5 Guidelines for Killing Off TV Characters

Season 7 of The Walking Dead (TWD) started off with a bang by killing off a main character. Don’t worry — I won’t say what happened. But this is not the first time TWD has discarded a major character, nor is the show unique in its penchant for offing fan favorites when least expected (e.g., Game of Thrones). The question is: Why is this storytelling technique so frustrating, yet compelling? The answer is all about execution. No pun intended.

Spoilers below for (1) The Walking Dead, (2) Arrow, (3) Breaking Bad, (4) The Wire, (5) Game of Thrones. Each show’s name and season are listed after every point for those who want to skip around.

1. Don’t trick the audience to “build suspense”

Example: AMC’s The Walking Dead, Season 6

TWD is replete with characters unexpectedly dying at inopportune times. In earlier seasons, this was done quite effectively; however…

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Author: tvfestival

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