Top 10 Gruesome TV Deaths

Script Written by Jamie Leslie Seeing your favorite character die on TV can be tough, especially when that character is brutally beaten, maimed or eaten alive. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 gruesome TV deaths.For this list, it’ll be all about how the character met his or her maker, and how mentally scarring it was for the viewer. However, we will be excluding police procedurals like “Criminal Minds” from our list. And of course be wary of major spoilers. Special thanks to our user Kibito for suggesting the idea at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Gruesome TV Deaths

Seeing your favorite character die on TV can be tough, especially when that character is brutally beaten, maimed or eaten alive. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 gruesome TV deaths.

For this list, it’ll be all about how the character met his or her maker, and how mentally scarring it was for the viewer. However, we will be excluding police procedurals like “Criminal Minds” from our list. And of course be wary of major spoilers!

#10: Nicholas Brody
“Homeland” (2011-)

A POW who was turned by al-Qaeda, Nick Brody was a conflicted man from the beginning of this thrilling series. A last-ditch attempt to reclaim his hero status in America by assassinating the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard goes bad, and ultimately gets this former Marine sentenced to death for treason by the Iranians. Without time to appeal, Brody is hung from a crane in a town square, his strangulation slow and gradual, without the mercy of a quick end. Onlookers cheer as he slowly loses air; while the woman who loves him watches on, devastated. The hanging of this main character was depicted so realistically, it’s almost unbearable to watch until the end.

#9: Dr. Robert ‘Rocket’ Romano
“ER” (1994-2009)

Getting your arm severed by a helicopter is enough to make anyone a little skittish – even an arrogant, racist jerk like Rocket Romano. But apparently not scared enough to stay away from them entirely, and that cost the good doctor his life. When Dr. Romano comes face-to-face with the same type of menacing aircraft that took his arm a number of years earlier, he makes an effort to put as much distance between it and him as humanly possible. Unfortunately, the grim reaper was gunning for him that day, as the helicopter was taken by a gust of wind and fell to the roof of the hospital, landing directly on the doctor and killing him instantly.

#8: Special Agent Beverly Katz
“Hannibal” (2013-)

When the show’s based on one of the most iconic serial killers ever conceived, you expect to see some of the most obscene murders on television – even if it is on NBC. Beverly Katz is a crime scene investigator on the case of the Chesapeake Ripper, and she soon begins to close in on Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s “extracurricular activities.” That’s when she finds herself in his basement, staring into the eyes of a cannibal. By the next episode, we learn that Beverly did not escape the encounter: Dr. Lecter did away with her by freezing her body, slicing it into precise sections and encasing them in glass for all to see. Psychopath or not, Hannibal’s got style.

#7: Maggie Esmerelda
“American Horror Story” (2011-)

What do you get when you take a mentally disturbed circus performer, a comically long saw, and a young unsuspecting girl trapped in a box? Well, we’ll let you figure this one out for yourself. When Maggie volunteers for the distraught magician’s magic box trick, she begins to realize things aren’t completely right when her legs are pulled completely through. Chester soon hallucinates, seeing Maggie as his deceased wife. In a blind rage, Chester cuffs Maggie’s ankles and violently saws at her torso, severing the fortune-teller in two, and unveiling his work to the freaks at the end.

#6: Sedullus
“Spartacus” (2010-13)

There weren’t too many episodes in this series without some graphic violence. However, this particular fight scene between the rebels and the Germanics left all those viewing it with their jaws hanging open – well, everyone except Sedullus, that is. Coming to the aid of a fallen comrade, Spartacus gets locked in combat with one of the biggest contenders on the field. Fortunately, while Sedullus is not so great with a sword, Spartacus is and with one swift upward slash, he takes off not only his opponent’s face, but the better half of his skull.

#5: Dawn Trager
“Sons of Anarchy” (2008-14)

Not only is this scene particularly heartbreaking, it’s also extremely hard to watch due to its sheer brutality. In retaliation for the murder of his own child, mob boss Damon Pope kidnaps Tig’s daughter, and forces him to watch as he collects retribution. Disregarding Tig’s plea to take his life instead, Pope coldly throws his lit cigar into the pit where a gasoline-covered Dawn is helpless to escape and consumed by fire. Her cries of pain are only muffled by her own father’s screams of regret.

#4: Talisa Stark
“Game of Thrones” (2011-)

We’re still in shock from this bloody massacre. When Robb Stark breaks the promise he made to Walder Frey by marrying a woman other than Frey’s daughter, the wronged man sharply retaliates by seeing to the slaughter of as many members of the Stark family as possible. It becomes clear that the hospitable visit they’re enjoying is a sham, and before anyone can blink, main characters are dropping like flies. Talisa is stabbed repeatedly in the uterus, killing her unborn baby and leaving her to slowly bleed out while the pandemonium occurs. While “GoT” is known for the violent deaths of characters like Ned Stark and Joffrey Baratheon, those pale in comparison to the Red Wedding.

#3: Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring
“Breaking Bad” (2008-13)

This iconic TV villain went out with a bang – quite literally. When Gus prepares to end the life of the man that killed his partner years ago, he catches on to Walter’s plan to kill him a hair too late, as Hector frantically rings the bell, activating the homemade bomb implanted in his wheelchair. The room, along with Hector and Gus, are blown to smithereens. However, a seemingly fine Gus walks calmly out of the room straightening his tie. But then he turns, revealing the absent right side of his face. Flashy and gruesome, yes; but not as heart wrenching as watching Jesse’s girlfriend choke on her own vomit from a drug overdose.

#2: Noah
“The Walking Dead” (2010-)

Though this character’s stint on the series was rather short-lived, his death scene was one that fans won’t soon forget. While on one of their scavenging missions, the group finds themselves inundated by walkers – as is the norm. Soon, Noah and Glenn find themselves trapped inside a revolving door with Alexandria resident Nicholas. Once one side becomes clear, Nicholas cowardly takes the opportunity to squeeze his way through, abandoning the two survivors he came with and leaving a gap in the door big enough for a person. Noah is unfortunately pulled through that gap and is devoured by a whole pack of walkers, while Glenn is forced to watch through the glass doors.

Before we unveil our pick for Top Gruesome TV Death, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Bill Compton
“True Blood” (2008-14)
- Jerome ‘Chef’ McElroy
“South Park” (1997-)
- Warren Mears
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)
- Adriana La Cerva
“The Sopranos” (1999-2007)

#1: Oberyn Martell
“Game of Thrones” (2011-)

The shocking conclusion to this epic duel left us not only in disbelief, but cringing from the extreme fatality. In King’s Landing to seek revenge for the murder of his sister, the Red Viper of Dorne sees his chance when he’s given the opportunity to fight on behalf of Tyrion Lannister, against Gregor Clegane – known to many for obvious reasons as the Mountain. With Oberyn’s superior skill and agility, he floors his opponent, and the fight seems to be won – that is, until Prince Oberyn is coaxed into getting far too close for comfort. Once the Mountain gets his hands on Oberyn, he uses only his hands to first gouge out his eyes and ultimately crushes his skull in one final, gruesome blow.

Do you agree with our list? What TV death was far too gruesome for you to watch? For more awesome Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to


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