though his momentary return as a ghost seemed to signal a second life on the show, he was eventually sent to the afterlife. So, technically, we lost him twice! That said, knowing this show's history, we're not counting out yet another return.
Opie, Sons of Anarchy
Opie's (Ryan Hurst) death in prison at the hands of Damon Pope's lackeys was one of the show's most gripping moments ever — and one of the hardest to watch. Between the graphic nature of the scene (he was beaten to death) and the fact that his fellow incarcerated Sons tearfully and helplessly watched the entire attack, we were equal parts horrified and heartbroken.
After being reunited with her parents just a few episodes prior, Etta (Georgina Haig) went to other universe in the sky after being shot and then sacrificing herself for the cause. (She blew herself up along with a bunch of Observers.) We'll have to wait to see if the series, which has been known to resurrect characters, brings her back from the dead in some way, but going into the new year, Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Olivia's (Anna Torv) offspring is most definitely not alive, much to the chagrin of her grieving parents.
Lori, The Walking Dead
Giving birth in a filthy, zombie-filled prison doesn't sound like a piece of cake or entirely safe, so we weren't totally surprised that Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) died from complications during labor. But we were surprised by how torn up we were by it all. And the most heartbreaking moment? When poor Carl was forced to shoot his dead mother in the head to prevent her from turning. We doubt that's something he's ever going to forget. We sure won't.
Alaric, The Vampire Diaries
Major deaths on The Vampire Diaries, while numerous, have never lacked emotion. And this year delivered a few particularly wrenching fatalities, the hardest was probably Alaric (Matt Davis), who died multiple times this year before kicking it for good in the season finale when Elena (Nina Dobrev) succumbed to her injuries from the car accident. (His life had been bounded to Elena's by Esther.) She, of course, turned into a vampire, but the ''death'' was true enough to send Alaric into the great beyond. And even though he has appeared briefly as a ghost, his absence it definitely noted and felt by the friends (and fans!) he left behind.