When Major Characters Die

My wife and I just watched the final Harry Potter movie tonight.  I’ve already read the books, so I knew what was going to happen, and I knew who died.  But throughout the series, several major, well-liked characters died.  My question is:  What do you think when one of your favourite characters dies?

I would guess that some people may cry.  Yes, cry for a fictional character that never existed in the real world.  I do understand that you can get so involved in the story that your favourite character dying can be devastating.  I’ve felt upset, but I’ve never cried about it.  Shocked, surprised, sure.

Some people may just quit reading the book or watching the movie or TV series.  I wouldn’t go that far myself, but I guess for some people, that character made the story for them.  When the character died, so did the story.

I would like to think that most people would just carry on with the story, hopefully feeling the loss of the character, but moving on.

Why do authors kill characters?  They’re not afraid to play it safe?  They want to shock the reader?  For drama?  Whatever it is, I will likely do that someday.

So, what do you think when your favourite character dies?  Leave your comment with your answer.