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Terrible Deaths That Disrespected Big Characters

You watch a show for long enough, or sometimes even just a movie with really great characters and writing, and you start to feel that these people are alive. You become attached to the characters and have a vested interest in how their story progresses. That's just human nature. And it's also human nature to be utterly disgusted when a character you've come to love gets knocked off in a way that's just so lazy, pointless, and disrespectful it makes you wonder if the writers took the week off to let monkeys fill in. Spoilers to follow, of course...

Captain Kirk in Star Trek: Generations

One of the greatest, most iconic characters in the history of film and television, Captain Kirk is the original space bad ass. Kirk schmoozed space ladies, kicked alien butt, saved whole planets, and did it all while barely ruffling his hair piece. So how, after 30 years of legendary captaining, do you kill off such an amazing character? Why not drop a bridge on him?

Star Trek: Generations came with the awesome premise of bringing original Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation together in one mind-blowing movie. Unfortunately the movie ended up just sucking and Captain Kirk was so useless in it all the filmmakers could think of doing with him was dropping a bridge on him to put him out of his misery. A shameful end to one of sci-fi's greatest characters.

Maude Flanders in The Simpsons

If there's one thing you can count on from The Simpsons after the 100 or so years it's been on TV is that you never need to think or feel much of anything. For 30 minutes, Homer does something dumb and then next week everything starts over again. Except the one time that didn't happen.

Midway through season 11, Maude Flanders has the misfortune of being at the Springfield Speedway when Homer's there, too. As the fan-demonium girls begin shooting t-shirts from their cannons, they take aim at an excited Homer who, at the last moment, bends over. Maude takes the brunt of the t-shirt slug and is launched from the stands into the parking lot below, where she meets her undignified end, never to be seen on the show again. It's the most ridiculous death the show runners could have given her.

Jon Snow and Ned Stark on Game of Thrones

There are actually any number of deaths from Game of Thrones that could be included here, but we're going to call a tie between the father and son deaths of Ned Stark and Jon Snow as being the most disrespectful to the characters. To start, Ned Stark is the focal point of the entire program in season one. He's the backbone of his family, the beacon of honor in a world of backstabbers and shady dealers. He's a good man. So, naturally, his head comes off. In the first season!

Fast forward to season five and Jon Snow who, we can acknowledge, may not actually be dead, gets murdered like a chump in the night. Jon Snow may be the most important person in the entire world next to Daenerys Targaryen. He's the Captain of the Night's Watch, the first and last line of defense against the horrors from north of the Wall. And then his little jerk friend Olly shows up one night, tricks him into going outside, and an entire mob of mutineers stab him to death in the snow. Thanks for nothing, George R.R. Martin, you creep.

Dan Connor on Roseanne

This is one of the greatest "out of left field" deaths of all time. For years, John Goodman nailed the role of Dan Connor on Roseanne, one of the most realistic family sitcoms ever to air on TV. It was a family that had problems with money, with bratty kids, with work and with everyday life. They weren't beautiful; they were the anti-Cleavers. And the show was pretty damn funny, thanks in large part to Goodman.

Towards the end of the show's run, Dan has some health problems and even has a heart attack. He recovers and then the show goes completely off the rails. The family wins the lottery, Dan and Roseanne break up for a while, and a bunch of zany things happen. And then, in the final episode, we find out there was no lottery win, it was merely a story Roseanne writes in the aftermath of Dan actually dying from his heart attack.

As a finale, it's certainly a powerful reveal, but so unnecessary and such an off-handed way to ditch such an important character.

Anya on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Maybe it's because Joss Whedon likes to keep audiences on their toes—Buffy's mom is killed off out of the blue in one of the most dramatic episodes of TV ever—that he felt the need to dump Anya from the show in such an unceremonious way.

A recurring character since season three, Anya makes it all the way to the end of season seven as the whole crew runs into battle against the biggest bad ever, and then, oops, she gets cut in half. Maybe it's because she spent so much of her life as a vengeance demon that she was destined to die heroic but alone. All we know is no one even knows she died because the school collapses on her body before anyone can even find her.

Cyclops in X-Men: The Last Stand

It seems almost cruel to pick on Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand at this point. It was awful and it took several movies to fix the crap it caused in the X-Men Universe. Now that everything is back on track again, we should just forget about it and pretend it never happened. But if we're talking insulting deaths, we need to bring up how poorly this movie handled Cyclops. Cyclops, who for years in the comics is the leader of the X-Men and had been on the team since 1963, gets murdered by his own wife as an afterthought.

Brett Ratner must have hated the character something fierce as we don't even get to see Cyclops die. We see him meet Jean Grey at Alkali Lake and then later we see his glasses floating mysteriously in some kind of telekinetic wave. Next time anyone mentions him it's next to his tombstone. For real? That's it? What a waste.

Padme Amidala in Star Wars: Episode III

George Lucas made more than his fair share of mistakes in the Star Wars prequels. Some were small and easy to ignore, like Grievous's inexplicable hacking cough. Others were much harder to deal with. For instance, Padme Amidala just up and dies at the end of Episode III. There are an endless number of ways she could have died, assuming she needed to be dead, but Lucas chose the worst reason: no reason. There's even a conversation in which a medical droid confirms that she's literally dying of nothing. She's perfectly healthy but no longer has the will to live, much like the audience after hearing that.

Is the idea that she's dying of a broken heart? Probably, which is made all the more lame by how awful her relationship with Anakin is up to that point, and how every other fictional romance has more depth, passion and believability than theirs. But whatever she saw in Anakin that the rest of us missed is irrelevant, because...come on. No one really dies of a broken heart, especially not in a future where they can just build you a new hand when your other one gets cut off by your angry dad or whatever.