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Dies Differently in Adaptation

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A lot can get changed in adaptations, particularly when it comes to characters' deaths. Perhaps the death in the original medium was too graphic for the target audience. Perhaps the death was slow and therefore not suitable for a film's pacing. Or perhaps the adapted version of the character was so despised, they required a more graphic or elaborate death.

This is quite common in family-oriented works—where characters who died of illnesses get sudden and more immediate deaths to make them more accessible for children. Back in the days of The Hays Code, some deaths had to be changed to meet the standards of the film's censors. In works prone to Adaptation Expansion—where the original cause of death is not mentioned—this counts too in the sense of confirming what the cause was.

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This trope can also be used to keep the adaptation interesting to those who are already familiar with the original version.

Note that it's only this trope if the character dies in both versions of the work. If the character dies in one but lives in the other, that's Death by Adaptation or Spared by the Adaptation. It is also only this trope if it's the same character. If Alice gets pushed off a bridge in the book, but Bob does in the movie, that's not this trope.

Compare Death by Adaptation, Spared by the Adaptation, Bloodier and Gorier, Lighter and Softer. As a death trope, you should of course expect unmarked spoilers.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball: A lot of the Red Ribbon Army's deaths are different in the movie Dragon Ball: The Path to Power.
    • In the original manga and anime, General Blue is given the chance to redeem himself by fighting and defeating Tao Pai Pai which is also meant for Tao to prove what he is capable of. Tao kills General Blue with his tongue. In Path To Power, since Tao doesn't even appear, General Blue is executed for his failure right away by low-level privates.
    • Although Commander Red is still shot by Staff Officer Black, it plays out differently. In the manga and anime, he is shot in the head. In Path To Power, Black shoots him in the side causing him to fall off a ledge.
    • When Staff Officer Black fights Goku in the manga and anime, Goku kills him by punching a hole in the machine he is piloting, causing it to explode. In Path To Power, Goku kills him using a Kamehameha in retaliation over Black killing Android 8.
  • In Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan, Paragus is crushed inside his Saiyan space pod by his own son Broly when he tries to abandon him to death by comet impact. In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Frieza blasts Paragus with a Death Beam in order to give Broly the rage trigger he needs to transform into a Super Saiyan.
  • The anime of Fairy Tail is a largely faithful adaptation of the manga, but makes a distinct deviation with how Gray kills Tempester with his Devil Slayer ice. In the manga, Gray freezes him solid with little fanfare; in the anime, Tempester goes down fighting Laxus and disintegrates into toxic mist to take Fairy Tail with him, which Gray turns into harmless snow.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Due to the 2003 anime's split off from the manga, a majority of deaths that occur are played out differently from the manga and Brotherhood.
    • While the elder Slicer brother dies the same method (helmet split in half by Lust), he dies after his younger brother in the 2003 anime, who commits suicide by destroying his blood seal rather than Envy stabbing through it numerous times with the brother's own sword.
    • Greed's a complicated case in the manga and Brotherhood, as he technically has two deaths: his original body is destroyed and his soul returned to Father, only for him to be reborn much later in Ling Yao's body. His final death happens in the climax, where Father completely severs and destroys his soul. Since Father and Ling don't exist in the 2003 anime, he simply dies being stabbed through the chest in a battle with Edward.
    • Lust is burned to death by Roy Mustang in the manga/Brotherhood, but due to Adaptational Heroism in the 2003 anime, she is instead killed by that anime's version of Wrath.
    • Barry the Chopper is killed off by Scar in the 2003 anime, while the manga/Brotherhood have his death happen at the hands of his old body erasing the the circle from the armor his soul is bound to.
    • King Bradley/Wrath dies of what is presumably extreme loss of blood in the manga/Brotherhood after a battle with Scar leaves him severely wounded and with his arms blown off. In the 2003 anime, Bradley (here Pride) is burned to death by Roy Mustang, akin to Lust's defeat in the manga.
    • Envy and Gluttony are sacrificed in Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa. In the manga and Brotherhood, Gluttony is devoured by Pride while Envy is Driven to Suicide.
  • In Trigun, Wolfwood is fatally wounded and dies alone in a church in the anime and dies from an overdose of regenerative drugs with Vash by his side during his final moments in the manga. Note that Wolfwood hadn't died yet in the manga when the anime was made.
  • Macross: Do You Remember Love? gives us a two-fer in the same scene: Roy Focker and Kamujin both die in the climactic escape from Britai's flagship, locked in combat. Roy pulls a Taking You with Me by shooting Kamujin in the back while Kamujin is grappling with him, causing them both to die in the explosion of Roy's Valkyrie. In Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the two never even meet, let alone kill each other. Roy was killed by a lucky shot from Millia. Kamujin, on the other hand, didn't die until the last episode, where he perished during a final futile kamikaze run against the Macross.
  • The original Gunslinger Girl anime ended before the manga did. As a result, Angelica's death is different between versions: in the manga she was shot while in the anime she degenerated and died at the end of the series. Gunslinger Girl Teatrino retconned this into Angelica just falling asleep, but it's inconsistent if it's a sequel to the original anime or a Soft Reboot (most obviously, Angelica has a completely different design).
  • The English dub of Sonic X tried to censor Maria's death by saying she was taken away, not shot during the ARK massacre. They, however, forgot that Maria had a terminal illness that her grandfather Gerald was trying to cure. With Shadow in a coma and Gerald executed, there's no way she survived the past 50 years. As a result the dub unintentionally changed it so that Maria died of NIDS, not a gunshot wound.
  • Like with the Sonic X example above, the 4Kids dub of One Piece tries to censor Bellemere's death by changing it to where Arlong has her thrown in a dungeon for life rather than shooting her in the head. She is still established to have died.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Shion's death at the end of Meakashi-hen differs between the anime and visual novel/manga. In the former, she ripped her shirt while climbing up a building and accidentally fell the entire way down. In the original, her death was intentional; she hit a platform beneath her and, realizing all the atrocities she'd committed, decided to let herself fall to the ground.
  • In the manga adaptation of Big Hero 6, Tadashi Hamada doesn't die in a fire, he gets sucked into a portal while trying to help Robert Callaghan bring his daughter Abigail back after she disappeared in a Teleporter Accident. His brother Hiro believes that he could be alive in Another Dimension but Baymax confirmed that he wasn't in the Acid-Trip Dimension where they found Abigail.
  • Larxene's death in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories was changed in the manga adaptation from fading away like most Nobodies, to self-destructing from contact with water.
  • Adon Coborlwitz from Berserk is killed by the same person — Casca — in all of the adaptations of the Golden Age Arc, but the methods on how Casca kills him are different. In the manga, she vaults over him and cuts him a Glasgow Grin with a single sweep of her rapier, cutting into his skull. In the 1997 anime, Casca does the same thing, only she cuts a little higher, bisecting Adon's entire head horizontally. In the second Golden Age movie, she takes one of his swords and stabs him right in his bragging mouth with it.
  • In the anime of School-Live! Taromaru the dog is bitten by the zombified Megumi and later dies after he is given the cure but his body gives out from the stress. In the manga Taromaru only shows up in a single flashback and becomes a zombie a page later with his ultimate fate left unsaid (though there are implications that Kurumi killed him), existing largely just as part of an explanation about the behaviour of the zombies and that the virus can infect any mammal.
  • Kaori in AKIRA dies differently in the anime adaptation than in the manga. In the anime adaptation, she's crushed to death by the mutating body of Tetsuo, who lost control of his powers. In the manga, she's shot In the Back by Tetsuo's treacherous lieutenant and dies in Tetsuo's arms.
  • While the underlying cause is the same (performing a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the Book of Darkness), the exact details for how Clyde Harlaown was killed in the backstory of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's are different between the series and the movie. In the series he has Gil Graham blow up his ship once the rest of the crew has been evacuated, while in the movie (where Gil Graham was Adapted Out) he flew the book away on an escape pod which then blew up when the book went haywire.
  • In the manga version of Future Diary, Yuno decapitates John Bacchus with a katana. In the anime adaptation, she gives him a Boom, Headshot! with a pistol.
  • Katerea Leviathan in High School D×D is Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by Azazel, but the methods he used to kill her are different. In the original light novels, Azazel uses the light spear to run her through the stomach. In the anime, he give her a Boom, Headshot! with the spear.

    Comic Books 

    Fairy Tales 
  • "Snow White": Traditionally, the Evil Queen dies after being forced to dance in hot shoes. This has been censored in multiple versions. The first English translation from 1823 had her choking on envy after finding out Snow White is alive, while another 1871 English translation has her own feet turning hot from anger. Translations often have her either killed by something she did (accidentally touching her own poisoned rose, falling into quicksand after poisoning her step-daughter, etc), killed by the dwarves, turned ugly as a result of her envious heart, or simply exiled.
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    Fan Works 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • In the official canon, the Namekian Great Elder Guru dies of natural causes because of his old age. Abridged looks like it'll go in the same direction, so Guru confesses that he single-handedly caused the Great Drought that ravaged their planet, then pinned the blame on the Albino Namekians, causing the green-skinned Namekians to exterminate them. However, Guru fails to die after this, so the enraged Namekians rip him limb-from-limb and devour him and village elder Moori claims the mantle of Great Elder.
    • Goku and Yamcha both die differently in Trunks's timeline in the abridged series. In canon, Goku dies of a virus that he was infected with that attacks the heart, while Yamcha is killed by the androids along with the other Z Fighters. In the abridged series, Goku dies of a heart attack that resulted from high cholesterol due to eating too much bacon, and Yamcha is Driven to Suicide upon finding out Vegeta got Bulma pregnant. A Deleted Scene revealing he had Puar shapeshift into the rope he hung himself with.
    • The cancellation of the series means that according to them Bojack died when Cell exploded on North Kai's planet. The same can be expected of Broly dying on New Vegeta.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic can't outright say that Applejack's parents passed away about ten years before the start of the series, but has quite strongly implied it. In the Abridged Series Scootertrix the Abridged, Applejack's mother is still alive in the present day, but dies of unknown causes in Episode 23.
  • In The Web Of The Spider Man, Peter's parents were Oscorp scientists who were killed in a lab accident rather than government agents who died in a plane crash.
  • Warriors Redux: In canon, Spottedleaf had her throat slit. In Warriors Redux, she went for a walk one evening, never came back, and was later found drowned. As a result, no one noticed she had been murdered until several months afterwards when another seer was attacked (though they survived).
  • re:Bound (RWBY): Roman is killed during his fight with Ruby in episode 1 when Ruby accidentally uses the wrong side of her weapon on him. In canon, he dies by being eaten by a Grimm at the end of volume 3.
  • In Alternate History, Yue still dies giving up her spirit in exchange for the moon spirit's. She just dies twenty years later than in canon and in different circumstances.
  • RWBY: Scars:
    • Penny's death scene is much different than in canon. In RWBY canon, Emerald uses her semblance to make Pyrrha see hundreds of spears, instead of only a few, so Pyrrha reflects the attack. This causes the wires to squeeze Penny until she snaps in half. In RWBY; Scars, Emerald causes Pyrrha to see a Beowolf in the arena instead of Penny. Pyrrha stabs the 'Beowolf' in the stomach, cuts off its leg, and cuts off its head. It's only after it's dead that the illusion is broken and Pyrrha learns that she murdered Penny (and after the battle had already ended at that).
    • Sienna Khan's death is slightly altered, though the wider narrative difference is telling. She wasn't stabbed by Adam himself. Instead, her own guards betrayed her and stabbed her.
  • In RWBY canon, Summer Rose disappeared one day on a mission and never came back. In Let Us Be Your Poison, she was arrested in Atlas and publically executed for terrorism (more specifically, bombing the largest dust mine in the world).
  • Son of the Sannin:
    • In canon, Inoichi Yamanaka is one of the many casualties during the Fourth Shinobi World War. Here he dies during the Uchiha Coup.
    • Mikoto Uchiha doesn't die at Itachi's hands. She ends up choked to death by Shikaku Nara in revenge for Inoichi's death. Fugaku on the other hand is still killed by Itachi, but here it's in battle instead of peacefully allowing his son to kill him.
    • While the members of the Sound Five (barring Kimimaro and Tayuya, who manage to escape alive) are killed at the same point in time as in canon, Kidomaru, Sakon and Ukon suffer different deaths, partially owed to them fighting different opponents: Kidomaru is Eaten Alive by Shino's kikai beetles, while Sakon and Ukon get punched by Sakura (the former in the skull, the latter in the torso after already being poisoned). Jirobo is the only one to avert this, being killed by a Megaton Punch to the chest from Choji.
    • Yagura's exact cause of death in canon is never made clear, though he was already dead by the time Akatsuki went after the Three Tails. Here, Akatsuki captures him (or more accurately, brainwashes him to peacefully come with them), and he dies from having the Three Tails extracted.
    • Fu Yamanaka and Torune were both killed by Kabuto to demonstrate the power of Edo Tensei. Here they both die in battle against Shizune and Shisui.
  • "Like Broken Glass" opens with a different death for Lieutenant Barry Frost of Rizzoli & Isles; rather than dying in a car accident (as necessitated by his actor’s suicide), here Frost is killed while conducting a personal investigation into a planned terrorist attack in New York while on holiday, leading to Jurisdiction Friction as Jane and Maura come to New York to find Frost’s killers and have to work with the NYPD and two branches of NCIS to solve the case.
  • Handmaid:
    • In The Tudors (and real life) Jane Seymour dies as a result of giving birth to Prince Edward. In the fanfic she's executed for treason for knowing that her brother Thomas attempted to murder Anne Boleyn by pushing her down the stairs (and caused her to miscarry the son Henry and England hoped for) to make Jane the next handmaid and saying nothing because she believed he did the right thing. She's executed after Edward, in this timeline merely a bastard, is born.
    • Conversely, in the series and real life Anne Boleyn is executed for adultery, but in the fanfic she dies about a year after Henry and Katherine did from what her oldest daughter Cecily suspects is a broken heart after losing the two people she cared for the most.
  • A Diplomatic Visit:
    • It's unknown how Applejack's parents died in canon, but here, she confesses that they entered the Everfree Forest to retrieve one of their pigs that had gotten loose and were fatally injured by something, making it back to Ponyville before dying.
    • Also used in the sequel Diplomat at Large. In the 2017 film, the Storm King was petrified when the magic of his own Obsidian Orb was intercepted by Tempest Shadow, who then tackled him and thus spread its effects to him; his stone form then fell to the ground and shattered. In this version, he's knocked out a window, hits the ground and is promptly stabbed through the chest by one of Equestria's soldiers, who didn't even know it was him and was acting on instinct.

     Films — Animation 
  • In the Brothers Grimm's "Snow White", the wicked queen is forced to dance to death in hot iron shoes at Snow White's wedding. In the classic Disney film, she falls off a cliff.
  • In the Arabian Nights tale of Aladdin, the evil sorcerer is either poisoned or drugged with a sleeping potion and beheaded by Aladdin, depending on the version. In the Disney version, Jafar is Spared by the Adaptation in the original film by being turned into a genie and imprisoned in the magic lamp, but is eventually killed in the sequel when his former sidekick Iago kicks the lamp into lava.
  • Superman villain Doomsday has perished differently in the animated movies he's featured in compared to his multiple deaths in the comics (struck down by Superman, sent to the end of time, vaporized by Imperiex, etc.) In Superman: Doomsday, Superman slams himself and Doomsday into the ground from orbit. In The Death of Superman, Superman punches Doomsday so hard that his neck is wrenched a full 180 degrees.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • As noted under comics, Captain Stacy dies from falling debris in the classic comics and a bomb by a Spider-Man imposter in the Ultimate comics. The Amazing Spider-Man sees the Lizard stab Stacy with his claws.
    • In The Amazing Spider Man 2, while Richard and Mary Parker still die in a plane crash after being accused of espionage as they did in the comics, the exact circumstances are changed. In the comics, their plane crashes in an accident after being accused of being foreign agents. In the movie, their death is an assassination as part of a coverup by Oscorp, with industrial espionage being the cover; and the plane crashes as part of the hitman making it look like an accident.
  • In Batman, Bruce Wayne's parents were killed by Jack Napier (AKA, the Joker). In the original comics, they were the victims of Joe Chill.
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017):
    • We are never told how Belle's mother died in the original. In the remake it's said to be from the plague.
    • The Beast's Disney Death is caused by Gaston repeatedly shooting him instead of stabbing him.
    • In both the original and the remake, Gaston falls to his death. But in the original, he loses his footing while dodging the mortally wounded Beast's flailing arm, while in the remake, part of the castle crumbles every time a petal falls from the enchanted rose, and Gaston falls when the bridge he's standing on crumbles due to the advancement of the curse.
  • The film adaptation of Carousel changes Billy's death from a suicide to him falling on his knife by accident.
  • Carrie:
    • In the 1976 film Margaret gets impaled by various kitchen knives instead of Carrie stopping her heart using her powers.
    • The 2002 film has most of the teens getting killed when a scoreboard hits the wet floor, electrocuting everyone. It's said in the book that only a couple got electrocuted, while everyone else just burned to death.
  • For censorship reasons, Martha's suicide was edited in the The Children's Hour film from death by shooting to death by hanging.
  • The Crow:
    • In the comic, Eric merely shoots Tin-Tin. In the film, he stabs him with his own blades.
    • In the comic, Eric shoots Gideon. In the film, he lets him live so he can tell the bad guys that he's coming for them. Then Top Dollar stabs him in the throat, then shoots him.
    • In the comic, Eric kills Skank with a sword. In the film, he throws him out a window.
    • In the comic, Eric merely shoots Top Dollar. In the film, he plants Shelley's trauma into his head, which causes him to fall off a building and get impaled on a gargoyle.
    • The comic ends as Eric is about to kill T-Bird with a hammer. In the film, he blows him up in his own car.
    • Eric was originally merely shot in the head by the goons. In the film, he was stabbed, shot and thrown out a window.
  • Death Note Series:
    • L avoids his original fate of being killed by Rem, but only because he wrote his own name and time of death in the Death Note. He outlives Light, but dies 20 days later (23 days from when he wrote his name in).
    • Though neither avoids death per se, Light and Sayu have their fates softened and avoided, respectively - Sayu isn't kidnapped, and thus doesn't go temporarily insane, and Light dies in Soichiro's arms rather than alone, though he's still batshit insane to the end, much to Soichiro's dismay. Oh, and just to rub salt in the wound, Light dies begging Soichiro to believe that he acted as Kira to put justice, which Soichiro had taught him about since childhood, into effect.
    • Though not in the main story, Misa is Driven to Suicide in supplementary works after finding out about Light's death. In Death Note (2017), her counterpart Mia falls from a Ferris Wheel onto a boardwalk flower stand; killing her.
  • Doctor Sleep holds an unusual example in the Overlook Hotel. The original novel had the Overlook already destroyed by the events of The Shining and the climax happens in a park where the hotel originally stood. The film being a Patchwork Fic of the original novel and Kubrick's film (in which the hotel was Spared by the Adaptation) means that the place (although long abandoned) is still standing... which means that Danny is the one who puts the hotel's boiler in Explosive Overclocking mode and makes it all go "kaboom".
  • Dracula: In the novel, the titular count dies via knife to the heart courtesy of Quincy Morris. Not every adaptation keeps this:
    • In Dracula (1931), Van Helsing drives a wooden stake through his heart.
    • The Spanish and Turkish language versions have a stake through the heart and decapitation.
    • In Horror of Dracula, Van Helsing defeats him with a combination of sunlight and a makeshift crucifix.
    • In Count Dracula, he burns to death.
    • In Dracula (1979), he gets caught on a ship's hook and exposed to sunlight.
    • In Bram Stoker's Dracula, Mina is the one who stabs him after Johnathan slashes his throat and Quincy stabs him. Then she decapitates him.
  • The real Mary of Guise died of dropsy. In Elizabeth she is poisoned by Walsingham as part of a plot.
  • A Dog's Purpose: Ellie the German shepherd does die, but the book has her dying from old age, while the movie has her being shot by a criminal while protecting her handler and dying in his arms.
  • In the original Godzilla movie, Godzilla is killed by a special weapon called the Oxygen Destroyer. In the 1998 American version, the army just keeps firing missiles at Godzilla until he's dead.
  • From Here to Eternity was forced by censorship to downplay the abuse that Maggio suffered in the stockade and suggest that the real reason he died was from falling off a milk truck after he escaped.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Sirius in The Order of the Phoenix gets hit with a stunner from Bellatrix and falls through the veil by accident, leading to his death. The film adaptation has him be hit with the Killing Curse, meaning that he was dead before he fell through the veil. Interestingly enough, the scene was filmed as it was in the book, and the "Avada Kedavra" incantation was dubbed in later.
    • Hedwig's death in The Deathly Hallows is the same method, but the circumstances change. In the book she is hit by a stray Killing Curse when Harry first escapes Privet Drive. In the film, she pulls a Heroic Sacrifice - taking a curse meant for Harry.
    • Bellatrix is only said to have been hit with a spell by Molly Weasley in the book. In the film she actually explodes instead.
    • Downplayed with Voldemort, who leaves a body after his curse rebounds on him in the book. In the film, while the curse rebounds on him, he disintegrates.
    • While the Elder Wand is not strictly a character, once Harry decides that it is too dangerous to use, its fate differs between the novel and the film. In the former, Harry reinters it in Dumbledore's tomb, intending that its power will break once he dies a natural death. In the latter, he simply snaps it in half and throws the pieces off a gorge. While the former doesn't guarantee that the wand cannot be used again, the implication that this would eventually be the case is present.
    • Snape's death scene is largely the same as in the book but there's two changes, the location and how it's done. It happens in the Shrieking Shack in the book but a boat house in the movie. As for the latter, Voldemort sicks Naigini on him in the book whereas they do it together in the movie.
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies:
    • In the book, Azog was killed by Dáin during a battle 140 years beforehand. In the movies, he survived that battle and he and Thorin Mutual Kill one another during the Battle of the Five Armies.
    • Fili and Kili also die a little bit differently; while both of their incarnations' deaths take place in the final battle, the books have both of them die defending their uncle. The films, however, have Fili die at Azog's hands in front of Thorin and Bilbo, while Kili gets stabbed by Bolg while defending Tauriel.
    • But Bolg also suffers this; in the book Beorn mauls him to death while the films have Legolas stab him in the head before the latter falls through the debris.
    • The Master of Lake-town survived the main events of the book, but in the epilogue is revealed to have fled into the wilderlands and starved to death. In the movie, he's crushed by Smaug's corpse.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Into the Woods: Jack's mother dies in the stage version when the steward clubs her on the head. In the film he pushes her, and she accidentally hits her head off a fallen tree.
  • IT Chapter Two: The exact cause of Eddie's death differs slightly from in the book, although it happens at the same point in the story. In the book he bleeds out after It bites off one of his arms. In the movie he's impaled through the chest by one of It's tentacles instead, though since it takes him several minutes to actually die, it could conceivably still be due to blood loss.
  • James Bond:
    • Dr. No: In the novel, Bond uses a crane to bury Dr. No under a mountain of guano where he is crushed/suffocated. In the film, Bond knocks him into the boiling water of his reactor pool, and his metal hands make it impossible for him to get a grip on the wet metal of the gantry and he slides beneath the water.
    • In From Russia with Love, James Bond kills Red Grant by shooting him. The film adaptation has Bond strangle him with his own garrotte. Col. Rosa Klebb's fate in the novel is being arrested, with the following book Dr. No revealing that she died in custody. In the film, Tanya shoots her.
    • Goldfinger: In the novel, Oddjob dies by being sucked out of a plane window, while Bond kills Goldfinger by strangling him to death. In the film, Oddjob is electrocuted, while Goldfinger is the one who goes out the window.
    • Thunderball: The book and the film have Domino killing Largo with a speargun, but in different circumstances. In the novel, this happened underwater and she shot him through the neck, while in the film, it happens onboard the Disco Volante and she shoots him in the back. Never Say Never Again has the novel's climax.
    • Diamonds Are Forever: In the novel, Bond merely shoots Wint and Kidd. In the film, he sets Kidd on fire and tosses Wint off a ship attached to a bomb.
    • Live and Let Die:
      • In the novel, Kananga is eaten by various forms of marine-life after his yacht explodes. In the film, he swells up and explodes after ingesting a compressed air bullet.
      • In the novel, Bond kills Tee Hee by pushing him down a flight of stairs. In the film, he throws him off a train.
    • Moonraker: In the novel, Drax perishes when his submarine is blown up by the Moonraker rocket. In the film, Bond shoots him with a cyanide dart and blows him into space.
    • For Your Eyes Only: In the short story Ricisco, Bond shoots Kristatos. In the film, Colombo kills him via knife to the back. Also, the opening sequence has Bond dropping a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo version of Blofeld down a smokestack; in the novels (specifically, You Only Live Twice), Bond strangles him.
    • Casino Royale (2006): Vesper commits suicide in the book, leaving a note behind explaining her ties to SMERSH. The final sequence is actionized in the film, in which Vesper drowns.
  • Joker: While Thomas and Martha Wayne are still gunned down in an alley in front of their young son after getting out of a movie theater, the circumstances are changed somewhat. Instead of a random mugger, the killer is one of the clown-masked rioters inspired by the newly-emergent Joker, and his motive is not about money, or to cover up a conspiracy like some other versions of the story - instead, he's acting out of contempt for Gotham's upper class, and Thomas Wayne in particular.
  • The Jungle Book (2016): While Akela dies in the novel, he ends up dying after the battle with the Red Dogs. This version has him dying earlier, being mauled by Shere Khan and flung off a cliff while Shere Khan takes control of the wolf pack.
  • The movie King Ralph is about a man who becomes the new King of England when he turns out to be a distant relative of the Royal Family after the Royal Family are killed in a freak accident where rainfall pouring onto the lighting equipment during a photography session results in mass electrocution. The film was loosely based on a novel by Emlyn Williams titled Headlong, wherein the Royal Family's death was caused by an exploding dirigible.
  • Both major film adaptations of A Little Princess have Sara's father dying in a war as opposed to Brain Fever due to Science Marches On and combined this with Spared by the Adaptation as he conveniently turns up alive later.
  • The Little Stranger: Mrs. Ayres hangs herself in the book, but slashes her wrists in the film.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:
    • At the climax of the story, Gollum dies while falling into Mount Doom with the Ring, but the book and the film depict the exact circumstances a bit differently. In the book, Gollum trips and falls over the precipice while celebrating his retaking of the Ring. This was filmed, but when translated to film this ending came off as too anticlimactic. A couple of other scenarios were tried, and what eventually made it to the screen was that Frodo, still caught in his own desire for the Ring, started struggling with Gollum for it again, eventually resulting in both falling over the precipice together. Gollum fell into the lava with the Ring, but Frodo managed to grab the ledge, and Sam managed to pull him up and out of immediate danger.
    • The omission of the Scouring of the Shire led to Saruman and Grima's deaths being changed. In the book, Grima slashes Saruman's throat and is then killed by archers. In the film, he stabs him in the back and is then killed by Legolas. Saruman then falls from his tower onto a spiked waterwheel.
    • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Théodred was killed in battle in the book, while in the movie he was only seriously wounded and brought back to Meduseld alive before succumbing to his wounds, possibly with assistance from Gríma.
  • In The Mosquito Coast, Harrison Ford's character, Allie Fox is killed by a gunshot. This overlaps with Pragmatic Adaptation as the version from the book would have been graphic and hard to film, involving him being torn to pieces by seagulls.
  • Mowgli: Similar to The Jungle Book (2016), Akela dies, but he gets accidentally shot by John Lockwood (who's trying to shoot Shere Khan) and dies from the wound in this movie.
  • Rebecca's eponymous Posthumous Character in the book goaded Maxim into shooting her. In order to keep the spoiler tagged character sympathetic to the Hays Code, the film has her accidentally tripping on a net and knocking herself out.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show;
    • In the play, Frank kills Eddie with a chainsaw but in the movie it's an axe. In the 2016 remake, Frank stabs him with a knife and pushes him out of a window.
    • In the play, Rocky gets killed with one blast of Riff Raff's Death Ray. In the movie the beams bounce off him and Rocky does a "King Kong" Climb up the RKO tower and dies after Riff Raff shoots it down and it falls into the swimming pool. In the remake he dies from one shot like in the play.
  • The Secret Garden (1993) changes Mary's parents dying slowly in a cholera epidemic, to dying suddenly in an earthquake.
  • Sin City:
    • In the original comic book, Becky gets gunned down alongside Manute's men by Dwight and the girls of Old Town. In the film, she escapes the ambush and it looks like she has survived. However, a coda at the end of the film shows her being cornered in an elevator at the hospital by the Professional Killer known as the Salesman. This forms a bookend with "The Customer is Always Right" vignette that opens the film.
    • In the extended edition of the film's The Big Fat Kill, Manute escapes the hail of bullets where he died in the book only to be bisected by Miho.
  • In the Star Wars Legends continuity, Admiral Ackbar dies of old age, 25 years after the Battle of Endor. In the new canon, specifically in The Last Jedi, Ackbar instead dies 32 years after Endor, when a First Order torpedo destroys the bridge of the Raddus.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Shredder is frozen by Krang, a fate that implies death(unless Harmless Freezing is involved). In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Shredder is Killed Off for Real when the support beams of the docks fall on him and crush him. Both are changes from the original comic, where Leonardo stabs Shredder with his (Leonardo's) katana.
  • V for Vendetta:
    • In the original comic-book miniseries, Adam Susan is assassinated by Rose Almond, who blames his government for all the misery that she's suffered since her husband's death. In the film, Adam Sutler is killed by Creedy in a bid to take over Norsefire.
    • In the original comic, Gordon Dietrich is killed by Ally Harper over some unspecified deal. In the movie, Gordon is killed by Creedy's goons for mocking Sutler.
    • Creedy is killed by Harper in the comics as part of Helen Heyer's attempt to take over the Norsefire government. In the movie, he confronts V near the Shadow Gallery with a bunch of armed goons; V kills them all.
    • V goes from being shot once by Finch to being shot dozens of times by Creedy and his goons.
  • The Wolf Man 2010: In the original film, the Wolfman was beaten to death with a silver cane by his father. Here, he is shot with a Silver Bullet (as typical for Werewolf Works) by his love interest Gwen.
  • Minor examples in Land of Oz:
    • In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy intentionally throws the water on the Wicked Witch in the book. (She was still unaware of its effects when she threw it.) In the film she's trying to put out a fire and the water accidentally splashes on the witch.
    • The Muppets adaptation has Dorothy kick the Witch into a tub she had prepared to bathe in which consists entirely of bottle water (the only kind of water she can withstand in this version)... Or so she thought until one of the flying monkeys reveals that he finished filling the tub using a hose upon running out of bottle water.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Ant-Man, Darren Cross is killed when his Yellowjacket suit (tampered with by Scott Lang) crushes him to death, but in the comics, he dies of natural causes (essentially a heart attack) during a fight with Scott.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War:
      • Loki is strangled to death by Thanos, but in the comics, he's died or been killed a variety of times but never by Thanos.
      • The Vision is killed when Thanos tears the Mind Stone out of his head, but in the comics, he was torn apart by She-Hulk during Avengers Disassembled.
    • Avengers: Endgame:
    • In Black Panther, Erik Killmonger is killed by a mortal wound sustained while fighting T'Challa, but in the comics, he was killed by Monica Rambeau flying through his chest at light-speed.
    • In Captain America: Civil War:
      • King T'Chaka is killed in a terrorist explosion set off by Helmut Zemo, in contrast to the comics, where he was shot by Ulysses Klaw.
      • In the comics, Howard and Maria Stark were killed in a car accident. The film instead reveals that they were assassinated by the Winter Solider, who subsequently staged the crime scene to make it look like they'd died in a car accident.
    • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Jasper Sitwell is torn from a moving vehicle by the Winter Soldier to his presumed death, but in the Captain America: Winter Soldier comic book storyline, he's shot to death by a brainwashed Black Widow.
    • In Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell is shot and killed by Yon-Rogg, but in the comics, he famously died of cancer.
    • In Doctor Strange, the Ancient One is killed by Kaecilius. In the comics, the actual killer was Shuma-Gorath, an extradimensional Eldritch Abomination that hasn't debuted in the MCU yet.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy: Meredith Quill died of brain cancer (which the sequel later revealed was actually caused by Ego), whereas in the comics, she was shot by a pair of Badoon assassins who wanted to kill her and her son.
    • In Iron Man 3:
      • Maya Hansen is killed by Aldrich Killian's Extremis, but in the comics, she's killed by an unnamed A.I.M. goon afflicted with Extremis.
      • Killian is killed by an Extremis-afflicted Pepper Potts, but in the comics, Killian's death is a suicide.
  • The Three Musketeers:
    • The Four Musketeers: In the book, Milady poisons Constance and she exchanges words with D'Artagnan as she dies. In the film, Milady strangles her.
    • The Three Musketeers (1993): In the novel, Milady is beheaded. In the film, she hurls herself off a cliff.
  • William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Due to the modernization of this film replacing the swords with guns, instead of stabbing herself in the heart at the end, Juliet shoots herself in the head. Tybalt is also shot rather than stabbed in a sword fight, and prior to that, Mercutio is slashed with a shard of glass.
  • Several adaptations of Wuthering Heights change both Heathcliff and Cathy (I)'s causes of death.
    • In the novel, Cathy dies in childbirth, having been weakened by Brain Fever while pregnant. Several adaptations that cut the novel's second half (most notably the classic 1939 film) omit her pregnancy and just have her succumb to either the brain fever or some other Victorian Novel Disease instead. Meanwhile, two modern TV adaptations, Sparkhouse and Wuthering High (aka The Wrong Boyfriend), have their Cathy character Driven to Suicide: in Wuthering High, she drowns herself in the ocean, while in Sparkhouse, Andrew slits his wrists.
    • In the novel, Heathcliff dies mysteriously after several days of strange behavior – the implication is that he simply gives up on life to be with Cathy. In the 1939 film, he freezes to death chasing a vision of Cathy's ghost through a blizzard. In the 1954 Mexican film and 1970 British film, he's shot by Hindley Earnshaw, the latter being Spared by the Adaptation. And in the 2009 TV adaptation, he commits suicide by shooting himself in the head.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • In American Gods Mad Sweeney drank a full bottle of whiskey and froze to death in the snow, in Starz's adaptation he is impaled with Gungnir while fighting over it with Shadow, and then sends it to his hoard before dying.
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dr. Orwell is killed by a buzz saw. In the 2017 TV adaptation, she falls into a furnace.
  • The Arrowverse (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl (2015), and Legends of Tomorrow) alter many from DC Comics:
    • In the comics, both of Oliver Queen's parents were Together in Death (how exactly is Depending on the Writer) before his disappearance. In the show, his father performed a Heroic Suicide when he and Oliver were Lost at Sea so the latter could have all the supplies for himself, while Oliver's mother was killed by Slade Wilson near the end of Oliver's second year as a superhero.
    • In the comics, her family's massacre was part of Helena Bertinelli's backstory in becoming the Huntress. Here, her father lives to see her don the identity and is killed in a crossfire during her second year as a costumed vigilante/criminal.
    • In the comics, Dinah Laurel Lance's mother and predecessor dies via cancer. In the show, her sister and predecessor was murdered (though she gets better).
    • In the comics, the murders of Tatsu Yamashiro's husband and children at the hands of the yakuza are an integral part of her backstory in becoming Katana. In the show, Tatsu's child dies due to a virus outbreak while she forcefully kills her husband in combat while already donning her superhero costume.
    • In the comics, Larry Lance dies Taking the Bullet for his wife Dinah Drake. In the show it's still the same, except he did it for the Alternate Self of his late daughter Dinah Laurel Lance.
    • Eobard Thawne was initially killed in the comics by Barry snapping his neck. In the show, his ancestor Eddie commits suicide to Ret-Gone him.
    • In the comics, Firestorm dies when his physical half, Ronnie Raymond, gets impaled with a special sword and blows up. In the show, Ronnie dies by using the energy he and Martin Stein produce every time they do and undo their Fusion Dance in order to close a wormhole that would have devoured Central City. Stein survives both encounters.
    • In the comics, Iris West's mother (usually) dies via cancer. In the show, it's via McGregor's Syndrome.
    • In the comics, Henry Allen dies while in prison before his son Barry can prove his innocence. In the show, he was released but is ultimately murdered by Hunter Zolomon to spite Barry.
    • The comic version of Savitar was accidentally disintegrated by Barry due to Eobard Thawne tampering with the Speed Force. In the third season of The Flash, Iris shoots Savitar through the back.
    • In the comics, Future Flash dies in a Heroic Sacrifice to defeat William Selkirk. In the show, he is subject to a Ret-Gone when Iris' death at Savitar's hands is prevented.
    • In the comics, Clifford DeVoe dies of cancer. His televison counterpart tries to stave off dying from ALS by stealing the bodies of several metahumans, including Ralph Dibny, but Barry deletes his consciousness with the help of his own Thinking Cap.
    • In the comics, Zor-El dies when Krypton exploded (usually). In the show, it's because of an off-screen Heroic Sacrifice to ensure that Argo City would still function.
    • In the comics, Martian Manhunter's father did die on Mars. In the show, it's revealed that he actually survived, only to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to save Earth during the Supergirl Season 3 finale.
  • Titans (2018):
    • Don Hall, the original Dove, was crushed to death by falling debris while saving civilians during Crisis on Infinite Earths. In the altered DC Rebirth history, it's established that Don was killed during Mister Twister's final battle with the original Teen Titans. Here, Don was killed in a freak car accident very early on in his superhero career.
    • In the original Pre-Crisis continuity, Tony Zucco was given the death penalty after he was arrested for murdering Robin's parents. Post-Crisis, he was instead gunned down by rival gangsters. In the Titans TV show, he was killed by members of the crime family he belonged to after they became worried that he would turn evidence against them as part of a deal with the authorities. Robin had the chance to save him, but refused.
  • Game of Thrones did this to several characters that also exist in the books.
    • Ser Roderick Cassel was killed by Theon Greyjoy in the show, as opposed to Ramsay Bolton like in the books.
    • Pyat Pree was killed by Daenerys' dragons at the end of Season 2, where Pyat Pree was left alive at first, then possibly killed by Euron Greyjoy.
    • Mance Rayder is mercy-killed by Jon in Season 5. In the books, he isn't killed by this, but is sent to Winterfell, where according to a letter sent by Ramsay Bolton, he has been taken captive and is being tortured to death.
    • Maester Aemon dies at the Wall in the show, rather than in Braavos while waiting for a ship to take them to Oldtown.
    • Jon Snow is killed by Alliser Thorne, Olly, and two other members of the Night's Watch due to allowing the Wildlings to move south of the Wall in the show. In the books, he is killed by Bowen Marsh and other black brothers because he decides to personally venture south to attack Ramsay Bolton in retaliation for the letter Ramsay sent him, and the contents therein.
    • Ygritte goes from being killed by a nameless archer in a skirmish before the Battle of Castle Black to being killed by Olly during the main battle.
    • The Lord o' Bones/Rattleshirt is killed by Tormund at Hardhome versus being burned alive in Mance Rayder's place.
    • Styr, the Magnar of Thenn, is killed by Jon Snow sticking an axe into his head, as opposed to the book death of him falling from the wall while attempting to climb it during the Battle of Castle Black.
    • Balon Greyjoy was personally killed by his brother Euron long after the conclusion of the War of the Five Kings, as opposed to the books where he's killed by a faceless man in the midst of the war.
    • Kevan Lannister is killed by Cersei's wildfire bombing of the Great Sept of Baelor in Season 6 of the show, where in the books, he is killed in the epilogue of A Dance with Dragons by Varys.
    • Grand Maester Pycelle is killed by Qyburn in the show, whereas he is also killed by Varys in the epilogue of Dance. However, the manner of death is the same, with him being stabbed to death by Varys' little birds on both counts.
    • Doreah, one of Dany's handmaidens, does not die in the Red Waste, and is instead condemned to death by starvation in Xaro's impenetrable vault for her betrayal of Daenerys.
    • In the books, Ser Preston Greenfield and Ser Arys Oakheart (two Kingsguard members Demoted to Extra in the show) are killed in a riot and by Areo Hotah, respectively. Both then die at the hands of the Hound in the show’s penultimate episode.
    • Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane is a somewhat complicated example: in the books, he died after Oberyn poisoned him with manticore venom, and it is very strongly implied Qyburn brought his headless corpse Back from the Dead as Robert Strong, the newest member of the Kingsguard. In the show, it's ambiguous if Gregor ever died: Qyburn claimed he could save him after he was poisoned and no mention is made of him being decapitated. Either way, there doesn't seem to be much of his original mind left. Though he could easily be a zombie now, plenty of people who want him to survive have made a case for the only thing that changed about him being the color of his skin, which is now pale and purplish. In the show he's killed off for real in the penultimate episode.
    • Locke avoided the encounter with Gregor Clegane which was fatal for his book counterpart. But, when it seemed that the viewers would see more of him, he was anticlimactically offed by Bran, of all people (warged into Hodor, but still), though Locke met a nice, clean, quick death, unlike Vargo Hoat, so this may count as "spared".
    • Torrhen Karstark, though only for a while. He survives farther into the storyline than his book counterpart, who dies in the Battle of the Whispering Wood protecting Robb from Jaime.
    • Smalljon Umber was killed during the Red Wedding in the books. Here, he isn't even introduced until long after that event. He dies during the second battle at Winterfell.
    • In the book, Beric Dondarrion dies by giving Catelyn Stark the kiss of life, turning her into Lady Stoneheart. In the show, mostly because Catelyn was Killed Off for Real, he survives until Episode 3 of Season 8.
  • In The Gifted, the Frost Sisters went from being a quintet to being a trio when their creators killed Mindee and Celeste as a punishment for Esme, Phoebe, and Sophie's rebellion against them. In New X-Men, Sophie died from an overdose of Kick, which she had taken in order to defeat Quentin Quire and stop his rampage through the Xavier Academy, while Esme was murdered by Xorn during the "Planet X" mess.
  • In the book 13 Reasons Why, it's said that Hannah overdosed on pills. In the TV series, she slits her wrists and bleeds out in the bathtub.
  • The Walking Dead did this to several characters that also exist in the comics.
    • Amy gets bitten and turns before her sister Andrea finally pits her out. It's nearly the same in the comics, except Andrea Mercy Kills her before she turns.
    • Otis gets Devoured by the Horde thanks to being sacrificed by Shane in the show, instead of being bitten by Walkers in the Prison Arc like in the comics.
    • In the show, Dale Horvath gets Mercy Killed by Canon Foreigner Daryl Dixon after getting mauled by a walker. In the comics, it was Andrea who puts him down but due to getting bitten and having his remaining leg eaten by Cannibals.
    • In the show, Shane Walsh was fatally stabbed by Rick Grimes before the latter's son Carl puts down the former's reanimated corpse. In the comics, it was Carl who kills Shane and it wasn't until much later when Rick puts down his reanimated corpse.
    • Patricia is Devoured by the Horde while getting out of the Greene farm in the show. In the comics, she dies via Boom, Headshot! during the conclusion of the Prison Arc.
    • Lori Grimes suffers Death by Childbirth in the show during the beginning of the Prison Arc , whereas she and her baby were blown-off by a shotgun during said Arc's conclusion in the comics.
    • In the show, Donna is bitten by a walker in her right arm and is Mercy Killed by Tyreese before reanimation. In the comics, she's bitten in the face first by a walker before being Devoured by the Horde.
    • In the show, Ben was killed because he walks right in front of the Governor in a botched assassination by Canon Foreigner Merle Dixon. In the comics, Carl kills him. However, he's a Decomposite Character, and his Gender Flipped counterpart Lizzie Samuels dies Truer to the Text with the exception that it was Carol who did the job.
    • While the cause of death is similar, Andrea dies differently in the mediums. In the show it happened in a much earlier timeline and it's because she's tied to a chair when an ally-turned walker bit her before committing Suicide by Cop using Rick's revolver before she herself turns. In the comics, she discovers she was bitten after fighting a Walker horde during the Whisperers arc, and she actually turns before Rick puts her out for good with a knife.
    • In the show, Allen was killed by the Governor because he did not approved of the latter being a Bad Boss. In the comics, he dies via Walker bite infection. However, he's a Decomposite Character, and his other counterpart Ryan Samuels dies Truer to the Text but only in a later time.
    • In the show, Caesar Martinez was betrayed by the Governor and gets thrown to a horde of Walkers. In the comics, Rick Grimes runs him over and is then put down by Lilly Caul.
    • In the show, the Governor brutally hacks Hershel Greene's head off before his reanimated head was put-out by Michonne for good. In the comics, the Governor just headshots him.
    • In the show, the Governor was impaled by Michonne before Lilly Chambler fatally shoots him. In the comics, Lily Caul fatally shoots him before kicking his corpse to the Walkers to be Devoured by the Horde.
    • In the show, Tyreese dies because of massive blood loss and infection, first by Walker bite then by an already late Life-or-Limb Decision. In the comics, he's the one who suffered the fate of Hershel's TV counterpart mentioned above.
    • In the show, Holly was killed by one of the Wolves and is put down by Denise before reanimation. In the comics, she was killed by Negan after a botched assassination attempt and her Walker form was put down by Rick after she bit Denise's arm.
    • In the show, Nicholas committed suicide in a middle of a Walker attack. In the comics, he was brutally hacked during the Saviors War and is put down by a Red Shirt before reanimation.
    • In the show, Ron Anderson was Devoured by the Horde while attempting to leave Alexandria. The show made him a Decomposite Character consisting of two brothers; the younger brother Sam dies Truer to the Text, while the In Name Only older brother was killed by Michonne after holding both Rick and Carl at gunpoint following his mother and younger brother's deaths.
    • In the show, Denise Cloyd dies via Moe Greene Special courtesy of Dwight. In the comics, she dies because of a Walker bite and is then Mercy Killed by Michonne before reanimation.
    • In the show, Abraham Ford dies after Negan repeatedly whacks his head with a barbwire-infused baseball bat. In the comics, he's the one who suffered the fate of Denise's TV counterpart mentioned above.
    • While Glenn Rhee still dies after getting his head repeatedly whacked by Negan using a barbwire-infused baseball bat, the circumstances behind it are different in the mediums. In the show it happened as retaliation by Negan after Daryl Dixon retaliated against him for taunting Rosita Espinosa with Abraham's death mentioned above. In the comics, Glenn is simply Negan's chosen victim like Abraham's TV counterpart was.
    • In the show, Dr. Emmett Carson was burned to death after being tossed by Negan in the Savior's furnace. In the comics, he was decapitated by Alpha along with eleven others.
    • In the show, Olivia was shot in the face by Arat. In the comics, she was decapitated by Alpha along with the aforementioned Dr. Emmett Carson and ten others.
    • Happened with Tyreese's respective female relatives in both mediums. In the show, his sister Sasha performs a Heroic Suicide that is similar to Holly's death from the comics mentioned above to officially kickstart the Saviors War. In the comics, his daughter Julie dies via botched Suicide Pact during the Prison Arc.
  • In A Christmas Carol, we don't know how Jacob Marley died, but it was most likely a drawn-out illness, since in a flashback to the year it happened, another character mentions having heard that he "lies on the point of death." In A Christmas Carol: The Musical, he dies suddenly of a heart attack in his and Scrooge's counting house.
  • While Power Rangers does use footage from Super Sentai, it sometimes changes the deaths of the monsters whether it be; promoting a new toy, the original death being too graphic for American censors, or if the monster appeared when a certain arsenal did or did not appear in either country. For example:
  • Sharpe:
    • Sharpe's Rifles: Sgt. Williams is killed in the opening ambush, whereas in the novel, he survives unil midway through.
    • Sharpe's Eagle: The death of Lt. Berry is an amalgamation of the deaths of Gibbons and Berry from the book: The novel has Sharpe luring Berry off to a secluded spot under the cover of a French attack and stabbing him through the throat with his sword.
    • Sharpe's Enemy: In the novel, Hakeswill faces the firing squad and Sharpe personally administers the coup de grace. The film leaves the latter part out.
    • Sharpe's Honour: El Matarife's death is altered, being shot by Major Mendoza as he prepares to stab Sharpe in the back rather than having his throat slit by Sharpe.
    • Sharpe's Battle: Kiely is taken from behind by Loup and fatally stabbed in contrast to committing suicide in the book.
    • Sharpe's Siege: Maquerre's death is altered, with him remaining with the French and being shot from a distance by Hagman, as opposed to being killed by Sharpe.
    • Sharpe's Revenge: In the novel, Ducos is executed via firing squad. In the film, Sharpe shoots him as he tries to escape.
    • Sharpe's Waterloo:
      • In the film, Hagman is killed as a result of Orange's orders. In the novel, he dies in the main battle.
      • In the novel, Rossendale is killed by a peasant woman looting the battlefield. In the film, he's bayonetted by French soldiers.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "Still Valley", Teague dies off-screen of natural causes. In the short story "The Valley Was Still" by Manly Wade Wellman, Sgt. Joseph Paradine decapitates him with his saber after he suggests using the book of Black Magic to defeat the Union.
    • In "Number 12 Looks Just Like You", Marilyn Cuberle's father Jack committed suicide as he bitterly regretted undergoing the Transformation and his family covered up his death by claiming that he was killed in the Ganymede Incident. In the short story "The Beautiful People" by Charles Beaumont, he did die in the Ganymede Incident.
  • Daredevil (2015): Played with for Elektra's death in the season 2 finale, in that while she's impaled on her own sai like in the comics, it's Nobu who does the killing, not Bullseye. Bullseye (renamed Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter) doesn't turn up until season 3 and never crosses paths with Elektra.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Shadow Play", Adam Grant's recurring nightmare always ends with him being hanged. In both the short story "Traumerei" by Charles Beaumont and the original episode, he was killed in the electric chair.

    Myths & Religion 
  • While many, if not most, versions of the legend of Faust end with Faust's demise, the method in which he goes often differs. Originally, Faust is allowed until he finds a moment of satisfaction. Eventually, that moment comes and he dies on the spot. Others simply end with Faust being taken to Hell by the demons he trafficked with. The 1994 movie ends with Faust being struck by a car.

    Theatre 
  • In chapter 3 of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Kiyotaka Ishimaru is bludgeoned to death with a hammer by Hifumi Yamada, who was acting under the orders of Celestia Ludenburg. In the stage adaptation, however, he is killed alongside chapter 2's culprit, Mondo Owada, because he refused to vote for Mondo as the killer.
  • In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo commits suicide with poison. In West Side Story, Tony is shot by Chino, the equivalent of Paris.
  • In E. T. A. Hoffmann's The Nutcracker, the Mouse King is Killed Offscreen by the Nutcracker in a Duel to the Death. Exactly how he dies in the ballet varies between productions. Sometimes Clara kills him by hitting him on the head with her shoe. Sometimes her thrown shoe only distracts him and gives the Nutcracker the chance to stab him. And still others have Clara grab the Nutcracker's sword and stab the King herself.
  • In the stage version of Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Esmeralda dies of smoke inhalation after being rescued from burning at the stake. This combines her original death from the novel, which was by hanging, with the Disney film's ending where she's rescued from the stake and survives.
    • In addition, Jehan Frollo dies near the end of the book, during the assault on the cathedral (and at the hands of Quasimodo, of all people). On stage, however, he dies in the opening number, succumbing to the same pox that killed his lover a few months prior.
  • In the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation of The Little Mermaid, Ursula, rather than being impaled and electrocuted, dissolves after Ariel smashes her nautilus shell, implied to be a Soul Jar similar to Genie!Jafar's lamp and Rasputin's reliquary. The Junior production gives her a death somewhat closer to the film, with the trident's magic backfiring on her.
  • National Theatre's 2014 production of Treasure Island:
    • Blind Pew is stabbed to death by another pirate instead of being trampled by a horse (which would have been rather more difficult to stage).
    • Israel Hands is a Self-Disposing Villain (he accidentally blows himself up while guarding the ship's armoury), saving Jim from having to kill him in self-defense as in the novel.

    Video Games 
  • In Conker's Bad Fur Day, Conker faces a gargoyle atop a bridge in the tutorial level. Upon hitting the gargoyle with a frying pan, the gargoyle starts to mock him just before he loses his balance and falls to his death. In the remake, Conker: Live & Reloaded, the gargoyle doesn't fall off the bridge upon being hit with the frying pan. After a moment of Lampshade Hanging, Conker hits the gargoyle with a baseball bat which causes the gargoyle to fall over and be Squashed Flat by a boulder.
  • Whenever the plot of a world is essentially the plot of the movie that said world represents in Kingdom Hearts, there are chances of the villains deaths being played out differently.
    • In Tarzan, Clayton falls and ends up hanging himself. In Kingdom Hearts I, the Stealth Sneak that fights alongside him in his boss fight collapses on him, crushing him.
    • In The Little Mermaid (1989), Eric kills Ursula by impaling her with the ship he is steering. In Kingdom Hearts II, he throws the trident right through her instead.
    • In The Lion King (1994), Scar is eaten alive by his fellow Hyenas. In Kingdom Hearts II, he becomes a heartless and continues his fight against Simba only to immediately die upon defeat.
    • In Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, Jafar's lamp is kicked into the lava by Iago, effectively destroying him. In Kingdom Hearts II, he dies the instant he's beaten in his boss fight, with his lamp simply vanishing the moment he does.
    • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the gargoyle that Frollo is standing on break off, sending him falling to his death. In Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, it plays out the same way in Sora's story, but in Riku's story, he is blown off the church by the boss of the world, Wargoyle.
    • In TRON: Legacy, Rinzler dies in a failed kamikaze to give the heroes more time to escape from Clu. This time around, Clu murders Rinzler when Sora sets the latter free in his scenario. Rinzler's fate is not revealed in Riku's scenario, but is assumed to be the same as the film.
    • In Tangled, Mother Gothel ages into dust after Rapunzel's hair is cut. It almost plays out the same way in Kingdom Hearts III, but is turned into a Heartless. She dies after Sora defeats her.
    • In the Pirates of the Caribbean series, the Kraken is suddenly dead in the third movie (killed by Davy Jones in the novelization). It survives in Kingdom Hearts only to get killed by Sora later on.
    • Even between games, deaths may change. In the original GBA Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Vexen gets stabbed in the back by Axel after Sora defeats him. He briefly pleads for his life before Axel strikes him again, thus killing him. In the remake, or PS2 port, Re: Chain of Memories, however, Axel shoots him with a fireball once to shut him up before he can reveal Organization XIII's secret to Sora, then snaps his fingers and literally burns him up. Depending on who you ask, the former may be seen as more brutal and the latter as being Lighter and Softer. Then again, in the remake Vexen is given no time to beg for mercy which to some might be seen as more ruthless, and he burns to death even if it is all over within a matter of seconds. So an argument for which death is more brutal can be made for both versions, really.
  • A Little Lily Princess halves the difference between the original's Brain Fever and other adaptations' more natural deaths by having Sara's father die due to a combination of the shock he received upon learning that his family was destitute as well as a physical illness he was also going through at the time. His lawyer says explicitly that either alone could not have killed him but both together weakened him enough that he could not fight back.
  • Historically and in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Shi died of illness. Dynasty Warriors 8, however, sees him get killed in an ambush by his enemies, which was mainly done so that there would be a branching point to open the hypothetical route, where he ends up living.
  • In the original version of Ratchet & Clank, Chairman Drek rushes towards his frankenstein planet in a Villainous Breakdown, and Ratchet turns the Deplanetizer, intending to destroy Veldin, towards that location and fires. While this is still the way Drek died in the film and reimaginging, the circumstances were changed so that Dr. Nefarious turns Drek into a sheep, and sends him to the planet on an escape pod. The planet's destruction was made an accident as a side affect of stopping Nefarious from destroying Umbris and setting off a chain reaction that would destroy countless planets.
  • In Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury, Super Buu never uses his Human Extinction Attack to kill off the entire population of Earth. They end up dying anyway when Kid Buu blows up the planet later, but in the meantime, you've got more time to do all the sidequests.
  • In the arcade version of Double Dragon II, Marian gets gunned down by Machine Gun Willy at the start of the very first stage. In the NES version, her death is simply mentioned in the opening text, but it is implied in the images shown afterward that she was stabbed by a ninja. Stabbing also seems to be the method in the PC-Engine Version as shown in a cutscene.
  • Every version of Emerald Dragon has its own version of Yaman's death. In the PC versions he's sneak attacked by a monster disguised as a villager. In the PC Engine version he takes an arrow in place Atrushan shot by a hidden monster. And in the Super Famicom version he's accidently shot by a child he just taught how to use a bow.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Redwall book Martin the Warrior, Felldoh goes down in a blaze of glory, fighting tens of soldiers at once, Rose dies fighting Badrang when he throws her against a wall, and Badrang the Tyrant is stabbed by Martin to avenge all the evil he's done. In the animated adaptation, however, Felldoh is taken down by only a handful of soldiers, Badrang stabs Rose while holding her hostage, and Badrang falls down a pit onto Martin's sword.
  • Spawn: While Billy Kincaid was killed by Al Simmons (AKA Spawn) himself in canon, in the animated series, he decides to spare the him. However Billy still dies by Violator's hand via a gun when he ceased to be a valuable Unwitting Pawn for him anymore.
  • Animated adaptations of E. T. A. Hoffmann's The Nutcracker (and the ballet) tend to do this with the Mouse King and, in the Truer to the Text versions that include her, with his mother the Mouse Queen:
  • In the Legends continuity, Admiral Thrawn's bodyguard/pet assassin Rukh is arrested and executed after murdering Thrawn himself. In Star Wars Rebels, he never has reason to betray Thrawn and instead dies during the liberation of Lothal when he gets caught in a shield generator as its activating, fatally shocking him to death.

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