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R.I.P. Iron Man, Black Widow, Mary Jane Watson: The most jaw-dropping fictional deaths of 2019
The year 2019 was not kind to our tear ducts.
More than several genre characters we'd grown to love vanished from our lives, some of them with the literal snap of fingers. As we close out the last decade of quality entertainment in the realms of science fiction, horror, and fantasy, we at SYFY WIRE thought we'd take a look back at the last 365 days and see which deaths made our jaws drop to the floor in shock, sadness, or both.
From beheadings, to maimings, to noble sacrifices, these pop culture deaths not only dominated headlines for weeks, but made us stop and think. We mourned these characters or (mostly in the case of Thanos) celebrated their demises. Some (like Jim Hopper) were just too hard to handle and fans had to come up with theories in order to keep them alive in our imaginations for a little bit longer. (Then again, is he really dead?)
With that in mind, check out our list of the 2019 passings that changed the zeitgeist and our psyches forevermore...
10. Murray Franklin (Joker)
Throughout the film, Murray is established as this popular talk-show host and the personal idol of Arthur Fleck. That's why it's so shocking to see Franklin shot in the head on live television near the very end of the story. His death throws Gotham City into utter chaos and leads to the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents.
09. Fred Andrews (Riverdale)
Perry's real-world death came as a serious shock to us and the Riverdale writers were very respectful in handling his character's passing in the show. Mr. Andrews was killed by a car while helping someone change a tire on the road. RIP.
08. Mystique (Dark Phoenix)
While we knew this one was coming from the very first trailers, it still didn't change the heartbreaking fact that Jennifer Lawrence would be making her X-Men exit. The shape-shifting mutant had always been a highlight of the films since First Class, and her accidental murder at the hands of one of her students, Jean Grey, made it all the more tragic.
07. Mary Jane Watson (J.J. Abrams' Spider-Man comic)
It's hard to imagine how J.J. Abrams, director of The Rise of Skywalker, even found the time to write a Marvel comic with his son Henry, but he did just that. More shocking, they killed off Peter Parker's wife, Mary Jane Watson, in the very first issue! We haven't been this shook by a Spider-Man comic since the night Gwen Stacy died below the Brooklyn Bridge.
06. Jim Hopper (Stranger Things)
OK, now the tears are really rolling. Hopper stopped the Russians from opening a new portal to the Upside Down, but seemed to die in the process. Of course, there are theories that he's still alive (Season 3's post-credits scene is the main theory fodder). All we know is that we'll be keeping the door open three inches until Season 4 gets here.
05. Thanos (Avengers: Endgame)
If you're anything like us, you probably gasped in shock when Thor lopped off Thanos' noggin at the start of Endgame. Many of us had been expecting the movie to lead up to an epic showdown with the Mad Titan. Instead, the Infinity War version of the genocidal character dies within the first half hour.
04. Missandei (Game of Thrones)
Game of Thrones kept us on our toes to the very end, killing off characters we thought were safe for sure. Missandei survived The Long Night only to be kidnapped by Cersei and beheaded by the Mountain right in front of Dany's eyes. Not the best strategic move, as the Queen of Dragons went on to decimate Kings' Landing not long after that.
03. Tony Stark/Iron Man (Avengers: Endgame)
This is probably the biggest loss of the year. After all, Robert Downey Jr. launched the entire MCU more than a decade ago. We're just glad he was able to go out in style by snapping Thanos and his army out of existence. We love you 3000, Tony!
02. Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)
Everyone probably agrees that Dany deserved to die after what she did to the people of Kings' Landing. That being said, it broke our hearts to see the beloved Mother of Dragons killed just after she had achieved her goal of taking back the Iron Throne. The pitiful look in her eyes as she realized that she'd been betrayed by Jon Snow (her nephew and lover) was enough to make our jaws drop.
01. Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Avengers: Endgame)
Like Tony, Natasha died a very noble death in Endgame — if one tremendously shocking. After a tussle with Hawkeye, she sacrifices herself so the Avengers can gain access to the Soul Stone. While we're sad to see Natasha go, we're excited to learn more of her backstory in the upcoming Black Widow standalone movie, out this May.