Multiple Choice Death YKTTW Discussion

Multiple Choice Death
A character always dies in a adaption, but doesn't die the same way. (A Flash For Every Crisis)
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(permanent link) added: 2013-03-20 15:28:39 sponsor: Sorastitch edited by: MorningStar1337 (last reply: 2014-07-30 12:46:45)

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When there is multiple adaptions of a work; there tends to be one character who always dies in some way or fashion. However, the way they did die is not the same for each adaption.

Do We Have This One??

the following is an attempt at a definition by Morning Star 1337

Ah adaptations, so full of constants and variables that it can be an entirely different story if not careful.

sometimes these constants would be death, maybe the death is a necessary part of an origin story, or maybe it happened because the death was a fixed point that is required for the universe's survival. Maybe the death triggers a turning point in a character's development. The point is that for for more meta reasons, regardless of how different an adaptation is from the source material, if someone important enough dies in the source material, someone has to die...

But it doesn't always mean that they have to die the same way.

While the reasons why the death are the same regardless of adaptation, how the death occurs is is a variable that can be toyed with. one man's parents or uncle may have to be murdered to give The Hero motivation, but they could be killed by a random mugger, a psycopath or by their own children. The Plot Reaper works in mysterious ways, but the result always stays the same. One reason for this trope to occur is to show those familiar with the source materal that their destiny is inevitable, once the deed is sone it's still possible the character to be revived and used in the adaptation unless they're Deader Than Dead.

Compare and contrast Follow the Plotted Line, They Killed Kenny Again, Disney Death and Comic Book Death. contrast Spared by the Adaptation (where a character dies in the source material but survives the adaptation) and Death by Adaptation (Where someone lives in the source material but dies in an adaptation)


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     Comic Books 
I'm thinking that examples should probably be grouped by the medium of the original work. So every Gwen Stacy death, for example, should be a bullet point under a subheading under Comic Books. Ex:

Comic Books
  • Spider-Man:
    • In the original (616) continuity, Gwen Stacy was thrown off of the George Washington Bridge by the Green Goblin and died of whiplash when Spider-Man attempted to catch her with a strand of web.
      • During the Clone Saga, Gwen Stacy is cloned by the Jackal. This Gwen is killed in the second Clone Saga by another Gwen Stacy clone known as Abby-L.
      • Another Gwen Stacy clone emerges in the mid-nineties, only to die of "clone degeneration" in the next issue.
      • Another Stacy clone appears in a Superior Spider-Man / Scarlet Spider team-up; this one dies in a laboratory fire.
      • In Earth-Z, the Marvel Zombies universe, Gwen Stacy is killed and partially eaten by— guess what?— zombies.
      • In Issue #1 of Spider-Man Fairy Tales, a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Gwen Stacy is killed by the Big Bad Wolf.
      • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Gwen is killed by Carnage.
      • In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Gwen is killed in a manner similar to her Earth-616 death— whiplash in a failed attempt to save her from the Green Goblin— but in a clock tower rather than the George Washington Bridge.

  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Return Of The King, Saruman is killed by Grima in the Shire at the end of the book, while Grima is killed by a bunch of hobbits. In the theatrical cut of the movie, they seem to be Spared by the Adaptation. In the extended cut, Saruman is stabbed by Grima in Isengard in the very beginning of the movie, after which he falls off Orthanc and is impaled on a spiked machine. Grima is shot by Legolas.
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