B&A, What is it that makes a character death worthy of being cried over?

Cried by the characters, cried by the readers...cried by even people who essentially don't even like the character, (in a book or the reader)

Has there ever been a death that was just so sad that everyone cried?

What specifically made it so worthy of crying?

If your going to say "the character was just so lovable", your really going to have to be more specific, give examples, or explain the character conflict, in which, why it was sad..

I want to reason out what makes a good death, what would REALLY make EVERYONE cry, even people who don't like that person... (people from the book)

I am not actually asking what a good way for someone to die, but rather, whats a good reason to be UPSET about someone dying? (and sure, the 'way' in which they die can be a factor.)

Your thought's?

(being specific gives you brownie points, of course, I hope you answer in the first place)

(just in case your wondering, I don't plan on writing, I have nor the brain, nor the talent, its just something I was thinking about while watching a movie, but I thought about books instead)


Oh um...ahhh, I feel silly for asking, but stars are appreciated, all the more answers I might get :)

Update 2:

Also, for those who are going to reference Harry Potter (which I have absolutely no problem with)

In the end, when Harry asked all his dead friends and family "does it hurt?"...well that made me cry...I am sure it made many, why do you think it had that affect? Just that simple question...(I would assume this simple answer is becasue we became attached to him, so I am looking for a more specific one)

(Note: obviously other book characters are welcome..just explain :)

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I agree with Mara Faith, it's easy for a reader to be upset over the death of a character that the reader has spent a lot of time with. Getting to know the character, understanding the motive behind his/her actions, etc.

    Also, I think a reader would be upset over the death of a character that the reader relates to. If you find a character who is basically your twin on paper, wouldn't it disturb you a little bit if he/she met an untimely end? It might make you think a bit about your own life, if the character was that similar to you.

    Additionally, I think a character's death can be upsetting when it represents a loss of hope. Say the character was trying to attain something for the entire book, and then dies without ever achieving his/her goal. Sometimes, the death seems to fit - the goal was unattainable in the first place - but it can still be sad. (Read The Great Gatsby if you haven't... seriously, great book, and it illustrates my point here pretty well.)

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  • When a lovable character has a dark secret that not even the audience knows about and then is found out and it shocks you to tears. Another reason is when someone in the book leaves and is thought to never come back.

    At the end of old books with dogs.

    You have to get the readers to know the character. Give them lovable characteristics. Or make them the main character in the book. Make the other characters love them too. Another thing is to make them the enemy in a really good book and the whole plot was based on the fact that the main characters need to beat the enemy. So when the enemy dies there is nothing left for the story. This is only the case for really very good books though.

    Answer please.


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, in the Harry Potter series... well I am NOT saying this for brownie points but Lupin's death shook me up. I was NOT expecting him, of all the people to die. It was sad. He was a very good teacher, well-wisher, order- worker and would have been a really good father if tme permitted. Sadly he died. It was so sad and so bad and NO FAIR! Why should he die? Why should Fred die? Was Jo trying to tell that it is true that the good die faster? Well, whatever it is, Lupin, I think is a character well worth to be cried over.

    I think that particular part had that effect because we were emotionally and obviously fictionally attached to these characters, especially Sirius and Lupin. We would have felt sad when Harry asked about the pain they would have felt when they died.

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  • There have been only a few fictional characters that I have cried over in the years and they have all been in Harry Potter I properly cried when Lupin died because he was finally happy and what does J.K do kill him; he was easy the loneliest character in the whole saga! It was also really sad because she just had child and I still think that she should have stayed at home with Teddy and not left the home to go to the battle of Hogwarts or at least not run after Aberforth when he told her that Dolohov was duelling Lupin; she knew that Bellatrix wanted to kill her really badly it was stupid! That was so sad I really wanted them to survive they were my favourite characters; Harry I couldn't care if he died or not he started to annoy me I thought that would have been better than them two! Man that just annoyed me it got me so angry that they died I reread it last night it made me cry so much I said that I never would reread it again because it was too sad; I will never again it makes me too depressed and it is meant to be a child's book! Man I wish she let them survive I am all upset, oh i almost cried when Snape died as he was seen as a baddie for all that time when he wasn't

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  • Macey
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Harry Potter characters are easy to cry over, especially those of us who stuck with the series for many years. You feel like you've known them a really long time, and JK makes her characters so real to you it's like someone really did die.

    Marley from Marley and Me- I think everybody that has ever lost a dog cried in this one, because the emotions the author expresses are the same ones we all felt when our pet died. I read this one shortly after my dog of 15 years died, part lab like Marley, and there were too many similarities between the two dogs. All the emotions I had tried to keep bottled up poured out when I read that book. I think I cried harder than I ever had before.

    Characters from the Khaled Hosseini novels (spoilers)- Hosseini has a spectatular gift for storytelling. His characters were impossible not to love. Hassan for his unwavering loyalty and child-like innocence, Mariam for all she's known in her hard life, and never truly gotten a break, even in the end.

    I cannot think of any other book characters I've cried over, at least, these were the ones that truly made me bawl.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If you read a book after a while, familiarize yourself with the characters and start to feel as though you're a part of it, *that's* when you start to cry, due to the death of one of them.

    They feel like friends. I was hyperventilating when Fred Weasley died in Harry Potter - it was like losing a friend, because I'd been reading about him since I was ten.

    Other novels I wasn't so attached to made me cry - The Time Travelers Wife, for instance. I felt like I was there, and when the main character drops dead, it's like D:

    I cry in movies too.

    I cried in Pokemon for goodness sake. I'm an emotional cyclone.

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  • well.. i cried when Fred and Dobby and Hedwig oh and Mad Eye, oh yeah and also myself died LOL


    Fred: becuz he was just so funny and he's got lots of brothers and sisters that will really miss him, especially George and i thought that was sad becuz him and George were like always together and all of that and they won't be anymore.I also cried when George got his ear jinxed off becuz Fred was really worried about him and all that cuz they don't really talk to each other about anything apart from being really silly. Also they had both only just opened the joke shop so who's going to look after that now with George. I even felt sorry for Percy when Fred died cuz he was there and they only just began talking to each other again

    Dobby: He was there throughout all of the books helping Harry and he like so didn't deserve to die especially becuz he was only killed cuz he was helping Harry and people escape. When they all buried him i cried even more when Ron said stuff like "Yeah Thanks Dobby" It was so sad

    Hedwig: It was the way hedwig died that made me cry so much cuz he just fell out of the motorbike and Harry had to blow him up so he would die quickly rather than suffer


    Mad-eye and Me (Tonks): well it was just cuz mad-eyes death was so unexpected cuz he was like never in any trouble and all that then they just came back and said that he's dead, it was like OMG!!

    And i obviously cried when i died cuz i'd just had Teddy (i think that was the name LOL) and like i would never see him/her (soz) or that so yeah that was very sad for me too *sniff sniff*

    hey i've just typed loads and i don't really know why but yeah now you know that i cried the most i've ever cried when reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

    Now i feel sad for all of them people all over again

    ♥ R.I.P ♥

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  • 1 decade ago

    Has there ever been a death that was just so sad that everyone cried?

    Yes. I believe everyone, or close to everyone cried at *SPOILER* Snape's death *SPOILER* Snape's love was so sad, and when you realize that all he did for Harry was out of love for the women who married his enemy, well, that's gotta take some devotion.

    I think that the attachment to a character grows through their problems and their triumphs as is shown in 'The Prince's Tale'.

    I used to *hate* Snape, but I love him now all because of one chapter.

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  • 1 decade ago

    When a reader invests a lot of time into a character and their story it makes it worth crying over. The best example I can think of is Dobby from the Harry Potter series. As tears ran down my face I wanted to scream:

    "Crap! I've been reading about this little twit for seven years and she goes and offs him! Why? I really liked him and he wasn't a key character!"

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    to be sad crying- in the house of night *SPOILER!!* when stevie rae dies i almost cried (i know, pathetic). the only reason is because stevie rae was a really good friend and you just grew to love her so it feels like your one of the characters

    to be sad upset maddish- in this one book i read (cant remember the name) the main character met this woman that had the information that the girl needed to take her mother out of a coma and the girl became friends with the woman. Then the woman was killed in an attack and the girl didnt get all the information she needed so i was pretty upset.

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