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Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome:
A lot of characters in the series. Chunk, the Coates Academy toadie gets killed (albeit unintentionally) by Caine when he gets thrown into a wall in Gone Hunger.
Boromir survives all through only to die in the very first chapter of The Fellowship of the Ring after an off-screen skirmish (that arguably started at the end of the first book). Subverted in The Two Towers the movie adaptation, where he is killed at the end of the first movie, possibly to hype up The Climax.
Assassin (Alex Hawke Series #2) by Ted Bell - Victoria Sweet, the love interest from Book 1, more or less literally bites the bullet by the end of Chapter 1 Book 2.
Jurassic Park In the first book, the character Genarro actually lives, and isn't ignominiously eaten while on the toilet like he was in the movie. He even gets to beat up a raptor. By the second book, he's died of dysentery.
Accidental inversion in that Ian Malcolm, the main character of the second book, dies at the end of the first one. He gets better, though.
The main character of Raymond E Feist's Mistress of the Empire series spends the first two books in various political machinations to secure her title and lands. The triumph of her goal is to have a son, who dies in a faked accident two pages into the third book.
In had Arthur Dent's newfound love interest from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , Fenchurch, not just die, but suddenly disappear by the events of So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish . It was technically her fault because they went on a ship which Mostly Harmless has problems with people from Plural sectors, such as Earth (Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha).
In the third book of by The Elric Saga Michael Moorcock, Count Smiorgan Baldhead, who had traveled with Elric in the last book, gets unceremoniously abandoned by Elric and left to his death during the battle with Melnibone. However, Elric does get called out on it. It also turns out that this is actually an inversion, since Smiorgan's death occurred in the very first Elric story ever published. However, that story was relatively far into Elric's continuity, so he got brought back later for another story set earlier. Later collections published the stories in their order in continuity, rather than the order they were originally published.
Jenny, Forrest Gump's ditzy, slutty childhood sweetheart was alive and well in the original book's Mega Happy Ending. But since the movie had her contract a terminal illness, she's already dead at the beginning of Gump & Co.
Julius Root has a bridge dropped on him at the opening of the fourth book.
Artemis Fowl Empress Nerissa and her entire family die offscreen in a bloody assassination just before the opening scenes of the second book of Patricia Bray's Chronicles of Josan trilogy. Considering her importance in the first book, this comes as a bit of an immediate shock, but it isn't done wastefully or for no reason. Her death shapes the circumstances surrounding Josan's life for the entire rest of the trilogy.
Warrior Cats Subverted. Even though Anyone Can Die (big time), the majority of the characters who survived until the second series (with only five or so exceptions) are still alive 12 books later.
...and then played straight in the fourth series, where almost all of the deaths are those of characters who have been alive since early in the series.
Common in . With Harry Potter one major character dying in the climax of every book since , Rowling had settled major character death into a predictable, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire albeit terrifying pattern. Cue , and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Harry's faithful owl Hedwig dies. In chapter four. Soon followed by the off-screen death of Mad-Eye Moody. For those who thought losing Hedwig and Mad-Eye was bad enough, the fans certainly did not expect 10+ more major characters to die. J.K. Rowling was trying to set a dismal, almost dystopian tone for her seventh and final book; she said after book five that, since it was a war, characters would get killed, even major ones.
In the first chapter of Eldest (Book 2 of the ), Murtagh Inheritance Cycle (supposedly) and Ajihad are killed by Urgals.
In the fifth book, Percy Jackson and the Olympians dies in the first chapter.
Beckendorf Precious dies in the first chapter of the sequel to , Push The Kid, when her son Abdul is 9. Justified Trope because Precious was diagnosed with HIV shortly after he was born.
Thanks to Narnia Time, this happens repeatedly in , albeit it's usually caused by old age:
The Chronicles of Narnia C.S. Lewis kills off Tumnus, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, and all the other supporting characters from by setting the sequel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Prince Caspian hundreds of years into the future in Narnian time.
Caspian subsequently dies, right on the page, in the final chapter of .
The Silver Chair Then in , Eustace and Jill learn that their friend from the last book, Rilian, "has been dead for over two hundred years." Presumably Puddleglum has, too. In fact, that book begins with the deaths of The Last Battle everyone from our world who ever visited Narnia, But due to Narnia doubling as some kind of entrance to the afterlife, nobody actually notices they're dead until the end.
except Susan, in a train crash. And if you read the series in chronological order instead of order of publication, then all the Narnians from prequel are dead before the start of The Magician's Nephew , and all characters in interquel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (except Susan and Edmund) are dead before the start of The Horse and His Boy .
Prince Caspian The Hardy Boys Casefiles: Iola Morton, Joe's girlfriend, a regularly recurring character from the original series, gets blown up in the very first chapter of the Casefiles series.
Happens in both sequels to .
Beggars in Spain William Smithback Jr. in the novels. He survives numerous life-threatening elements in six different books. Then Agent Pendergast comes in and he gets stabbed through the heart in Cemetery Dance less than ten pages.
Shadow Moon, a sequel to the movie , kills off Madmartigan and Sorsha in the first chapter.
Willow Between books 11 and 12 of , Ranger's Apprentice Alyss and Crowley have both died, and King Duncan is on his deathbed. Also, Halt is retired.