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Spider-Man Fans Are Still Grieving The Saddest Death In All The Movies

While Peter Parker gets his powers from a radioactive spider bite, one of the most compelling things about the character is his youth. This gives him a new angle compared to older heroes, but audiences are reminded that there's a downside: Peter has some maturing to do. And what better way to spur character development than by grief?

As such, Spider-Man is quite familiar with loss, with each of the three different "Spider-Man" film series reminding us that it is inevitable. When we meet Tobey Maguire's Peter in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man," he's already an orphan living with his Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), and the loss of his uncle propels him into being the hero he is destined to be. He later loses his best friend, Harry Osborn (James Franco), in "Spider-Man 3."

Andrew Garfield's Peter has the same experience with his uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) in "The Amazing Spider-Man" and later loses his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." As for Tom Holland's Peter, we don't know if he ever had an uncle Ben, but he loses his mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), in "Avengers: Endgame" followed by his aunt May (Marisa Tomei) in "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

All of these losses have affected Peter greatly and shaped the hero he has become, but that doesn't change how devastating they were. In fact, fans are still grieving the saddest death in all the movies.

Fans on Reddit consider the death of Gwen Stacy to be the saddest

On a Reddit thread discussing the saddest fictional deaths, many "Spider-Man" fans got together and raised glasses for Gwen Stacy. Though Gwen doesn't truly arrive until "The Amazing Spider-Man," she felt as natural a partner for Andrew Garfield's Peter as Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) did for Tobey Maguire's Peter in the previous film series. It helped that Garfield and Emma Stone had undeniable chemistry, even dating off-screen, making it excruciating to watch Gwen fall as Peter fights Harry Osborn, aka the New Goblin (Dane DeHaan). Though Spider-Man shoots a web to catch his love, it's all for naught.

"Powerful scene. I love hate it. I hate because [I] want her to live, [I] want [S]pider[-M]an to save the day... but [I] loved that they had the balls to kill her," u/kingfischer48 said. Other fans were left speechless. "I remember that moment in the theater. Dead silence," u/piquantsqueakant shared. Some had an audible reaction. "The entire theater gasped," recounted u/leftie85.

History almost repeated itself in the 2021 Spider-Man installment

Thankfully, fans were blessed with a happy parallel in 2021's "Spider-Man: No Way Home." In an effort to undo the damage caused by Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) having spilled the beans about his alter ego in the previous film, "Spider-Man: Far from Home," Tom Holland's Peter seeks assistance from Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). But the spell Strange casts to make the world forget Peter is Spider-Man goes awry, resulting in Spider-Mans from other universes, including Tobey Maguire's and Andrew Garfield's iterations, coming into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Near the film's end, the three webheads, along with Strange, MJ (Zendaya), and Ned (Jacob Batalon), engage in battle atop the Statue of Liberty. A sudden explosion prompts the structure to collapse, and MJ falls. Though Holland's Peter jumps for her, the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) slams into him, sending him in another direction. Wasting no time, Garfield's Peter plummets after her, catching her.

This act is incredibly pivotal to Garfield's Peter, who wasn't given the chance to redeem himself after Gwen's death due to "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" having been abruptly canceled. Here, Peter receives closure and healing because while he couldn't save Gwen, he saves MJ, and therefore Holland's Peter, from the same fate.