Can Tolkien beat G.R.R. Martin in the number of character deaths?
Just to pass the time, I decided to mark every page where the death of a named character occurs in The Silmarillion (excluding Akallabêth and Of The Rings of Power).
This was inspired by a hilarious image circulating the internet which compares J.K. Rowling’s and G.R.R. Martin’s own character deaths in their stories.
Whilst the creator of A Song of Ice and Fire series is impressive, and is often known for his ruthlessness against his own creations, can Tolkien claim the title of most character deaths in a fantasy world?
I post a picture of my results …
In just over 200 pages, I counted a total of 52 named characters who met an untimely death in The Silmarillion (though I am sure there are more). Most of these were killed by friends, foes or else took their own lives. The majority are Elves and Men, both major and minor characters (including men, women, young and old).
Without going into unnecessary spoilers for the uninitiated, there is a significant spike in the mortality rate particularly in Chapter 20 ‘Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad’ and Chapter 21 ‘Of Túrin Turambar’, where deaths seem to come pretty thick and fast.
Aaaaaaand on that point, I think it’s time to conclude this slightly morbid post.
Until next time!