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Spoiler alert (with many more to follow): Once upon a time, death on television was often intro'd with a somber, "Tonight, on a very special episode of…" and then handled with gravitas. It was often due to a rating's ploy, an actor leaving the dregs of TV behind, or to tug at the audience's heartstrings. But now, with television just as compelling as film, and this being, perhaps, the golden age of network dramas, death is a way of wrenching us out of our TV expectations. "You think so-and-so is safe? Just wait until next week."
While anyone familiar with Game Of Thrones knows that death comes for all men (and women), last night's termination felt, well, deserved. Heck, it was downright celebratory. Yes, it does suck to desperately want someone to kick the bucket, but when you have such nuanced (and evil) characters, the payoff for a viewer can be quite sweet. So, while a certain despot may be the one everyone is talking about today, here are some other deaths that almost felt as gratifying. Almost.