By its nature, dying is pretty memorable. It's the loss of one's life. The ultimate end. After a lifetime spent conversing, it's important to get one's final words in this mortal realm correct before taking one's exit. And, no one understands that better than movie characters; after all, their final words will be immortalized on screen forever.
Final words are a gift to writers everywhere. They're a chance to get especially poignant or really comment on the psyches of the character, or on what really matters to human beings in the end. Great final lines not only inform the viewer of the character but on the human condition itself. Also, sometimes they're pretty funny. So, either way, win-win.
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- Photo: New Line Cinema
"I would have followed you - my brother, my captain, my king."
In The Lord of the Rings, a council of Dwarves, Elves, and Humans meet and decide that the only thing to do with the powerful artifact known as the One Ring is to destroy it. A fellowship is formed to transport the ring to Mount Doom to be destroyed.
Among that fellowship is a human warrior named Boromir, who dies in battle, giving his life to protect two of the hobbits along on the journey with him. Boromir has had his disagreements with other members of the Fellowship, but he dies professing his sorrow to Aragorn - and his allegiance.4712Great final line?
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
"You have your mother's eyes."
Severus Snape led a life of tragedy. He fell in love with a woman named Lily, and while in school, was a target of bullying at the hands of her boyfriend, James Potter. He joined the Death Eaters, but eventually became a double agent for the Order of the Phoenix.
After Lily's passing, Snape continued working alongside Dumbledore at Hogwarts. Once Harry Potter, Lily's child, made it to the school, Snape watched over the boy. When Voldemort was resurrected, Snape continued his work as a double agent and was forced to work alongside the Dark Lord. Eventually, to prove his loyalty, Snape has to terminate Dumbledore. This ultimately seals Snape's own fate, as he becomes the true wielder of the Elder Wand, something that won't stand with Voldemort. So, Voldemort does away with Snape.
Harry Potter gets to comfort Snape in his final moments. Snape looks into Harry's eyes, and reminds Harry - and the audience - why he fought so hard to redeem himself in the first place, declaring, "You have your mother's eyes." And then he passes, thinking of the one person he ever truly loved.4512Great final line?
"This is... from... Mathilda."
Leon was a hitman who took in a young girl named Mathilda after her parents were slain. Mathilda becomes obsessed with being trained as an assassin in order to get revenge against Norman Stansfield, the man responsible for her family's deaths.
Mathilda eventually leads a failed strike on Stansfield, and Leon has to get her out of trouble. Leon's final line comes as he hands Stansfield a gift, telling him it was "from Mathilda." Stansfield immediately realizes the gift is a grenade pin. After a beat, the grenade it came from explodes, taking both of them out.310Great final line?
- Photo: DreamWorks Pictures
"Earn this. Earn it."
A lot is sacrificed for the single life of James Francis Ryan. After Ryan Ryan's brothers were all slain in battle, a troop is sent on a mission, the sole purpose of which is finding the surviving Ryan brother and bringing him home. The mission is successful, but not without the loss of most of their lives. Chief among these demises is that of the captain, and the film's moral centerpiece, John H. Miller. In his last breaths, having sacrificed a great deal to reunite the Ryan family with the one son they have left, he delivers a quiet plea with his final words: "Earn this."
The end of the film reveals how impactful those words were on the life of James Ryan; he spent his life attempting to earn that sacrifice.321Great final line?