Why do we cry when a fictional character in a story dies?

Yesterday I read on why do people cry when a character in a work of fiction like a book, movie, television show and fan fiction dies, why does the viewer of the show cry along with them?

I do remember the reaction of Lois Lane in the animated movie “All Star Superman” when Superman had to leave Earth to “repair the sun” or else all life in Earth where he promised to be their strongman, was turning into an energy being.

Lois was crying since the one super hero that cared for her had to leave Metropolis to save the world. I did not cry when Lois did seeing the cartoon on DVD but I did wonder who would be the guardian of Metropolis after Superman left to repair the sun?

Another story of a character death was in animated movie “Doomsday Superman” when Superman was beateh to death by Doomsday in a battle where both characters died. Lois Lane as well as Martha Kent who is Superman’s foster mother cried when Superman died.

In the case of Lois Lane she was an eyewitness to Superman;s death while Martha watched her foster son die by watching television.

However since Superman is an alien from Krypton and the source of his powers is the yellow sun, Superman could not be dead forever since the laws of Earth does not apply to aliens.

In reality super hero icons like Superman cannot be dead forever since comic book writers would be facing the wrath of the fans of the super hero characters and villains for killing off their favorite character.

I think we cry when our favorite character dies is because the character whether he or she is a hero or villain is kind of like a close relative to us either as a parental figure or a sibling even though they are created out of pencil and paper by their creators who use their life experiences to share that character with us.


What do you think?

15 Points

Written by Deepizzaguy

Satire writer, loves WordGirl cartoons, baseball fan and an old school hero fan.


  1. The best literary characters become a part of us and draw us in. I think that’s what made the Harry Potter series such an emotional rollercoaster because so many loveable characters die before Voldemort gets his due.

    • You are correct PauPallazola since the reason I can relate to Rocky Balboa is that he advised his son Robert Junior in “Rocky Balboa” to “keep moving forward” in pursuing his desires.

  2. Very interesting topic indeed. This made me think of that joke that we actually feel even more emotional when an animal dies in a story.

    • I know you feel since actor Sylvester Stallone admitted in interviews for his Rocky Balboa movies he was hit hard by his opponent and not a fake fight.

  3. A strong emotional attachment to someone will produce strong emotional reactions, even if we don’t have a close personal relationship with the individual in question

    • I know what you mean since I did try to walk in the shoes of Lois Lane when her best friend died in the two animated movies that I mentioned in this blog.

    • For example in “Rocky III” when Rocky’s trainer Mickey dies from a heart attack, I felt Rocky’s pain since he not only lost his heavyweight boxing championship but his mentor as well.