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reading tiger

Help Me Do My Homework: Dead Wives Edition

Quick, name for me some of your favorite Dead Wives of Media and Literature. Or simply the examples that leap to mind first.

For TV Tropes addicts, I am referring to The Lost Lenore. You know, the dead wife that motivates the hero to action or haunts his past or both. Tim Powers and endless P.I. stories. Those wives. Girlfriends OK too but bonus points for the wedding ring.

TV, movies, books, video games, comics, it's all fair game.


Um, embarrassed that this is the example that came to mind first, but Desperate Housewives whole premise begins with the dead Mary Alice, who narrates.

Don't be embarrassed :) Thanks!
Well there's Annabel Lee. Don't know if poetry is included in what you need, but your mention of Lenore reminded me.
Also, in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire there's Tywin Lannister's wife Joanna, was just talking about her today.
The wife of Tony Hillerman's detective Joe Leaphorn dies during the course of the series. (Though I thought it was a very moving and sensitive portrayal of a grieving spouse in this case.)

The Secret Garden (although the widower is not one of the main, viewpoint characters)

The Courtship of Eddie's Father
Oh, am I actually supposed to name the wife? Emma is the first one, but no idea what the others are.
I don't need names, just pointers on where to look. Thanks!
The Fugitive, Inception, Unforgiven


The Crow

American Gods
The most recent update in Feminist Frequencies (http://www.feministfrequency.com/) is very much about how video games use this as a motivation for the action.
That installment of Feminist Frequencies is a big part of what started me down this road. :) I have to watch it again and take notes.
Man, what I would have thought would be the Big Obvious, but I'm the first to mention her: the first Mrs. Rochester, in Jane Eyre.

For that matter, the first Mrs. Maxim de Winter, from Rebecca.

As long as we're talking about Game of Thrones, they are not married, but Robert Baratheon is haunted by Leanna Stark. And then there's Tyrion Lannister's prostitute wife from his teenage years.


What sprang to mind first for me was the TV show Supernatural (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernatural_%28U.S._TV_series%29). The spooky death of the main characters' mother and a supporting character's wife (that's the same dead person for all three of them) heavily influences their drives to hunt and kill supernatural entities. One of the main characters also had a girlfriend killed by a supernatural entity.

Caveat: I have never seen this show. I've read a certain amount of fan-fiction for it, though, and I *think* the info above is correct.