Fictional Characters

The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves 

Ann Casano
Updated October 14, 2019 3.1k votes 740 voters 16.8k views 27 items

List Rules Characters from film, television, and literature who sacrificed themselves. Vote up the best characters whose sacrifice meant the most.

They all paid the ultimate price. In that defining moment, each of these characters who sacrificed their lives and died for the benefit of others. Some came from the world film, others from television, and a few came from literature. These are the best fictional characters who sacrificed themselves.

Heroic sacrifice in fiction has been around for a long time. The bible tells the story of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross so that his people’s sins could be forgiven. That same narrative is still used today in multi-million-dollar blockbuster movies.

Many of the characters on this list were severely flawed. But when the time came to give up everything, they saw the light and met their redemptive deaths. Others on this list were always heroes, set out to make their world a better place, and always knew that their end would come for a greater purpose. Good or bad, protagonist or villain, they all died a hero's death. (Of course, not every protagonist's demise is heroic. Cinema has given us a handful of dumb heroic sacrifices, as well.)

Make your voice heard. Vote up for your favorite fictional characters who sacrifice themselves.

list ordered by
1
Jesus Christ is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
The Bible
According to the Bible, Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried for the sins of his people.
2
Obi-Wan Kenobi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Obi-Wan let Darth Vader kill him in order to drive the Rebel forces to defeat the Dark Side.
3
Hodor is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Game of Thrones
Holds the door against the White Walkers, sacrificing himself to save Bran.
4
Gandalf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Fell with the Balrog in order to pass the moral test and help his friends.
5
Darth Vader is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Darth Vader saved his son Luke from the Emperor and got blasted by lightening.


6
Spock is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Spock fixed the Enterprise to allow it to escape but was killed from radiation poisoning.


 
7
The Iron Giant is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
The Iron Giant
In order to save the town of Rockwell, he took the explosives and flew them into the stratosphere.
8
Mags is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Ran into the poisonous fog so Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick could live.
9
Harry S. Stamper is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Armageddon
Harry manually triggered the bomb to save the world even though A.J. drew the short straw.
10
King Leonidas is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Meet the Spartans, 300, The 300 Spartans
Leonidas, with his army of 300 Spartans, fought a battle that they knew they would lose.
11
Walt Kowalski is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Gran Torino
Walt got the gangsters to shoot him in front of several witnesses so they would go to jail.
12
Terminator is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Terminator
The Terminator destroyed himself in order to prevent Judgment Day.
13
Jack Dawson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Titanic

Jack gave his love Rose the entire door to float on so only he would perish in the freezing water.

14
Léon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Léon: The Professional
Léon created an escape path for Mathilda and blew up Stansfield and himself with a grenade.
15
Chuck is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Chuck The Maze Runner
Chuck from The Maze Runner took a bullet for Thomas.
16
Charlie Pace is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Lost
Deactivated the jamming signal so his friends could get rescued and drowned in the process.
17
Dr. Robert Neville is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
The Omega Man, I Am Legend
Blew himself up with the zombies to protect the vaccine.
18
Ellen Ripley is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Alien, Alien 3, Alien Resurrection
Ripley threw herself into a fire so the Weyland-Yutani Corporation couldn't use her alien embryo.
19
Pvt. Vasquez is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Aliens
Took her own life rather than get captured and impregnated by Xenomorphs.
20
Pvt. Witt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Pvt. Witt The Thin Red Line
Drew gunfire so the rest of his unit had time to escape the Japanese invasion.
21
Miles Bennett Dyson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Blew up Skynet Headquarters and himself in order to destroy the deadly research.
22
Damien Karras is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
The Exorcist
The priest exorcised the demon but afterwards jumped to his death to save the world.
23
Cinder is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Cinder Engines of War
In Engines of War, Cinder was shot saving Doctor Who.
24
Jack Shephard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Lost: Missing Pieces, Lost, Lost
Restored the golden light and saved the island knowing he would die from electromagnetism.
25
Sydney Carton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Sacrificed Themselves
Sydney Carton A Tale of Two Cities, A Tale of Two Cities
Saves the man that Lucie loves from execution by replacing him in his prison cell.