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Some character departures linger for years; some even kill shows. We're not here to talk about those characters. We're here to salute the characters who left shows, often rather violently, and who we promptly got over. It's not like we didn't like them — we did! We just don't think about them much any more... In honor of their fading memory, we gathered up likable but almost forgotten characters from our favorite currently running television shows. Rest in peace, guys!
Eddard "Ned" Stark (Sean Bean) on Game of Thrones
Oh, Papa Stark, we took your death hard. Even those of us who had read the books were left emotionally distraught at the end of "Baelor." Game of Thrones without Sean Bean? Say it isn't so! One does not simply remove their top-billed actor. But Game of Thrones did just that, and just like in the books, we kind of... Don't think about him much, you know? There's a lot going on in Westeros and beyond, and the once-central Stark family isn't always our focus. So RIP, Ned. And be glad you missed the Red Wedding. (Now that was a bad way to go.)
Caitlin "Kate" Todd (Sasha Alexander) on NCIS
Before Cote de Pablo's Ziva David walked away from NCIS crime-solving, another stubborn female bad-ass exited the team — albeit, against her (character's) will. Her name was Kate, and she was shot and killed by a terrorist in the show's Season 2 finale. Kate's sudden murder floored us, but ten seasons later, do you guys even really remember Kate? Like really remember her? Ziva's loss still lingers, but we're sort of okay with NCIS's Kate-shaped hole. Maybe because we can catch her putting bad guys in their place on Rizzoli & Isles.
Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider) on Parks and Recreation
Mark, Mark, Mark. While we don't have anything against the guy personally, his departure handily coincided with Parks and Recreation really hitting its stride. Actor Schneider admits he had trouble understanding Brendanawicz's character and motivations — and it shows. Pawnee's city planner just never quite clicked with the rest of the goofy gang, so when his character decided to take a private sector job with a construction company, we didn't complain. Trading Brendanawicz for Ben Wyatt and Chris Traeger? Yes, please!
Thomas "Tommy" Merlyn (Colin Donnell) on Arrow
Poor Tommy. We were rooting for Oliver Queen's BFF, a whole lot more than we were rooting for Laurel, let's be honest. Sadly, the Arrow Season 1 finale demanded a sacrifice, and good ol' Tommy was there to provide. Of course, if we're being honest with ourselves, Tommy was probably doomed ever since he discovered the Arrow's identity (always a no-no unless you're, say, an attractive gal with romantic history with the super person in question).
Theodore "T-Dog" Douglas (IronE Singleton) on The Walking Dead
The real tragedy in the post-apocalypse is that characters can get offed before receiving necessary dimension. We hardly knew you, T-Dog! Besides the fact that you were loyal and religious and understandably grumpy when suffering from blood poisoning. While T-Dog got to go out a hero, we felt robbed of getting to know him better. Maybe that's why we have such strong, continuing feelings about Dale and Lori's death, for example, but not about T-Dog's. (And to be clear, the feeling we have about Lori's death is one of blissful, delighted elation.)
Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) on House of Cards
Loads of characters get killed in season finales, but in a premiere? We were blown away by Zoe's shocking exit in House of Cards' Season 2 first episode, especially because we didn't understand how the show would go on without her presence. Then a few episodes into our glorious binge, we realized we hadn't thought about Zoe in awhile. By the end of the season, she was just a distant memory, another victim, chewed up and spat out by Team Underwood. We're actually thinking we might miss Freddy's BBQ Joint more next season.
Neal Cassidy (Michael Raymond-James) on Once Upon a Time
Look, Neal's big sacrifice and death really bummed us out, but come Season 4, we're surprisingly okay. Maybe it's because Hook and Emma are like a legit, utterly charming thing now, or maybe it's because Elizabeth Mitchell's Snow Queen is demanding our full attention. Whatever it is, when Emma finds an old photo of her and Neal, and there's an obligatory Sad Moment, it felt more like a reminder for us. Like oh, yeah, Neal. Sorry, buddy. Hope you're in a better (or at least less cursed) place now!
Which dearly departed and almost forgotten television character do you miss most? Let us know in the comments!