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Death by Adaptation
A character who remains alive in a work of fiction dies in the adaptation. Or dies a lot sooner in the adaptation.

The reasons for doing this vary. Perhaps the crew wanted to surprise everyone, including fans of the source material. Perhaps they personally viewed the unfortunate character as The Scrappy and wanted to get rid of them. Maybe Executive Meddling required this change to be made. Maybe the character in question was a villain, and in grand movie tradition, the villain had to die at the end of the movie, even if he or she was a recurring villain in the source material. Whatever the reason, the result is the same: a character you did not expect to die met their end. Frequently a cause of They Changed It, Now It Sucks and is actually one of the cases where that can be a very valid complaint.

Despite the above hypothetical example being a movie, this trope is hardly limited to book-to-film adaptations, as you'll see in the examples.

Compare with Schrödinger's Cast where a character's fate is different from the source material, but the source material is still ongoing (which may create the need for a drastic rewrite if the character in question becomes important later on in the source material) and Superhero Movie Villains Die for when death in adaptations is more permanent than the source.

Contrast with Spared by the Adaptation where a character who died in the source material does not die in the adaptation.

Not to be confused with Doomed by Canon.

Warning: This is a death trope and will contain unmarked spoilers. Read the examples at your own risk

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Examples where the character did not die in the source:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Almost all characters from X1999 except Kamui died in the film adaptation. In the anime, four Dragons of Earth were killed while three Dragons of Heavens and Hinoto died. In the manga, the kill count of major characters hasn't reached this number because it has been on a hiatus.
  • If you consider the main Death Note series as an adaptation of the pilot chapter, then both L and Light are this for their Pilot counterparts (Inspector Yamanaka and Taro Kagami, respectively)
    • Taro could also be considered the Pilot counterpart for Mikami due to them looking exactly the same. Either way, the trope still applies.
    • Mogi in the second live action film, in place of Ukita in the manga and anime.
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth, Presea chooses to complete the Knights' weapons instead of escaping Ascot's first monster attack. She dies soon after finishing, once the place collapses.
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth 2, the Autozam Commander Eagle Vision survives the Pillar's Trial and goes into deep sleep (but remains aware of his surroundings via Psychic Link,) and it's heavily implied that the new Cephiro will help him make a speedy recovery. In the anime, he battles Nova alongside the Magic Knights and rescues Lantis... and is then killed by Debonair.
    • The OAV is even more cruel. Aside from a Type II regarding Zagato, Lantis and Ascot meet their end. Especially jarring since Ascot was turned into a full-blown bad guy for the OAV.
  • The character Duclis from Slayers has completely different roles in both novels and anime but fall under this trope nonetheless: in the novels, he is the leader of a cult praising the Dark Lord Shabranigdo and is eventually slain by Lina; in the anime he is a friend of the prince Pokota; he attempts a mass murdering spree in the name of his and Pokota's kingdom and is nearly absorbed by a beast, but manages to survive. In the manga adaptation of the anime season he appeared in, though, he is killed by Shabranigdo.
    • In an odd meta-example, minor character Rubia was dead to begin with in the anime and was the subject of an attempted resurrection by her lover. In the original novels, she is still alive and assists Lina and Gourry up until the Mazoku Saygram kills her.
    • Amelia's uncle, Randionel, dies in the middle of the first season of the anime, whereas he dies in the first Slayers Special novel, which is, mind you, the prequel to the regular novel line, so he dies far earlier there.
  • Doctor Marcoh, Scar, Izumi Curtis, Selim Bradley, and Yoki in the Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 anime.
  • Tung Fu-Rue in the Fatal Fury anime movies.
  • Chrono Crusade has four:
    • Satella and Fiore die near the end of the anime, but in the manga were merely frozen in crystal and revived in the 1990s.
    • Shader is killed by Father Remington after the battle of the carnival in the anime, but survives the final battle in the manga (and is, in fact, implied to be the one that revived Satella and Fiore).
    • Chrono is a possible example—his fate is left vague in the manga (he returns to Rosette in the end, but there's some debate that he's possibly just a vision or a ghost welcoming Rosette into the afterlife), but he's definitively, absolutely dead in the anime's ending.
  • Dominic and Eureka herself in the Eureka Seven manga.
  • The novelization of Mobile Suit Gundam kills off Amuro Ray when the Gundam is shot in the back by a Zeon mobile suit's bazooka.
  • Partial example: Straight Cougar's s-CRY-ed fate is ambiguous in the anime (we last seem him sitting in a chair when his limbs appear to go limp) but he quite unambiguously died in the manga adaptation.
  • In the Neon Genesis Evangelion episode "Ambivalence" EVA Unit-03 is taken over by the Angel Bardiel during its activation test, with Shinji's best friend Toji inside. When Shinji refuses to fight it and Gendo activates the Unit-01's dummy plug to destroy it, 01 crushes 03's entry plug with Toji still inside. In the anime Toji is badly injured but turns up alive in the next episode minus a couple limbs. In the manga adaptation, he's pronounced dead at the scene from massive head trauma.
  • Raikou from Nabari No Ou dies in the anime after his Heel-Face Turn. In the manga he still has his Heel-Face Turn and comes close to dying once, but ultimately survives.
  • Kurama in Elfen Lied.
  • Shigure in YuYu Hakusho lives until the end of the manga, but in the anime, commits suicide after losing to Kurama.
  • One of the more notable changes in the adaptation of Macross to Robotech was the written-in deaths of the Macross/SDF-1 bridge crew. In the final episode of Macross, Global, Claudia, and the Bridge Bunnies survive the final assault to the battle fortress; their Robotech counterparts aren't so lucky.
    • Macross Frontier does this in the movie, with a twist. In the series there is a scene where Alto goes missing and Sheryl falls into a coma from despair and her illness. Now in the series they both get better, but in the movie Alto is missing and most likely dead (at least his survival chances are very low) and Sheryl, while healed from her illness, still lies in a coma (though she begins to stir just as the movie ends). There is hope for both (less for the former, more for the latter), but compared to series, this counts as possible death. At least until Shoji Kawamori debunked it. A more straightforward example would be Brera Stern, who does a Kamikaze run on the Galaxy Fleet conspirators, where he had previously survived the series.
      • And in The movie-centered manga Kiss of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, Sheryl is outright killed by Brera. As the scene takes place way before final confrontation she will most likely end Only Mostly Dead, but still...
  • The anime adaptation of Romance of the Three Kingdoms kills off Diao Chan, who in the novel simply disappears after her role in bringing down Dong Zhuo.
  • Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo kills off Franz d'Epinay, Danglars, and the Count himself, while they all survive in the original novel. Franz's death is particularly noteworthy, as it occurs about 3/4 of the way through the series, and provides the catalyst for Albert to grow up and wise up.
  • At the end of the Ookami Kakushi, Kaori defeats Sakaki by throwing both of them off a cliff; in the VN's true end, they both live (Sakaki being defeated by non-lethal means), but it's implied Kaori will eventually die from her illness.
  • In the Mai-Otome manga, Rad, Nagi and Sergay Auguste Taiki die.
  • Noin in Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne dies via Heroic Sacrifice in the anime adaptation, while he survived and stuck around in the original manga.
  • Code Geass: C.C. dies in Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, while both Schneizel and Lloyd (who in this version is Schneizel's dragon) die in Suzaku of the Counterattack, albeit with a case of Never Found the Body for the latter.
  • In Pokémon Special, Pryce, Maxie, Archie, and Steven Stone die when they don't in the original games.
    • Ends up subverted with Pryce as of the HGSS chapters. Though, to be fair, they Never Found the Body, and he was only trapped in time. And Steven is brought back to life. However, Maxie and Archie stay dead.
  • Bleach ended its anime before it was revealed that Tier Harribel, Emilou Apacci, Cyan Sung-Sun, Franceska Mila Rose, Menoly Mallia and Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez were alive and that the souls of Ginjo, Tsukishima and Giriko have made it over to the Soul Society.
  • Trigun: Late in the anime Brad is assassinated by one of the Gung-Ho Guns and dies with Vash crying over him. In the manga, he survives the entire series.
  • Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom: The anime mainly follows the "Ein" path from the original visual novel. In that ending, both Reiji and Ein live. In the anime ending, in the very last minute Reiji is shot and killed by another assassin and Ein commits suicide over his death.
  • Konami from Popotan dies from an illness in episode 9, which never happened in the visual novel the anime is based on. Then again, nothing in the anime happened in the game at all.
  • In the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Isis was the only other member of the Priests that served under the Pharaoh save Seto to survive the battle with Zork. In the anime, she dies as well.
    • In the early manga chapters, Yugi's grandfather has an archaeologist friend named Yoshimori who is targeted by Shadi for disrupting an Egyptian tomb. Just as he is about to kill him, Shadi discovers that he knows Yugi and instead decides to brainwash him into becoming his servant who attacks and tries to kill Yugi's friends as a distraction while he tests Yugi's other half, and after his eventual defeat, Yoshimori is freed from control and ultimately spared. In the anime version, Shadi kills Yoshimori, and brainwashes Honda instead.
  • Dakki in Houshin Engi. In the manga she lives and becomes part of the world and even saves the main character's life. In the anime, her depth is non-existent and she gets a normal All Your Colors Combined death.
  • Another has Kazami who was thought to have been killed by Teshigawara, but survives, only to really die later on. The anime, in general, killed off more students than did in the manga or novel versions.
  • Dr. Regal dies in both Manga and Anime continuities of Mega Man NT Warrior. In the former, he's killed when Bass blows up his submarine; in the latter, he is aged into a skeleton by Duo. In the video game, he's mind wiped by Lord Wily and turns good.
  • The Gungrave video game ends with Brandon killing Harry and riding off into the sunset with Mika. The Gungrave anime ends with Brandon and Harry committing mutual suicide.


    Fan Works 
  • Rick Grimes, one of the main characters in The Walking Dead, in "Better Angels".
    • Inverted by Shane Walsh who becomes the leader of the Atlanta group following Rick's death.
    • Reconstructed when, despite Rick's death the group continues into a harsh winter and eventually winds up in The Prison just like their canon counterparts.
  • Kurenai in "Team 8", who is killed by Itachi during his incursion into the village in search of Naruto.
    • Also Tazuna, who is randomly shot by one of Gato's henchmen during the Land of Waves mission.
  • In most Nuzlocke Comics from Pokémon Red and Blue (or the third-gen remakes), Gary's Raticate dies. This is because of a popular fan theory: Raticate's no longer on Gary's team when he asks you about dead Pokemon at Lavender Tower, so it's possible he was there in mourning. The games themselves never quite mention what happened to Raticate, though it's possible Gary just stored it in a PC box to make room for something else.
    • The very nature of Nuzlocke challenges is this trope. Instead of simply "fainting", any Pokemon who lose in battle are killed, and must either be released or placed in a PC box reserved for dead Pokemon.
  • "The Fragility of Time" does this with The Phantom Sisters, Ail (though this one is a Disney Death), Kaolinite, Eudial and Mimete (both of whom are murdered by Rubeus), Rubeus himself, and Death Phantom.
    • The sequel offs Fish Eye and Iron Mouse in one chapter.
  • In "Perfection Is Overrated", Yukariko and Ishigami die like they did in canon, but they stay dead in this story, because Miyu is destroyed near the end of the story before she can be awakened, meaning that she cannot smash the pillars. As a result, Alyssa does not come back from the dead, either.
  • Courtney Gears in Bad Alert: The Extreme, though off-screen. Her death was inspired by the Birth by Sleep example below.
    • In the spiritual sequel, "The Return of Bad Alert", Riku kills Penelope after she betrays him.
  • "Power Rangers Take Flight", an adaptation of Choujin Sentai Jetman, does this with Zephyros. Like his Sentai counterpart, Dryer Jigen, Zephyros is an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who gets to live in peace at the end of his episode. Unlike his Sentai counterpart, Zephyros returns a few episodes later, gets provoked into growing and destroyed (re-purposing an Imagine Spot from his Sentai episode for this scene).
  • "A Mighty Demon Slayer Grooms Some Ponies": Queen Majesty (from G1 My Little Pony) is killed off for sake of making the universe more consistent, as she appeared in the toyline and the comics, but not the My Little Pony And Friends show.
  • A distressingly common occurrence in Daria fanfiction is for her father, Jake, to die of a heart attack, as one episode of the TV show had him suffer a minor one.
  • In System Restore, Sonia Nevermind, one of the five survivors of the game, is the murderer in the second case, and is executed.
  • Hammerhand: Commander Shepard dies on Horizon, causing the Illusive Man to look to the newly arrived Space Marines for help.

    Film (Animated) 
  • Blackavar in the animated adaptation of Watership Down.
  • Ursula, in The Little Mermaid. Her story counterpart, the Sea Witch, never shows up again after making the deal with the mermaid.
  • Metallo in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. In the comic version, outside of a mention that he might've been involved in the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne that turned out to be a Red Herring by Lex Luthor to keep Batman away, his subplot didn't have anything to do with the main plot; In the movie version, he was killed by Major Force (under orders from Luthor) to frame Superman.
  • In Superman: Doomsday, Luthor murders his longtime assistant Mercy after she erases all evidence of his hand in Superman's death.
  • The Sphere in Flatland: the Film, but not in Flatland: the Movie (another adaptation that was, oddly, released the same year).
  • J. Thaddeus Toad in the Disney Theme Parks version of The Wind in the Willows, who apparently dies after being hit by a train during his escape from prison, and actually goes to Hell!
  • In the film Brest Fortress, the narrator in the end says that "Anya Kizhevatova was executed along with all families of the Fortress' defenders." Anya was indeed executed, but most of the families (including other girls Anya's age) actually survived.
  • Nicodemus in The Secret of NIMH.
  • In the original The Hobbit, only three of the thirteen dwarves (Thorin, Fíli, and Kíli) die. In the Rankin Bass version, besides Thorin, five of them die, including Bombur.
  • Quasimodo's mother in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In the original book, he was Switched at Birth with Esmerelda and then abandoned because of his ugly appearance before being adopted by Frollo who took pity on him. In the movie, she loved him, but Frollo killed her and made him think that his mother abandoned him as a baby.
  • In Animal Farm, Snowball is simply run out of the farm by Napoleon's dogs and Napoleon will probably rule the farm for the rest of his natural life. In the 1954 Animated Adaptation, it's heavily implied the dogs actually killed Snowball and the film ends with all the other animals attacking Napoleon and the other pigs while his dogs are too drunk to defend them.
  • In the DC comics, when Bolphunga the Unrelenting discovers that Mogo is a living planet, he flees from him fast. In Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Mogo kills Bolphunga before he could get away.
  • In the film adaptation of The Adventures of Tintin, Barnaby does not recover from his injuries after being shot by goons before he can tell Tintin about Sakharine.
  • Hrothgar in the 2007 Beowulf. In the poem, we don't see him again after Beowulf kills Grendel's mother and the story skips to Beowulf as a king in a different country. In the film, once Beowulf claims to have killed her, Hrothgar gives him his throne and commits suicide out of the shame for being a fraud who fathered Grendel in the first place.

    Film (Live Action) 
  • Gennaro and Muldoon in Jurassic Park. In the former's case, it may be because he was effectively a Composite Character with someone who did die in the book. Interestingly, Gennaro is mentioned as having Died On A Bus in The Lost World novel, perhaps to get things more consistent between the novels and films.
  • Dr. Frock in The Relic, particularly jarring as he plays a central role in the novel's sequel, Reliquary, as the Big Bad.
    • The same goes with scientist Greg Lee (Kawakita in the novel). Although he dies in between the events of the two books, his actions are actually what kick the sequel off and lead to Frock becoming a villain, as he begins recreating the plant the created the monster with the intention of selling it as a drug.
  • Mogi in the live action Death Note movies.
  • Bat in the Fist of the North Star movie.
  • Inspector Legrasse in the 2005 silent film adaptation of The Call of Cthulhu.
  • Ben in the 2003 version of Willard, whereas in the 1971 movie and the original proposed ending, he kills Willard and survives, injured, but shrugging it off.
  • Jack Taggert (Firepower in the comics) in Iron Man 3.
  • Cybil in Silent Hill. She can die in the games, but her survival is hinted to be canon.
  • Everybody except for Bastian and the Empress in The Neverending Story. They get better.
  • Dick Halloran in The Shining. In the novel he takes a beating with a roque club, but makes it out alive with a broken jaw. But in the film, he is killed by an axe to the chest.
  • Captain Dudley Smith in the film version of L.A. Confidential.
  • Haldir in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. (In the book, the elves don't even show up at Helm's Deep). Also the Mouth of Sauron, whose fate in the book is unknown.
    • Sauron himself doesn't technically die in the book, as he is said to be "maimed forever" when the ring is destroyed. In the movie, he is destroyed along with it. And how. Though his spirit could still be present.
  • Brom Bomes in Tim Burton's version of Sleepy Hollow.
  • The Joker and the Penguin in Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns, respectively. Two-Face in Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever.
  • In The Dark Knight Saga, Ra's al Ghul and Two-Face.
    • Oddly enough, Carmine Falcone is still alive in this universe while dead in the comics.
    • The third film has Talia al Ghul and Bane.
  • Dr. Octopus and Venom in the Spider-Man Trilogy.
  • Witt, who gets a Heroic Sacrifice of sorts in The Thin Red Line.
    • Also, Nellie Coombs.
    • Welsh in the 1964 adaptation.
  • X-Men:
    • Cyclops dies off screen unglamourously in X-Men: The Last Stand. The characters who die by adaptation in the X-Men films could probably fill a whole damn page. Lady Deathstrike, Callisto, Psylocke, Kestrel, Agent Zero, and (apparently) Toad are notable examples.
    • Same with Sabretooth, who was fried by Cyclops in the original film.
      • The Wolverine prequel implies that you can't get rid of him that easily. He later turned up alive in the official prequel game to The Last Stand, but the game itself has since been rendered Canon Discontinuity by The Wolverine.
    • Henry Peter Gyrich, a longtime supporting character of The Avengers, falls victim to a Kill and Replace plot in the first X-Men movie.
    • Darwin and Sebastian Shaw in First Class.
    • The Wolverine:
      • Viper wasn't hanged in the comics.
      • Harada wasn't killed in the comics, who falls under Type 2 of this trope.
    • Large swaths of characters (including Storm, Bishop, Blink, Warpath, and Sunspot) die in the Bad Future segment of X-Men: Days of Future Past, but are all revived thanks to a Cosmic Retcon. Cyclops and Jean Grey, who died in previous movies, are resurrected as well.
      • The 70's segment does not get the benefit of a Cosmic Retcon, however. Emma Frost, Angel Salvadore, Riptide, and Azazel are all stated to have died in a Bus Crash, while Banshee is also stated to have died in a Type 2 scenario.
  • Ronan the Accuser, Korath the Pursuer and Carina all die in Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • Drax's daughter is a weird example. She's stated to have died as a child, but in the original comics, it was a Never Found the Body situation, and it was eventually revealed that she'd survived and grown up to become the superhero Moondragon. However, the film states that she was killed right in front of her father, making it unclear as to whether or not she'll ever get to become a hero like her comic counterpart. Presumably the upcoming sequel will clarify this.
  • James Bond (all 7 of him...don't ask) in Casino Royale 1967.
  • Nina in Nosferatu and its remake.
  • Berger in Hair, in a rare film example of death by military draft. He was impersonating The Hero Claude, who dies in the play. More interestingly, the big finale song in both versions is a Dark Reprise about the character's death.
  • Probably the protagonist of Layer Cake. Probably, as he isn't explicitly dead, but likely would be if he didn't get immediate medical treatment.
  • Mike Enslin in the director's cut of 1408.
  • Jim Halsey and Lt. Esteridge in the 2007 remake of The Hitcher.
  • Harry Potter
    • Draco's friend/lackey Goyle is the one to use Fiendfyre and burn himself to death with it, while in the book it was Crabbe. This is because Crabbe's actor got in legal trouble and thus was unable to play in the movie.
    • Griphook (massacred along with the rest of the Gringotts staff by Voldemort)
    • Scabior (falls to his doom when the bridge he is standing on blows up)
    • Pius Thicknesse (killed by Voldemort for being annoying)
    • Lavender Brown (killed by Fenrir Greyback) and Fenrir Greyback (defenestrated by Hermione in turn)
    • The way Amycus and Alecto Carrow lay on the ground after being defeated by McGonagall suggests that they're also dead (McGonagall used the same spell Harry later tries to kill Nagini with) while in the book they are imprisoned in a net by McGonagall at Ravenclaw Tower.
  • Arthur in the 2005 movie of Tom Browns Schooldays.
  • The musical Little Shop of Horrors ends with the monster plant Audrey II surviving to conquer the world. When it came to the film version of the musical, test audiences took against the conquer-the-world ending, and it was replaced with one in which Audrey II was successfully killed off.
  • Marie in The Bourne Supremacy.
  • Jenny and Mama in Forrest Gump.
  • Menelaus in Troy is killed by Hector to save Paris near the start of the siege, while in the original Paris is saved by Aphrodite, and Menelaus actually ends up going home with Helen. Ajax is also killed in battle rather than his ignominious end after the death of Achilles.
  • In Resident Evil: Apocalypse, a "Capt. Leon Kennedy" is reported to have been killed in a newspaper.
    • Not only was this a throwaway line from a promotional "newsletter" and wasn't even in the movie proper, but it's retconned away when Leon finally makes an appearance in Retribution.
    • In Resident Evil: Extinction, Carlos Oliveira is bitten and makes a Heroic Sacrifice. He survives in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis but is never mentioned again.
    • In Retribution, Barry Burton finally makes a appearance as well, but dies while trying to buy time for the other heroes to escape. In the games, he's still alive though likewise hasn't been seen since Resident Evil 3.
  • Master and Commander kills off Mr. Allen, Joseph Nagle, and Peter Calamey in the final battle; since there isn't a Final Battle in the Aubrey-Maturin books, they all seem to live.
  • Meg Ryan's character in City of Angels - the angel's girlfriend in the film Wings of Desire does not die.
  • Ruby in the 2006 remake of The Hills Have Eyes.
  • The gym teacher, renamed Mrs. Collins, in the first movie version of Carrie. Ditto for Norma who gets this by virtue of Adaptational Villainy and Fire Hose-Guided Karma. The book implies there are a good few survivors of the prom who got out through the fire doors before Carrie closed them, but in the film all of the students at the prom appear to die in the fire.
    • And the TV remake gives us, Tina who survived in the book. Amusingly enough she and Norma escaped together in the book, and in both cases the girl that was given Adaptional Villainy would fall victim to this trope, depending on the version.
  • Thanks to The Hays Code, Rhonda in The Bad Seed is struck by lightning at the side of a pond. Her mother, on the other hand, survives.
  • While in the Scott Pilgrim comics, Crash and The Boys help out against third-ex Todd Ingram, they get flash-fried by first-ex Matthew Patel in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
  • In the comic version of Road to Perdition, John Looney is merely sent to prison. In the movie, John Rooney is gunned down by Michael Sullivan Sr.
  • Kronsteen in From Russia with Love, although it's possible his literary counterpart was also executed for his plan's failure.
  • Max Brailovsky in 2010: The Year We Make Contact.
  • Helen and Barry both die in I Know What You Did Last Summer, but they survive the book.
  • In Queen of the Damned, Mael and Pandora were both killed, despite being rather important figures in the books (particularly Pandora, who was actually the protagonist of one of the sequels).
    • There wasn't much of a final battle in the book, with Maharet's twin sister (excluded from the film) Mekare pushing Akasha through a window, which gets Akasha beheaded.
  • At the end of My Side of the Mountain, Frightful the hawk gets shot and dies. In the book, she not only lives, but ends up with three sequels focusing on her.
  • LaBoeuf lived through the original novel True Grit, but died pulling Mattie and Cogburn out of the pit in the 1969 movie version. In the 2010 movie version he survives again.
  • Angier in The Prestige; in the book, he actually became immortal.
  • The Ra'zac in Eragon, despite the fact that them surviving is a major plot point in later Inheritance Cycle books.
  • In Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning, it's revealed that Gilbert died while serving as a medical doctor overseas during World War II.
    • In the books Anne and Gilbert's sons Jem, Walter, and Shirely serve in World War I so this is a major generational time shift.
  • Tommy and Warden Norton in The Shawshank Redemption.
  • In Congo, Kahega dies early on, despite being a much more important character in the book, and the survivor from the first expedition the heroes find in a tribal village.
  • Vasili Borodin in The Hunt for Red October.
  • The besiegers in Straw Dogs.
  • The Red King from Alice in Wonderland. It's implied that his wife, the Red Queen (who is the film's Big Bad) killed him prior to the events of the film.
  • Captain Nemo as well as most of his crew in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
  • Poor old Tufty Thesinger in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
  • Captain Walker in the 1975 adaptation of The Who's Tommy. Also Nora Walker (Tommy's mother) at the end of the film.
  • James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls dies of a drug overdose in the film, while he just disappears in the stage show.
  • Dr. Copper and Norris survive the events of Who Goes There?. In The Thing (1982), Norris is replaced by the titular monster and Cooper is killed by said duplicate.
  • Irene Adler in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Although, there's some debate about her status in the canon. She's referred to, at the beginning of the one story she appears in, as "the late Irene Adler", but this could simply allude to the fact that she changes her name. At the very least, the way she dies was invented for the movie.
  • Theo Faron from Children of Men.
  • Dracula had a few, which is not surprising when the main story been done so many times and they want to spice it up.
    • In Horror of Dracula Harker stakes the vampire bride but the sun goes down before he can get to Dracula himself and is killed and turned, leaving it to Helsing to stake him.
    • In Dan Curtis's version of Dracula, Harker is caught while trying to escape the castle and thrown into the vampire brides' chambers where they make a meal of him. Not surprisingly near the end of the movie when Helsing and Holmwood are tracking Drac through the castle. They find an undead Harker in the same area. He nearly succeeds in trying to bite Helsing but is knocked into a spike pit by Holmwood and killed for real.
    • In the 1979 movie, Mina trades places with Lucy. Becoming Dracula's first victim, being turned into a vampire, and having to be staked by her father (albeit accidental). Helsing also dies during the final battle against Dracula. He uses his final strength to kill him, however.
    • Harker again in the 2012 Italian adaption. He gets bitten not once, but three times. Once by Dracula's bride, Tania. And twice by Dracula himself. Helsing comes across his coffin while chasing after Dracula and there's a bit of a Hope Spot as he seems to climb out of it weakly...before he hisses, barring his fangs. Helsing promptly stakes him.
  • In the 2011 adaptation of The Whisperer In Darkness, Noyes and George Akeley are killed by the Mi-Go - Noyes when the ritual is disrupted, and George when he tries to deliver the Black Stone to Wilmarth on his father's request. Neither character dies in the original short story: George never leaves San Diego, and Noyes is a Karma Houdini. B-67 is unplugged and killed by Noyes in the film, which doesn't happen in the text. Although he doesn't strictly die, Albert Wilmarth is captured and de-brained by the Mi-Go in the movie, while he escapes in the short story.
  • Anita Vanger in The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo becomes a Posthumous Character in both film versions. Her cousin, Harriet, lives under her name in both of them.
  • Mia's father, Philippe, in the film version of The Princess Diaries. In the books, he is very much alive and only reveals to Mia that she's a princess because he has testicular cancer and can no longer have any kids, making the illegitimate Mia his only heir. In the film they kill him in order to brush past testicular cancer in a Disney movie.
  • Redd White is poisoned while in prison in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney movie, but is never seen again after his arrest in the game.
  • The Nome King is accidentally destroyed by a chicken egg in Return to Oz, a composite adaptation of The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz. In the books, he survived all his appearances only to get turned into a cactus in the later book, Handy Mandy in Oz.
  • In the 1948 film of Les Misérables, M. Thenardier falls to his death down a trapdoor. His novel counterpart lived Happily Ever After as a slave trader in America.
  • Where Eagles Dare: Weissner dies in a car crash whereas he survives in the novel. Colonel Kramer, General Rosemeyer, Anne-Marie Kernister and Major von Hapen are all gunned down by Smith and Schaffer in the dining room along with a guard, unlike in Alistair MacLean's book where they're injected with nembutal (including the guard), which puts them to sleep for several hours. The same holds true for other Nazi characters. Except for the three traitors Thomas, Christiansen and Berkeley, almost all of the Nazis who die in the film survived in MacLean's original novel.
  • Cee Cee Bloom's father is said to have died offscreen in the 1988 film of Beaches, while her mother lives. In the novel, Mr. Bloom outlives his wife but is estranged from his daughter. He would later feature more heavily in the unadapted sequel I'll Be There.
  • In Dr. Strangelove Stanley Kubrick takes it to the extreme in his satirical adaptation of the Cold War novel Red Alert. In the novel, nuclear catastrophe is averted; in the film, it's The End of the World as We Know It for mankind.
  • In The Last Airbender, Katara's narration explains that Yue has ruled the Northern Water Tribe since her father's death. In the show Chief Arnook was alive before and after the Fire Nation's attack.
  • In Infernal Affairs, Lau Kin-ming survives the story without anyone realizing him to be the Triad mole. His counterpart in The Departed, Colin Sullivan almost gets away with it, but he's shot in the head by Dignam.
  • In Red Dawn (2012) Danny is killed, in the Red Dawn (1984) original he is one of the few survivors.
  • In Dick Tracy, Lips Manlis gets the bath under orders of Big Boy Caprice. His comic strip counterpart made a Heel-Face Turn early on and lived, renaming himself Bob Honor. Two more reformed baddies, Littleface Finney and Influence, are also killed. The former dies in the opening massacre by Flattop, the latter by Tracy in the final shootout.
  • Corrine in the Flowers in the Attic film. She does die in the third book, but in a fire.
  • Man of Steel:
    • Possibly Jor-El's digital avatar as well. Zod seems to delete it when Jor-El tries to convince him not to go through with his plan.
    • This is another adaptation where Jonathan Kent dies (not always in Superman media).
    • Emil Hamilton dies helping stop the Kryptonians.
    • Superman kills Zod in the heat of battle and out of desperation, and he regrets it deeply.
    • Kara Zor-El. In the prequel comic, we learn that she's Kal-El's distant ancestor rather than his first cousin in this continuity, and that she was one of the Kryptonian explorers who came to Earth and landed in the Arctic. It's possible that the corpse in the Kryptonian spacecraft is hers; though even if it isn't, she's definitely long-dead by the time Kal-El makes it to Earth. However, note that while one sleeper capsule had a corpse, another was open and empty...
  • Frigga and Kurse in Thor: The Dark World.
  • Pretty much everyone in The Land That Time Forgot, but particularly Bradley, Whiteley, Sinclair, and Plesser. Other characters such as von Schoenvorts, Dietz and Benson die differently and at different points than they do in the novel, and under entirely different circumstances.
    • This also holds true for the sequel, The People That Time Forgot, a very loose adaptation of the middle portion of the novel. Lisa dies off-screen between films, and Bowen suffers a fatal arrow wound in the final battle, whereas in the book both of them survive and get married.
  • In the monster film The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, the title dinosaur is destroyed to end its rampage in New York City. However, in "The Fog Horn", the Ray Bradbury short story that the movie is partly inspired by, the dinosaur is more sympathetic, less destructive, and returns to the ocean in peace instead of being killed.
  • Sir John in The Wolfman (2010).
  • Senator Roark in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
  • Starship Troopers has Johnny's father, who is one of the few characters to survive to the end of the book, and actually becomes Johnny's second in command once he gets his own squadron. In the film, he dies alongside Johnny's mother (who, incidentally, does die the same way in both book and film) in the attack on Buenos Aires, relatively early on.

  • Everyone except the protagonist from the book adaptations of the Baldur's Gate games.
  • Chief in the Disney Read-along record/picture book version of The Fox and the Hound (he is simply never seen, heard, or mentioned again after being hit by the train, which implies his death). Interestingly, he died in the original novel as well, making the Disney film the only adaptation where Chief survives.
    • Some tie-in storybooks based on the Disney movies actually changed how the villains are defeated: For example, one out-of-print storybook based on Robin Hood had Prince John, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff of Nottingham all simply disappear after the castle fire at the end, "and were never seen again" is what the book stated of their fates, implying that they were burned alive in that fire; while some storybooks based on The Lion King had Scar simply die after being thrown off a cliff by Simba, despite in the actual movie Scar survived the fall but is instantly killed by his own hyenas on the way down.
  • Barricade in both the novelization and comic book versions of Transformers. In the movie, he simply disappeared without a trace.
    • In the novelization of the 3rd film, Mirage is killed; in the film, he survives.
      • Skids and Mudlap also appear in the novel, apparently so they could get Rescued from the Scrappy Heap without having to appear in the film. They both get killed by Sentinel Prime, just right after he kills Ironhide.
  • The novelisation of the Doctor Who story "The Curse of Fenric" apparently decided that the Kill 'em All ending didn't go far enough, so Vershinin and Bates, practically the only guest characters to survive the TV version, get shot dead by Commander Millington.
    • Likewise, the novelisation of the next story, "Survival," makes a point of having Derek, one of the few survivors, killed by the Master, as well as having minor characters Harvey and Len transported to the Cheetah People's planet and presumably killed.
  • There is actually is a pro-hurting educational book out there called Little Jake and the Three Bears that has the titular Little Jake off one of said bears and Bambi's father, because this will totally make kids want to be ethical responsible hunters. As if kids weren't traumatized enough by Bambi's mother's death.
  • The Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots novelization reveals that Solid Snake lived long enough to raise Sunny into adulthood and gave away at her wedding and died peacefully sometime afterward, as opposed to leaving Snake's final fate ambiguous like the original game.
  • The novel for The Death of Superman has Mongul killed at the hands of the Eradicator instead of getting knocked out by Hal Jordan, due to the fact that Hal was removed from the storyline entirely despite Coast City still being destroyed. Interestingly, Mongul does get killed in the comics, but in an entirely different storyline.
  • The novelization for Pacific Rim pretty explicitly states that Hannibal Chau's trip down the gullet of a Kaiju was fatal. In the movie he's spared by The Stinger.
  • Speedball dies alongside the rest of the New Warriors in the novelization of Civil War. In the original comic, he survives and becomes the Darker and Edgier Anti-Hero Penance.

    Live-Action Television 
  • Professor Baehr in the Little Men TV series.
  • The Maenad and Calvin Norris in True Blood.
    • Then there's Tara, who falls victim to this twice: in the books, she was never turned into a vampire like her TV counterpart, and survived to the end of the series.
  • Bishop Waleran and Walter in the miniseries of The Pillars of the Earth.
  • While Luthor averts this in the movies, both of his recent live action television incarnations have died. However, after being killed off, Luthor was resurrected in the final episode of Smallville.
    • Carter Hall/Hawkman in Smallville. Of the several Justice Society of America characters who died, he's the only one who wasn't dead in the comics.
    • Jonathan Kent ends up dead once again. What is it with Superman adaptations killing him off?
  • Unlike Long in Juken Sentai Gekiranger, Dai Shi and Scorch (who each inherited one of his two non-human forms) from Power Rangers Jungle Fury were not immortal and both were destroyed in the finale. Also, Master Mao dies (his counterpart Xia Fu is The Mentor and RJ's counterpart Gou is a standard Sixth Ranger, not a Master) and Masters Guin, Lope, and Rilla were not found in the afterlife in Gekiranger and in fact became recurring characters! Even having Jarrod and Camille Spared by the Adaptation doesn't prevent this from being a rare Power Rangers series to have more deaths than its Super Sentai counterpart. Naturally, you still don't hear the word.
  • A curious example in the Sharpe television series adaptation of Sharpe's Battle: The novel promotes Ben Perkins, one of the riflemen introduced for the series, to Canon Immigrant, only for the television adaptation to kill him off. (He's killed by O'Rourke, who also qualifies after falling victim to Adaptational Villainy.)
    • Major Dunnett in Sharpe's Rifles: The adaptation has him killed in a French ambush whereas in the book he is merely captured and reappears in Sharpe's Waterloo. Father Hacha in Sharpe's Honour receives a You Have Failed Me death from Ducos; in the book, he survives.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • The midseason cliffhanger of season 2 reveals that Sophia, who's still around in the comics, had been turned into a Walker sometime during the season.
    • The midseason cliffhanger of season 3 have Michonne killing off The Governor's Undead Child, who remains undead in the comics.
    • The third season finale kills off Andrea, one of the few long-running characters in the comic who's still alive.
    • The second half of the fourth season revealed that Lily Chambler was devoured by walkers right after killing the Governor in the mid-season finale. In the source material, her two counterparts are either left alive and well (April Chalmers) or had her fate left ambiguous as she takes shelter in the prison after killing the Governor to avoid the incoming herd of Walkers (Lily Caul).
  • Dexter:
    • Sgt. James Doakes dies at the end of the second season. He lives in the rest of the books, but gives up a couple of extremities and his tongue.
    • Brian is Dexter's serial-killer big brother, and the Big Bad of both the first novel and the TV show's first season. In the books, though, he survives and becomes a recurring minor character. No such luck on the small screen.
    • In the novels, Deb is still alive and well, but on the show, she dies in the finale.
    • Rita gets killed in the fourth season, but is still alive and happy in the midst of her murderous family in the books.
  • Arrow has a few examples, as the show ditches the Thou Shalt Not Kill rule from the comics:
    • Count Vertigo takes several arrows to the chest and then falls to his death.
    • Firefly commits suicide after being defeated by Ollie.
    • Shado is shot and killed by Professor Ivo.
    • The Dollmaker is killed by Black Canary after he kidnaps her sister.
  • In The Flash, Jay Garrick (the Golden Age Flash) is established as a motorcycle cop (and Barry Allen's older brother) who was killed in the line of duty.
  • The Sky1 adaptation of Treasure Island, having subjected Squire Trelawney to Adaptational Villainy, also gives him a Karmic Death, as his greed leads him to chase the treasure even when Jim throws it overboard.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In the second season, Irri and Pyat Pree are killed off. Both are still alive in the novels, although Pree hasn't been seen since the second book. This is most likely the case with Xaro Xhoan Daxos, last seen being locked in an impenetrable vault with no means of escape.
    • This happens multiple times due to the Composite Character trope, but Season 2 was particularly subjected to this during the Qarth arc - most likely to create drama lasting ten episodes, as very little happened during that story arc in the novels.
    • In the third season, Robb Stark's wife Talisa dies. Though a Canon Foreigner, her role replaced that of the character Jeyne Westerling in the novels, who is still alive as of the fifth book. Unusually, this may mean the series ended up spoiling the books, as Jeyne might still have had some relevance to the plot but this is looking increasingly unlikely as Martin would know better than to drop a Adaptation Induced Plot Hole if he's currently in a position to avoid it.
    • The last two episodes of Season 4 see the deaths of Pyp and Grenn of the Night's Watch as well as Jojen Reed.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel
    • Lord Tony Dewhurst lives in the original novels (all of them) and in the film adaptation. In the 1999 mini-series, he dies a tragic death in the very first episode after he tries to save the Pimpernel, who would have very probably made it without his help as well. A sad case of Kill the Cutie.
    • Marguerite Blakeney dies at the beginning of series two, giving birth to her daughter.
  • In The Mighty Boosh Radio series, Australian Zoo keeper Joey Moose went missing but turned up alive later and helped Howard and Vince in their quest. When the episode was adapted for tv, he was outright killed by Dixon Bainbridge and never turned up again.
  • Spartacus Series: Historically, Publius Varnius, Arrius, Tiberius' real life counterpart Marcus and Rufus all survived the Third Servile War.
  • The book version of Walking with Dinosaurs, episode/chapter Death of a Dynasty features two examples:
    • The Torosaurus that loses one of its horns in a fight is menaced and killed by the male Tyrannosaurus in the book. In the show, it just walks off, and the T. rex kills a Triceratops instead, of-screen.
    • In the book the Quetzalcoatlus is grabbed and torn apart by giant alligators, whereas in the show, it flies off unharmed and the alligators never attack. Granted, all the characters die at the end in both versions when the meteor hits...
  • In its sequel series Walking with Beasts:
    • In episode 3, a mother beardog loses its litter to a flood. In the book version, the entire family drowns.
    • One female Smilodon is described dying at one point in chapter 5, but in the TV episode, no such event occurs.


  • The musical Little Shop of Horrors kills off several characters that survived in The Little Shop of Horrors, the movie on which it is based. These include Audrey (who is, however, spared in the film of the musical) and Mr. Mushnik (who isn't).
  • A notable staging of The Merchant of Venice had Shylock stab himself before exiting the court scene.
  • In As You Like It, Orlando comes to Arden with his Old Retainer, Adam, who's elderly, starving and close to death. Searching for food, Orlando stumbles upon the banished Duke Senior, who's feasting with his lords. The Duke, who was a great friend of Orlando's father, immediately sends Orlando to bring Adam to the table and feed him. However, Adam is conspicuously absent for the rest of the play, which has led some directors to imply that he died anyway. The 1996 RSC production went so far as to show a grave covered in flowers. Whether or not Shakespeare actually intended Adam's death, killing him off would be a case of this trope, since As You Like It is itself an adaptation of Thomas Lodge's novella Rosalynde, in which Adam lived to the end.
  • Schaunard, the musician, survives to the end of La Bohčme. His counterpart in Rent, Angel Dumott Schunard, does not.
  • The 2013 musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cranks up the Black Comedy of the source material by having three of the naughty kids, plus Veruca's father, apparently die as a result of their misadventures. Augustus might be rescued offstage, but that's Uncertain Doom at best. Violet might get an offstage Disney Death if she's lucky (given that she explodes). Veruca and her father are much iffier cases. The fourth and arguably worst kid, Mike Teavee, doesn't face death, but he instead looks to remain shrunken forever (because his long-suffering mother prefers him that way). In the book and most adaptations, all the characters survive their potentially lethal experiences but are definitely changed for them, while the 1971 film version left their fates ambiguous.

    Video Games 

    Web Original 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged
    • Captain Ginyu. In the source material, Vegeta considers stepping on him after he ends up in a frog's body, but relents. In the abridged series? "Psyche! Eight for eight!" SQUISH.
    • Icarus, Gohan's pet dragon from the movies/filler, dies almost every time he appeared, and the one other time it is still deemed non-canon. The two times that he appeared in the flesh, he wound up getting eaten. He also appeared early on in the flashback of episode 10, part 3, where he exploded.
    • In the source material, the Garlic Jr. saga ends with him being imprisoned in the Dead Zone for eternity. In DBZA, the Lookout Tower that he attacks in the source material is the home of resident nigh-Eldritch Abomination Mr. Popo, and the Garlic Jr. saga lasts all of twenty seconds before Popo apparently absorbs his soul.
  • Similarly, Code MENT. Jeremiah dies when his Knightmare Frame explodes. The anime it was based on, Code Geass, reveals he survived after receiving medical attention.
  • Honker and Gosalyn have died before the events of Ducktalez 6, as their costumes are seen in Darkwing's collection.
  • Rosalia and Pina in Sword Art Online Abridged.

    Western Animation 
  • Red Torpedo and Red Volcano in Young Justice.
    • Also L-Ron and Wally West in Young Justice: Invasion.
  • Viper in X-Men: Evolution.
  • Wonder Man, Radioactive Man, and several other obscure villains in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
  • The entirety of Squadron Supreme, save for Hyperion, are regulated to Posthumous Characters in Avengers Assemble.
  • Both Tom Sawyer (Bart Simpson) and Huckleberry Finn (Nelson Muntz) in The Simpsons version of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Their version ends with both Tom and Huck jumping into a river as an attempt to escape a mob of angry townsfolk, but the townsfolk were waiting right at the bottom. A funeral is held for them, where at first we see both Tom and Huck hiding in the rafters of the church said funeral is held in, as if they had survived and faked their deaths like in the original story, but then it is revealed that they both actually died when it was time for "the lowering of the bodies into the coffins."
  • Steppenwolf, Desaad, Professor Ivo, and Ocean Master in Justice League.
  • Mysterio notably died in Spider-Man: The Animated Series and it actually stuck (This was before he was Driven to Suicide by Daredevil in the comics).
  • Huitzil in the Darkstalkers cartoon is blown to smithereens and it sticks, while Mei-Ling, Hsien-Ko's sister, was killed by Demitri at a young age.
  • The special Garfield: His 9 Lives changes up the ending segment from the book. In the book's version of "Space Cat", it turns out that the ship Garfield is on is actually just a simulation video game he's been playing, while in the special, it's all real, and when the ship is destroyed he and Odie both get killed. Of course, this being a family special for prime time, it isn't permanent: after the two go to Heaven Garfield's able to convince God to give the both of them a second chance.
  • Captain Smollett is killed by Pew in the finale of the loosely based The Legends Of Treasure Island cartoon, while Long John Silver, who had already died once and revived himself from hell previously, was dragged back down for cheating Death.

Examples where the character died a lot sooner in the adaptation than in the source:

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the Bokurano anime, the order of the main character's deaths were altered and some (such as Koyemshi) ended up dying well before their original time of death. In the manga, Koyemshi survived until the end of the game, and served as another Earth's Kokopelli; the manga ended with him about to set out on the battle to teach the new group how to fight, which would end with his death regardless of whether he won. In the anime, he dies a few episodes before the end, as a result of Youko shooting him dead to stop him from entering Kana into the game.
    • In the manga, after the first three pilots (Kokopelli, Waku and Kodama), Daiichi and Nakama went next, followed by Kako getting killed before he got to pilot and Chizu taking his place. In the anime, Kako and Chizu are the first after Kodama, followed by Daiichi and Nakama. On a relatively small-scale example, Komo and Anko's death order is switched around; Komo dies just before Anko in the manga, and just after Anko in the anime.
  • Gorobei in Samurai 7
    • It could be argued that Gorobei dies around the same time as in the original movie. The "sooner" part comes here because it was before Heihachi.
  • Chrono Crusade has an additional four characters that fall under this category:
    • In the anime, Steiner (Satella's butler) is killed at the carnival when he tries to protect Azmaria. In the manga we don't see him again after Satella leaves (alone) to go to Pandaemonium, but he's implied to survive the events of the final battle (since he was keeping a photo safe that another character is later seen with). Since the epilogue is set in the 1990s and he was an old man in the 1920s he's obviously dead by then, but we never see him die on screen.
    • The anime version has Rosette die when she's about 16, only a few months after the final battle. The manga epilogue says that Rosette lived until she was 23, about 7 or 8 years after the final battle.
    • In the manga, Viede and Genai survive until the final battle. The anime has both of them killed before Aion rolls out his final plans.
  • Uzume in Sekirei.
  • In Macross, Roy Focker dies at the mid-point of the series, just after the Macross reaches Earth. In the film, he dies before the Macross reaches Earth, battling Quamzin Kravesha note  aboard Vrlitwhai's ship.
    • By the time the Macross does reach Earth in the movie, Boddole Zer's bombardment of Earth and its population had already taken place. In the TV series, it takes place in Episode 27, just before the Macross's final battle with Boddole Zer's fleet.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Greed, after being recreated, survives until the last chapter. In the 2003 anime version, he dies a few episodes after introduction and is never recreated.
    • In the manga, Bido the chimera survive the raid on Greed's base only to come Back for the Dead much later. In the 2003 anime, he was killed by the equivalent attack.
  • In Death Note, Mikami goes mad and dies in prison. In the anime, he commits suicide just after Light gets busted by the SPK.
  • This trope is not as common as Spared by the Adaptation in Oda Nobuna no Yabou, but there's still one example: Konoe Sakihisa was killed in 1571, 41 years before his historical death in 1612.
  • In the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation, Four Murasame is killed by her superior officer after helping Kamille escape into space. In the TV show, she was shown to have survived, only to be Killed Off for Real saving Kamille's life at Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • It takes a long time after his death in the Trigun anime, but Wolfwood is eventually killed in the manga as well.
  • In the 1986 Fist of the North Star Movie, Rei dies within minutes of fighting Raoh. In the series, he is struck by Raoh at a vital Pressure Point which kills him three days later.
  • In the Devilman manga, protagonist Akira Fudo is possessed by the Demon Amon, giving him the ability to become Devilman. Akira eventually dies in the manga's apocalyptic finale. In the 1972 anime, Akira and his father are killed in the first episode by demons; one of whom, Devilman, steals Akira's body and becomes the show's protagonist.
  • Angelica from Gunslinger Girl is implied to have died at the end of the first anime. She dies similarly in the manga but a while later.

    Fan Fic 
  • Hammerhand: Shepard dies on Horizon, causing the Illusive Man to look to the newly arrived Space Marines for help.
  • In System Restore, there are several cases of this.
    • The fic's premise has Togami failing to prevent the first murder, resulting in Komaeda getting fatally stabbed.
    • To a lesser extent, Pekoyama is the victim of the second trial, rather than the killer.
    • Tsumiki is also a victim of the third chapter, rather than the killer.

    Film (Animated) 

    Film (Live Action) 
  • Gríma Wormtongue and Saruman in the extended cut of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, since the Scouring of the Shire, where they die in the books, was cut. In the theatrical cut, they don't die at all... although they remain locked in a tower and their fate is ambiguous.
  • Agamemnon in the Troy is killed by Briseis during the final battle in the Trojan War, whereas in the original mythology he survives. He returns home, and is murdered by his wife... thus setting off the events of The Oresteia.
  • Gennaro from the Jurassic Park is arguably an example of Type II as well, as although he has the name of a character who survived in the book, his characterization and role are much closer to Jerkass PR guy Ed Regis, a character "removed" from the film. Said character died in the book as well, but a bit later — after the dinosaurs get out, he's caught off-guard and killed by the baby T-Rex, which was entirely removed from the film version.
  • Norman and Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man Trilogy.
    • Of course, seeing as how they're alive again (and in the former's case actually had been brought back by the time of the movies), YMMV on whether they should count as the first type or the second type.
    • There's also the Burglar that Peter lets escape. In the film, after Peter discovers that he's the same man he earlier let escape the crook then winds up almost immediately falling to his death. In the comics, he was apprehended by the police and then returned in a storyline over a decade later that culminated with Peter revealing his identity to him which in turn led to the Burglar suffering a fatal heart attack from the fear that Spider-Man would kill him, even though the hero was intending to do otherwise.
  • In The Amazing Spider-Man, George Stacy is killed by the Lizard, rather than Doctor Octopus who has yet to appear.
    • In the sequel, Norman Osborn dies of a degenerative illness in the first half-hour of the movie, becoming a Posthumous Character rather than the main antagonist. Harry Osborne becomes the original Green Goblin instead.
  • Maya Hansen is killed in Iron Man 3, despite surviving the story the film was inspired by. At the time of filming, Hansen hadn't even been killed off during the Marvel NOW! relaunch yet.
  • The Gemini Killer's father in The Exorcist III. Oddly enough, his death in the novel causes the killer to lose his motivation to murder. In the movie, his death does the opposite; The Gemini kills his father and then becomes a serial killer so he can (figuratively) continue to kill his father forever.
  • In the film of From Russia with Love, Rosa Klebb is shot dead during her final confrontation with Bond. In the book, she is merely taken into custody by the western intelligence services. The next book, Dr. No, casually mentions that "she died" (implicitly under interrogation).
  • Boris in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is knocked off in Istanbul instead of after being recalled to Russia. Conversely, Irina survives much longer just so Karla can shoot her in front of Jim Prideaux.
    • Jim Prideaux himself has - well, possibly the opposite of this version of the trope. It's implied at the beginning, and right up to the somewhere around the middle of the film that the shooting during the botched operation in Budapest left him dead. We then find out that he survived, to be tortured and interrogated by the Russians, and eventually returned to England. This is played more as a plot-point than in the book where it's more generally known, not least by the reader that he survived. Smiley discovering the truth of his fate in the film is the first big confirmation of his suspicions of who the mole is.
  • John Barton in Looking for Alibrandi, though not by much. The book death occurs in the second half, while the movie death occurs halfway through.
  • Most adaptations of The Three Musketeers will have the Comte de Rochefort die at some point, though he survived the book and died in its sequel Twenty Years After.
  • In Death Note: The Last Name, Light and Takada die far earlier than the manga due to the movie resolving its story at L's supposed death.
  • In Beaches, Hillary Whitney experienced her mother dying in her childhood. Her unseen father is the living parent providing for her (up until his off-screen death). In the original novel, Roberta White's father is said to have died when she was a baby, while her mother features in the plot until she dies of a stroke in her old age.
  • In Goldfinger, Tilly Masterson is killed by Oddjob only minutes after encountering James Bond during his infiltration of the titular villain's factory, while in the original novel she was held prisoner with Bond for a good while and dies during the climax at Fort Knox.
    • Oddjob himself also dies in the movie at Fort Knox. In the novel, he survives to help Goldfinger trap Bond aboard the airplane. He's eventually sucked out of the airplane, which happens to Goldfinger in the movie. (Goldfinger himself is strangled by the furious Bond.)
  • In David Lynch's version of Dune, Duncan Idaho dies during the Battle of Arrakeen shortly after Paul and Jessica are captured. In the novel, he lives long enough to meet up with them during their trek in the desert. He dies saving them from a Sardaukar attack.
  • In Man of Steel, Jor-El is killed by Zod before Krypton's destruction instead of perishing along with the planet per all other versions.

    Live Action Television 
  • Band of Brothers has an artistic license case with Albert Blithe, who is shot in the neck and said to have never recovered, and died in 1948. This, however, was a result of the real-life veterans of the Easy Company losing contact with Blithe in 1948, and then assuming that he had died. After the episode aired, his relatives revealed that he was actually hit in the shoulder and did recover, going on to serve in Korea and attain the rank of Master Sergeant before dying of peritonitis in 1967.
  • Frank Herbert's Dune: Thufir Hawat, while not explicitly said to have died, is notably absent after the attack on Arrakeen. This is much earlier than in the novel, where dies close to the end.
  • Marilla Cuthbert dies in Road To Avonlea due to actress Colleen Dewhurst's death. In the books, Marilla is alive well into Anne Shirley's adulthood - she doesn't die until 1910, at the age of eighty-six.
  • In the second season of Game of Thrones, Ser Rodrik Cassel dies much earlier than he does in the book, at the hands of Theon Greyjoy instead of those of Ramsay Snow.
    • It's hard to argue against it being a much more dignified end than in the novel, however.
    • Amory Lorch and the Tickler also die a season (or two) earlier thanks to each taking a Composite Character role with more minor players. Meanwhile, Doreah is an inversion - she survives her point of death in the book, but dies later on in different circumstances. Rather cleverly though, her initial survival sets off several events which did not happen in the books, showing the writers have a strong awareness of fictional cause-to-effect.
    • Season 4 kills off Polliver in very similar circumstances to the novel (at an inn), but it happens in the first episode of the season as opposed to near the end, notable because the very same encounter in which he perishes happens near the end of Book 3 (and Season 4 adapts the second half of said book's events). He's also killed by Arya instead of the Hound - in the book it's the Tickler that Arya kills while the Hound kills Polliver and his men, but since the Tickler is dead already Sandor just kills the other men while Arya deals with Polliver. Adding to this, Polliver is a Composite Character with another Lannister soldier called Rafford, or "Raff the Sweetling", who kills Arya's companion Lommy Greenhands and is killed by (a disguised) Arya in Book 6 - which hasn't even been released yet, but was spoiled by GRRM leaking a chapter mere days before the season premiere.
    • Similar to Polliver's death is that of Rorge and Biter: in the books they join a brutal mercenary group known as the Brave Companions, going on a crime spree during Book 4 before being slain by Brienne of Tarth and the Brotherhood without Banners. In the series the Companions have been Adapted Out (at least from the Book 2-3 plotlines), so the two instead join the Lannister army; they show up in late-ish Season 4, where Biter gives Sandor a festering wound (which he recieved in the Inn at the Crossraods from Polliver and/or his men in the books) before Sandor snaps his neck, and Rorge is promptly killed by Arya once he gives her his name, as she recalls a rape threat from him but preferred not to kill him until he was actually placed directly onto her list.
  • Rita Bennett was killed at the end of the fourth season of Dexter, but she didn't die in the novels until four years later, in a book released less than a week before the show ended.
  • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight is a rare case of playing both this trope and Spared by the Adaptation at the very same time. It's not really death but rather going into a Phantom Zone, though... It doesn't stop Zolda's counterpart, Torque, from getting vented way earlier (as in a third of the way through the show) than his counterpart, whose Incurable Cough of Death became too severe for him to continue battling in the last couple of episodes. So his butler takes up the armor... and dies in his first battle. This also means that he's a reverse case; Chance, the second Torque - actually the original Torque before Drew, the one we know, got the Advent Deck - does just fine when he regains his role.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • Dale dies much earlier in the TV series than in the comics, though that was for Real Life Writes the Plot reasons. His role as Rick's moral adviser is taken over by Hershel after his death.
    • Lori dies giving birth midway through season 3, while in the comic she survived giving birth to her daughter for a little while longer.
    • Allen and his family are an odd example. Allen and his wife Donna didn't stayed that long, but they died much later in the timeline. Their son Ben played this straight though, as he was killed off during a Canon Foreigner's Dying Moment of Awesome while his comic counterpart was killed by Carl long after the prison arc.
  • Spartacus series:
    • The real life Spartacus' prophetess wife/lover played an important role in the rebellion, while his wife Sura (they are openly married in the show) was killed in his days as a gladiator during the middle of the first season for the sake of Plot-Triggering Death.
    • In War of the Damned, Castus was the second named character to be killed in the Final Battle. Historically, he died alongside Gannicus, or at least minutes between the other, in the last stages of it. However, this Castus is an In Name Only character because the historical one was divided into two characters in the series, with Agron filling most of the historical Rebel Leader's role in the show. The latter was Spared by the Adaptation.

    Video Games 
  • In the Nintendo Wii GoldenEye, Zukovsky is killed less than a minute after Bond meets him, instead of living until The World is Not Enough like he does in the films.
  • In Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, Video Game Remake of the first Mega Man X game, Dr. Cain is killed off in the Day of Sigma OAV before the game even starts. In the original version he's a major character in the first three games and dies of natural causes sometime between X4 and X5.

    Western Animation 
  • Commander Zog from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the turtles' Triceraton ally in the original comics is sliced to pieces by the three mutant Shredder clones. In the second cartoon, he is mortally wounded by a stab to the stomach from Shredder and dies in the collapsing lair, taking Shredder with him.
  • Ferro Lad in Legion of Super Heroes was around for only three episodes before his Heroic Sacrifice, staying behind to destroy the Sun-Eater machine. In the comics, he was around for about two years before this event and his character was more fleshed out.
  • Dr. Fate/Kent Nelson in Young Justice. He just can't catch a break!
  • Dan Turpin died in Superman: The Animated Series long before he would die in Final Crisis, though since the DCAU ended before Final Crisis was published, it was a type 1 at the time S: TAS aired.

Cutting Off The BranchesDerivative WorksDerivative Differentiation
Darker and EdgierMedia Adaptation TropesDenser and Wackier
Dartboard of HateAlice and BobDebt Detester
Cruel Twist EndingSpoilered RottenDetective Mole
Death as ComedyDeath TropesDeath by Ambulance

alternative title(s): Killed By The Adaptation
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