Death by Adaptation

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Exactly What It Says on the Tin. A character who remains alive in a work of fiction dies in the adaptation.

Both a death trope and an adaptation trope, this comes in two variations:

  • More commonly, a character who did not die in the source material is killed off in the adaptation.
  • Alternatively, a character who did get killed at some point in the source material is killed off a lot sooner in the adaptation.

The reasons for doing this vary. Perhaps the crew wanted to surprise everyone, including fans of the source material. Perhaps they personally viewed the unfortunate character as The Scrappy and wanted to get rid of them. Maybe Executive Meddling required this change to be made. Maybe the character in question was a villain, and in grand movie tradition, the villain had to die at the end of the movie, even if he or she was a recurring villain in the source material. Whatever the reason, the result is the same: a character you did not expect to die met their end. Frequently a cause of They Changed It, Now It Sucks and is actually one of the cases where that can be a very valid complaint.

Despite the above hypothetical example being a movie, this trope is hardly limited to book-to-film adaptations, as you'll see in the examples.

Compare with Schrödinger's Cat where a character's fate is different from the source material, but the source material is still ongoing (which may create the need for a drastic rewrite if the character in question becomes important later on in the source material).

Contrast with Spared by the Adaptation where a character who died in the source material does not die in the adaptation.

Not to be confused with Doomed by Canon.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.

Examples of Death by Adaptation include:

Examples of the first type

Anime and Manga

  • If you consider the main Death Note series as an adaptation of the pilot chapter, then both L and Light are this for their Pilot counterparts (Inspector Yamanaka and Taro Kagami, respectively)
    • Taro could also be considered the Pilot counterpart for Mikami due to them looking exactly the same. Either way, the trope still applies.
    • Mogi in the second live action film, in place of Ukita in the manga and anime.
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth, Presea chooses to complete the Knights' weapons instead of escaping Ascot's first monster attack. She dies soon after finishing, once the place collapses.
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth 2, the Autozam Commander Eagle Vision survives the Pillar's Trial and goes into deep sleep (but remains aware of his surroundings via Psychic Link,) and it's heavily implied that the new Cephiro will help him make a speedy recovery. In the anime, he battles Nova alongside the Magic Knights and rescues Lantis... and is then killed by Debonair.
    • The OAV is even more cruel. Aside from a Type II regarding Zagato, Lantis and Ascot meet their end. Especially jarring since Ascot was turned into a full-blown bad guy for the OAV.
  • The character Duclis from Slayers has completely different roles in both novels and anime but fall under this trope nonetheless: in the novels, he is the leader of a cult praising the Dark Lord Shabranigdo and is eventually slain by Lina; in the anime he is a friend of the prince Pokota; he attempts a mass murdering spree in the name of his and Pokota's kingdom and is nearly absorbed by a beast, but manages to survive. In the manga adaptation of the anime season he appeared in, though, he is killed by Shabranigdo.
    • In an odd meta-example, minor character Rubia was dead to begin with in the anime and was the subject of an attempted resurrection by her lover. In the original novels, she is still alive and assists Lina and Gourry up until the Mazoku Saygram kills her.
    • Amelia's uncle, Randionel, dies in the middle of the first season of the anime, whereas he dies in the first Slayers Special novel, which is, mind you, the prequel to the regular novel line, so he dies far earlier there.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Greed, after being recreated, survives until the last chapter. In the 2003 anime version, he dies a few episodes after his introduction (though he's never recreated at all).
    • Doctor Marcoh, Scar, Izumi Curtis, Selim Bradley, and Yoki as well in the 2003 anime.
  • Tung Fu-Rue in the Fatal Fury anime movies.
  • Chrono Crusade has four:
    • Satella and Fiore die near the end of the anime, but in the manga were merely frozen in crystal and revived in the 1990s.
    • Shader is killed by Father Remington after the battle of the carnival in the anime, but survives the final battle in the manga (and is, in fact, implied to be the one that revived Satella and Fiore).
    • Chrono is a possible example—his fate is left vague in the manga (he returns to Rosette in the end, but there's some debate that he's possibly just a vision or a ghost welcoming Rosette into the afterlife), but he's definitively, absolutely dead in the anime's ending.
  • Dominic and Eureka herself in the Eureka Seven manga.
  • Partial example: Straight Cougar's S-Cry-ed fate is ambiguous in the anime (we last seem him sitting in a chair when his limbs appear to go limp) but he quite unambiguously died in the manga adaptation.
  • In the official manga adaptation of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Touji Suzuhara dies outright after the 13th Angel takes over his Evangelion. In the anime, he "merely" loses a couple limbs.
    • Depending on your interpretation of End of Evangelion, he might be a type 2 example!
  • Raikou from Nabari no Ou dies in the anime after his Heel Face Turn. In the manga he still has his Heel Face Turn and comes close to dying once, but ultimately survives.
  • Kurama in Elfen Lied.
  • Shigure in Yu Yu Hakusho lives until the end of the manga, but in the anime, commits suicide after losing to Kurama.
  • One of the more notable changes in the adaptation of Macross to Robotech was the written-in deaths of the Macross/SDF-1 bridge crew. In the final episode of Macross, Global, Claudia, and the Bridge Bunnies survive the final assault to the battle fortress; their Robotech counterparts aren't so lucky.
    • Macross Frontier does this in the movie, with a twist. In the series there is a scene where Alto goes missing and Sheryl falls into a coma from despair and her illness. Now in the series they both get better, but in the movie Alto is missing and most likely dead (at least his survival chances are very low) and Sheryl, while healed from her illness, still lies in a coma (though she begins to stir just as the movie ends). There is hope for both (less for the former, more for the latter), but compared to series, this counts as possible death.
      • And in The movie-centered manga Kiss of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, Sheryl is outright killed by Brera. As the scene takes place way before final confrontation she will most likely end Only Mostly Dead, but still...
  • The anime adaptation of Romance of the Three Kingdoms kills off Diao Chan, who in the novel simply disappears after her role in bringing down Dong Zhuo.
  • Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo kills off Franz d'Epinay, Danglars, and the Count himself, while they all survive in the original novel. Franz's death is particularly noteworthy, as it occurs about 3/4 of the way through the series, and provides the catalyst for Albert to grow up and wise up.
  • At the end of the Ookamikakushi, Kaori defeats Sakaki by throwing both of them off a cliff; in the VN's true end, they both live (Sakaki being defeated by non-lethal means), but it's implied Kaori will eventually die from her illness.
  • In the Mai-Otome manga, Rad, Nagi and Sergay Auguste Taiki die.
  • Noin in Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne dies via Heroic Sacrifice in the anime adaptation, while he survived and stuck around in the original manga.
  • Code Geass: C.C. dies in Code Geass Nightmare of Nunnally, while both Schneizel and Lloyd (who in this version is Schneizel's dragon die in Suzaku of the Counterattack.
  • In Pokémon Special, Pryce, Maxie, and Archie die when they don't in the original games.
  • Harribel in Bleach due to the anime being cancelled without her revealed as alive.


  • Dr. Robotnik in Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog, although he's a rather odd case: the comics treat Ivo Robotnik and Eggman Robotnik as two separate characters, then Ivo was Killed Off for Real and Eggman took his place. Splitting him into two characters is pretty much the only thing that prevents this from falling under Schrodingers Cat.

Fan Works

  • Kurenai in Team 8.
    • Also Tazuna.
  • In most Nuzlocke Comics from Pokémon Red and Blue (or the third-gen remakes), Gary's Raticate dies. This is because of a popular fan theory: Raticate's no longer on Gary's team when he asks you about dead Pokemon at Lavender Tower, so it's possible he was there in mourning. The games themselves never quite mention what happened to Raticate, though it's possible Gary just stored it in a PC box to make room for something else.

Film (Animated)

  • Hrothgar in the 2007 Beowulf.
  • Poor Blackavar...
  • Ursula, in The Little Mermaid. Her story counterpart, the Sea Witch, never shows up again after making the deal with the mermaid.
  • Metallo in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. In the comic version, outside of a mention that he might've been involved in the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne that turned out to be a Red Herring by Lex Luthor to keep Batman away, his subplot didn't have anything to do with the main plot; In the movie version, he was killed by Major Force (under orders from Luthor) to frame Superman.
  • The Sphere in Flatland: the Film, but not in Flatland: the Movie (another adaptation that was, oddly, released the same year).
  • J. Thaddeus Toad in the Disney Theme Parks version of The Wind in the Willows, who apparently dies after being hit by a train during his escape from prison, and actually goes to Hell!
  • In the film Brest Fortress, the narrator in the end says that "Anya Kizhevatova was executed along with all families of the Fortress' defenders." Anya was indeed executed, but most of the families (including other girls Anya's age ) actually survived.
  • Nicodemus in The Secret of NIMH.
  • Adaptations of JRR Tolkien's Middle-earth works:
  • Quasimodo's mother in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In the original book, she gave up her son to Frollo because she was afraid of his ugly appearance, but in the movie, she loved him, but Frollo killed her and made him think that his mother abandoned him as a baby.

Film (Live Action)

  • Gennaro and Muldoon in Jurassic Park. In the former's case, it may be because he was effectively a Composite Character with someone who did die in the book. Interestingly, Gennaro is mentioned as having Died On A Bus in the The Lost World novel, perhaps to get things more consistent between the novels and films.
  • Dr. Frock in Relic, particularly jarring as he plays a central role in the novel's sequel, Reliquary, as the Big Bad.
  • Mogi in the live action Death Note movies
  • Bat in the Fist of the North Star movie.
  • Inspector Legrasse in the 2005 silent film adaptation of The Call of Cthulhu
  • Ben in the 2003 version of Willard, whereas in the 1971 movie and the original proposed ending, he kills Willard and survives, injured, but shrugging it off.
  • Cybil in Silent Hill.
  • Everybody except for Bastian and the Empress in The Neverending Story. They get better.
  • Dick Halloran in The Shining. In the novel he takes a beating with a roque club, but makes it out alive with a broken jaw. But in the film, he is killed by an axe to the chest.
  • Captain Dudley Smith in the film version of L.A. Confidential
  • Haldir in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. (In the book, the elves don't even show up at Helm's Deep). Also the Mouth of Sauron, whose fate in the book is unknown.
    • Sauron himself doesn't technically die in the book, as he is said to be "maimed forever" when the ring is destroyed. In the movie, he is destroyed along with it. And how.
  • Brom Bomes in Tim Burton's version of Sleepy Hollow
  • The Joker and the Penguin in Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns, respectively. Two-Face in Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever.
    • Jason Woodrue dies after a brief appearance in Batman and Robin, but all the other heavies survive. The same can't be said for the series.
  • In The Dark Knight Saga, Ra's al Ghul and Two-Face. Joker, ironically survived, as did the Scarecrow.
    • Oddly enough, Carmine Falcone is still alive in this universe while dead in the comics.
  • Venom in the Spider-Man movies.
  • Cyclops dies off screen unglamourously in X Men the Last Stand. The characters who die by adaptation in the X-Men films could probably fill a whole damn page. Lady Deathstrike, Psylocke, Kestrel, Agent Zero, and (apparently) Toad are notable examples.
    • Of course, being comics (and most especially Marvel comics), most of these characters have died at least once in the source material anyhow.
  • James Bond (all 7 of him...don't ask) in Casino Royale 1967
  • Nina in Nosferatu and its remake
  • Berger in Hair (theatre), in a rare film example of death by military draft. He was impersonating The Hero Claude, who dies in the play. More interestingly, the big finale song in both versions is a Dark Reprise about the character's death.
  • Probably the protagonist of Layer Cake. Probably, as he isn't explicitly dead, but likely would be if he didn't get immediate medical treatment.
  • Mike Enslin in the director's cut of Fourteen Oh Eight
  • Jim Halsey and Lt. Esteridge in the 2007 remake of The Hitcher.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Draco's friend/lackey Goyle is the one to use Fiendfyre and burn himself to death with it, while in the book it was Crabbe. This is because Crabbe's actor got in legal trouble and thus was unable to play in the movie.
    • This happens to several characters, actually: Griphook (massacred along with the rest of the Gringotts staff by Voldemort), Scabior (falls to his doom when the bridge he is standing on blows up), Pius Thicknesse (killed by Voldemort for being annoying), and, it's implied, Lavender Brown (attacked by Fenrir Greyback, may or may not have survived) and Fenrir Greyback (defenestrated by Hermione in turn).
  • Arthur in the 2005 movie of Tom Brown's Schooldays.
  • Marie in The Bourne Supremacy.
  • While Mr. Mushnik was spared in The Little Shop of Horrors, he gets eaten by Audrey II in the musical version. Audrey also didn't die in the original film, but did in the musical (but not the musical film.) In looping back, Audrey II's death closed out the end of the original film, but he lives and takes over the world in the musical, only to be killed at the end again in the musical film adaptation, though in this case Seymour survives whereas in the original death, Audrey II's death came at the cost of his own life as well.
  • Jenny and Mama in Forrest Gump
  • Menelaus in Troy is killed by Hector to save Paris near the start of the siege, while in the original Paris is saved by Aphrodite, and Menelaus actually ends up going home with Helen.
    • Don't forget Ajax the Greater.
  • In Resident Evil Apocalypse, a "Capt. Leon Kennedy" is reported to have been killed in a newspaper.
    • Not only was this a throwaway line from a promotional "newsletter" and wasn't even in the movie proper, but it's obviously going to be Ret Conned away when Leon Kennedy finally, finally makes an appearance in Resident Evil: Retribution.
  • Master and Commander kills off Mr. Allen, Joseph Nagle, and Peter Calamey in the final battle; since there isn't a Final Battle in the Aubrey-Maturin books they all seem to live.
  • Meg Ryan's character in City of Angels - the angel's girlfriend in the film Wings of Desire does not die.
  • Ruby in the 2006 remake of The Hills Have Eyes.
  • The gym teacher, renamed Mrs. Collins, in the first movie version of Carrie.
  • Thanks to the Hays Code, Rhonda in The Bad Seed is struck by lightning at the side of a pond. Her mother, on the other hand, survives.
  • While in the Scott Pilgrim comics, Crash and The Boys help out against third-ex Todd Ingram, they get flash-fried by first-ex Matthew Patel in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
  • In the comic version of Road to Perdition, John Looney is merely sent to prison. In the movie, John Rooney is gunned down by Michael Sullivan Sr.
  • Kronsteen in From Russia with Love, although it's possible his literary counterpart was also executed for his plan's failure.
  • Max Brailovsky in Two Thousand Ten the Year We Make Contact.
  • Helen and Barry both die in I Know What You Did Last Summer, but they survive the book.
  • In Queen of the Damned, Mael and Pandora were both killed, despite being rather important figures in the books (particularly Pandora, who was actually the protagonist of one of the sequels).
  • At the end of My Side of the Mountain, Frightful the hawk gets shot and dies. In the book, she not only lives, but ends up with three sequels focusing on her.
  • LaBoeuf lived through the original novel True Grit, but died pulling Mattie and Cogburn out of the pit in the 1969 movie version. In the 2010 movie version he survives again.
  • Angier in The Prestige; in the book, he actually became immortal.
  • The Ra'zac in Eragon, despite the fact that them surviving is a major plot point in later Inheritance Cycle books.
  • In Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning, it's revealed that Gilbert died while serving as a medical doctor overseas during World War II.
  • Tommy and Warden Norton in The Shawshank Redemption.
  • In Congo, Kahega dies early on, despite being a much more important character in the book, and the survivor from the first expedition the heroes find in a tribal village.
  • Vasili Borodin in The Hunt for Red October.
  • The besiegers in Straw Dogs.
  • The Red King from Alice in Wonderland. It's implied that his wife, the Red Queen (who is the film's Big Bad) killed him prior to the events of the film.
  • Poor old Tufty Thesinger in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
  • Captain Walker in the 1975 adaptation of The Who's Tommy. Also Nora Walker (Tommy's mother) at the end of the film.
  • James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls dies of a drug overdose in the film, while he just disappears in the stage show.
  • Kevin's father Franklin is killed by Kevin in We Need to Talk About Kevin. In the novel, Franklin is the one Eva is writing to.
  • Dr. Copper and Norris survive the events of Who Goes There?. In The Thing, Norris is replaced by the titular monster and Cooper is killed by said duplicate.
  • Irene Adler in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Although, there's some debate about her status in the canon. She's referred to, at the beginning of the one story she appears in, as "the late Irene Adler", but this could simply allude to the fact that she changes her name.
    • At the very least, the way she dies was invented for the movie.
  • Theo Faron from Children of Men.
  • Dracula had a few, which is not surprising when the main story been done so many times and they want to spice it up.
    • In Horror of Dracula Harker stakes the vampire bride but the sun goes down before he can get to Dracula himself and is killed and turned, leaving it to Helsing to stake him.
    • In Dan Curtis's version of Dracula, Harker is caught while trying to escape the castle and thrown into the vampire brides' chambers where they make a meal of him. Not surprisingly near the end of the movie when Helsing and Holmwood are tracking Drac through the castle. They find an undead Harker in the same area. He nearly succeeds in trying to bite Helsing but is knocked into a spike pit by Holmwood and killed for real.
    • In the 1977 Universal movie, Mina trades places with Lucy. Becoming Dracula's first victim, being turned into a vampire, and having to be staked by her father (albeit accidental). Helsing also dies during the final battle against Dracula. He uses his final strength to kill him, however.
  • In the 2011 adaptation of The Whisperer In Darkness, Noyes and George Akeley are killed by the Mi-Go - Noyes when the ritual is disrupted, and George when he tries to deliver the Black Stone to Wilmarth on his father's request. Neither character dies in the original short story: George never leaves San Diego, and Noyes is a Karma Houdini.
  • Anita Vanger in The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo becomes a Posthumous Character in both film versions. Her cousin, Harriet, lives under her name in both of them.


  • Everyone except the protagonist from the book adaptations of the Baldurs Gate games.
  • Chief in the Disney Read-along record/picture book version of The Fox and the Hound (film) (he is simply never seen, heard, or mentioned again after being hit by the train, which implies his death). Interestingly, he died in the original novel as well, making the Disney film the only adaptation where Chief survives.
    • Some tie-in storybooks based on the Disney movies actually changed how the villains are defeated: For example, one out-of-print storybook based on Robin Hood had Prince John, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff of Nottingham all simply disappear after the castle fire at the end, "and were never seen again" is what the book stated of their fates, implying that they were burned alive in that fire; while some storybooks based on The Lion King had Scar simply die after being thrown off a cliff by Simba, despite in the actual movie Scar survived the fall but is instantly killed by his own hyenas on the way down.
  • Barricade in both the novelization and comic book versions of Transformers. In the movie, he simply disappeared without a trace.
    • In the novelization of the 3rd film, Mirage is killed; in the film, he survives.
      • Skids and Mudlap also appear in the novel, apparently so they could get Rescued from the Scrappy Heap without having to appear in the film. They both get killed by Sentinel Prime, just right after he kills Ironhide.
  • There is actually is a pro-hurting educational book out there called Little Jake And The Three Bears that has the titular Little Jake off one of said bears and Bambi's father, because this will totally make kids want to be ethical responsible hunters. As if kids weren't traumatized enough by Bambi's mother's death.

Live-Action Television

  • Professor Baehr in the Little Men TV series
  • The Maenad and Calvin Norris in True Blood
  • Bishop Waleran and Walter in the miniseries of The Pillars of the Earth.
  • While Luthor averts this in the movies, both of his recent live action television incarnations have died. However, after being killed off, Luthor was resurrected in the final episode of Smallville.
  • Unlike Long in Juken Sentai Gekiranger, Dai Shi and Scorch (who each inherited one of his two non-human forms) from Power Rangers Jungle Fury were not immortal and both were destroyed in the finale. Also, Master Mao dies (his counterpart Xia Fu is The Mentor and RJ's counterpart Gou is a standard Sixth Ranger, not a Master) and Masters Guin, Lope, and Rilla were not found in the afterlife in Gekiranger and in fact became recurring characters! Even having Jarrod and Camille Spared by the Adaptation doesn't prevent this from being a rare Power Rangers series to have more deaths than its Super Sentai counterpart. Naturally, you still don't hear the word.
  • The midseason cliffhanger of season 2 of The Walking Dead reveals that Sophia, who's still around in the comics, had been turned into a Walker sometime during the season.
  • Sgt. James Doakes in Dexter dies at the end of the second season. He lives in the rest of the books, but gives up a couple of extremities and his tongue.
    • Brian is Dexter's serial-killer big brother, and the Big Bad of both the first novel and the TV show's first season. In the books, though, he survives and becomes a recurring minor character. No such luck on the small screen.
    • In the novels, Rita has also managed to survive so far.
  • The Sky 1 adaptation of Treasure Island, having subjected Squire Trelawney to Adaptational Villainy, also gives him a Karmic Death, as his Greed leads him to chase the treasure even when Jim throws it overboard.
  • In the second season of Game of Thrones Irri and Pyat Pree are killed off. Both are still alive in the novels, although Pree hasn't been seen since the second book. This is most likely the case with Xaro Xhoan Daxos, last seen being locked in an impenetrable vault with no means of escape.


  • At least two reimaginings of Peter and The Wolf do this:
    • The Duck in Weird Al Yankovic's version. The original Russian folktale and most of its adaptations (including the Disney version) had the Duck survive the fight against the Wolf.
    • The hunters in Neil Torbin's version, Peter and the Werewolf.


  • Audrey survived The Little Shop of Horrors. Though she was less of a flat character in the Broadway musical, she also died. She was Spared by the Adaptation in the film musical, though.
  • A notable staging of The Merchant of Venice had Shylock stab himself before exiting the court scene.
  • In As You Like It, Orlando comes to Arden with his Old Retainer, Adam, who's elderly, starving and close to death. Searching for food, Orlando stumbles upon the banished Duke Senior, who's feasting with his lords. The Duke, who was a great friend of Orlando's father, immediately sends Orlando to bring Adam to the table and feed him. However, Adam is conspicuously absent for the rest of the play, which has led some directors to imply that he died anyway. The 1996 RSC production went so far as to show a grave covered in flowers. Whether or not Shakespeare actually intended Adam's death, killing him off would be a case of this trope, since As You Like It is itself an adaptation of Thomas Lodge's novella Rosalynde, in which Adam lived to the end.
  • Schaunard, the musician, survives to the end of La Boheme. His counterpart in Rent, Angel Dumott Schunard, does not.

Video Games

  • Interesting case with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. When the game was ported to PS2, the original ending was changed into one where Hanyuu gets Killed Off for Real. Other adaptations used the original ending. Curiously, the author claims that the PlayStation 2 ending is the "True" ending while the "normal" ending is the "Good" ending.
    • This is probably because traditional, route-based Visual Novels frequently have two endings to each route (aside from bad ends). The True ending is typically bittersweet, while the Good ending ensures everyone lives happily ever after. It's not to do with one being canon, as the PlayStation 2 ending certainly isn't.
  • The Coachman in the video game version of Pinocchio, and ONLY in the video game version. In the movie, he was a Karma Houdini.
  • Speaking of Disney, the Evil Stepmother and Stepsisters in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep.

Web Original

  • Captain Ginyu in Dragon Ball Abridged. In the source material, Vegeta considers stepping on him after he ends up in a frog's body, but relents. In the abridged series? "Psyche! Eight for eight!" SQUISH.
    • Icarus, Gohan's pet dragon from the movies / filler, suffers this in the Lord Slug movie. When Slug causes planet-wide winter, Chi-Chi cooks him.

Western Animation

  • Dan Turpin in Superman: The Animated Series.
  • Red Torpedo and Red Volcano in Young Justice.
  • Both Tom Sawyer (Bart Simpson) and Huckleberry Finn (Nelson Muntz) in The Simpsons version of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer. Their version ends with both Tom and Huck jumping into a river as an attempt to escape a mob of angry townsfolk, but they both drown in the process. A funeral is held for them, where at first we see both Tom and Huck hiding in the rafters of the church said funeral is held in, as if they had survived and faked their deaths like in the original story, but then it is revealed that they both actually died when it was time for "the lowering of the bodies into the coffins."

Examples of the second type

Anime and Manga

  • In the Bokurano anime, the order of the main character's deaths were altered and some (such as Koyemeshi) ended up dying well before their original time of death.
  • Gorobei in Samurai Seven
    • It could be argued that Gorobei dies around the same time as in the original movie. The "sooner" part comes here because it was before Heihachi.
  • Chrono Crusade has an additional four characters that fall under this category:
    • In the anime, Steiner (Satella's butler) is killed at the carnival when he tries to protect Azmaria. In the manga we don't see him again after Satella leaves (alone) to go to Pandaemonium, but he's implied to survive the events of the final battle (since he was keeping a photo safe that another character is later seen with). Since the epilogue is set in the 1990s and he was an old man in the 1920s he's obviously dead by then, but we never see him die on screen.
    • The anime version has Rosette die when she's about 16, only a few months after the final battle. The manga epilogue says that Rosette lived until she was 23, about 7 or 8 years after the final battle.
    • In the manga, Viede and Genai survive until the final battle. The anime has both of them killed before Aion rolls out his final plans.
  • Uzume in Sekirei
  • In Macross, Roy Focker dies at the mid-point of the series, just after the Macross reaches Earth. In the film, he dies before the Macross reaches Earth, battling Quamzin Kravesha [1] aboard Vrlitwhai's ship. Also, Hayato, who dies in series just after Roy, is killed off ingloriously near the beginning.

Film (Live Action)

  • Gríma Wormtongue and Saruman in the extended cut of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, since the Scouring of the Shire, where they die in the books, was cut. In the theatrical cut, they don't die at all... although they remain locked in a tower and their fate is ambiguous.
  • Agamemnon in the Troy is killed by Briseis during the final battle in the Trojan War, whereas in the original mythology he survives. He returns home, and is murdered by his wife ... thus setting off the events of The Oresteia.
  • Gennaro from the Jurassic Park is arguably an example of Type II as well, as although he has the name of a character who survived in the book, his characterization and role are much closer to Jerkass PR guy Ed Regis, a character "removed" from the film. Said character died in the book as well, but a bit later—after the dinosaurs get out, he's caught off-guard and killed by the baby T-Rex, which was entirely removed from the film version.
    • John Hammond and Ian Malcolm are both killed in the novel. Ian's survival is retconned into the second novel, but Hammond survives only in the films.
  • Norman and Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man films.
  • The Gemini Killer's father in The Exorcist III. Oddly enough, his death in the novel causes the killer to lose his motivation to murder. In the movie, his death does the opposite; The Gemini kills his father and then becomes a serial killer so he can (figuratively) continue to kill his father forever.
  • Boris in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is knocked off in Istanbul instead of after being recalled to Russia. Conversely, Irina survives much longer just so Karla can shoot her in front of Jim Prideaux.
    • Jim Prideaux himself has - well, possibly the opposite of this version of the trope. It's implied at the beginning, and right up to the somewhere around the middle of the film that the shooting during the botched operation in Budapest left him dead. We then find out that he survived, to be tortured and interrogated by the Russians, and eventually returned to England. This is played more as a plot-point than in the book where it's more generally known, not least by the reader that he survived. Smiley discovering the truth of his fate in the film is the first big confirmation of his suspicions of who the mole is.
  • John Barton in Looking for Alibrandi, though not by much. The book death occurs in the second half, while the movie death occurs halfway through.
  • Most adaptations of The Three Musketeers will have the Comte de Rochefort die at some point, though he survived the book and died in its sequel Twenty Years After.

Live Action Television

  • Band of Brothers has a Did Not Do the Research case with Albert Blithe, who is shot in the neck and said to have never recovered, and died a few years later. After the episode aired, his relatives revealed that he was actually hit in the shoulder and did recover, going on to serve in Korea and attain the rank of Master Sergeant before dying of peritonitis in 1967.
  • Frank Herbert's Dune: Thufir Hawat, while not explicitly said to have died, is notably absent after the attack on Arrakeen. This is much earlier than in the novel, where dies close to the end.
  • In the second season of Game of Thrones, Ser Rodrik Cassel dies much earlier than he does in the book, at the hands of Theon Greyjoy instead of those of Ramsay Snow.

Video Games

  • In the Nintendo Wii Golden Eye Wii, Zukovsky is killed less than a minute after Bond meets him, instead of living until The World is Not Enough like he does in the films.

Western Animation

  • Commander Zog from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the turtles' Triceraton ally in the original comics is sliced to pieces by the three mutant Shredder clones. In the second cartoon, he is mortally wounded by a stab to the stomach from Shredder and dies in the collapsing lair, taking Shredder with him.
  • Ferro Lad in Legion of Super Heroes was around for only three episodes before his Heroic Sacrifice, staying behind to destroy the Sun-Eater machine. In the comics, he was around for about two years before this event and his character was more fleshed out.
  • Dr. Fate/Kent Nelson in Young Justice. He just can't catch a break!
  1. Who himself is an example, as he dies in series during the finale