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(WARNING: Contains potential spoilers)
Yesterday we paid tribute to television actors who passed away in 2011, but they’re not the only familiar faces we’ll no longer see on TV next year. We watched some of our favorite TV characters die in 2011— many of them when we were least expecting it.
10. Charlie Harper – Two and a Half Men
It wasn’t much of a surprise when CBS decided to kill off Charlie Sheen’s character on “Two and a Half Men” after his massive falling out with the network. What was shocking, however, was the gruesome way they killed off Charlie Harper—by hitting him with a train (that presumably ran on tiger blood.)
9. Li’l Sebastian – Parks and Recreation
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This enchanting equine may have been small, but his death left a big impact on the town of Pawnee, Indiana. The loss of Li’l Sebastian did, however, give Andy’s band Mouserat its biggest single yet with “5,000 Candles in the Wind.”
8. Sophia Peletier – The Walking Dead
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When little Sophia disappeared in the woods earlier this year, we were sure she was zombie bait from the start. But it was still shocking to see her come out of Herschel’s barn and watch Rick have to put her down with a shot to the head.
7. Jesus Velasquez – True Blood
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Lafayette’s Brujo boyfriend Jesus taught him how to awaken his magical powers—although it would have probably been better for Jesus had he not. While Lafayette was possessed by the spirit of Marnie he killed Jesus to gain his Brujo powers.
6. Ben Harmon – American Horror Story
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When a show openly admits to being a horror story, you shouldn’t become attached to any of the characters—and yet, Ben’s death in the final episode still came as a surprise. After his family talked him out of suicide, we thought he’d start a new life with the baby. Unfortunately the ghosts got to him before he could escape.
5. Bill Henrickson – Big Love
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After such a tumultuous final season, we were not expecting Bill to bite the big one in the last episode. Bill was shot in the chest over a petty lawn dispute with his neighbor and his death brought about the death of the show itself.
4. Gustavo Fring – Breaking Bad
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When drug lord Gustavo Fring crossed the line with Walter White, it was certain that one could not live while the other survived. Gus came to an explosive end when Hector Salamanca turned suicide bomber.
3. Mags Bennett – Justified
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We were completely expecting Mags to poison Raylan at the end of season two, so when she took a swig of her own poisoned moonshine we were stunned. We knew their cat-and-mouse game would eventually have to end, we just never expected Mags to do herself in.
2. Jimmy Darmody – Boardwalk Empire
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Nucky and Jimmy started out the series as partners, with Jimmy playing the role of the number two. When Jimmy wanted more than what was given to him, Nucky put him in his place with two shots to the face.
1. Eddard “Ned” Stark – Game of Thrones
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Although fans of the book series already knew it was coming, the rest of us were shocked when main character Ned Stark was beheaded by King Goffery, the son of his best friend. This unexpected death made it clear that no character is safe—not even the series lead.