It has happened to me before, a few times, that I got emotionally invested in a character in a book or show, and that character suddenly died, so I stopped reading or watching the series because I couldn’t handle experiencing the series without that character.
I think I have gotten better at recognizing becoming emotionally invested in a fictional character’s fictional well-being because it doesn’t seem to happen to me anymore, perhaps because now I have real people in whom I am emotionally invested, who are also emotionally invested in me.
I think that when I would get emotionally invested in fictional characters, it was a thing that protected me from feeling lonely. I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong or unhealthy about getting emotionally invested in fiction, because it can be a very valuable coping mechanism that protects a person from feeling lonely. I also think that my past emotional investments with fictional characters gave me some preparation for the possibility of bad things happening to real people I care about. It obviously won’t shield me from feeling sad or powerless, but it serves as a sobering reminder of how there are many things that are out of my control.
And that’s why I don’t make judgments about people who get very emotionally invested in the fictional affairs of fictional characters.