The very sudden, unexpected death of fan-favorite Ty was most certainly one of these moments. If you’re not quite caught up, you might be wondering. What happened to Ty on Heartland?
Many horse lovers the world over are no doubt well-acquainted with the Canadian series Heartland by now. Heartland is a series beloved around the globe. Known for its themes of love, family bonds, loss, grief, healing and for being full of magic, sometimes heartrending moments.
Read on to find out more about Ty’s passing, actor Graham Wardle’s decision to leave Heartland. And more about Heartland as a series. Check out our recent article, Where is Heartland Filmed and Located? if you’re interested in learning more!
Warning: This article contains spoilers!
Heartland Season 13: Quick Recap
The beginning of season 13 saw protagonist Amy Fleming and her husband Ty Borden. They are working on their new home and business. Their horse business had been flourishing, though this was at one point rocked by an unhappy customer. However, Amy and Ty pushed on and decided to continue building their business.
Amy later begins working with Caz, a wild horse that she tries to tame for client Sam. Her services are requested some time afterward by artist Jane to work with her horse. Canvas, who she claims is traumatized. Amy digs deeper and discovers that there’s more to the story than Jane is letting on. She helps Jane work on her bond with Canvas in spite of the difficulties they are facing.
In the final episode “The Passing of the Torch”, Amy and Ty were caught in a crossfire when a hunter took aim at a wolf and hit them instead. Ty, apparently unhurt, rushed Amy to hospital where he discovered that he, too, had been injured. They both seemed to recover, however.
Season 13 also followed Quinn and Georgie’s relationship and Lou’s campaign to become mayor of Hudson.
Season 14: What Happened to Ty?
When Amy and Ty were shot, they appeared to recover from their injuries. But a blow was dealt pretty quickly for fans in the first episode of season 14.
Episode one opened with a scene in which Amy was working with the wild colt she had been gentling. Ty helps daughter Lyndy down from the fence and she and Amy head back to the house. As she leaves Ty to put Spartan back, he suddenly collapses.
Amy and Jack rush to his side but there’s nothing they can do — he was gone. This followed with a memory of Amy’s in which she was informed by a doctor that Ty had developed deep vein thrombosis.
This had happened as a result of surgery after he was wounded by the gunshot — the doctor explained blood clots as a possible complication. Amy, the family, and no doubt many, many fans were left heartbroken by Ty’s sudden passing. His funeral scene in which Amy scatters his ashes was probably the most emotional of the entire series.
These memories end and viewers are brought back to the present moment, one year later. We see Amy continue to struggle with losing Ty. She is coming to terms with such a huge loss over the course of the season. Amy and Ty’s relationship had been the proverbial anchor of the show. His untimely end left fans reeling and wondering what was next for Amy and the family.
What Happened to Ty?: Graham Wardle on Ty’s Departure
The Canadian actor who played Ty, Graham Wardle, conversed with the Canadian press by email. This explained his reasons for leaving the show. It turns out that Wardle decided to quit Heartland years before his final episode. Co-star Amy Fleming said that she had found out that Wardle would leave Heartland two years before his departure.
Wardle explains that he wished to move on to other projects after fourteen years working on Heartland. He now hosts a podcast called “Time Has Come” and has not appeared in any new series or films since leaving Heartland. The character was truly given the send-off he deserved in his final appearance.
Who Was Ty Borden?: Character History
Let’s review the basics of Ty Borden’s story up to his last appearance. Ty met protagonist Amy Fleming, his future wife, on his way to Heartland Ranch for the first time to start his new job there. He drives dangerously past Amy and Lou who are out trail riding, prompting Amy to give chase and sharply reprimand him for his reckless and inconsiderate behavior.
Ty also makes a poor first impression on future grandfather-in-law Jack Fleming, owner of the ranch and head of the family and is warned in no uncertain terms to stay away from Amy and Lou. Both Amy and Jack gradually warm to him, however, and he is allowed to stay at Heartland.
It is revealed that Ty had suffered abuse at the hands of his step-father, Wade, as a child. Ty was even once arrested for attacking Wade while defending his mother and was placed in Juvenile Hall as a consequence.
Ty worked at Heartland ranch as a ranch hand and later at Briar Ridge as a stable hand. He later became interested in veterinary medicine and began working as a veterinary assistant before becoming a fully-fledged vet and partner at Hudson Vet Clinic with Scott Cardinal.
He worked with his wife Amy on their horse business. Amy and Ty were building their home together at the beginning of season 13. Ty’s character development was rooted in the adversity he had to overcome in his life.
Plus his journey of transformation from a troubled, arrogant young man to a devoted husband and father. Fiercely loyal, committed to and protective of those he loved are Ty’s most prominent characteristics and what endeared so many (fans included) to him.
As Heartland revolves around the character’s relationship with their horses, it seems only fitting to devote a part of this post to Ty Borden’s own horse, Harley. Ty found Harley at an auction house and decided to bid for him, hoping that caring for Harley would do Amy good — her horse, Spartan, was missing at the time.
Despite buying him for Amy, it was Ty who decided to break Harley in. Their relationship got off to a pretty poor start, with Harley being unresponsive to Ty’s attempts to gain his respect. Eventually, Harley started to respond to Ty and their relationship strengthened.
Harley greatly missed Ty’s presence when he wasn’t around for a time and took comfort in the scent of a jacket worn by Ty. Amy developed a closer bond with Harley in Ty’s absence.
The Horses of Heartland
As a horse lover and trainer, Amy Fleming has worked with and taken in a multitude of horses over the course of the series. As with all of the human characters, each horse comes with a history and a story to tell. She and her mother, Marion, rescued Spartan and Amy’s bond with him is the strongest of all, as he is a reminder of her mother.
There are so a great number of equine stars in Heartland, including Ghost, a stunning Mustang; Shadow, a young colt from the wild that Amy takes on and Lightning Dexter, a former racehorse.
- Ty Borden was one of the most beloved characters in the Heartland series. His sudden death devastated Amy, the family and fans all around the globe.
- Ty passed away very suddenly at the ranch and it was revealed that he had suffered deep vein thrombosis as a complication of his former surgery.
- Ty’s passing was a major shock to fans of Heartland as he appeared to have recovered from his injuries at the end of season 13.
- Actor Graham Wardle explained the reason for his departure from Heartland as wanting to explore other projects. He currently hosts a podcast called “Time Has Come”. He worked on Heartland for more than a decade.
- Ty’s character developed over the series from a rebellious, troubled teenager to a devoted father, husband and qualified veterinarian. His journey of personal transformation greatly endeared fans to him.
- The character was also known for his loyalty, devotion to his family, kindness and love for the equine members of the family.
The TV series that we love the most are more often than not the ones with characters we grow to love and admire over the course of time. As audiences, we inherently love to witness acts of bravery, love and form a connection with our favorite characters as they battle through adversity.
We relate to them because often, in some way, the trials they face are the ones we have also had to face at some point or other in our own lives. This is one of the greatest gifts of Heartland as a series with prominent themes of courage, loyalty, and most of all love.
Heartland never fails to get us feeling, well, the feels. After Ty’s death, as we watch Amy struggle with such a devastating loss, it becomes clearer than ever that grief truly is, as they say, the final act of love.