When was the last time a character you loved died, in fiction, TV, or film series? Do you ever imagine how the series would have gone if the character had lived?

My most recent experience of this was with Special Agent Kate Todd (Sasha Alexander) on NCIS, For two seasons, Kate was my second-favorite character on the show after Gibbs (Mark Harmon). After taking a bullet in the vest saving Gibbs from a sniper, she was sniped herself. Quite a shock, generating 38 comments on my blog.

As sad as I was to see Kate go, I was also intrigued at how the writers would proceed. Some viewers saw Mossad Officer Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) as a replacement for Kate, but I saw her as a new character, a fresh opportunity, and about halfway through the third season, she was showing skills and personality quirks Kate didn't have.

Have you ever decided between a character's life and death? What influenced your decision?

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Hey, a fellow Browncoat. Wash's death was a shock to me, too, but at the same time not so much. Joss has killed off a lot of characters (Doyle, Tara, Cordelia, Fred, Wesley, Book...).
Oh yeah, Wash dying-but Shepherd Book dying really got me too.

Joss Whedon's other show's-I was completely gutted when Fred died, and then Wesley, well, I don't even want to talk about it, I loved Wesley. Illyria, turning into Fred for him, oh man.
Wash's dying really got to me too. And Book. But Wash's was worse because he was "core" crew. And people are right about Whedon killing off people -- wow, it hits you when you lay them all out. He makes up these terrific characters and then kills them. sigh. But he can get away with it I guess, because he has so many other terrific characters.
It's interesting that some deaths just have that great emotional impact, and others can also really piss you off. I used to be a fan of Patricia Cornwall, but when she killed off Wesley, I was so annoyed with her I stopped reading. Didn't matter that she brought him back later either; as far as I was concerned the damage was done! I think you have to be very careful who you kill off!
Yeah, the whole thing with Wesley kind of irked me too. But by that point, I was so ticked at what she'd done with the character of Pete Marino that I was ready to give up anyway. I always felt that he was the one who made the series worth reading and she turned him into a cheap caricature of who he started out to be. In a way, it would have been better if Marino had died.
You're right. Marino was my other favorite character (I never found Scarpetta all that appealing I have to say), and she did turn him into a lapdog, which was also a factor in me giving up. Like I said re Firefly -- you can get away with killing a favorite character if there are others to take his place. But Cornwell ruined the other good character, so there was noone appealing enough to hold me.
Well, to go with the theme of your title, I was actually shocked when Chewbacca died
in one of the Star Wars novels. Sort of hit me in the gut.

I've had to kill off a few characters myself and believe it or not, something just
told me it had to happen. It was like I would be doing something wrong if I
didn't. And one of them was a pretty major character.

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