1. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), Sleepy Hollow
On genre shows, the death of a lead character in a dramatic season finale usually just means you have to wait until the following season for a resurrection. But Abbie’s sacrifice wasn’t just a fake-out, and fans were outraged that this rare black female lead was gone.
2. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), The Walking Dead
Perhaps the saddest thing about Abraham’s violent death on The Walking Dead is that it was immediately overshadowed by Glenn’s (Steven Yeun) later in the same episode. Abraham was a distraction for what was coming — which didn’t matter much to Abraham since he still got bludgeoned to death with a barbed wire–covered bat.
3. Angus Mhor (Stephen Walters), Outlander
How do you catch book fans off guard when you adapt their beloved series into a TV show? Kill a different character than expected during a big climactic battle. Sorry, Angus. On the plus side, readers who smugly thought they knew what was going to happen definitely got put in their place.
4. Astra (Laura Benanti), Supergirl
Yes, Astra was a supervillain, but she was also Kara’s (Melissa Benoist) aunt. And because Supergirl is a series that embraces shades of gray, she was also a sympathetic figure who, it became clear, was trying to do what she thought was right when Alex (Chyler Leigh) took her out.
5. Barb Holland (Shannon Purser), Stranger Things
Few characters this year made a more lasting impression than Barb, who pretty much existed just to die. No one around her seemed to care about her disappearance much, but the audience — who latched onto Barb’s frumpy chic style — was instantly bereft.
6. Cami O’Connell (Leah Pipes), The Originals
After Cami got her throat slit and earned a surprise resurrection as a vampire, it seemed like maybe she’d stick around for a while. But as fans of the TVD universe know, vampires are no match for werewolf bites — and getting nipped by Lucien (Andrew Lees) did Cami in for good.
7. Catherine Brown (Daniella Alonso), Animal Kingdom
Once Smurf (Ellen Barkin) began to suspect Catherine’s double-crossing, it was pretty clear her days were numbered. But that didn’t make it any less upsetting when we watched her try to seduce Pope (Shawn Hatosy) into sparing her life only to get smothered with a pillow anyway.
8. Chad Radwell (Glen Powell), Scream Queens
It’s silly to get attached to anyone on Scream Queens, a series that loves killing characters off way more than it loves continuity. But Chad Radwell was so charismatic that it’s hard not to mourn his untimely death at least a little. The fact that he died on his wedding day to Chanel (Emma Roberts)? Eh, whatever.