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9 stars who were furious when their TV show characters were killed off

Warning, spoilers ahead for characters who die in Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Dexter and more

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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It’s never nice to say goodbye to a fan favourite character in a TV show - and while plenty of actors ask to leave shows, sometimes they are written out - and they are not pleased about it. Here are the stars who have been vocal about their disappointment about being killed off and warning, spoilers ahead for shows including Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Dexter and Orange is the New Black…

Conleth Hill - Varys in Game of Thrones

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Conleth admitted that he was inconsolable when his character Varys was killed in season eight, having gotten on the wrong side of Daenerys Targaryen.

WATCH:  Conleth Hill looks visibly upset as he read his character's death scene

He said that "nothing could console" him, adding to Entertainment Weekly: "I took it very personally. I took it as a person, not as an actor or an artist. I understood the reactions of previous actors who had been in the same position a lot more than I did at the time. You can’t help feeling that you failed in some way, that you haven’t lived up to some expectation that you didn’t know about."

Ian McElhinney - Barristan Selmy in Game of Thrones

Ian played Daenerys’ right-hand knight Ser Barristan Selmy, but his character met a swift end after protecting her from the Sons of the Harpy in season five, shocking viewers as his character was still alive in the novels. Speaking at a Comic Con, he explained that he was particularly disappointed as he wasn’t told of the death in advice. He said: "I was disappointed because I had enjoyed playing the part and I was looking forward to getting more meat in the part and I had to dare to presume that I would at least go into season six.

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iain elhinney© Photo: Sky

"I obviously shouldn't have dared to presume. So be it. The deed is done and I'm on to other things and that's that. But I do miss it. I would have happily stayed on."

Chandler Riggs - Carl Grimes in The Walking Dead

Chandler has spoken about how it "sucked" that he left the show back in season eight, with his character Carl dying by suicide after being bitten by a zombie. He admitted that his exit "sucked", and that it wasn’t his decision to leave the show. He explained: "I’m taking a gap year right now to focus on acting for a while. Leaving Walking Dead wasn’t my decision. It was all story-related. It made sense story-wise for it to happen for Rick and Michonne and all the other characters."

carl grimes© Photo: Getty Images

Nicolette Sheridan - Edie Britt in Desperate Housewives

Nicolette was so furious that the show’s creator Marc Cherry killed off her character, Edie, that she took him and the ABC network to court over the firing - saying that Marc only wrote the storyline for her character after she complained about him striking her on the head.

nicolette sheridan© Photo: Sky

She told EW: "I was the victim of assault and battery on the set of Desperate Housewives by the creator of the show, my boss. I reported him and was retaliated against for doing so and fired. That is against the law." The court case was eventually thrown out.

Valerie Hogan - Valerie in Valerie

After a pay dispute, actress Valerie Hogan was killed off her own TV show in an off-screen car crash at the beginning of season three, with the show being renamed Valerie’s Family, then eventually The Hogan Family. While the late star never spoke out about the situation, she did sue NBC and production company Lormar for breach of contract and receive $ 1.4 million as well as 12.5 per cent of the show’s profits.

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Samira Wiley - Poussey Washington in Orange is the New Black

Poussey was a firm fan favourite character in the hit Netflix show, and many fans tuned out for good when her character was killed by an officer during a peaceful protest in the prison. Speaking about finding out her character was going to die, Samira explained: "I felt a lot of things. The first thing was shock and confusion. You’re on a show for so long and you feel a part of it and then, all of a sudden, you get news like this, and it’s a real shock.

poussay oitnb© Photo: Netflix

"I definitely needed the time and am grateful and thankful for all the executive producers being able to understand how delicate and sensitive this situation was. They made sure I was okay throughout the whole process."

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Emma Caulfield - Anya in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Although Emma was keen to try other roles when her time on Buffy came to an end, she wasn’t happy with the Scooby gang’s lack of upset when it came to her demise. Chatting via People, she explained: "What I noticed about the finale was how little everybody cared that I died... I just think that's kinda lame. I just think Anya garnered a little more, you know, sad face."

anya buffy© Photo: Rex

Julia Benz - Rita in Dexter

While Rita’s death felt necessary for the plot - indeed for the end of the Trinity Killer as well as the circularity of Dexter’s son being found sitting in her blood, Julia was not happy about it. She revealed that she only found out three days before filming, explaining on the Inside of You podcast: "I found out three days before... I started having a panic attack, and I called my manager at the time, and I said, 'Oh my God, I think they're killing me off.'"

rita dexter© Photo: Getty Images

She added that she was dressed in gym wear when she was finally told adding: "All I could think about is that movie where the guy is getting broken up with while he's naked. Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I don't have a shirt on, and I'm losing my job. I felt so vulnerable... I was really upset. It was such a great family, and here you are being told, 'Okay, we're still going to be getting together as a family, but you are on your own.' It was really hard."

Laurie Holden - Andrea in The Walking Dead

Laurie revealed that she was written out of the show despite signing an eight-year deal to play Andrea. Speaking of her shock at finding out that she would be killed off in season three, she said: "I was supposed to be there until the end. I was supposed to end up with Rick. I was supposed to save Woodbury on a horse, and I was buying a house in Atlanta.

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"I got the call at 10 o'clock the night before, while I was shooting, from the showrunner who is no longer a part of The Walking Dead, saying that they couldn't write the episode and that he was killing my character. So we all got the script, everybody on the set was sobbing. I felt like I got shot. None of it was supposed to happen the way it did."

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