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Top 10 Hardest to Kill TV Characters

VO: Matthew Wende WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Script written by Garrett Alden How are they still alive?! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 hardest to kill TV characters. For this list we’ll be looking at the TV characters who have survived a huge number of near-death experiences, as well as those who die, but can’t seem to stay dead. We’ll be excluding truly immortal characters - like Nathan from “Misfits” - who resurrect themselves, and semi-immortal ones - like the Doctor of “Doctor Who” - that regenerate into a new form. Also, because death will be a consistent talking point, there will be spoilers ahead.
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Top 10 Hardest to Kill TV Characters

How are they still alive?! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 hardest to kill TV characters.

For this list we’ll be looking at the TV characters who have survived a huge number of near-death experiences, as well as those who die, but can’t seem to stay dead. We’ll be excluding truly immortal characters - like Nathan from “Misfits” - who resurrect themselves, and semi-immortal ones - like the Doctor of “Doctor Who” - that regenerate into a new form. Also, because death will be a consistent talking point, there will be spoilers ahead.

#10: Claire Bennet

“Heroes” and “Heroes: Reborn” (2006-10, 2015-16)
This cheerleader rarely needs saving. Claire Bennet is a young woman with the power to regenerate from nearly any wound. She has survived falls from huge heights, a car crash, and even having her skull cut open by the murderous Sylar, who is a notable figure in his own right. While Claire’s ability to regenerate from fatal wounds is powerful enough that we considered leaving her off of our list, the fact that she does meet her final death in “Heroes: Reborn” means she can actually be killed – just with great difficulty.

#9: Dr. Daniel Jackson

“Stargate SG-1” (1997-2007)
Earth’s foremost expert on cultures, Dr. Daniel Jackson is an archaeologist who has been through enough scrapes that he’d give Indiana Jones a run for his money. As part of SG-1, the frontline team sent out to explore the galaxy through Stargates, Dr. Jackson has been shot at and even tortured. But it’s his tendency to die that makes him notable. Dr. Jackson has been shot multiple times, died of radiation poisoning, and been stabbed through the chest on a disintegrating space ship. Daniel survives all of these through a combination of advanced alien healing technology and ascending to a higher plane of existence.

#8: Sydney Bristow

“Alias” (2001-06)
The lifestyle of a globetrotting secret – and often double – agent is no picnic, as Sydney Bristow can attest. Along with a host of emotional traumas, including the deaths of friends and loved ones, amnesia, and more betrayals than the average reality show, Sydney endures a glut of near-death experiences as well, having been shot several times, almost strangled, and barely survived a car crash. Given the show’s predilection for cliffhanger endings though, it’s no surprise that the creators would want to put the protagonist in so much danger.

#7: Jon Snow

“Game of Thrones” (2011-)

A bastard son and a formidable former brother of the Night’s Watch, Jon Snow has seen more action and peril than most of the cast of “Game of Thrones”, surviving harrowing climbs and epic battles with men both living and dead. The man who “knows nothing” has even come back from the dead, after suffering betrayal. In a show where anyone can die, Jon is on a short list of people who got a second chance. Beric Dondarrion has come back more than once, but the fact that we see more of what Jon goes through gives us more of a connection with him. After escaping death so many times, is it any wonder he’s always pouting?

#6: Rick Grimes

“The Walking Dead” (2010-)
One of the primary protagonists of the series, Rick Grimes has faced death - and the dead - quite frequently. Right from the show’s beginning when he comes out of a coma, Rick has escaped undead hordes, as well as an impressive number of murderous, and sometimes cannibalistic, fellow survivors. Rick manages to walk away from being beaten, choked, and eaten on several occasions, often only by the skin of his teeth. Given that he’s the leader of a group of survivors in the post-apocalypse, it’s only fitting that he can seemingly survive anything.

#5: Murdoc

“MacGyver” (1985-92)
While the titular hero has defied death plenty of times, it’s his most ardent nemesis that makes our list. Murdoc is an assassin whose sadistic and gleeful enjoyment of his job made him a very entertaining character. His conflicts with MacGyver were often overly complicated and full of disguises, but almost always concluded not only with Murdoc’s defeat, but also his apparent death. These have included multiple falls, being trapped beneath a collapsing building, and electrocution followed by a fall into a pool set on fire. Murdoc always returns though, proving that he’s a master of survival, not just disguise.

#4: Cordell Walker

“Walker, Texas Ranger” (1993-2001)
In a world where there is no Chuck Norris, there is Cordell Walker. The titular Texas Ranger is an impossibly skilled and honorable man, whose usual method of fighting crime is to use one of his patented roundhouse kicks to knock the bad guys into next week. However, this modus operandi doesn’t lend well to facing any armed opponent…or at least, it shouldn’t. Walker manages to survive situations that should kill him with dubious regularity, from gunfire, to poisonous scorpions. Walker is larger than life – and a good thing too, otherwise he’d be dead.

#3: Buffy Summers

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)
Everyone’s favorite snarky Slayer, Buffy Summers faces more death and danger than most teenagers, regularly battling demons, monsters, and, naturally, vampires. Given her rather grim destiny, Buffy comes close to dying on a nearly daily basis, though her preternatural strength, along with her trusty gang of friends, definitely help her out of most of the situations she finds herself in. However, the Slayer does end up dying twice during the series, the first by drowning and the second by sacrificing herself to save the world – again. Buffy doesn’t let something like dying stand in her way though.

#2: Dean and Sam Winchester

“Supernatural” (2005-)
The Winchester brothers can even give Buffy a run for her money. Sam and Dean have been raised to fight evil since they were children, and it’s a mission they pursue with incredible success, but not without going to Hell and back along the way – literally. The brothers have also been to Heaven, Purgatory, and many more supernatural locales. Combined, the brothers have died over a dozen times in a variety of ways, and have endured pain and loss to such a degree that it’s frankly amazing that they’re still kicking - and kicking ass.

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

Agent Phil Coulson
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (2013-)

Xena
“Xena: Warrior Princess” (1995-2001)

Ragnar
“Vikings” (2013-)

#1: Jack Bauer

“24” (2001-10, 2014)
A federal agent and the bane of terrorists and other bad guys everywhere, Jack Bauer has foiled at least 9 spectacularly threatening plots, and at a blistering pace. In the course of his 24 hour marathons of saving the day, Jack has been tortured, stabbed, overcome drug addiction, volunteered for multiple suicide missions, and generally put himself in more danger than most real people will ever experience. Bauer’s survivability is all the more impressive since most of his death-defying experiences take place within single days.
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