Ah, plot twists. Whether you love or hate them, they’re absolutely necessary for moving stories forward, and the best twists are the ones you never see coming. Here is a list of nine times we were totally blindsided:
Warning: Spoilers ahead
1. Darth Vader’s Reveal in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’
Audiences were stunned in May 1980 when the follow-up to “A New Hope” unveiled its biggest secret: the evil Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father! Although it’s now common knowledge, theatre audiences during that first run were reportedly so stunned that many refused to believe it and thought Vader was lying to Luke to tempt him to the Dark Side. However, the reveal turned out to be true, and the public had to face facts.
If you want to witness pure shock and horror, look no further than YouTube videos in which parents film their kids getting this news for the first time.
2. Crowley’s Death on ‘Supernatural’
During his time on “Supernatural,” Crowley went back and forth between being an antihero and an adversary. Fans loved him (or loved to hate him) as he went through his many transformations, including guiding Dean through the process of becoming a demon (Deanmon!) until he was finally cured. Crowley was a fan-favorite, but the show’s large and devoted audience was stunned after Crowley committed suicide with an angel blade to seal Satan an alternate reality.
However, as fans are well aware, death on “Supernatural” can be temporary, and the Twitterverse hoped they’d not seen the last of the beloved king of Hell. Nevertheless, Mark Sheppard (who plays Crowley) tweeted after the episode that there are “no plans for me to return at any juncture.”
3. The Red Wedding on ‘Game of Thrones’
You knew this one was coming if you read the “Game of Thrones” books first, but if you were strictly a viewer, the night of June 2, 2013 probably left you traumatized. In the episode titled “The Rains of Castamere,” Robb Stark and his party arrive at the home of Walder Frey, whom he has insulted by marrying Talisa instead of honoring his agreement to marry one of Frey’s daughters. After an uncomfortable first meeting in which Robb publicly apologizes, old Walder seems placated enough, and Robb’s cousin Edmure agrees to marry Frey’s daughter instead (after much complaining in private). There’s a wedding, Edmure’s bride is actually pretty hot and all’s well that ends well, right? Nope!
After Edmure and his new bride are wedded and bedded, Robb and his newly pregnant wife are left at the party along with his mother. The celebration is beginning to wind down when the band starts playing “The Rains of Castamere,” a song that was written about the Lannisters completely wiping out a rival house. Suddenly, Catelyn Stark becomes very uncomfortable as she turns to see the doors being locked shut and finds chainmail under Roose Bolton’s wedding clothes. She slaps him and screams a warning to her son but it’s too late — the stabbing has already begun. The King of the North is dead, along with his mother, wife and dire wolf. The screen turns black, and the credits roll.
Luckily, book readers were clever enough to set up cameras at their “Game of Thrones” parties so they could catch the reactions of their poor, unsuspecting friends. Relive the moment, if you dare!
4. Bernard’s Secret Revealed on ‘Westworld’
Bernard is a dedicated employee of Delos Inc., a company that specializes in creating fictitious worlds populated by robotic hosts. If you are among the wealthy and elite, you can pay a large sum to vacation in those worlds while interacting with the hosts as you please. This can include anything from a simple conversation to outright murder because, after all, they’re not real.
As most of us do, Bernard has his skeletons. He’s involved in a clandestine affair with his coworker and is coping with the death of his young son from a lengthy illness. Bernard has his faults. He’s only human, right? Wrong! Bernard is not human at all.
As it turns out, he was created in secret by Dr. Ford as a replication of his long-dead partner. Nobody else knows Bernard is not human, making him the perfect tool to do Ford’s dirty work. This revelation is a surprise to Bernard himself and was a shocking plot twist in a show that has no shortage of surprises.
5. William’s Secret Revealed on ‘Westworld’
We first meet William when he’s being taken reluctantly to Westworld by his arrogant soon-to-be brother-in-law. There, he meets beautiful host Dolores and begins to see her as real despite the fact she is one of the park’s many robots.
During this time, we also meet up with a character simply known as the Man in Black. After coming to the park for 30 years, he is looking for “the maze” and while he knows Dolores, he is violent and cruel toward her.
However, we come to find out that the man and William are really the same person and all the scenes featuring young William actually happened 30 years prior.
6. Bruce Willis Is Already Dead in ‘The Sixth Sense’
This is one of the most well-known plot twists in movie history. Everyone remembers Haley Joel Osment’s line about seeing dead people, and audiences were shocked when the child therapist he’d been talking to in order to cope turned out to be dead himself.
If you watch the film again, you’ll see that the only character who really interacts with Willis is Osment. He speaks to others, but they never answer back. It all feels a little odd until we realize they aren’t talking to him simply because they can’t see him. He’s been a ghost all along.
7. Poussey’s Death on ‘Orange Is The New Black’
A model inmate at Litchfield, Poussey Washington was serving time for a nonviolent offense when she ended up under the knee of Officer Bayley as he tried to hold back Suzanne during a meltdown. Poussey’s sweet nature was ultimately her undoing as she was only trying to get Bayley to let her talk to Suzanne to calm her down. It took just a few moments for things to go wrong as Poussey ended up being accidentally asphyxiated.
Fans were heartbroken even more when her body was left on the floor of the cafeteria until the next day. It was the ultimate degradation for character viewers had gotten to know as smart, talented and funny. Poussey’s exit from the show was a total surprise and totally gutted fans.
8. Jason’s Revelation on ‘The Good Place’
In this show, terrible person Eleanor Shellstrop has somehow ended up in “The Good Place” after she dies. She is quite relieved to be there until she realizes she’s accidentally taken someone else’s place due to a clerical error.
After confiding in her ethics professor Chidi, they conspire to keep the truth from everyone and decide to have Eleanor learn about ethics in hopes she can earn her spot in The Good Place.
Things are going well until one night, a note is slipped under her door that says, “I know you don’t belong here.” A few days later, she receives another note asking to meet in town. When she gets there, she’s greeted by her neighbor, a monk named Jianyu who has taken a vow of silence. Except, Jianyu is not a monk at all. He’s an idiotic criminal from Jacksonville, Florida, named Jason Mendoza — and he isn’t supposed to be there either.
There is another plot twist at the end of the first season, but we’ll let you discover that one on your own.
9. Viserion’s Death and Rebirth on ‘Game of Thrones’
There were actually two shocking plot twists in this episode, as Daenerys decides to fly off to help Jon and the others when they’re being attacked by White Walkers. When she gets there, it looks like the dragons will easily take care of things as they usually do. However, it turns out that the Night King is actually a pretty skilled javelin thrower, and mid-battle, he sends an ice spear soaring and pierces Viserion in the heart. His body lands with a crash and sinks through the ice into the freezing water below.
It seems like the end for our beloved dragon, but after a trip to Home Depot to get some industrial chains and scuba gear, the White Walkers pull Viserion up from the murky deep. He’s resurrected with a touch of the Night King’s icy hand, his eyelid opens to reveal a crystal blue eye and an ice dragon is born!