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|“||Oh I just bumped into Lucy and battered her.||„|
|~ Abi admitting to her father Max that she confronted Lucy Beale prior to the latter's murder|
|“||Abi: You can't see that he's guilty because you are still in love with him!
Stacey: No I ain't!
Abi: You're blind and he knows it! He's pulling at your strings like he always has done. If I was going to kill anyone, it would've been you. Not Lucy!
Abi: You're the reason that my mum and dad split-up! YOU'RE THE REASON THAT MY BROTHER DIED! If he wasn't trying to protect you, he would still be alive!
Stacey: *slaps Abi in the face* Oh, Abi...I'm so sorry! *fight ensures*
|~ Abi Branning confronting Stacey Slater before getting slapped in the face, resulting in a fight|
|“||Come on, just take my hand...Lauren?||„|
|~ Abi's last words before her tragic death|
Abi Branning is a fictional character and major protagonist from the famous BBC British soap drama EastEnders. She served as a central character in 2006 and went on to serve as a deuteragonist in Ben storyline in 2007 and a major character in 2008-2013, anti-hero in 2014-2015 and anti-villain in 2017.
When she originally debuted in 2006, Abi Branning is the daughter of Max Branning and Tanya Cross. She started out as non-villainous and always brought the best out of people and loved animals. However, when she was not noticed and broke up with Jay Brown, things took a nasty turn for her. She is also the niece of both Derek and Jack Branning respectively.
Her storylines include a failed relationship with former boyfriend Ben Mitchell, an unsuccessful romance with Ben's best-friend and adoptive brother Jay Brown, wrongfully convicting her father Max Branning for the murder of young resident Lucy Beale, lying about being pregnant along with having a miscarriage, locking her antagonistic co-worker Babe Smith in a freezer for a short period of time, and embarking on an affair with her brother-in-law Steven Beale. Over the course of these events, her most notable recurrence is her longstanding feud with her sister Lauren Branning.
She was portrayed by actress Lorna Fitzgerald.
Abi Branning moves to Albert Square with her parents and his hit by a car belonging to local resident Dean Wicks, but suffers no major injuries. She quickly befriends her schoolmate Ben Mitchell and learns that her soon-to-be stepmom, Stella Crawford is abusing him; Abi later confronts Stella and tells Ben to do the same, before Stella later kills herself when she is due to marry Ben's hardman father Phil Mitchell - only for him to find out about the abuse and that Abi knew about it before him.
On Christmas day 2007, she is distraught to learn that her father Max Branning has cheated on her mother Tanya Branning with her colleague Stacey Slater - married to Abi's half-brother Bradley Branning - when their affair is exposed on a wedding DVD; Abi is left distraught by this impactful revelation.
A few years, Abi later develops a crush on Ben's adopted brother and best-friend Jay Brown. They begin dating, Max believing Jay is using Abi for sex and so he tries to break them up to no avail. Abi loses her virginity to Jay much to her parents' disappointment. She tries to support Lauren with her drinking problem, however, this ends badly when Lauren destroys Abi's revision notes. In June 2013, her mum leaves the square which leaves her distraught. She receives her exam results and discovers she has not gained the grades to go to university to become a vet which would eventually cause her to become a villain. She breaks up with Jay Brown leaving her heartbroken but starts a relationship with Ben.
In February 2015, Abi is accused by Max of killing Lucy. Abi did not kill Lucy, but it is revealed that on the night Lucy died, Abi had a confrontation with her. She is disgusted that her father would accuse her of this and moves in with the Mitchell’s.
Ben is arrested on the suspicious on murder Lucy. When arrested Abi tells Phil that Max killed Lucy. Abi gives a statement and Max is later arrested. Stacey confronts Abi for the murder, but Abi stated if she was going to kill anyone it would be her for her parents split and her brother, Bradley Branning's death.
She admits that she helped clean the car lot with Max after Lucy was killed. She is disgusted when Max tries to pin the murder on her and later Max is found guilty and sent to prison for 20 years.
Ben and Abi continue her relationship, despite Ben cheating on her with Paul. Abi finally realizes that Ben is cheating so fakes a pregnancy to prevent Ben from leaving her. Ben admits that he cheated but despite this, they still stay together due to the pregnancy. Abi and Lee Carter get drunk together and they have unprotected sex, so she can get pregnant. However, this fails. An argument erupts between Ben and Phil resulting in Ben being pushed into Abi, knocking her to the ground. Abi lies claiming that this caused a mischarge. Abi discovers that Ben's half-sister Louise Mitchell had been using Phil's credit card, so they force her to return everything she has bought. As revenge, Babe Smith sends Ben a letter, telling him of the fake pregnancy. Louise finds the letter and blackmails Abi, telling her to move away with. Later, Abi catches Ben and Louise arguing which she assumes it is over the letter, and she inadvertently reveals she was never pregnant, but Ben was referring to Phil's credit card. In the Vic, Ben gets kisses Abi in the toilets and starts to undress her, implying that he has forgiven her, but then drags her into the pub in her underwear and reveals via the karaoke microphone that she made up her pregnancy. Abi is humiliated and is taken to here grandma house, Dot Branning’s house by her uncle, Jack Branning. However, an enraged Phil kidnaps her away in his car but is stopped by Jay, who insists that enough people have been hurt. When Bobby Beale confesses to killing Lucy, Max is released but refuses to see Abi or Lauren. A few months later Abi locks Babe in the freezer overnight because she blames her for getting her sacked.
In June 2017 Abi and her brother-in-law, Steven have an affair. Abi wants to hurt Lauren due to her being the golden sibling. When Steven cancer lie is about to be found out by Lauren, Abi calls her claiming that Louie Beale had a fall. They work together and produce fake cancer scans to deceive Lauren. She walks past Ian restaurant which is on fire and runs in thinking Steven is inside but gets hit by an air vent leaving her unconscious. She is saved by Max and Steven and rushed to a hospital. Steven dies which leaves Abi heartbroken. She is sacked from the vets for stealing animal medication. Lauren eventually finds out about Steven and Abi’s affair on Halloween but forgives here and they both try to mend their relationship.
In December 2017, after Max revenge plan was revealed to the entire Square, Abi is incredibly confused why everyone is against him, and offended as using his wrongful conviction to his defence. Abi and Lauren confront Max and command the truth. He reveals that it was all revenge to the whole square for letting he go down for the murderer of Lucy, which leaves them horrified. Max then shouts an Abi blaming her for the state he is in. On Christmas Day, Max gives Abi a present, but she rejects him but takes the present anyway. Abi later comes to share Christmas dinner with Max. Tanya tells Stacey that Max killed Steven which results in them to leave immediately. Max goes up to the roof of Queen Victoria and about to commit suicide but is prevented by Lauren and Abi who climb over to rescue him, but Lauren slip and Abi tries to pull her back up but fails and both fall of the roof. Abi later was declared brain stem dead and the doctors delivered her premature daughter on the 29th December. On the 19th of January 2018, her life support machine was switched off and her funeral was on the 16th of February 2018.
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- Lorna Fitzgerald (the actress who played Abi Branning) was nominated and longlisted for several awards for her character's performance.