From powerful wizards to vengeful lovers, when fictional characters we love die in an untimely fashion, it is only natural that we as readers go through stages of serious grief. Authors have a way of giving us a punch in the gut only to reveal that your beloved character has been brought back from the grave. In fiction, writers dare to imagine the impossible by reversing the irreversible. Whether its a hero or a villain, a walk through the limbo always grants them with greater strengths to gain vengeance from whoever was responsible for their first deaths.
Warning: SPOILERS ahead. Advance at your own precaution.
7. Aslan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
As a noble leader with a marked sense of duty, Aslan bravely sacrificed himself to save Edmund Pevensie. In dying, Aslan finally put a halt on the Deep Magic that governed the Narnia universe. His glorious return on the next morning as facilitated by the emitting rays of light signifies the revival of hope. On his epic come-back, he whirls into action as if nothing treacherous had happened at all. Phew!
6. Gandolf in The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Much like C.S. Lewis, Tolkien was an avid Christian that exhibited his beliefs in his works. In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf’s physical death at the Battle of the Peaks not only failed to terminate his life, but also enabled a powerful resurrection that changed his hair from grey to white and granted him with greater strengths to stay for good.
5. Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Via Harry Potter Wiki
During the ultimate battle between Harry and Lord Voldemort at Hogwarts, Harry is severely injured and suddenly sent into a limbo. As he finds himself at King’s Cross Station, he meets Dumbledore who walks him through a passage of indefinite length. Forced to dwell between life and death, Harry chooses the former and returns to life, stronger and more resilient against the Dark Lord. Thanks to authors of fantasy fiction such as Lewis and Tolkien, readers have been spoiled into believing that their beloved character will somehow return from the ashes and they will soon see an epic come-back of the hero through intermittent light beams. Though Rowling was not willing to use this clever gimmick on Dumbledore, we are extremely grateful that she pulled Potter back into the most intense battle in the history of magic.
4. Juliet in Romeo & Juliet, by William Shakespeare
In one of Shakespeare’s most heart-breaking tragedy, Juliet Capulet strikes a deal with the friar and plots a dangerous escape by faking her death; all in the name of love. Unfortunately, her seemingly genius idea went haywire after the grief-striken Romeo committed suicide by her so-called deathbed. When Juliet wakes up to find Romeo dead in her arms, she immediately stabs herself to follow after him. In short, a pair hasty lovers, some awful timing and a lot of inefficient communication led to this couple’s fateful deaths.
3. Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
Via Hidden Remote
In The Final Problem, Holmes and his arch-enemy Professor James Moriarty engaged in an intense combat and are believed to have fell to their deaths at Reichenback’s Falls. Although no footprints were to be seen and Watson had been 100% certain of their deaths, Holmes somehow survived the heights and came back to Baker Street. In the first book within The Return of Sherlock Holmes series, The Adventure of the Empty Home, Holmes’ astonishing reappearance startled Watson, as one can only imagine.
2. Jon Snow in A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Game of Thrones Season 5 was full of its unpleasant surprises, especially the jawbreaking cliffhanger that left Jon Snow dead at the hands of his own sworn brothers. However, we’ve noticed that the portrayal of Jon’s death on TV and his death in the pages are not entirely in accordance. The biggest discrepancy lies in the culprits behind his downfall; while on the show Ser Alliser Throne is the initiator and Olly is the one to complete the finishing blow with one final stab, in the book Lord Steward Bowen Marsh is responsible for delivering the mortal stab. Jon’s death scene as depicted by Martin’s words is deeply sentimental and poignant because Marsh has been a longtime supporter of the King of the North and his ruthless betrayal left himself in a pool of tears. Nevertheless, everything is put back into place after Melissandre successfully revives Jon. All we can hope for is that he should stay alive and healthy because as special as he may be, a lucky return from the grave does not signify immortality.
1. Catelyn Stark in A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
In the book, Catelyn Stark is murdered and her body tossed into the river after the Red Wedding. However, a follower of the Lord of the Light, a.k.a. the male version of Melissandre, sacrifices his own life in order to bring her back from the grave. Following her resurrection, she travels in disguised form and refers to herself as Lady Stoneheart. Though there is no sign of Lady Stoneheart in HBO’s adaptation so far, there remains a slight possibility of her appearance in the current season.
Featured image courtesy of Vanity Fair