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- End of Evangelion Really, all of these are up to anybody's guess, but Kaworu's death possibly represents the death of Shinji's sanity, Asuka's death could mean the death of Shinji's hope, Misato's death could represent the death of Shinji's love (Gendou might count), and the god-like Rei's death at the end is symbolic of who knows what. This movie is virtually the definition of Mind Screw, so you may have a different interpretation.
- Slightly more literal in Axis Powers Hetalia - the characters are the nations, so the death of a character is the fall of a nation (e.g. Rome). If the nation gets into dire straits (economic crisis, social strife etc.), the nation gets sick.
- In Bleach, Aizen tries to kill Head Captain Yamamoto (regarded as the history of Soul Society) to symbolise the defeat of the Gotei 13. He fails. However, later on, Yhwach succeeds where Aizen failed and does indeed kill Yamamoto to symbolise the defeat and destruction of the Gotei 13.
- An in-universe example: In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf mini-story "The Only Begotten Son", Tapper points out the similarities between Empath's "death" as an infant and Jesus' death on the cross in that both deaths have resulted in bringing forth many to become adopted children — with Jesus' death, the humans becoming adopted children of God, and with Empath's "death", his fellow Smurfs becoming adopted children of Papa Smurf.
- Spock's death in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is supposed to symbolise that sometimes it's impossible to Take a Third Option, in the film's continuing deconstruction of The Kirk.
- In Junebug Ashley losing her baby marks the end of the underlying tensions in the family. The death prompts repressed emotions to come out - and Johnny asks Ashley if they can try again, symbolising how their old High-School Sweethearts romance is gone but there is a chance for them to start over.
- Night of the Living Dead (1968) killing off Tom and Judy marks the start of the zombies overpowering the protagonists. Other characters start dying soon after.
- The Lord of the Rings': Gandalf's sacrifice to save the party marks the nadir of the hero's morale, his death symbolises the progress of evil forces in Middle Earth, and his resurrection and color upgrade (from Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the White) announces the necessity, at the end of the opus, for the hero to go meet death at the Grey Havens.
- Lord of the Flies The makeshift society gradually goes into chaos, and when Simon dies, it represents the death of the innocence of the kids on the island.
- Even more powerful is Piggy's death. Simon's death was sort of an accident. Piggy's death shatters any remnant of civilized order among the boys and represents the death of reason.
- In Camber of Culdi, Cathan MacRorie, Master of Culdi and Camber's heir, begs his king to release the human hostages taken after a tyrannical Deryni lord is murdered. Cathan is Deryni, but he argues for the common humanity and innocence of the hostages. Later, Cathan is literally stabbed in the back.
- Hedwig's death in the Harry Potter series is supposed to represent the death of what remains of Harry's childhood.
- Harry's sacrifice itself is a symbol of Jesus' death, if the series is compared to Irish Catholicism, which J.K. Rowling is part of.
- There's a pretty direct example in Clocks that Don't Tick. Guess what happens when Hope (The girl) dies? Hope (the concept) dies as well.
- Don Quixote's death signifies the death of Chivalry.
- Gone with the Wind: Scarlett arrives home after fleeing the burning Atlanta to find that her mother has died and father has lost his mind because of it. This marks the true end of Scarlett's pampered, privileged life and how she'll have to take charge to provide for Tara.
- A Little Princess has Sara being given news that her father has died of Brain Fever. This results in her losing all her wealth and being reduced to working as a servant. It symbolises the end of her childhood too, as she begins to grow up throughout the story.
- In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Banquo is more conscientious than Macbeth and tends to point out what Macbeth ought to be doing. After Macbeth Jumps Off The Slippery Slope, he has Banquo killed; this represents the loss of Macbeth's moral conscience.
- King Lear features a major character death in Cornwall at the end of Act 3. It symbolises the kingdom slowly unravelling through the madness that has ensued, as it coincides with Edmund taking charge, the two sisters turning on each other and Albany finally standing up for himself. Cordelia also returns to the play after this scene.
- In Metal Gear Solid 4, Solid Snake's advanced aging and terminal illness (ending the game knowing he will die in a few months) is used to hammer home the creator's message that the series is a Franchise Zombie.
- Final Fantasy XII - having to fight and kill Vossler in battle symbolises that Ashe really will have to lead La Résistance on her own if she wants to become queen.
- In Red Dead Redemption Marston's death is there to reflect the end of the Wild West and the inevitable turn towards civilization.