We all grieve when the protagonist of a novel dies, but how about when we mourn over characters who aren’t as prominent? They might be the friends, mentors, peers, and family members who share the spotlight at times but who either peripheral to the main action or because of other circumstances drift apart from the storyline at some point along the way, due to their untimely ends. From the unexpected deaths to the horribly slow ones, we offer you ten secondary characters who passed too soon but who will not be forgotten.
Helen Burns from Jane Eyre
“By dying young, I shall escape great sufferings.”
After Jane awoke, she realized that graceful and studious Helen had died in her sleep during the night, with Jane’s arms still clasped around her neck. There’s a beautiful scene right before Helen passes where Jane questions her friend about the afterlife; Helen’s conviction of her place in Heaven is a comfort to her beloved schoolmate, as they each whisper to each other “goodnight” for the last time. We can guarantee that this passage has been making good-hearted, Victorian-loving girls swoon for years.