Grand Evander wrote:3. Finishing on a death can be rather anticlimatic and it can be hard to bring about closure to the story.
Even worse...it leads invarilably to the dreaded "prequel."
Having multiple strong leads can negate the effect diminishing a reader's emotional investment. Look at George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series in which pretty much everybody dies. The effect of the deaths on the reader is somewhat diminished by the fact that there are so many protaganists.
I'm not against the deaths of lead charcters, but it needs to be planned, well written, and happen at the right time in the story. In the LOTR, the death of King Theoden at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields is well done and enhances the story. However, he's just a main character and not what can be considered the main protaganists (Frodo and Aragorn.)
In the Harry Potter series the death of Sirius Black was well done. The deaths of Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks were done poorly and as an after thought as Rowling let Ron Weasley live and felt "someone had to die."
It reminds me of the identity of the "Final Five" on the recent reimagined BSG. Their identities were decided by the writers on pure shock value. Who the viewers would least expect. Not what would work best for the story and as a result opened up huge plot holes.
On the other hand, in Cowboy Bebop, Spike's "supposed" death at the end of the series fits the story and the tragic character that Spike was perfectly.
So it's possible to have the protaganist die and make sense, but it has to make sense, have proper lead in, and usually a supporting cast of characters that can continue the story.
Wait and tick, didn't you kill off your main character in Act 2 of the original Quest?
Yeah, but he got better by the middle of the Act.