Death Scenes

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#1
Was thinking about great death scenes in movies and started to try and think of some examples in books.

It shouldn't be tricky... but my memory being what it is I can only think of things like Gandlaf's "fake" death in Moria. Or pretty much the death of anyone killed by Logan Ninefingers.

Instead I figure I'll ask you guys... then I can chortle at remembrances and say "oh yeah... that guy..."

So... great death scenes / ways of finishing of the bad guy...?

:stop: Edit: SPOILER HEAVY THREAD :stop:
We put them in spoiler brackets... but you've been warned.
 
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Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#2
This thread needs spoiler warnings plastered all over it lol

For me the scene with the most impact was Red Wedding. That one gutted me when I was reading it. I whispered what..waaa...no...nooo...and then closed the book and stared. My boyfriend read this before me, just looked at me and said yup. I was...how do you english folks say it....flabbergasted. I'll never forget it.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
The death that most affected me in fantasy literature was that of
Fuschia Groan in Gormenghast. She was a fantastic character, and her death happened so suddenly and out of the blue
that I had one of those moments where all I could do was put the book down and stare at the wall for 10 minutes.
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#5
So it's the unexpected deaths...
we have a unlimited ways of finishing people off with magic and sci-fi but it's the human elements that we remember? Interesting.
makes sense - I'm reading Rivers of London at the moment and..
A baby dies after being thrown out of the window. I found that, incongruously with the rest of the book, quite disturbing.

Is there a fantasy equivalent of Nicholas Cage firing a bad guy out of an Alcatraz window on the tip of a chemically laden missile?
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#6
So it's the unexpected deaths...
we have a unlimited ways of finishing people off with magic and sci-fi but it's the human elements that we remember? Interesting.
makes sense - I'm reading Rivers of London at the moment and..
A baby dies after being thrown out of the window. I found that, incongruously with the rest of the book, quite disturbing.

Is there a fantasy equivalent of Nicholas Cage firing a bad guy out of an Alcatraz window on the tip of a chemically laden missile?
some elaboration on my example
Kelsier's death wasn't really unexpected for me. I always expected him to die. It was more how he died that made the scene so "great" and rememberable
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#7
For me the greatest death scene in a fantasy book is:

Ned getting his head chopped off. This was just so unexpected. The scene was very well done as well (with Arya as the unlucky onlooker

ASOIAF has a penchant for great deaths, some just hinted at, such as

Ser Arthur Dayne's glorious desmise

, others explicitly shown, like

how Joffrey died. Such a glorious, great death. This one had me jumping up and down in public transport. People still think I'm crazy...

Another great death is from LOTR.

Boromir dying in the arms of Aragorn. Movie: "I would have followed you, my brother... My captain... My king." I get goosebumps by typing that sentence. Book: Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
#8
Is there a fantasy equivalent of Nicholas Cage firing a bad guy out of an Alcatraz window on the tip of a chemically laden missile?
Oh, you mean cool death scenes, rather than emotional death scenes, as in "Hasta La Vista, Baby". I love those!

Note: The Spoilers are there for a reason and deaths are usually very important within the plot, so beware!

First one that leaps to mind is from Malazan:
Karsa Orlong faces Rhulad, the emperor who cannot be killed without being resurrected. Rhulad asks Karsa "How many times will you kill me? and Karsa replies "I will kill you...once" and proceeds to kill Rhulad once and for all
Then there is a great death scene in the Amber chronicles:
Brand is being killed by a silver arrow while standing at the edge of a chasm and falls through
Pratchett had a lot of good death scenes, my favorite one is from Small Gods:
Vorbis, standing at the plaza torturing Brutha, is being killed by a turtle falling out from the sky
Our very own @ABatch had a pretty good death scene at the end of Steel, Blood and Fire:
The Reaper kills The End after a long sword and sorcery battle
You get a proper death scene in Lies of Locke Lamora:
Locke kills Capa Raza near the end of the book, even though he is way more unskilled than him
We mustn't forget Clive Barker:
When Shadwell is being consumed by The Scourge who asks him mockingly "Do I Dare?"
Nor Tad Williams:
The main villain, Johnny Wulgaru, kills one of the other villains, Robert Wells, by reaching out into his throat and pulling his spinal chord out
Good death scenes are also to be found in The Black Company:
When The Lady kills The Limper after she discovers he betrayed her
Going sci-fi for a moment, there is no way I can ignore Neal Stephenson:
At the end of the book, where YT looks at the burning airplane where the evil boss had just died, and says "Sweet!"

There are also a few good death scenes in both Butcher's Dresden Files and Lawrence's Broken Empire, although the specifics elude me at the moment, and of course, you find a lot of good ones in Abercrombie's books, like you already mentioned.
 

MrMarbles

Fought a battle in the name of the old gods
#9
This thread needs spoiler warnings plastered all over it lol

For me the scene with the most impact was Red Wedding. That one gutted me when I was reading it. I whispered what..waaa...no...nooo...and then closed the book and stared. My boyfriend read this before me, just looked at me and said yup. I was...how do you english folks say it....flabbergasted. I'll never forget it.
Exactly what I first thought of. I've re-read the last Red Wedding chapter so many times and pretty much every time I get teary eyed. When she finlly loses her mind, and the "ten fierce ravens" start tearing at her face, then she starts laughing hysterically, before the final cut... wow. Just an absolutely emotionally destructive ending.
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#10
@ofer I'd forgotten snow crash. I seem to remember a bit of
severing of inside leg arterial action in that was a cracker

In fact Stephenson has some crackers. Reamde had..
Abdullah Jones the terrorist thinking he's being flanked by another man but gets savaged by a mountain lion.

Dresden has some crackers as well...
Shooting his possessed boss in the head point blank with a revolver (after riding into town on a resurrected T-Rex. Can't remember if there was a pithy one liner that went with it though.
 

Annomander Matt

Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry
#11
So many good ones mentioned already. GRRM may have frustrated me with his last two books, but that guy does some crazy good (heartrending) death scenes. Two that I came up with off top are:

Crap don't know how to do spoiler tags...
Malazan Spoiler coming

Still coming

Don't look of you haven't read

Edit: never mind, I'll figure out spoiler tags then post
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#15
...pation.

Hit the little page of text looking icon in the toolbar somewhere about here / \. That will give you a chance to add a spoiler. When it shoves some sets of square brackets in your post then anything you put between them will be "spoilered". Have fun. Let the gruesome death carnage commence!
 

Scorpio1990

Has been in the eye of the world
#16
I can't remember what book it was! Think it's the Magician by Feist, when the dragon dies I found it quite moving and memorable.
 

Darwin

Journeyed there and back again
#17
Everything about the final struggle in Heroes Die was surprising/awesome to me.
1) Ma'elKoth doesn't die! Did NOT see that coming.
2) Berne dies, and it's satisfying.
3) Lamorack dies, and the results are awesome
4) Hari is crippled. This really annoyed the shit out of me and was the first step toward ruining the sequels, but it was certainly unexpected.
 

Annomander Matt

Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry
#18
OK, so I think I figured this out thanks to Wakarimasen. Thanks! I was definitely not intending to drum up excitement for my post, and now feel as if it will be woefully inadequate lol
Anyway, I have been traveling on vacation with spotty internet so haven't been doing much browsing the internet - mainly just email and then off to the next site. Hence my lack of visiting the forums...
The most vivid or at least memorable death scene to me was Annomander Rake. Even though he was a minor character in the series, he was one of my favorites, as you can tell by my screen name. The fight with Dassembrae where he doesn't want to fight, and instead sacrifices himself by expertly placing his sword in a position that will cause his opponents next thrust to kill him is something that hadhas stuck with me and was the first death I thought of when seeing the thread title.

I can also remember the absolute gutwrenching shock of the Red Wedding, but anyone that has read Storm of Swords before the show came out feels the same way.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#19
You'll have to have read until MBotF #7 for the next one

I found the death of Beak in Reaper's Gake the most tearjerking, the death of the character you mentioned was rather astounishing but indeed very much memorable. Still, Beak's was certainly the most emotional one imo.