Harry Potter was the first fandom I became apart of. I was around five when I checked out the first book and vaguely remember my mom reading me the first page. Fast forward eleven freaking years when the series technically ended with the movie. I knew about the deaths, cried over them before, but seeing it onscreen made it so much worse (knowing this was the end added to it.) And I’m not lying, I still cry over some of them.
I’m not naming this “Getting OVER Character Deaths” because there are some that will get to you every time. With Harry Potter I grew up with the series, I met these character at a young age, and they became a part of me. There’s no way I couldn’t cry over them (Remus Lupin is one of my favorite characters ever, there’s no way.)
And what’s so bad about hurting over it? Why should someone feel ashamed? You have connected with someone not even real (and that says a lot about how they were written.) Something about them created the love: tragic backstory, personality, or who they are in general. To you they were more than a made-up character, they were real.
So what happens when a major death happens?
Well first is shock. Most likely you didn’t see it coming, maybe you had an idea of someone dying, but never them. Whether you’re watching a movie, show, or reading a book the shock will come and you may sit in silence, you may yell at the screen, you may immediately go onto the internet and read other’s reactions.
Tears may fall and there’s no reason not to let them. Hug a pillow, or pet, or pillow pet.
If you aren’t already on the internet you may want to. Others are feeling the same way and perhaps reach out to them. Express how shocked you are, how much it hurts. Odds are gifsets/pictures will be made of that character to cry over more.
The next day may even be the hardest. Maybe you had time to sleep on it and forget, but once it hits, it hits hard. Sometimes when you’re staring into space that moment could rerun through your head. It’s okay. Have a cookie or alcohol, whatever makes you feel better (but don’t go overboard.) Going throughout the day as normal with this ache sitting your stomach is agonizing, and having people around who don’t understand can make it even worse.
This leads me to my next topic: what can make this worse is family/friends not understanding why this means so much to you. My mom will sit there and mock me for crying over someone from a show she doesn’t care about but ask how she reacted during the last Harry Potter movie or The Walking Dead, two things she likes. It’s no different and just because they can’t connect with the character like you doesn’t mean they have the right to make fun of you. It doesn’t mean they should be in control of your feelings. Go back to the part about the internet, this is where having people who share the same interests and pain will be the most important. There are people out there who feel the same way and they understand.
Whether you read a book or watched a TV show there may be some time in between the death and what comes next. The show may be on season break or you’re waiting for the next book. Take this time off to come to terms with what happened. If you’re binge watching on Netflix…I’ll just say take a breather after something big happens.
In time there will be acceptance (probably within a day or two to be honest.) The movie series will carry on, the TV show will carry on despite the end of such a loved character. It may be weird for a while, especially if this character was a main one, but like our real lives, the absence of them will become normal.
And in the end I reiterate, you may never get over it. It may pull at your heartstrings every time, but that doesn’t mean you’re stupid or your feelings don’t matter. That character, that person, mattered to you.