In Memoriam

Ned at Baelor in Game of Thrones

So many people have died on Game of Thrones that keeping track of them is quite the undertaking. It’s such a pervasive element of the show (and the books upon which the show is based) that we’ve even resorted to gambling about when characters will die while blogging previous seasons. And with the upcoming fourth season’s tagline of “All Men Must Die,” the marketeers as HBO are assuring us that these next 10 hours of thrones will be the bloodiest and most unpredictable yet. Which is all the reason we need to take a pause and remember fondly those who have died. HBO did this with their Beautiful Death art project, which wraps up this weekend just in time for the season 4 premiere. We are doing it with our own Oscar ceremony style In Memoriam tribute, which can be seen below. But first, we’d like to take a moment to rank the five most important deaths — those that had the greatest to do with moving the show’s narrative forward.

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In Memoriam Oscars 2014

It’s a long-established fact that the annual Oscars “In Memoriam” segment will not make everyone happy – in fact, it won’t even come close to making even a majority of people happy, but damn if the Academy didn’t really try this year. We’ve already explored how one goes about making it into the segment (step one: die, step two: campaign), but even with that seemingly foolproof plan, plenty of worthy and notable talents were missing from this year’s bit. Sure, the overall look and feel of the segment was of far higher quality than it has been in years past, as nearly ever single person who was included got both a lovely still picture and a slice of accompanying video (you may remember previous years, when some faces only got a picture while others got a whole chunk of video, a choice that could be chalked up to actually available assets, but which also seemed weird and disjointed, while this year’s picture-only picks still looked good and fit with the overall structure), and the entire thing got to play without Bettle Midler tearfully scream-singing “The Wind Beneath My Wings” (which was mercifully saved until after the video played), but still there were plenty of people left off the list. Take a look at the segment after the break, and see if you can pick out its most glaring omissions.

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Oscars

No matter how boisterous and feel-good an Academy Awards show can be (and, given that the Oscars pour out significantly less booze during the show than other big time events like, say, the Golden Globes, things don’t often get too boisterous, but just boisterous enough, classy boisterous), one portion of the telecast is always guaranteed to bring the audience, both there and at home, to some serious sniffles. The “In Memoriam” segment is always a must-watch portion of the show, even if its biggest draw isn’t always a desire to honor the deceased talents of Hollywood, it’s to see who leads off and ends the piece, who was left off, and who you totally forgot passed away this year. But how does one actually land on the list? Not surprisingly, it involves a paper trail, voting, and plenty of hurt feelings.

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Anthony Minghella

The eloquent writer/producer and director died Tuesday from a hemorrhage following surgery. He was 54 years old.

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published: 10.30.2014
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published: 10.29.2014
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published: 10.27.2014
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published: 10.24.2014
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