The Saddest Television Deaths Ever

Voting Rules
Vote up the famous on-screen deaths that had you in tears.

Spoilers everywhere, of course! List of the saddest TV deaths as voted and ranked by fans. TV shows have long been able to penetrate the core of the human spirit, and audiences grow attached to characters they watch week after week and season after season. While they're fictional deaths, these TV character deaths are among the saddest, most memorable, and most gut wrenching to ever grace the screen - whether they were surprises or a long time coming. The list includes violent deaths, freak accidents, murders, deaths from illness, and a wide range of other sad TV death scenes. (Fake-out deaths, of course, are an entirely different matter.)

Vote for those saddest TV deaths that impacted you most and watch them move to the top of the list, or click Re-Rank to make your own version of this list.

Ranked by
  • Glenn
    The Walking Dead
    65,842 votes
    • Actor: Steven Yeun

    In The Walking Dead, Glenn's brutal death by baseball bat at the hands of the merciless Negan was a heartbreaking moment for fans who admired his unwavering courage and loyalty. Steven Yeun's gripping performance, along with the gut-wrenching reactions of his devastated friends, left viewers reeling from the sheer emotional impact. Glenn's role as the moral compass and a beacon of hope amidst the show's bleak landscape made his loss all the more tragic.

  • Hodor
    Game of Thrones
    54,102 votes
    • Actor: Kristian Nairn

    The lovable gentle giant Hodor from Game of Thrones met a heart-wrenching end when he sacrificed himself to save Bran Stark and Meera Reed from an onslaught of White Walkers. Kristian Nairn's outstanding portrayal of Hodor's selflessness and bravery in his final moments revealed a hidden depth to the character that was immensely moving. The revelation of Hodor's past and genesis of his tragic condition only intensified the sadness of his death.

  • Hershel Greene
    The Walking Dead
    57,401 votes
    • Actor: Scott Wilson

    Hershel Greene served as the wise, grandfatherly figure on The Walking Dead, guiding and inspiring younger survivors with his steady leadership and unwavering faith. Scott Wilson's layered performance captivated audiences while earning him widespread critical acclaim. His execution-style death, which came unexpectedly at the hands of the villainous Governor, broke the hearts of millions who saw him as a symbol of hope and enduring resilience.

  • Lady
    Game of Thrones
    59,103 votes

    The unjust execution of Sansa Stark's direwolf, Lady, in Game of Thrones marked the beginning of the Stark family's tragic journey. Even though she was an animal, her death served as a painful reminder of the cruel world the Starks found themselves in. As an embodiment of the Starks' spirit and innocence, Lady's heartbreaking demise foreshadowed the grim fate of her human counterparts.

  • Opie Winston
    Sons of Anarchy
    63,841 votes
    • Actor: Ryan Hurst

    Opie Winston's harrowing demise in Sons of Anarchy played out as a heartbreaking sacrifice to protect his outlaw brothers, particularly his best friend Jax Teller. Ryan Hurst's poignant performance resonated with viewers who had grown attached to the gentle, loyal Opie since the show's inception. His death marked a turning point in the series, leaving fans devastated and altering the course of events for the rest of the show.

  • Poussey Washington
    Orange is the New Black
    36,200 votes
    • Actor: Samira Wiley

    Poussey Washington's untimely death during a peaceful protest gone awry in Orange Is the New Black shocked and saddened fans of the beloved character. Samira Wiley's outstanding portrayal of Poussey's uniqueness, intelligence, and vulnerability made her an unforgettable part of the ensemble cast. Her tragic end highlighted the harsh realities of prison life and systemic racism, leaving an indelible mark on the show's trajectory.