23 most shocking and devastating character deaths in 2023

As 2023 waves us a fond farewell, it's that time again to cozy up with a cup of your beverage of choice and reminisce about the year's cinematic and televisual rollercoasters.
The Last of Us. Photograph by Shane Harvey/HBO.
The Last of Us. Photograph by Shane Harvey/HBO. /
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8) Vex in Vox Machina

The Legend of Vox Machina. Courtesy of Amazon Studios /

Vex'ahlia, often called Vex, from The Legend of Vox Machina — the amazing animated adaptation of Critical Role's live D&D campaign of the same name — left us (for a split second) with an absolutely heart-wrenching goodbye. You know, it's not every day that a character manages to sneak into our hearts the way Vex did, with her sharp wit, fearless archery skills, and that unbreakable bond with her twin brother, Vax, not to mention Laura Bailey's excellent voice-over performance.

Her journey was nothing short of epic, filled with dragons, danger, and deep, deep emotions. So, when she met her temporary but untimely end, it freaking hurt. Her twin brother Vax's reaction and the flashback to their younger days are what killed me.

You could feel the shockwaves through the whole Vox Machina gang; their tears were our tears. It wasn't just the way she died that got us, but all those little moments leading up to it, her dreams, her battles, her story... all of it made that brief moment before she's revived by the Raven Queen feel so intensely personal. It's that kind of loss that sticks with you, making you hug your loved ones a little tighter, knowing just how precious every adventure, every laugh, every second is.

If you thought her quick death in the show was painful, you should watch the actual death scene in the live-streamed campaign and every one of their reactions to it. Laura Bailey's reaction of pure horror is painfully beautiful — as is everybody else's.