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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 think it will be Adele. Nobody ever said the one who dies will be a major character, just a "beloved character". There is a HUGE "thing" happening that puts everyone´s life in danger and put them to a test of what they´re made of. BUT Sarah Drew (April) recently said that everyone was crying because the table read was emotionally charged by the fact that ANYONE could go as everybody is left in a cliffhanger ending. EVERYBODY. I don´t think we will see an original/huge character actually die in the finale but ALL of them will be left in situations that could lead to a quick death or difficult save (if they come back).

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@Shae
Sry, I didn't want to speak for everyone,please don't get too affected, there is room to write some comments and everyone has his own idea of the finale,I just wanted to bring up some points, no offence! ;)
It was simply my opinion and I'm from Germany, so please excuse my bad english skills (maybe I am inarticulate and just didn't write it the right way,sry for that!)! And by the way,I hate Izzie too ! :D @Guenon
But isn't that the point? killing an underdog would bring even more sadness, because he was such a troubled and disputed character..But hopefully, I'm wrong (I'd be really glad about it,'cause he's by far my favourite charfcter! And I think subroc's right, these four are irreplaceable (if they don't want to lose the last fans). Killing Bailey, Derek and Mer off? Can't imagine! Most likely Cristina to honor her with a great heroic death,but still unlikely. So that leaves me with Richard and Alex..
But like I said,JUST another opinon!

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4 people cannot die, Meredith, Bailey, Derrick and Christina. Everyone else is expendable.

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If they kill Zola, which seems plausible, because it gives them an out if Patrick or Ellen decide to stay and the other doesn't, I am beyond done with this show. But it seems the most likely as the rest of the characters are tied up in the contract debates. And as I said it gives them a door for one of the Shepherd-Grey's to leave, as death of a child often leads to divorce. @canxgo, can you please not talk for everyone, not everyone thought Alex-Izzie would be a happy ending - I want Alex happy, I want Izzie to be the one hit by the bus. And I know I'm not the only one who felt that way

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im pretty sure its going to be Derek. things are going just a little too great for Meredith. and it will once again show how strong of a person she has to be...raising Zola alone. it would also give a reason to bring addison back on the show for an appearance...and hes a character that everyone loves. i definitely dont want that to happen...i think enough has happened to both of them...but with the whole crew crying...and a recent quote from Patrick Dempsey saying that this is his last season?! well? there you have it. all good things come to an end....sadly. :C

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Richard?????

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It could be Bookey, she has been i all seasons and every one likes her ;)

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I don´t care what she does - nothing can break my heart as much as George did. NOTHING.
But i do wish for them not to go bonkers and kill off Zola. (my only calming factor in that is that we already has one baby-death.) Anyway - Alex, Mer, Christina, maybe Dereck - those are safe. Noone else is.(you´re wrong to think Alex will die - we already had one underdog from di original cast die a hero. They can´t repeat themselves so much) Adele would be a bummer. She´s not far along with hes sickness and frankly... No fans ever liked her very much. I´d say it could very well be Bailey. Thay is ought to break hearts... That may even make me cry, and I don´t cry very much. Arizona? No. Maybe Mark. Lexie. Nor Owen or Teddy are that major, as far as my oppinions go. April and Avery are safe just becose nobody gives that big of a fuck. I can´t immagine writers crying about them.

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If it's Adele I'm going to be upset, because they are making it seem like it's a huge deal, when we all know adele is going to die soon anyways. I would rather it be something really tragic, like a young person, maybe someone we really really love, like one of the original cast... Alex maybe? I mean, I LOVE HIM, but it would be really tragic for him to go, and very invoking.

Synjo12

you're making a big deal out of this, i think it's adele, cuz we already know that the people who's contracts are ending will leave the show by taking another job in another hospital, so there's no need to kill somenone in the main cast, except for adele, who's sick

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