19 Noteworthy Character Exits from 2015

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Not every character exit has to be wrought with tears, although some punched through our hearts anyway.

Sometimes, dead isn't even dead. Where we once would have included Jon Snow on this list, we're not even ready to call him a goner any longer. What a strange, strange world we live in now!

So, check out the TV Fanatic staff picks for the most noteworthy adieus of 2015!

1. Derek Shepherd - Grey's Anatomy

Derek Shepherd - Grey's Anatomy
Derek Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy. This is a character death that we'll probably never get over. It was the kind of death that still had us feeling genuinely sad the next day. He was tragically killed off on Grey's Anatomy Season 11 Episode 21 in the most painfully ironic way, but also in a way that let his character shine one last time.

2. Elena Gilbert - The Vampire Diaries

Elena Gilbert - The Vampire Diaries
Nina Dobrev’s exit from The Vampire Diaries gave us an Elena Gilbert-less Season 7 and it proved to be a good move in more ways than one. The show had grown stale with the endless Stelena-Delena arguments, even though Elena had once and for all chosen Damon (and her humanity). Now, the show has forced itself to focus on other characters and the series isn’t ​*quite*​ as dedicated to promoting a love triangle as it once was. While we still get mentions of Elena in nearly every episode, we don’t have her physical presence and it’s sort of refreshing.

3. Charlie - Supernatural

Charlie - Supernatural
Charlie's death at the end of Supernatural Season 10 still hurts. She was such a fun character and one of the only females on the show so it was especially tragic when she was murdered. We will miss all of the nerdy moments she brought to the show, like when she made the guys watch all of the Harry Potter movies and binge Game of Thrones. Her relationship with Dean was so sweet. Hopefully we will get to see her again. Nobody is ever really dead on Supernatural.

4. Peter Mills - Chicago Fire

Peter Mills - Chicago Fire
Chicago Fire lost another original cast member when Peter Mills left Firehouse 51 to move with his family. Mills had worked so hard to achieve his goal of returning to squad after an injury, so it was even harder to see him say goodbye when he finally got his spot back. At least they didn't kill him, so there's always potential for him to come back and make a guest appearance some day.

5. Peter Quinn - Homeland

Peter Quinn - Homeland
Peter Quinn spent most of Homeland Season 4 off on his own, attempting to keep Berlin safe from a terrorist attack. Instead, he became their guinea pig for sarin gas, ultimately brain damaged and Carrie (we're 90% certain or else Homeland is going to go off the rails) put him out of his misery after she learned in a letter that he loved her. That's not at all the heroic ending we envisioned for the one the most badass characters on television, and we may not ever forgive the Homeland writers for bringing him to this state, even if he is resurrected.

6. Jerome Valeska - Gotham

Jerome Valeska - Gotham
It was a more-than-shocking moment when Theo Galavan shoved that knife into Jerome Valeska’s neck on Gotham Season 2 Episode 3 “The Last Laugh.” It was a cheap and unnecessary death, and one that’s still hard to get over. Jerome had so much potential and to be taken out by one of the worst characters of the show was a stupid move by the writers of the show.

7. Siggy Haraldson - Vikings

Siggy Haraldson - Vikings
Siggy Haraldson on Vikings started out as, essentially, a queen. After the death of her husband, she felt she had to scrounge and scratch for every bit of power, and she did. She was at times scheming and conniving, but also kind and compassionate. Considering her conflicting nature, her death was kind. She died saving two of Ragnar's sons from drowning in a cold, frozen lake, but not before seeing a vision of her own dead daughter to help her...cross over? Memorable and crushing.

8. "Hot" Paul Dierden - Orphan Black

"Hot" Paul Dierden - Orphan Black
We're not really sure in what universe it was OK for the showrunners to kill off Hot Paul from the show, but he died saving Sarah and doing the right thing trying to stop Project Castor (with tears in his eyes, no less), so going heroically was the only way we'd allow it to happen.

9. Eddie Thawne - The Flash

Eddie Thawne - The Flash
Eddie Thawne really had little idea what he was getting into just being Joe West's partner on The Flash, but he became one of Barry's biggest supporters. When he discovered it was a member of his own family line from the future, Eobard Thawne, that was doing all of the damage to the city and people he loved, Eddie did a noble and heroic thing by taking his own life so that he could immediately put an end to everything that was happening. It was an amazing moment that wrenched viewers hearts.

10. Clara Oswald - Doctor Who

Clara Oswald - Doctor Who
Clara Oswald on Doctor Who. Jenna Coleman was set to leave the show at the end of Doctor Who Season 8, but plans changed and she stayed on for another season. Unfortunately, they put the character in mortal peril in pretty much every episode, and the fake-out deaths got old really fast. By the time she was killed off for real in Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 10, it was almost anticlimactic. Then they arguably ruined it completely by (sort of) bringing her to life back two episodes later, frustrating many viewers hoping for a finale focusing on the title character and his long-anticipated return home.

11. Ra's Al Ghul - Arrow

Ra's Al Ghul - Arrow
Ra's al Ghul was the big bad of Arrow Season 3, and while he started out with a lot of promise, easily defeating Oliver in the most adverse conditions and half clothed, when it came time to fight him atop a dam fully clothed, he was defeated in short order. That's OK, by that time he hardly seemed threatening anymore.

12. Frank, Ray and Paul - True Detective

Frank, Ray and Paul - True Detective
Pretty much everyone on True Detective died before the season ended. That's a sure fire way to keep us from wondering what happened after the credits rolled on a limited series. Paul was shot before the finale, Ray went out in a hail of bullets exactly like his father foretold in his short foray into what seemed like the afterlife and Frank walked wounded into the desert and died. There was nothing heroic about their endings, that's for sure.

13. Lowell - iZombie

Lowell - iZombie
Lowell's death on iZombie so early in the series was both shocking and heartbreaking. We had just enough time to fall in love with him before he was ripped away from us because Liv couldn't go through with the plan to kill Blaine.

14. Nadia - Chicago PD

Nadia - Chicago PD
Nadia's death on Chicago PD was particularly tragic because of how hard she worked to finally get clean and start over. Everything was going so well for her, she had a job, she had friends, and she was back in school studying criminology. Then Yates came along and not only brutally took Nadia's life, but nearly destroyed Lindsay's as well.

15. Stannis Baratheon - Game of Thrones

Stannis Baratheon - Game of Thrones
Stannis should have known that he would die by the hand of a woman he had wronged. He just never imagined it would be by the hand of the towering Brienne of Tarth for what he did to the man she loved, his brother, Renly.

16. Allison Carr - Homeland

Allison Carr - Homeland
A hail of bullets inside a trunk for Allison Carr on Homeland wasn't good enough. The traitor to her country managed to continue to work for the CIA after being discovered as a double agent and her haughty attitude was incredibly annoying. All we wanted was to see her face as Saul killed her, but no. She died silently, closed inside a trunk. Oh well. At least she's gone.

17. Lily Salvatore - The Vampire Diaries

Lily Salvatore - The Vampire Diaries
Just when we became as attached to Lily Salvatore as we possibly could on The Vampire Diaries and imagined a future wherein she and her sons would finally find peace with their family and start over, she gave her life in an attempt to thwart Julian. Instead, he had already removed the spell binding their lives and he lives on. That was a really big punch to the gut.

18. Theo Galavan - Gotham

Theo Galavan - Gotham
There was no better moment so far in Gotham Season 2 than when Jim Gordon put a bullet in Theo Galavan’s head. For 11 long episodes we’ve had to endure this smarmy, tedious, and one-dimensional blowhard. The only “big bad” about him was his big, bad performance. Good riddance!

19. Ronnie Raymond - The Flash

Ronnie Raymond - The Flash
It took until the The Flash Season 2 premiere for us to discover that Ronnie Raymond was the one who actually went into the wormhole to save Central City, using his nuclear power to implode (or something) the hole and close it up. The real man who saved the city would forever go unknown to the public. He'd only been back for a short time before dying again, but it was a great legacy.

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