Top 10 Dying in Arm Scenes in Movies

Prepare to get teary-eyed because this list will bring out all the feels. You know those epic dying in arm scenes that just hit you in the gut. We're talking about the iconic Jack dying in Rose's arms, Rue in Katness', that infamous bathtub scene in I am Legend and Dobby in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
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Top 10 Dying in Arm Scenes


We’re here to confirm that it wasn’t just something you said. [OR alternate intro: They just died in your arms tonight.] Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Dying in Arms Scenes in Movies.

For this list, we’re looking at big screen deaths that broke our collective hearts. Because we’ll be dealing with the deaths – whether permanent or not - of major and minor characters from beloved films, a spoiler warning is in order. Okay, now go grab the tissues and we’ll get started.

#10: Rue
“The Hunger Games” (2012)

After saving her sister Prim from the perils of the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Katniss finds a symbolic sister in Rue, the 12-year-old tribute from District 11. Katniss’s protective nature takes over once the games begin, and she takes it upon herself to look out for the youngest competitor. After saving Rue from a trap, they are ambushed by Marvel, a Career Tribute from District 1. Katniss retaliates in time to dispatch him, but not before he throws his spear. Rue, fatally hit, asks Katniss to sing to her as she slips away. Katniss’ devastation and compassion were felt not only with movie audiences everywhere, but also in-film as the spark for the fires of rebellion.

#9: M
"Skyfall” (2012)

The indomitable M, the Bond universe’s head of MI6, was such a fearless leader that hardly anyone saw this death coming. After taking M to Skyfall, his family estate, Bond lays a trap for Raoul Silva, a former MI6 agent bent on disgracing and killing M. Silva and his men locate them, and in the ensuing fight, M is shot. Bond manages to take down Silva with a literal knife to the back, but it is too late for M. She might be able to keep a stiff upper lip for her own death, but not us. Or 007, for that matter. Things can’t possibly be the same without her.

#8: Éponine
“Les Misérables” (2012)

Is there anything more devastating than unrequited love? Yes, dying in said object of affection’s arms just as he or she comes to understand how you felt. After Marius is led to the barricades, fighting breaks out. Dressed as a man, Éponine saves Marius from a shot directed at him, and pays the price. Finally recognizing her, Marius tries to comfort her when she asks to be held as the rain comes down. Éponine then confesses her feelings, and as Marius kisses her, she quietly passes away. We swear this is just a little rain on our face, we’re totally not sobbing right now…

#7: Sam
“I Am Legend” (2007)

Despite the years that’ve passed, we’re still not over this one. No one ever said that the most tragic deaths would be exclusively human. With his wife and child dead, Sam is all the family Dr. Robert Neville has left. They’re a team, keeping one another company, helping each other survive in their new, post-apocalyptic world. But when Sam is bitten by one of the infected, despite hope, the doctor knows what is coming. As his companion turns into a monster, he has no choice but to put his old friend out of her misery. With Sam gone, Neville is truly all alone. Gut-wrenching. [optional line: At least the kid at the end of “Old Yeller” got a new puppy.]

#6: Satine
“Moulin Rouge!” (2001)

If this scene from the 2001 hit musical didn’t pull at your heartstrings, check yourself for a pulse; you might be missing that oh-so-very vital organ. After a topsy-turvy affair, Satine, the “Sparkling Diamond” of the Moulin Rogue, and Christian, the boyishly romantic writer, openly profess their love for one another in spectacular style. However, throughout their brief, illicit relationship, Satine has been hiding a terrible secret: she’s dying. As the curtain closes on their triumphant duet, the performer collapses, finally succumbing to tuberculosis – the crowd beyond the curtain cheering wildly for the young lovers, unaware of her tragic passing. Her death leaves poor Christian shattered, but with a final message for us all.

#5: Dobby
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” (2010)

J.K. Rowling, we may never forgive you! This loyal house elf only ever wanted to do-well by Harry Potter – even before Harry helped free him from indentured servitude. So, when Harry and friends needed help escaping Malfoy Manor, the little guy was right there to save the day. While it at first seems our heroes have made a clean getaway, it quickly becomes clear that something went terribly wrong. While he may be a CGI rendering of a fantasy creature, it doesn’t mean our feelings weren’t real! All Dobby ever wanted was to be Harry’s friend, and as he lay dying from the stab of Bellatrix’s knife, he looks at peace. We’re glad someone was, because this nearly destroyed us.

#4: Beast
“Beauty and the Beast” (1991)

Disney has played with our emotions in “Tangled” and “The Princess and the Frog,” but this was the first time we really thought that there might not be a happily ever after. When it becomes clear that Belle has come back for him, the Beast gets a whole new lot on life – and is promptly stabbed in the back. Pulling him to safety, Belle tries to comfort him and, as the final petal of the enchanted rose falls, she admits to him and herself that she has fallen in love. Fortunately for us, this death scene doesn’t last long, as with the curse lifted, his Beast-form may die, but he comes back to life after he is transformed back into Prince Adam. Phew. That was a close one.

#3: Bubba
“Forrest Gump” (1994)

The titular character of this 1994 classic might be an innocent, but even he is not spared the horrors of war. When Forrest signs up for the Army, he soon makes friend with Private Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue. When their platoon is ambushed while on tour in Vietnam, Forrest returns over and over into hostile territory to save as many people as he can. Still, he is unable to save his good friend, Bubba. What makes this scene even more heartbreaking is Bubba’s authentic appeal to know why this happened to him, and knowing that there is no good answer. It’s a poignant cinematic moment that spoke directly to millions of people all over the world.

#2: Romeo Montague
“Romeo + Juliet” (1996)

While not quite as it went down in the original Shakespearean text, this is still perhaps the most famous death scene in history. Thinking that Juliet is dead, Romeo decides to end it all. However, he is unaware that she is not dead, but only under the effects of a drug imitating death. Displaying the worst peripheral vision in cinema history, our hero brings his poison to his lips as Juliet wakes. As she reaches for him, he is startled and swallows the poison. In a cruel reversal of fates, it is he who dies first. Juliet, overwhelmed by grief, soon follows her star-crossed lover. Their double-suicide is nothing short of brutal.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Boromir “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)

Ben Parker
“Spider-Man” (2002)

Sam Wheat
“Ghost” (1990)


#1: Jack Dawson “Titanic” (1997)

DiCaprio is back again. After the sinking of the Titanic, Jack and Rose make their way to a floating wooden panel. Rose gets on, but fearing it will sink or flip, Jack stays in the freezing water. What makes this death so brutal is the slowness of it, as the lovers both wait for death or rescue. Thinking she may not make it, Jack makes Rose promise to stay alive. It seems to the audience that Jack might have a chance to survive, so when the boat finally does appear and Rose tries to alert him, we were just as devastated as she was. The scene has since become one of the most crushing, memorable moments in movie history.
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