Why Charlie Died….According to Lindelof (Lost Producer)


Not Penny’s BoatThere is an article over on YahooTV with an interview of Damon Lindelof, and the brunt of the conversation turns to “Why Charlie had to die!” Here’s the interesting part regarding Charlie:

You’re a bastard for killing Charlie

Lindelof: [Laughs.] True.

Can we talk about that? ‘Cause, oh my god, you killed Charlie, and we fans need to know why.

Lindelof: Yes, of course. Dominic, Carlton and I, and all the writers, really felt that when Charlie threw his Virgin Mary statues into the water last year, that was the end of his addiction arc. We weren’t interested in revisiting it and having him bounce between being drunk and being sober, so we began to really struggle with the idea of what was Charlie to play now. How was he going to evolve as a character?

Lindelof:At the very same time, we were starting to think about what the effect of the second season finale was going to be, with Desmond turning the fail-safe key. And we didn’t want to kill off Desmond, but because this fail-safe key existed as sort of a last resort, we wanted there to be really severe ramifications for Desmond turning it. We didn’t want him to get a free pass. And we felt that it would be cool if it involved time travel in some way. But instead of doing sort of a traditional time travel and creating paradoxes and all that stuff, we just did [the episode] “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” When that experience ended, we wanted him to be able to see the future, and we thought it would be cool if [his visions] always kind of related to Charlie and Charlie’s death, as opposed to seeing 50 different things. That way, he would struggle all season with the idea of whether or not Charlie’s death was inevitable.

Why Charlie?

Lindelof: We felt that would be a really interesting story for Desmond. But the way it would affect Charlie excited us even more. We thought it would make Charlie enormously heroic. He is a character who I think the audience has really liked, and he has, during the course of the show, demonstrated real heroism. Like when he killed Ethan for example. At the end of season two, we realized that if there was any character on the show who would sacrifice their life so that everyone else could be rescued, that would be Charlie. What we hadn’t decided though, was whether or not Charlie was actually going to die.

So, when did you actually decide to kill him?

Lindelof: Over the course of the year, we began to execute the story, and it was really working. I mean we just loved writing for Charlie. He had this whole new thing to play, and we loved how Dominic was working with Ian [Cusick]. Even with Hurley’s more light-hearted story, Charlie’s impending death gave it real gravitas. It was just a great storyline, and we were thinking, Is there a way for us to have our cake and eat it too? Can we continue prophesying Charlie’s death but not actually have him die, just have him willing to die? But we kind of got to the point—I guess it was during the writing of “The Brig”—where we were all just talking in the writers room and we realized it’s a cheat if he lives. It wouldn’t be fair, because we’ve made such a big story point out of it that Charlie now has to die. If he is going to accept his death, then he has to die. Otherwise, it’s like, why did we do this story at all? We can’t just let him off the hook. He has to die.

How did you break the news to Dominic?

Lindelof: You know, obviously, we started talking to him before we wrote “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” just so he would know what was coming. We told him that as soon as we knew definitively what Charlie’s fate was going to be, he’d be the first to know. And when we made the final decision, we called him and had a very reasonable conversation. He was completely understanding and appreciative and accepting.

On a personal level, was it a difficult decision letting him go?

Lindelof: Enormously. When you reflect back on the pilot, it was really Jack, Kate and Charlie’s story. They’re the three people you experience the crash with. They’re the original sort of three amigos who go tromping out into the jungle. I think Dominic is, along with Jorge, really the heart of the show. And the idea of how would the show feel with Charlie not being in it anymore, that was a very dark tunnel to be looking down and it continues to be. But I think the reality is, after 72 hours of Lost, we have the idea of communicating to the audience that it’s not just the Shannons and Boones and Paulos and Ekos and Ana Lucias who are vulnerable. Everybody is vulnerable. Not everybody’s going to make it to the end of this journey. I think that was an important story point to make.

Are you expecting that there is going to be any sort of fan backlash over this?

Lindelof: I hope so. I mean that honestly. I think that if people are like “we’re glad you did it,” that means we didn’t do a good job of emotionally bonding the audience to Charlie and making them feel like his sacrifice is really tragic and heartbreaking. But Dom’s work has been phenomenal, and in the last two episodes, he raised the bar even higher. And that’s not just a producer trying to be generous to an actor who has now left the show. I think the proof is in the proverbial pudding. I really hope that all summer long, I am derided by people for doing this, because it’ll mean that it meant something.

[Link to Yahoo Article]

I wavered on whether or not I liked Charlie at times I did but at times he was annoying. He seemed like a hopeless romantic at times but a nut job at others, I guess thats what people liked about him from a character standpoint.

Are you going to miss Charlie?

231 Responses to Why Charlie Died….According to Lindelof (Lost Producer)

  1. Sarah

    I think that killing off charlie, libby and having that random couple introduced in the first place and then buried alive were all ideas that weakened the show for me. I wasnt sad or moved or anything when charlie died, just pissed off that one of my favorite characters was killed off – lame. I love lost…especially how many people get knocked out, kidnapped and tied up in every episode and the cliffhangers keep me watching. Im just starting season 4 and Ill be caught up to season 6 in no time! My gawd, what will I do when lost is over…guess Ill have to get a life.

  2. rachel

    i was sobbing when he died!!! how could u i have a great story line for him but its way too late now i was gonna say u could have had him be more of a father to arron and have more of a relationship with claire and u know how claire is like missing or unknown we could have charlie go on his own around the island finds claire and runs into sawyer or anyone else from there group thts still there
    they could bring him and claire back,he was dieing for claire and she never got off the island so he died for nothin great take away my two fav characters charlie and claire plzzz bring him back :(

  3. rachel

    wht was up with paulo and nikki? to seriously like they died the dy after they were introduced!!!!!

  4. rachel

    or u could have killed off des cause charlie was there first uhhhhhhhhh why charlie u r creative enough to make smoke monsters but u can not make up more of a story line for one of the most loved characters on the show im 12 yr old girl dont make me suffer by losing charlie

  5. rachel

    u know another thing i thought it was so cute when he put #1 the night i met you and thts gay cause she never got it or the ring i wanted her to get both to remember him i loved him like he was a real person <3 :(

  6. Jane

    That’s why I stopped watching, killing off Charlie was so stupid, not creative enough to write anything else HUH?

  7. Max

    A great man was lost…

  8. Jay

    Alex, who is dead, appeared in last week’s episode and she lives where the smoke monster is. Perhaps every person on the island who died is there in some form. My hope is that Charlie will return in Season 6 – in fact I hope all those who died still have a part to play in real time (ie. not flashback, flashforward) and Alex’s appearance last week gave me the first impression that that might actually happen…

  9. sam

    lost died with charlie

  10. Ali

    Yeah, without lying I was WAS a fan of lost but after the third season when Charlie died in 07 I just didn’t really care much for the show after that, it just broke me down on how he was a great guy in the show and just happened to die, I watched about two episodes after thinking that Charlie might come back through the jungle and all like the Russian guy who never seems to die. But then since that didn’t happen I just sort of quit on the show.

  11. Ali

    Sorry on my last comment I put down 07, but i have a feeling it was 06-07

  12. Tommy

    I really feel sad for charlie’s death but what i think is that there is a dark secret to this just like how a man who couldnt get children suddenly is going to be a dad…

  13. richard

    Is it just me or is this the biggest mistake in the script? Charlie could just have left the communication room to swim away with Desmond.

    Even though he knew that he was going to die somehow, he should have picked another moment to die and first made sure that Claire and Aaron were ok.

    I don’t care much about the people who die in this great serie, but i hate to see a mistake like this. That’s the only reason why i searched the web about this.

    So good job writers, but i think you made a mistake with this one.

  14. dudu

    i watch LOST, bcuz CHARLIE

    now l lose the my reason to watch!!!!

    LOST … sucks

  15. kylem

    I havent watched lost since charlie died because i didnt care about anybody else. I understand why u had to kill him, but i think u just got rid of thousands of viewers by doing that…

  16. jessica

    Bullshit. I have not watched Lost since Charlies death, and most of my friends stopped too… There really is no point, it would be like continuing to watch True Blood if they killed off Sookie , Jason or Eric in Season 2….POINTLESS.

  17. apple

    I don’t think Charlie is dead… he would have died a pretty slow death because the laws of physics would have only allowed the water to flow into that room up to the top of the circular window. Therefore, either he would have had to drown himself by purposely breathing in water (hard to do), or hung out in the room until the oxygen ran out. Kinda lame. At that point he might as well have swam through the window and escaped, or maybe the Others came and kidnapped him.

  18. Cameron

    that is said… Charlie was my favorite it should’ve been like Desmond switched places and he died instead.

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  21. Teresa

    I think that the writers just didn’t know what to do with that character and starting tempting the audience into killing Charlie, see how they would react. After that, and maybe despite the audience, they had to be consequent with all of their preparation, and killed the poor guy. I mean, he (Dominic) is just a great actor, and now he really is a hero, but, leaving the ring behind is not closing the story. I am watching the series on DVD, so what I am about to say may not make any sense. But if they leave that ring behind and then try to portrait Charlie as a hero, they are not respecting the character. Plus, you don’t portrait a hero in one episode only, with his writing his special moments in his life in one episode only. That is not respecting the character. I still need to watch seasons 4, 5 and 6, but I don’t think the writers many times respect their characters, nor are they consequent with a natural evolution of a story. I don’t like how they treat Kate’s, Sawyer’s, Jack’s characters, for example. They sacrifice those characters for the sake of the “triangle”. That is a flaw in the series, from my point of view.

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  24. Dream

    Omqq..Tha Moment Charlie Was On Tha Show iLoveed HiM He Was Tha Second Character That Had Cauqht Mah Attention In Tha Show…iHad Loveed His Whole Druq Story/RockBand Failure iLoveed Evrythinq Bout Charlie..He Was Definitely A True HERO..He Would Havee Risk His Lifee For Clare N Aaron ; Likee He Practically Did In Season 1 Episode 11 His World Rotated Around Those Twoo N iLoveed Charliee For That ; They Would Havee Been A Cute Couple A British|Australian Family…i’M SAD He Had to Go Dominic Monaghan Was A Onee of A Character on Lost He Played his Role’s Well N NO ONE Will Evr Replacee HiM !. P.ss iCried When Yuhh Left ; i’M Goinq To Miss Yurr Leel Button Nose N Yurr Rouqh Waii’s (When It Camee To His Family Clare n Aaron) W. Yurr British Accent Byee Charlie Yuhh Reallie Wass Truly A Sweetheart ! ^__^

  25. NotAGoodCandidate

    Dream,

    Don’t give up your hope on Charlie & Claire! Whatch the finale on Sunday! Charlie will be plaing with Drive Shaft at the consert and Claire will be there too.. They will all remember.. Keep dreaming!

  26. unhappy

    they shouldnt have killed charlie he was one of my favourite characters i htink that ruined the whole show without him it wasnt the same, he was one of the main characters that eevrybody loved you showed have killed Sun or something she was a no one this is bullshit i cryed for an hour Charlie made the show so much better without him lost SUCKS

  27. John

    alright, I understand all this, why you want him to die… But it makes no sense. If he pushed the button, and ran out with Desmond, he could’ve lived and got rescued, seriously why does he have to die?!!!
    You could’ve maybe killed Locke, Locke IS “one of them” I know you think there’s nothing left in his character, but there is SO much…. Now you have to take out Claire and the baby!!! WTF! Oh, and i you kill Sawyer, Hurley, or sayid, I will make SO MANY people stop watching Lost! It’s a good show, but you’re cutting off the wrong character!

  28. John

    Also, when charlie died, yes I was extremely sad, but when Hurley made his speech about going with locke, I burst into tears because of it :’(

  29. John

    HOLY SHIT! I JUST REALIZED OH MY GOD! MAYBE THE REASON CLAIRE DOESNT GET RESCUED IS BECAUSE DESMOND LIED! HE LIED TO HE CAN BE WITH PENNY!

  30. Kellie

    I cried when I watched Charlie die, he was my favourite character from the very first episode right until the end. Dom is an amazing actor and Charlie was an amazing character. ^.^

  31. samantha

    this is so stupid! you cant kill him. I just hope you bring him back in season four. Thats just messed up! The show isnt any good without charlie! He was my favorite character!