'The Flash': Ranking All the Most Heartbreaking Deaths So Far

Now that Barry (Grant Gustin) has gone back in time to save his mother's life, what is the most heartbreaking death on The CW's comic book series?
Bettina Strauss/The CW

Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) may be the fastest man alive, but he's also got the most tragic backstory on The Flash.

After losing his mother as a kid, and watching his father get falsely accused of her murder and go to prison for life, Barry had to grow up essentially as an orphan. Thankfully, his father's friend Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) took him in and raised him as his surrogate son. 

But with the amount of times The CW's scarlet speedster has lost a loved one or friend over the years, it's impressive that he still finds the strength and resilience to get out of bed in the morning, let alone suit up and save the city over and over again as the Flash. It was in the season two finale, however, that it all proved to be too much heartbreak for him, and he finally caved under the pressure. After losing his father Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) to Zoom (Teddy Sears), Barry ran back in time to the night his mother Nora (Michelle Harrison) was murdered and saved her life, altering the timeline in unknown ways. 

So now that Nora has been saved, which The Flash death is the most heartbreaking? Before season three premieres, The Hollywood Reporter rounded up all the saddest/most shocking demises and ranked them from least to most heartbreaking to find out.

8. Earth-2 Joe West (Jesse L. Martin)

He may have been Earth-1 Joe's doppelganger, but that didn't make watching Earth-2 Joe die as a result of a metahuman attack any easier. Despite Earth-2 Joe and Earth-2 Barry having a strained relationship, it still hurt to see Barry (pretending to be his Earth-2 alter ego) have to say goodbye to his father-in-law. And watching Earth-2 Iris (Candice Patton) lose her father was devastating. 

7. The Real Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh)

When Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) lost his speed after traveling back in time to kill Nora, he killed Harrison Wells so he could assume his identity and figure out a way to get back to his own time. While it was definitely sad to watch the scientist and his wife die as a result of Eobard's cold and calculated plan, their deaths were more shocking than anything else since the audience never really got the chance to know them after only a few flashback scenes. The Harrison Wells the audience had been watching all season was really Eobard in disguise.

6. Francine West (Vanessa Williams)

Iris and Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) barely had time to reconcile with their mother before she died of fictional disease MacGregor's Syndrome. Although Francine had turned her life around after being a drug addict when Iris was just a young girl, she had such a short time to spend with both of her children after they both discovered that she had lied about the other's existence, making her death all the more heart-wrenching. At least they both got to say their goodbyes to her in her hospital room in the nick of time. 

5. Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell)

Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) was ecstatic when her formerly presumed dead fiancé was revealed to be alive, but he was forever changed. After the particle accelerator explosion transformed Ronnie into metahuman Firestorm – along with Victor Stein (Victor Garber) – he helped the STAR Labs team whenever they needed an extra pair of hands (or two). But when the wormhole above Central City threatened to kill everyone, Ronnie sacrificed his life to save everyone else, leaving Caitlin to have to mourn her lost love a second time after just marrying him earlier in the very same episode. That happy, beautiful moment where they finally got married after such a delay made his sacrifice all the more cruel for Caitlin to weather.

4. Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett)

As was proven with Ronnie's death, there's nothing more heartbreaking than when someone sacrifices himself or herself to save all their friends and loved ones. And that's exactly what Eddie did. After he found out that the Reverse-Flash, aka Eobard Thawne, was actually a distant descendent of his, he realized the only way to stop him and save everyone was to make sure he never existed in the first place. So Eddie shot and killed himself before Eobard could run back to his own time in the future, ensuring that the Thawne line ended with him, wiping Eobard from the timeline entirely. Eddie died in his ex Iris' arms as everyone could only watch in horror and disbelief and shock.

3. Nora Allen (Michelle Harrison)

When the Reverse-Flash killed Barry's mom all those years ago, he set in motion a chain of events that would give birth to the Flash. That gut-wrenching moment when Barry watched his mom die as a kid would forever change him, and he's had to relive that same moment more times than he deserves to. Although he went back in time to save her in the season two finale, he still holds that iconic memory in his mind and heart. His entire personality has been shaped by that tragedy, so she will always still be included on this list.

2. Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp)

This death was actually more heartbreaking than Nora's only because Barry had had an entire life's worth of memories with his father. And to watch Henry get murdered by Zoom right in front of Barry's face, knowing it was his fault, was too much for Barry to handle. He had just gotten his powers back and his own ego forced Zoom to act out. He'd spent his entire life mourning his mother's death and had only just come to terms with it, but it was Henry's death that pushed him over the edge and inspired him to run back in time and save his mother from dying in the first place, changing everything – a choice he had decided not to make only a year before.

1. Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes)

Although this death also didn't stick thanks to Barry running back in time and changing the timeline, it is still the most heartbreaking death on The Flash so far. Watching as Cisco put all the clues and evidence together to figure out that "Harrison Wells," aka Eobard Thawne, was actually the Reverse-Flash, the man who had been tormenting the STAR Labs team all year long, was completely devastating for both him and the audience alike. And then to watch as the man who Cisco considered to be a father figure thrust his arm into Cisco's chest, stopping his heart and killing him was horrifying and made the betrayal all the more heart-wrenching. Surely, Cisco wasn't the only crying during that shocking moment. 

What do you think was the most heartbreaking death on The Flash? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Flash returns for season three on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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