This discussion may contain spoilers!
I've been thinking a bit about the numerous characters dying throughout ToMI. This is really a drastic change from the older games. Sure, lots of people are dead in earlier games (being ghosts, zombies and whatnot), but as far as I can recall no-one actually died in the course of the first three games (well, except for a few pirates and carnival-guests during cutscenes in CoMI). I haven't actually finished EMI, but I understand Herman Toothrot is supposed to die.
Now, in ToMI, we have McGillicutty, Nipperkin, Noogie, Morgan, De Singe and a number of other characters. At first I thought "oh, they're building up a cast for the Land of the Dead". But most of them weren't there.
It seems to me that many of them died unnecessarily, and story-wise with little or no foreshadowing. What's up with that? It's not that I mind characters dying in games if it serves the story, but this seems excessive for a Monkey Island game.