It would've been nicer through marriage rather than death, though.
Of course, Ernie would have had no reason to suspect his line would die out, nor would George Donatus (the father of 3 children with a fourth on the way). Does anyone know if Ludwig, once he knew he would have no children, made provisions for any Hesse items to go to the branches of his family via his sisters Victoria and Irene who actually left descendants? They would be the last Hesses in the 'by Rhine' line, albeit in the female descent. Obviously, the family would have wanted to keep most of the family treasury intact and in Darmstadt but was anything left to those branches?