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Sad Fates Of Characters After The Story's End

Every so often you find a story that's so compelling, even when it's done you're still not fully satisfied. You want to know what happens afterwards, what happens next for the characters you love or hate. Most times we're left to use our imaginations, but once in a while a creator is kind enough to actually continue the story, or at least explain what they envisioned for their characters beyond the ending. And sometimes it's just depressing as hell.

Karen and Harry from Love Actually

When it comes to sad fates, you'd hope a Christmas-themed romantic comedy wouldn't show up on the list, but alas. Two characters in the movie aren't entirely upbeat the whole time, specifically Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman's Karen and Harry. See, Harry has been flirting with his secretary, and when Karen finds out, it kind of devastates her. At least, that's what we see in the movie. But by the end, maybe all is well and they live happily ever after? Ha! No.

Emma Freud, script editor on the film and wife of director Richard Curtis, decided to live tweet a showing of the film one night and answer fan questions. Emma confirmed that Harry had a full-on affair with his secretary. The result? Harry and Karen stay together as a couple, but it's not a happy marriage, more of a depressing, going-through-the-motions sort of affair. So Merry Christmas everyone!

Frank and Alice Longbottom from Harry Potter

The parents of Neville Longbottom didn't have a huge part in the Harry Potter stories but fans seem to have a soft spot for them. That's why it was rather tragic to learn Frank and Alice had been tortured to the point of madness by Bellatrix Lestrange and her crew. When last we heard, Frank and Alice had been committed to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies. A downer, but surely there was hope. Unfortunately, as fans of the Potterverse know, J.K. Rowling has been very vocal about sharing little hints and clues about the fates of characters beyond the books. When it comes to Neville's parents, there's nothing good to share. Rowling herself has stated there is no hope there. The damage done by dark magic is permanent damage and the Longbottoms will never be cured.

Tony Soprano from the Sopranos

The infamous ending of The Sopranos has left fans arguing for years over just what happened. A man in a diner with a particular interest in Tony heads to the restroom, the diner door opens, we focus on Tony's face and the screen goes black. Did he get murdered? What the heck was the ending supposed to mean? After years of speculation and constant questioning, David Chase, the show's creator, finally gave up the truth in an interview with Vox. The question "did Tony Soprano die?" was answered with a very simple "no."

So Tony's alive! That's not sad, right? Well, that wasn't the right answer. Chase later sent out a statement clarifying that Vox had misquoted him and his answer wasn't as simple as that. He never stated unequivocally that Tony was alive. His point was that it doesn't matter if Tony is alive or dead, he was looking for something bigger in the ending, something philosophical. Essentially he turned Tony into Schrödinger's Soprano, a mobster who is both alive and dead as need dictates. There is no right or wrong to Tony Soprano's fate, which is both satisfying and terribly frustrating all at the same time. Essentially Tony is now lost in a philosophical conundrum. There's no progress for the character beyond the show, no hidden history or secret fate. There is nothing. That could be the saddest fate of all.

Hooch from Turner and Hooch

Long before he became the greatest actor in history, Tom Hanks was a guy who made a lot of silly comedies. He starred in a movie about a mermaid, a bachelor party, a guy who wanted to be thrown into a volcano and, perhaps his best comedy role ever, as a cop opposite a giant, slobbery dog named Hooch.

Hooch is immediately lovable, because he's gross but also a dog, and dogs can't be held accountable for being gross. He's just a big, dumb, lovable brute of a dog and—spoilers!—he sacrifices his life to save Hanks' Turner at the end. It's a dirty tear jerker that redeems itself when you find out Hooch had puppies, so there's a little Hooch to continue daddy's legacy. But what about the real Hooch? The adorable mutt who stole our hearts?

In a recent interview with Hanks, it was revealed that Hooch was in fact four separate dogs pulling the duty of one super Hooch. And all four dogs are dead. Crap. It's a sad fact of life that dogs have a fairly short lifespan relative to humans, and Turner and Hooch did come out in 1989. The odds on any dog from '89 still being alive are pretty slim.

Col. Hiller from Independence Day

No one really expected a sequel to 1996's blockbuster alien extravaganza Independence Day, since it seems to end on the high note of humanity destroying the alien menace and aligning in peace and brotherhood throughout the land. Pretty great, right? Sadly, it was not meant to be, and the aliens are coming back for vengeance. And with a bigger ship.

We expected the super team of Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith to once again fight off the alien scourge with some Apple-based computer virus, but it turns out Will Smith was not down for another spin through space with little green men. So how do the producers account for his absence? The official word from the website for ID4: Resurgence is that Will Smith's Col. Hiller died the year after the alien invasion while test piloting the first alien hybrid fighter craft. An unknown malfunction caused the ship to crash and Hiller did not survive. Not the most glamorous ending for the savior of mankind, but it's the best we'll get.