Characters Coming Back from the Dead: Miracle or Cinema’s Favorite Trick?

There are a lot of complaints from the movie and TV critics regarding entertainment industry’s passion for resurrecting characters it just killed a few moments ago. Just as Kyle Buchanan was saying in an article on Vulture

Give it a little time, and that superhero will be back in battling form, resurrected by cloning, or a twin, or a reboot.

And he is right, as it seems that some fictional characters coming back from the dead make still the easiest trick when movie makers either want to keep us chained to our chairs for a whole franchise to get displayed before our eyes, or the popular request is so pressing, that they just have to find a trick to turn a dead character into an alive one.

From this point of view, George R.R. Martin, known for pleasurably killing his characters at will, managed to make them stay dead (with a few exceptions, but no spoilers, people!) despite millions of readers or TV show Game of Thrones viewers who almost rioted. And are still rioting once 2 chapters.

But going back to the trick of making fictional figures come to life after an apparent (or downright real demise), Brian from Family Guy is, of course, alive and kicking, while history of movie making (including TV – and why not be honest, literature as well) managed to score some pretty neat tricks when resurrecting some people. So let’s go back in time a little and see  a few characters coming back from the dead in almost miraculous ways.

1. Bobby Ewing

bobby ewing

Off course you remember Dallas and of course you remember Booby was killed at some point and was AWOL for an entire year, only to conveniently show up fresh and good looking from the shower, because hey, it was Pamela who dreamed an entire season. He was not dead at all, of course, just that his wife had some serious sleeping disorders.

2. Fox “I Want to Believe” Mulder

fox mulder

One of the most famous characters coming back from the dead in the 1990 – 2000 era is, unquestionably, Fox Mulder. The characters in the X Files happened to die, be killed, experience comas, be exposed to deadly viruses and generally living near-death experiences and surviving them with a frequency that would have made even Highlander jealous. But one time, Mulder gets abducted by aliens, left back on Earth for dead, buried and brought to life. He did leave the show eventually, but hey, the fans weren’t still ready to let go. Of course, aliens were involved one way or the other in his resurrection. And Scully’s medical skills, of course.

3. Loki as the absolute character coming back from the dead


If you didn’t see Thor: The Dark World yet, this is going to be a spoiler, so skip it if you don’t want to know any more details. So Loki is kind of the villain of the year 2013. And sometimes in the middle of the movie, puff! He dies. Now, we bet that all ladies in all cinemas in all corners of the world had the same reaction Dana Scully had in 2000: “This is not happening!” It didn’t happen, relax! Loki is fine and dandy and he probably gets ready to set up a plot and a scheme even more vicious to take over the world. How did he got back to life? Who cares, he’s Loki, he can do whatever the * he wants!

4. Gandalf


In a supreme sacrifice act, Gandalf fights the demon and, naturally, gets killed, only to come back bigger, better, faster, more, and with a new set of clean clothes, to take everybody by surprise and make them believe in magic. Nobody questioned Gandalf’s death, as it was probably the less plausible. James Bond returned from the dead once and since you can’t have a James Bond series without the 007, you can’t have any LOTR universe without Gandalf in it.

5. R – Coming back from the dead dead

Warm Bodies

What can be more dead than a zombie? Probably the corpses smart enough to stay six feet under and not get out there to find food only to get butchered by other fictional characters. Whatever. R – from the movie Warm Bodies is not totally dead, not totally alive and not a total zombie. So he was the perfect recipient to receive a strong injection of love to make his heart pump and his soul shine once again. Classic love stories have nothing on this one!

So these are only five characters coming back from the dead. We didn’t mention Batman, Spock or other “celebs” because you already know about them. These you may have forgot or skipped when you made the list with “movies with resurrected characters to watch.”

Leave a Reply