Does anyone else hate it when the main character dies at the end?

This is my first post, so be gentle, but nothing bothers me more than when the main character of a story, movie, play, etc. dies in the end. It feels like after you spend all that time getting to know the person, poof, they’re gone, story’s over. Anyone else feel the same way?

Some deaths are good deaths, though, and a forced “they all lived happily ever after” ending can taint an otherwise okay movie.

Welcome to the Board.

I find that when the main character dies, it’s often established early on. See also: American Beauty, Love Story. It’s not such a shock then.

I hate it when my favorite character dies, though it’s usually not the main character: the Jewish soldier in Saving Private Ryan, for example.

And I spent all of American Psycho hoping that Patrick Bateman would die.

So for me, it’s a mixed bag.

Welcome to the board. :slight_smile:

Sometimes I hate it and others I can see it and understand. Sometimes the main character (or one of my favorites that ISN’T the main character) is so busted up or heart sick that its almost a good thing.

I’ve been reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King since it came out, and its appearent to me that Rolland is probably not going to make it in the end. I think he’s pretty much doomed, and I’m starting to wonder about Susana and Eddie as well…I think Jake will make it. If Rolland goes, I think I can handle that well enough…but the others I’ll be pretty bummed.

I’m also reading the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and I think Rand is probably dead meat as well. However, Matt and Perin I’ll be pretty bummed to see die…and some of the others as well.

Sometimes though, it seems that the main characters death is pointless and it leaves me fairly frustrated and even angry. I never read the book, but I saw the movie Cold Mountain this summer. I’ll tell you…I was QUITE upset at the ending. It was just so POINTLESS (I won’t get into a spoiler here for those that didn’t see it). I loved the movie until that point, and after that it left a bad taste in my mouth.


When I first saw this thread I thought of Sean Connery’s character in ‘The untouchables’. I didn’t like that he died in that.

Ditto what Tentacle Monster said - I didn’t like that the jewish guy died, or that Tom Hanks’ character died. When I first watched the film it did not click that the old guy at the beginning was actually Private Ryan. I assumed (because of the fade-back to Hanks in the boat) that it was Hanks’ character.

Apparently, it’s more than some people can take.

Oh, and welcome to the SDMB :slight_smile:

On another note - I hate sad endings full stop. I hated the end of the book trilogy ‘His dark materials’ (but loved the rest of it). I like to finish a book feeling satisfied that all turned out well in the end.

Sorry for the continuing hijack (of non-death endings) but the film The Pledge’s ending was particularly sad. I know that technically he deserved it, but I still felt sorry for him.

Sometimes it’s the only thing that makes everything fall into place. A good cry helps and then I almost always feel good about having read the book. It’s a little like listening to the blues. We choose to do it and it’s the right thing.

Dancer in the Dark. . . makes me happy for her and sad all at the same time

It’s usually pretty easy to tell if the main character dies at the end. If people have told me “Oh, it’s SUCH a good movie/book, you HAVE to see/read it!” it’s a near sure sign somebody major is going to bite it.

I must admit I cheered when Bruce Willis died at the end of Armageddon finally putting him out of my misery.

It depends on whether we were given the proper set-up.
In some movies, yes, I hate it, because there was no good reason for it—this was particularly prevalent in the 1970s.
In others, it had to happen.

What I hate is when the person whos persented as a major character dies in the middle of the story …

the sf shadowrun books were good at this and one reason my intrested in them faded ,

Well, it depends a lot on the actor. The only way I can stand to watch Leonardo DiCaprio is if I get the satisfaction of watching him die at the end. The biggest criticism of Titanic was that Leo simply froze to death. He should have been the guy who bounced off the propellor. Gangs of New York was deeply flawed because he survived. OTOH, I was deeply disappointed when Charlton Heston died at the end of several of his 70’s science fiction epics.

I really recommend you don’t see Hamlet.

And don’t read Hugo’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” It ain’t like the Disney version. :slight_smile:

Are you kidding? That’s the only thing that makes me want to see it.

I don’t like it if it’s a cheap twist to jerk tears or to be gratuitously nasty, but I enjoy a good tragedy. It’s hard to do – the character’s death should be unavoidable due to the characters and forces involved – but when done well, it makes for a great film.

or any other Shakesperean tragedy.

Or “The Passion.”

Or read any full-life biography.