Content Warning! This list contains spoilers for The Boys season 3.
This list also contains sensitive content including mentions of suicide and sexual assault.
With The Boys season 3 coming to an epic and classically gruesome conclusion, Karl Urban has already teased that filming for season 4 will start this summer. The show created a reputation that set itself apart from the other superhero universes (Marvel and DC), not only in the tone, subject matter, and sociopolitical engagement but also in its characteristic approach to violence – particularly the deaths.
The season 3 finale didn’t have many shocking deaths compared to the previous two, but that doesn’t diminish the superhero show from having some of the most shocking deaths, which range from their gore, tragedy, and spontaneity. From Robin to Popclaw, there have been hundreds of deaths over the twenty-four episodes. The majority are just collateral damage – innocents stuck in the middle of superheros’ recklessness, rage, and cruelty – while others are important and emotionally resonant.
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10 Naqib And His Team
The first deaths of the season really set the pace for what’s to follow. The bar was already set exceptionally high in season 1, but season 2 delivers just as well. It led off with Black Noir infiltrating a terrorist camp and brutally murdering the inhabitants. One man has his head bisected with Black Noir ripping through his mouth to break him in two.
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It all led to an explosively powerful supe named Naqib, who was too weak to stop Black Noir. It was naturally predictable, but Naqib’s decapitated head was still quite a stark sight. What Black Noir did next though is what makes him so weird, and scary. While still holding his head, he tried to play with the child’s stuffed bunny to cheer them up.
Over three seasons, A-Train has a sort of evolution, and going into season four, they might set him up for a redemption arc. However, many would say he’s not deserving of it because he’s done some horrible things, especially during the first season when he killed Popclaw. She was his former teammate on Teenage Kix and later his secret girlfriend.
Popclaw was also involved in one of the show’s most heinous deaths when she accidentally kills her landlord during sex. She has suffered from a damaged reputation, and A-Train was so insecure about this, especially in the eyes of Homelander. When he saw her as a liability, he murdered her by giving her a heroin overdose. The emotional weight behind the death is what earns its spot. He’s tried to redeem himself over the following seasons, but A-Train remains as the most low-key villain.
8 Susan Raynor
Along with the public menace of Homelander and Stormfront during season 2, The Boys also had to contend with the mysterious head-popper. The first victim was CIA Deputy Director Susan Raynor, played by Jennifer Esposito. She was a steady ally for The Boys and Butcher during the first season, so fans were expecting the same relationship during season 2.
Her murder was utterly surprising and horrific, and audiences didn’t know who was behind it until the season finale – revealing Victoria Neuman to be the villainous head-popper. It’s interesting to contemplate if Raynor knew about Victoria. With all the resources available to them and her special interest in Vought, she could’ve dug up something that linked Victoria with Stan Edgar and thus her mission. Perhaps, that’s what she was thinking right before her head exploded.
Shawn Ashmore is no stranger to being a superhero having played Iceman throughout the X-Men films. In The Boys season 2, he goes the complete opposite, playing the pyrokinetic and evil Lamplighter. He was a former and mysterious member of the Seven, preceding Starlight. Lamplighter was demoted from the team and became an orderly at Sage Grove Center, helping further Vought’s dastardly plans.
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It was also revealed that in the past he was blackmailed into becoming a mole for Grace Mallory, and in retaliation, he burned down her house, which also killed her grandchildren. He shows remorse for his actions, and it seems like he is genuinely teaming up with The Boys, but in the end, he just wanted a way back into The Seven’s headquarters. Both Hughie and viewers watched in horror as he burned himself alive, thus preventing himself from speaking against Vought in the upcoming congressional hearing.
6 Becca Butcher
Butcher’s main motivation throughout season 1 was to discover what happened to his wife, Becca, after she disappeared in 2012. It is revealed as the season progresses that Homelander raped her, which is tragically just one of the many insanely terrible things he’s done. It’s heavily implied that she died, but in actuality, Madelyn Sitwell arranged for her disappearance, so she could raise Ryan away from prying eyes.
She was featured then as a recurring character throughout season 2, but during the finale, she was accidentally killed by Ryan when he was trying to stop Stormfront from killing her. It is by far the most tragic death in the series thus far. Fans think the good guys finally got a win, and Stormfront will die, but then they see Becca’s neck, and those feelings are quickly gone.
5 Congress Hearing Victims
The Boys is all about playing with people’s expectations, and throughout season 2, they really make audiences think this time Homelander and Vought will finally lose. Victoria Neuman is seen as one of the good politicians, working to make a difference in the world, so when heads start exploding at the congressional hearing, they’re understandably nervous that she could be the next victim of the head-popper.
At first watch, this is utterly haunting and terrifying to watch – a literal bloodbath. In retrospect, now knowing Victoria is the culprit, this moment is pure genius and perfectly exemplifies the best of The Boys. The transformation from suspected hero to pure antagonist is thrilling to watch, especially going into season 4 with Victoria now running for Vice President.
The Deep, played by Chace Crawford, is often presented as the fool of the Seven – just look at these memes for proof. He might not be as pure evil and maniacal as Homelander, but he’s still done some incredibly horrible things. The only thing close to being redeemable is his care for his aquatic brethren. In season 3, this included his friendship with Timothy the octopus.
Unfortunately, this culminates in Homelander forcing the Deep to eat Timothy alive during a dinner with Ashley and his now ex-wife, Cassandra. Timothy was an innocent character killed off to show Homelander’s cruelty and The Deep’s cowardice. It was horrific to watch him slurp down his friend, which was made all the worse when he said that Timothy is crying. Thankfully, it was all CGI, and no octopuses were actually harmed in making The Boys.
Fans unfamiliar with the source material had no idea what to expect from The Boys, but they didn’t have to wait long to learn. Robin’s death after A-Train literally ran threw her – leaving Hughie still holding her dismembered hand – is still the perfect encapsulation of what kind of show The Boys is. Fans were left just as silent as the screen as they slowly watched in horror as the blood smears across Hughie’s unaware face.
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This is what helped audiences understand how death – especially bloody, gory deaths – would be treated as commonplace throughout the show. After seeing the many other gruesome ways people have died in The Boys, there is really nothing like Robin’s.
2 Madelyn Sitwell
Season 1’s finale continued the work that Robin’s death began in the pilot episode, establishing that really no one is safe in this world. Fans spent an entire season watching Elisabeth Shue shine as Vought VP Madelyn Sitwell. Even after all that death, they weren’t expecting to lose her – at least not like she went out, murdered by Homelander burning through her skull with his eye-lasers.
It was an incredibly shocking way to end the season and made all the better by the stellar work Shue did throughout the season in developing her character as an essential figure in the landscape of the show. It was also horrific since Madelyn was raising a newborn son, Teddy. Luckily, he survived and was seen again in season 3 – now at the Red River Institute with active teleportation powers.
1 Termite’s Partner
In terms of the first kill of the season, it seemed impossible to dethrone Robin’s death, but season 3 found a way to do it, creating not only the most utterly shocking death in The Boys but in perhaps TV history. It’s no wonder it was being tweeted about like crazy by fans all over the world. The writers introduced Termite, a supe with size-changing abilities, and took from the theory about Ant-Man killing Thanos inside him, but with a classic The Boys flair.
Fans knew to expect some crazy things from The Boys, but nothing like this. Termite sneezing and destroying his unnamed partner from the inside was an epically outrageous way to begin the season. Every death yet to come will be compared to this moment, and the writers for season 4 have a difficult road ahead of them, trying to top it.
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NEXT: The Boys: 10 Best Twitter Reactions To The Season 3 Finale
The Boys: 10 Best Character Arcs In Season 3
About The Author
(125 Articles Published)
Bradley Prom is a senior writer and alumna of University of Minnesota – Twin Cities currently living in Los Angeles with a deep love and appreciation for the movies, television shows, video games, books, and stories that have inspired and provoked him throughout his life. He grew up on Star Wars, Justice League, Jurassic Park, Pokémon, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and Avatar the Last Airbender – to name a few or seven. Now inn adulthood, his passions and tastes have evolved to include other fantastical tales, reality tv, and comedy. He enjoys engaging with fellow fans through theorizing, instant reactions online, and different deep-diving podcasts.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Bradley has a great appreciation for queerness in all forms throughout all facets of entertainment and modern culture. He hopes in developing his own stories and shows, he will help see such representation grow and evolve beyond boxes to check.
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