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Grey's Anatomy Spoiler: Major Death to Come

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Having offered up many Grey's Anatomy season finale spoilers already, Shonda Rhimes has now confirmed the biggest yet: Someone will die in the upcoming eighth season finale. A "beloved character" no less.

But who?

"A lot of our writers were crying, which is a very rare thing," she tells TV Guide of the May 17 event. "There's some really shocking, horrible moments." How bad are we talking about? Worse than the mass shooting?

"Yeah, it is," Rhimes promises. "People's mettle is going to be tested."

Writing the eighth season finale, titled "Flight," was sheer "torture... I've been sitting with my head in my hands for days. I understand the choice I made, but it scares me how the fans are going to react."

A Mer, Der Pic

Rhimes recently quoted Kurt Vonnegut, Tweeting, "Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them - in order that the reader may see what they are made of."

That quote, Shonda says, gave her "the courage to do what we're doing in the finale."

The drama begins in the May 10 episode, "Migration," with "a case that takes a group of our people out of the hospital" for "the medical case of their lives," says Rhimes, hinting that the patient could be one of their own.

And there's this: May 10 will also feature Derek and Meredith's dream house. Rhimes originally planned for the season to end with the couple watching it burn to the ground, but "I was not ready to do that."

Instead, the dream house is being constructed and is "quite beautiful. I feel like this is the moment for it, since Meredith and Derek are having a debate about their future. I just hope we can use it next season."

Rhimes' hopes the cast's contract status will remain secret heading into the finale, where "The lives of our people should be a concern ... A lot of choices are made in this episode that change people's futures forever."

Still, after killing off George in 2009, she says "there are certain characters on this show that you can't kill. It wouldn't be acceptable not only to the audience, but to me and my vision of what this show is. They can't die."

Someone will die, however. Who do you think it is? Sound off with your predictions for the season finale, the future of the show after this season and all things Grey's Anatomy below!

UPDATE, 5/2: We now know a handful of doctors who are safe ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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I don't think that you can really say that Cristina isn't beloved. She is. Just not by you and a particular non-fan base. There are MANY of us out here who adore Cristina for the way she's been and the emotional growth she's shown. She would be missed.

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I think it will be Derek. Patrick said he wants out and Keck hinted that it would be Derek

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I think it may be Adele. Something could've happened at the home she is at. Considering Loretta's role on Client List, this makes sense.

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Zola will die. It's not the stomach flu.

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I'm sorry, but OMG, can you people please learn to spell before posting. SO annoying and also hard to read.

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I heard many times that Sandra Oh wanted to leave the show.. so i'm pretty sure she sill be the one to go. However, Shondra said that there is some characters that she could never kill off because of the spirit of the show and I think she might be one of those characters. I mean, it wouldn't make sense for her to work so so hard all those years for becoming the best surgeon ever and simply die...and she's not really beloved

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Omg, if it jackson who dies, i'll stop watching the show, seriously.

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I think it will be Alex who dies - at the end of 'Moment of Truth' he was rushing to get to San Francisco, but we don;t see him arrive & he (possibly) misses his boards. I think he was in a plane or car crash & that's why he never showed up. Plus he's one of the original characters

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I love the concept of the show but the writing has changed. A few funny scenes have turned into. Loong dialogues of mindless conversation. Cristina's husband is boring except for his anger. Geesh! Please bring back the heat Dr. Burke. Enough already. We all make mistakes.

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I think either Alex, Jackson, April or Weber is going to die! Even thought I would want it to be Teddy! I have nothing against her, I just think she's become boring and not important at all in the show, I was sad when they killed Henry off, I thought they were cute together! and that was the only storyline I liked her in! I don't know why but I think Jackson will die, that's why she says that Lexie and Mark will share some beautiful but painful moments in the finale because that'll make her finally confess her feelings to him. Or it could be Alex, that would actually be the most true to the "major death" assumptions, his death would effect a lot of people and change them indefinitely!

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