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.)
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- According to the Bible, Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried for the sins of his people.
- Obi-Wan let Darth Vader kill him in order to drive the Rebel forces to defeat the Dark Side.
- Fell with the Balrog in order to pass the moral test and help his friends.
Darth Vader saved his son Luke from the Emperor and got blasted by lightening.
- In order to save the town of Rockwell, he took the explosives and flew them into the stratosphere.
Spock fixed the Enterprise to allow it to escape but was killed from radiation poisoning.
- Holds the door against the White Walkers, sacrificing himself to save Bran.
- Ran into the poisonous fog so Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick could live.
- The Terminator destroyed himself in order to prevent Judgment Day.
Jack gave his love Rose the entire door to float on so only he would perish in the freezing water.
- Chuck from The Maze Runner took a bullet for Thomas.
- Walt got the gangsters to shoot him in front of several witnesses so they would go to jail.
- Harry manually triggered the bomb to save the world even though A.J. drew the short straw.
- Leonidas, with his army of 300 Spartans, fought a battle that they knew they would lose.
- Léon created an escape path for Mathilda and blew up Stansfield and himself with a grenade.
- In Engines of War, Cinder was shot saving Doctor Who.
- Drew gunfire so the rest of his unit had time to escape the Japanese invasion.
- The priest exorcised the demon but afterwards jumped to his death to save the world.
- Ripley threw herself into a fire so the Weyland-Yutani Corporation couldn't use her alien embryo.
- Restored the golden light and saved the island knowing he would die from electromagnetism.
- Blew up Skynet Headquarters and himself in order to destroy the deadly research.
- Took her own life rather than get captured and impregnated by Xenomorphs.
- Blew up the bridge in order to save the Allies from the surging fascists.
- Saves the man that Lucie loves from execution by replacing him in his prison cell.
- Eden killed herself so the evil Sylar wouldn't be able to take her power to influence.