/ 1st death in fiction that affected you (spoilers)
Not really sure how I was even into this programme at the age of 8-10 although others have said it was the first one they were allowed to stay up “late” for so I am at least not alone
PC Danny Sparks in the final episode of Juliet Bravo. I barely remember this programme, given that I was very young when it screened. I only really remember the music, the title sequence, the change of the lead character after three series, the childish hope that a “jam sandwich” Rover 3500 police car might turn up, and liking Danny Sparks for some reason.
So yep he dies in the last episode and somehow I’ve never forgotten it! Definitely the first on-screen death that impacted me.
The Lord of the flies. Was it Piggy who fell off the cliff? I was about 12 and it troubled me for weeks.
I remember being completely devastated at the age of five or six when the hunter killed Babar's mother at the start of Histoire de Babar.
That's a difficult one to answer but I was horrified by the death of Gandalf as a kid.
Luckily he's brought back to life by Ilúvatar and sent back to Arda better and wiser than ever.
Thorin in the Hobbit (when I was aged 9, think) - I remember finding his reconcilliation with Bilbo very touching - he was flawed and became avaricious and only realised how meaningless treasure was at his death.
From when I was younger, reading The Animals of Farthing Wood sticks out - I dimly recall a pretty horrific scene of a litter of baby fieldmice being impaled on a thorn bush by a shrike !
Charlotte from Charlotte's web is probably the first. Still affects me now I was reading it to my daughter shortly after my Mum had told me she was dying. I got to that bit and couldn't continue.
Also Lenny from "Of mice and men".
Hazel in Watership down. I was 8 when I read the book and no-one warned me about the ending (hadn't seen the cartoon then). Still traumatised...
Ginger in Black Beauty, Robin Hood's death, Aslan all upset me. Probably King Arthur too
In the Kino, the death of Bambi's mother was devastating
On TV someone eaten alive by a mirebeast with eyes on stalks and one of the early assistants who was reduced to a shrivel then a skeleton and finally dust by the Time Destructor in early episodes of Doctor Who. Pretty horrific, worthy of Quatermass
ps, how shallow, even idiotic neo-Dr Who plots seem now when they developed a plot over 12 episodes back then. I was nine then and I don't think the new ones would have been tolerable as being stupid. It was the age of Project Gemini and Apollo!
Either ... George Dixon in The Blue Lamp, or maybe Bambi's Mum
I remember thinking it a bit weird seeing Dixon of Dock Green later
Midge the otter
I was devastated at the ending of Bambi. Still can't forgive my wife for taking me to see it at the cinema for my fiftieth birthday.
Definitely Thorin - wept like a baby (well, to be fair, I was only eight or so).
I don't remember that far back, but I do remember being very upset at the death of Gyuri's girlfriend Jadwiga at the hands of a Russian tank in Budapest, 1956, at the end of Tibor Fischer's wonderful Under the Frog.
> If Coel doesn’t respond with Jesus, I’m going to feel very cheated.
He got better though. Jesus that is.
Frodo Baggins, when he got stung by Shelob.
Remember the genuine feeling of happiness when Sam found him alive in the tower
Rebecca in Rebecca - I was completely taken in by Daphne du Maurier's superbly misleading story-telling in the first half. Or (rather corny), it was Sydney Carton in Tale of Two Cities. Can't remember which I read first.
“Death by Stereo” in the Lost Boys is my stand out moment. If I ever have to improvise a way to kill a baddie, that sets the standard for my quipping.
Can’t think of any book or movie deaths that upset me. In general no media usually gets to me like that although I do avoid tormented depressing literature. There was one scene in season 2 of Happy! which has been the first thing to turn my stomach other than a video on eye surgery.
E.T. although he does survive you're led to believe he's a goner at one point.
Plague Dogs is similarly upsetting on screen...
> Can’t think of any book or movie deaths that upset me.
Well I did say "affect" in the thread title and "impact" in my OP. I don't get upset, I am cool and hard. Although there was that time that my guard was down due to utter exhaustion, and I lost it when the girl dies in Bridge to Terabithia - it was very very embarrassing!
My daughter was devastated when Dobby was killed by Bellatrix LeStrange in the Deathly Hallows. I must admit there was a tear in my eye as well.
Littlefoot's mother in Land Before Time carking it had me wailing when I was six or so.
David Benioff murdering Game of Thrones in series 8 was pretty affecting as well.
Mij in Ring of Bright Water. I remember it was a cold day and we had just moved into a house that had no heating. I watched it with Mum and my sister, all curled up on the sofa together under a duvet with big mugs of hot chocolate. Dad was installing pipes for heating and came in part way through to find all three of us sobbing our hearts out.
The elderly farmer in 'On the Black Hill' by Bruce Chatwin had me in tears
That is a fantastic book. The efficiency of the language is astonishing.
Not a death but I got really upset when E.T. went home.
Mog going to the great duvet in the sky in Goodbye Mog.
I was welling up in a most embarrassing way in Waterstones in Bath.
obviously no idea in which order I saw them....
Zhora in Bladerunner
Grave of the fireflies
Another vote for Mij the Otter. Each end of year at secondary school we had a tradition of the whole school watching a feature film in the school hall. Some idiot decided that "Ring of Bright Water" would be suitable. Cue half the school sobbing their eyes out (me included) when Mij is done for.
Heaven? The Cate Blanchett / Giovanni Ribisi film?
I’ve just remembered something that made me feel completely horrified and distraught - the fate of Kes!
Christopher Walken's character in The Deer Hunter.
Also the outcome of Murphy's War.
Yea, watched that with my daughter, it made me quietly cry!
Yep, has to be Mij. How I sobbed. And I've just found the whole film on YouTube, so I shall probably sob again.
When the Wind Blows for me. I'd been scared before (melting Nazis in Raiders...) and sad (ET), but I don't think I really understood that death was more than a form of going to sleep. But that couple so stoically and pointlessly meeting such a grim fate really shook me up.
Regarding "Old Yeller", I'm a bit disappointed about the lack of reaction/ knowledge/ appreciation of this Disney film. For those who aren't aware, it scores 100% in a Rotten Tomatoes review, if that is at all significant.
Oliver Twist's mother in the original black and white.
When I was about 6 I had a dream that Colt Seavers had been killed doing stunts for the Fall Guy and was upset for days - until 5.30 the follow Friday when I realized it was on again.
the first “real” onscreen death which got to me was at the end of Gallipoli.
I reacted, in my head.
Not many people are responding to others' posts on this thread. What do you want from people?
You know my feelings about Rotten Tomatoes ratings.
OK. Was just a bit surprised that that could be one of the first fictional deaths that affected you, as the film isn't THAT old, but then I don't know how old you are either!
When the Wind Blows is incredibly affecting, and annoyingly hard to get hold of a copy. Not sure if even the book is that easy to get hold of! I think of it often. I've seen it only once and read it only once and it very much sticks with you.
edit: Correction, both are actually quite readily available. I'd better put my money where my mouth is, and, er, "treat" myself!
Spock in the Wrath of Khan.
or I just have a poor memory!
Little Nell in the old curiosity shop by dickens
Earliest one that stands out: the rabbit holocaust (as I remember it) at the end of the film of Watership Down. That was some brutal cinema to be allowing a 6 year old to watch alone.
One that stands out in adulthood is D’Angelo’s murder in The Wire. Long before Game of Thrones, I just couldn’t believe a redemptive character defined be integrity would get bumped off like that. I was convinced he would be in the hospital having survived in the next episode but...nope.
> One that stands out in adulthood is D’Angelo’s murder in The Wire.
Good shout. I think Wallace upset me more because he was still such a child.
> Earliest one that stands out: the rabbit holocaust (as I remember it) at the end of the film of Watership Down. That was some brutal cinema to be allowing a 6 year old to watch alone.
The start didn't already do that, with the rabbits suffocating en masse and crawling over their bodies, and getting torn to bits by the diggers? (admittedly a stylized representation of that)
That time when Princess Di died in Windsenders.
You remind me of Sherlock Holmes;
"Watson, you know my methods".
No bad thing, really
> I think Wallace upset me more because he was still such a child.
Omar for me. He seemed like the consummate survivor
That's the intended spirit!
I remember being taken to see "Lawrence of Arabia" when I was pretty young and being horrified by the death of Daud in the quicksand as they crossed the Sinai Desert.
Another thing I remember is the massive queue of people gasping for cartons of Kia Ora during the intermission.
It’s possible I am confusing the start and the end. I have a memory of bad rabbits murdering good rabbits, en masse? Never watched it since...
Bambi, and Ben (the Rat) as sung by Michael Jackson
Death of Lenny in Mice and Men hit me pretty hard.
If we've widened the goalposts to include grown -up reactions my choice would be Katharine Clifton in "The English Patient" even though her death is an off screen event in terms of time and place. Just a few bars of Yared's score and I'm snivelling away.
> If we've widened the goalposts
Paul did describe an earliest one and then mentioned a more grown up one as an aside....and hey this IS UKC. I’m surprised we haven’t had a “most moving on screen birth scene” thrown into the thread yet
That would be John Hurt in Alien. Obviously.
When those wee planes killed King Kong aw I felt awful I must have been really young. From the original Universal black and white film. But I felt the same for The Creature From The Black Lagoon as well.
Another vote for Bambi to.
Not my first (that would be when Helga gets eaten by piranhas in "You only live twice")
But Pulp Fiction when Marvin got shot in the face made me go Jeezuz f**k in the cinema
Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast
Oh my word, I can't believe I've only just remembered The Snowman from The Snowman. Talk about instilling a sense of impermanence and the fragility of life in a tiny kid. No wonder I was repressing that!
When Dallas dies in The Outsiders... the whole book and film affected me a lot.
Ben (the rat) although (Spoiler alert) he survives. The ending of Morgan's Boy was a shock.
The death of Katharine in The English Patient.
How old were you when you first read or saw The English Patient? Just surprised that that would be the first one that affected you although I suppose “affected” is subjective
I was not too affected when young, could not understand why people got upset watching ET, only as I have gotten older have I got more teary (sensitive) to what happens to fictional characters, hence the girl in bridge to terabitia, which I first saw with my daughter. Can't remember which I saw first.
I think the mouse and his child was the first book I remember with darker themes that effected me.
Thanks, I get that .
I understand your question but the thread has already mentioned more than half a dozen films/books which are not particularly the expected material for little kids: Rebecca, Tale of Two Cities, On the Black Hill, Deer Hunter etc.
End of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials”
- Lyra and Will agree to spend an hour each year in the same place in their parallel universes to be near each other - find it utterly heart-wrenching, but an amazing story.
Hitchikers’ Guide - when Fenchurch and Arthur re-unite and promise to go flying together (this bit on the radio always gets me!).
An adventures of Robin Hood book - it ends with his bleeding out, and needing help to shoot one last arrow, asking to be laid to rest where it lands - I recall finding it very moving as a child.
Piggy in Lord of the Flies. Golding's language played tricks for ages on me!
Has to be when Kenny died in Southpark. Moving....
I am not in the habit of jumping on EVERY SINGLE ONE plus as I said, “affected” can be subjective
I was simply wondering why you didn't make the point earlier on in the discussion, that's all.
When I was about 9 or 10 we were shown at school film of heaps of corpses in the concentration camps and what looked like human ashes still in the ovens. If we are widening the OP to include film and fact as opposed to literary fiction then I would put that as affecting as it made the ww2 games everyone played seem a bit shallow.
Also the horrible black and white film of people in cancer wards because of smoking (these would have been in the mid 60s, and one teacher was nicknamed cancer because of his smoking so how the tobacco companies got away with it so long can only be exp,ained by the conservative party I suppose)
If fiction films then the death of the RA 25 pounder battery guncrews who gave succour to John Mills' unit in Dunkirk when the Stukas came in had a deep effect around the same time
Another factual one is Abervan, which deeply affected my parents, plus the Apollo 1 crew and of course poor Komarov https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Komarov
I think I did, actually, Tom. Bit busy to check it right now and it's not that important.
I found a minute.
There's one right there
plus I addressed it regarding your very own comment to Paul Sagar.
> If we are widening the OP to include film and fact as opposed to literary fiction ...
> (these would have been in the mid 60s, and one teacher was nicknamed cancer because of his smoking so how the tobacco companies got away with it so long can only be exp,ained by the conservative party I suppose)
I'm lost. What have YOU been smoking? People were referring to cigarettes as "coffin nails" many decades before the 1960s. Where do the Tories fit in to all of this? Is there a clever joke in there that I am missing?
Are you quite in equilibrium today?
> Charlotte from Charlotte's web is probably the first.
Same - apparently I chastised my mum for letting me read it.
The first I remember being really upset about was Lee Scoresby (and his daemon Hester of course) in The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman. I don't cry much when people die in books but that one really got me.
> Are you quite in equilibrium today?
I am still lost with your posts.
> Little Nell in the old curiosity shop by dickens
Another vote for Little Nell. Her last words as she dies are to forgive her disgusting grandfather for destroying her life and causing her death, which he takes as exoneration. Surely one the most heart-rending deaths in all literature, and OCS Dickens's darkest, most scathing novel.
Also Fantine in Les Mis.
And Bambi's mother. Saw Bambi aged about 5 and have hated the hunting, shooting, fishing brigade ever since.
Oh and Tess's fate at the end of Tess of the D'Urbavilles.
I can't remember Tess's fate but was horrified for quite a while at the way in which Oak's sheep met their end.
> I can't remember Tess's fate but was horrified for quite a while at the way in which Oak's sheep met their end.
I can't remember what happened to Oak's sheep! Tess was hanged for stabbing the aristo' who raped her in her sleep.
> I can't remember Tess's fate but was horrified for quite a while at the way in which Oak's sheep met their end.
Different Hardy. That might be why you don't recall Tess' fate!
> I can't remember what happened to Oak's sheep! Tess was hanged for stabbing the aristo' who raped her in her sleep.
Different Hardy! That might be why you can't remember what happened to Oak's sheep
(As Gabriel said, peering over the cliff edge,,,,)
you already failed to keep it about fiction. My post originally kept to this but people were referring to the otter Mijbil who was as fictitious as the lioness Elsa
But hey, let's not notice that, UKC etc
Alas poor Fanny
> you already failed to keep it about fiction. My post originally kept to this but people were referring to the otter Mijbil who was as fictitious as the lioness Elsa
> But hey, let's not notice that, UKC etc
I did notice that others had moved it into non-fiction earlier than you had; I did not mean to imply that it was you that had introduced this aspect, apologies if it looked that way. I didn't mean to single you out as a special case. I don't see any of it as "my failure" given that I can't control or police what people choose to submit.
Plus 1 for Lee Scoresby (and sorry for spoiler cos it really is)... although very much an adult when I read it, that was the name that sprang into my head at the start of this thread. Great side character.
Omar in the Wire aldo gets a plus 1, after all the stuff the came through. Maybe also Critical Bill getting shot after fatally wounding Mr Shhh in Things To Do In Denver (?) When You're Dead.
Also was always very much affected by the death of the horrible sherriff in the film Pat Garret and Billy The Kid: wounded, he goes home, sits with his wife by the lake, and leaves this life as the sun sets; to Bob Dylan's version of Knockin' On Heaven's Door. I can't even TELL people about that scene without welling up (as my wife relishes telling folk).
What about the 4/7 in The Magnificent Seven? A childhood family favourite for us, even the death of Eli Wallach moved us...my mum, not a cinephile, would repeat "Why...?" at intervals for the next couple of days.
Martha Longhurst in Coronation Street. I remember it a being the first death in the show but it seems it wasn't.
> Different Hardy. That might be why you don't recall Tess' fate!
On Saturday 6th July Es Tresidder set a new record for the Ramsay Round, the classic 58 mile challenge taking in 24 west highland peaks. We contacted him to find out how the day went...