We watch our favorite TV shows because they tell us great stories and give us characters to root for. But in order for these series to stay fresh, sometimes they have to get rid of the very characters we grow to love (or love to hate).
Each year, we say goodbye to a handful of characters across the television landscape. Sometimes, their departure feels long overdue. Other times, we grieve because it feels like they left us way too soon. Here are 10 TV characters that we likely won’t be seeing much longer.
1. Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones
Mother, wife, lover, queen. Though she’s not always loved, Cersei Lannister has consistently been one of the most fascinating and controversial characters on Game of Thrones. From her incestuous relationship with her brother to her killer political instincts, she’s contributed some of the most memorable moments in the past six seasons. So, in some ways it’s almost impossible to imagine the series without her.
However, there are many signs that Cersei’s time in King’s Landing — in fact, in Westeros altogether — could be coming to an end. Most notably, Maggy’s prophecy from her childhood. We learned in Season 5 that Cersei would outlive all three of her children, which came to pass at the end of Season 6. But the fortune teller also said that Cersei would die at the hands of a Valonqar. Devout GoT fans know that means “little brother” in Valyrian, and that means there are only two characters — Tyrion and Jaime — who could possibly be responsible for bringing Cersei down.
Though there’s no guarantee that Cersei will perish in Season 7, it’s a likely turn of events. After all, there are so many other characters vying for the throne, and they can’t take it until she’s been removed.
2. Petyr Baelish, Game of Thrones
Littlefinger, aka Petyr Baelish, has made a living off of influencing and exploiting other characters. And for many Game of Thrones fans, the question has always been not if he would perish for his actions, but when they would finally catch up with him.
By the end of Season 6, dozens of characters had cause to seek revenge on him. And now that Jon Snow has taken the reigns in the North, his political foes should be wary of crossing him. If Jon learns how Littlefinger has been playing Sansa, or if he perceives him as a threat, it’s very likely that he’ll get his comeuppance sooner rather than later. And even if the Northerners don’t take him down, Tyrion Lannister also has a bone to pick with the master manipulator.
3. Sasha Williams, The Walking Dead
Sasha may not have joined The Walking Dead fray until Season 3, but by now she feels like an old-timer. She’s been through a lot — the deaths of her friends, two love interests, and her beloved brother. And her experiences have turned her into a hardened warrior.
Though she’s survived many hardships thus far, many signs point to the fact that she may be nearing the end of the road. She’s undergone a bit of a transformation in Season 7, and seems keen to take on Negan directly. Her bloodlust has definitely backed her into some tight corners before, so it’s only natural to wonder when her luck will run out.
The most obvious sign that Sasha could be a goner, though, is that Sonequa Martin-Green, who portrays Sasha on The Walking Dead, was just cast as the lead on Star Trek: Discovery. It’s hard to believe the actress would be given the green light to work on both series. And given that conclusion, there really doesn’t seem to be any way that Sasha could stick around for Season 8.
4. Morgan Jones, The Walking Dead
Morgan has undergone a pretty incredible transformation on The Walking Dead. He’s gone to the brink of insanity and come back again, found a spiritual center, and then discarded it in the face of the harsh reality of his existence. Now that he’s back to killing as a means of survival, fans wonder what will come next for him.
If we’re reading the signs correctly, his arc on TWD may be nearly over. It’s likely that there will be more than one major casualty as Rick and his allies battle the Saviors. And comic fans know that Morgan has already long outlived his time in the apocalypse. The series creators love to kill off characters once they’ve reached some kind of epiphany — see Bob, Andrea, and Hershel, just to name a few. Now that Morgan is ready to fight alongside his friends, it would be a sad irony to see him die for the cause.
5. John Murphy, The 100
Fans of The 100 know that Season 4 will be a brutal one. The whole marketing campaign for the series focused on a single question: Who will survive? And though it’s hard to tell exactly who is prime for not surviving, John Murphy seems to be a likely candidate.
He’s experienced a pretty profound redemption over the last four seasons. And lately, he’s grown deeply attached to Emori. It seems pretty clear that one major character is going to be snatched up and exposed to massive radiation in the coming episodes. Emori’s concern that it will be either her or Murphy could prove to be prophetic. His need to keep her alive could mean that he’s willing to sacrifice himself.
6. Jasper Jordan, The 100
Few characters on The 100 have undergone a transformation as dramatic as Jasper. He’s gone from being a consistent source of comedic relief to a character completely devoid of hope or happiness. It’s understandable, giving the conditions that the characters have to live through, but it’s also left fans wondering where he could possibly go from there.
In the Season 4 premiere, he was on the brink of suicide. Since then, it seems like he still hasn’t really committed himself to trying to survive. If the trend continues, it seems pretty likely that Jasper won’t last much longer. And, for the sake of moving the series’ narrative forward, that sadly might not be the worst thing.
7. Frank Underwood, House of Cards
For the past four seasons, House of Cards has centered around the wickedly manipulative Frank Underwood and his stunning ascent to power. And with each passing year, fans have come to expect narrative twists and turns, as well as a shocking death or two.
As Season 5 looms, it seems likely that there could be another big shake-up in the storytelling. In the original House of Cards series on the BBC, the main character was killed by his beleaguered wife. It’s not hard to imagine Claire Underwood pulling a similar move.
Though there’s no clear indication that Kevin Spacey will be leaving the series, killing Frank would certainly help re-establish House of Cards as a true TV thriller after a couple of humdrum seasons.
8. Dr. Stephanie Edwards, Grey’s Anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy has always had a revolving cast of characters, so it’s hardly a surprise anymore when someone exits the ensemble. In fact, it’s usually a relief when a Grey Sloan Memorial staff member just leaves the hospital rather than getting killed in some gruesome way.
This year, it looks like Dr. Stephanie Edwards may be the one we’re saying goodbye to. Actress Jerrika Hinton has stated that her character will not return for Grey’s 14th season. That’s likely because the actress has been cast in a new, currently untitled HBO series. It remains to be seen whether Dr. Edwards will move on to greener pastures or die in an untimely, tragic death like so many who came before her.
9. Thea Queen, Arrow
Thea Queen has certainly gone through some highs and lows during her five seasons on Arrow. For many fans, she’s one of the few remaining old guard — but unfortunately, that may not be the case for long.
Wendy Mericle, Arrow‘s executive producer, recently commented on Thea’s reduced presence this season, and promised we’d see some big moments from her in upcoming episodes. She also likened Thea’s journey to her mother’s. That might not be great news for Thea’s fans, though, because her mother, Moira died at the end of Season 2.
Stephen Amell has also dropped hints that the end of Season 5 will be pretty incredible. And there are few moments in a TV series more likely to blow fans’ minds than a big death.
10. Jack, This Is Us
It’s no secret that Jack Pearson dies on This Is Us. The series recently left us hanging when it came to the manner of his demise, but that doesn’t mean we won’t learn how it happens eventually.
What is uncertain, is whether we’ll keep seeing Jack after we learn what happened to him. Given This Is Us has a nonlinear narrative, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Jack could crop up from time-to-time. But it’s also much more likely that they’ll reduce his presence, or remove it entirely. Though it would be painful, it would help us, the fans, fully feel the effect of his loss. And that would up the emotional ante on the show, which we all know they’re more than happy to do.
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