Within the four shows of the Arrowverse, there have been plenty of major deaths that removed core characters from the universe. While the shows have brought them back for special episodes or Earth-2 doppelgangers, the Earth-1 characters have remained functionally deceased for good.
With a good number of these deaths happening in each of the shows, we'll be looking at all of them and ranking them. Whether it be on Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, or any other show in between, we're ranking the major Arrowverse deaths by how impactful and heartbreaking they were. Get your tissues out for this one.
Damien Darhk entered the Arrowverse as a villain in Arrow. Then he went on to be a member of the Legion of Doom in Legends of Tomorrow before becoming a solo villain in a later season of the same show. The point is that he made his rounds as a villain. However, he ended his time in the Arrowverse as a hero, choosing to sacrifice himself to be possessed by Mallus so that his daughter could live to see another day. It was a nice end to see Darhk have a heart after all, but he was still a villain, so the Arrowverse is probably better without him in it.
Malcolm Merlyn is a sneaky and conniving character. First being Arrow's antagonist in season one, he has been a recurring threat for Oliver Queen and was later part of the Legion of Doom in Legends of Tomorrow. However, even he had the chance to redeem himself in the end. During the season five finale of Arrow, he let himself step on a mine so that he would save his daughter Thea's life and prevent Adrian Chase's men from getting to her. The way he died was a bit confusing, though, as his body was never shown. Though it does seem like he's out of the picture for good.
Before Jefferson Jackson paired up with Martin Stein, there was Ronnie Raymond, Caitlin Snow's late husband. When he and Martin teamed up to become Firestorm, they were a powerful duo, helping Barry defeat the Reverse Flash and helping stop the singularity that threatened Central City. However, it was that singularity which caused Firestorm to sacrifice himself, though it was specifically the Ronnie Raymond half. It was bittersweet, seeing that Caitlin had just got her supposedly deceased lover back from the dead only to see him reach his actual death not long after. Ronnie would appear in other forms, particularly in Earth-2, but his death is permanent.
While many of Moira Queen's actions were questionable at best, there was no doubt that she loved her children and had a good relationship with Oliver at the very least. After all, she was the last tie to his old life with his father gone for good.
However, their connection was down for the count since the very beginning. When Slade Wilson came to Star City to ruin Oliver's life, he decided to make him feel the pain of loss by killing Moira. This had a dramatic effect on Oliver, who made it his sole mission to bring down Slade once and for all. Since then, any time Moira was brought back for flashbacks, it was not without plenty of tears.
Rip Hunter was the former Time Master who brought together the team of misfits that became the Legends of Tomorrow. That said, Rip was far from a perfect character, though his actions would help lead the team in the right direction. He would go on to start the Time Bureau to deal with all sorts of time-related threats. Even then, he ran into a fair share of trouble, though his primary concern was defeating Mallus. In the season three finale, there was only one way to leave Mallus vulnerable for the Legends to destroy him, but it involved Rip sacrificing his own life.
Quentin Lance was with Arrow from the very beginning. The troubled father of both Laurel and Sara Lance, he was always dealing with the reality of losing one or both of his daughters. That said, he went on a long arc through the series and became an invaluable asset to Oliver Queen and the rest of Team Arrow. This is what made his demise at the end of season six all the more heartbreaking. The tragic part was how he did it. He took a bullet for Black Siren, who was the Earth-2 counterpart of the beloved daughter he lost.
Captain Cold began his tenure in the Arrowverse as a villain, appearing on The Flash primarily. He was one of the characters selected to be on the Waverider with Rip Hunter, though, so Legends of Tomorrow provided him an arc where he became more of a hero than a criminal. He made his allegiance to the team quite clear, though it would lead to his unfortunate demise. The Legends were trying to destroy the Time Masters, and they had an explosion wired to do the trick. There were complications, forcing someone to stay behind and push the button. That's where Captain Cold came in, deeming his last act to save time.
There is nothing but love for Henry Allen. Not only is he played by John Wesley Shipp, the actor who previously played the Flash in an older TV show, but he has a close relationship with Barry in the current show. He lost everything, and it was Barry's lifetime goal to get his father out of prison, which he succeeded in doing at the end of the first season. Henry Allen began to live life the way he wanted, though it wasn't meant to last. Despite him being the last family member Barry had left, Zoom showed up and killed him, leaving Barry alone.
Despite the mixed reception of Arrow's fourth season, there was no denying that the episode involving the death of Laurel Lance was one of the best in the show. Not only was it well-paced and intense, but it was appropriately tragic, leaving no dry eye in the audience.
It was hard to think that Laurel, the original love interest of Oliver Queen and his lover in the comics, would exit the show this way. Nonetheless, Damien Darhk killed her, and there was nothing anyone could do. What made it all worse was the last conversation she had with Oliver, teasing what their relationship could've been.
While Laurel Lance did have the most tragic and impactful death in the Arrowverse for a while, it was topped in the Crisis on Earth X crossover. While the Arrowverse heroes were working together to stop the Nazi Regime, Martin Stein was shot not once but twice by a soldier while attempting to save the day.
There was nothing the Waverider could do for his injuries, leaving both him and Jax to have a touching final conversation. He passed away living out the adventure of his dreams, but leaving behind his best friend, wife, and daughter in the process. The Legends were never the same after that.