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Best Characters in The Walking Dead

Best Characters

Sometimes There Are Just So Many To Love

When a show is good, it’s not odd for fans to have a favorite or two. When a series is phenomenal, character favorites are plentiful. Over the 12 years it ran, The Walking Dead amassed quite a fan base. And that support base was undoubtedly driven by those who found themselves attached sometimes too much to the characters. 

There was no shortage of likable personalities in The Walking Dead. These people made us cry, laugh, cheer, swoon, and sometimes bite our lips in anger and frustration. So here is a look back to the best of the best, a tribute to the unique chemistry aligning these stars who hallowed out pockets of adoration in our hearts.

10. Ezekiel

Ezekiel Is one of the most unusual characters in the series. His introduction into the series was a wild one. Not only did he have a kingdom, but he had a whole tiger. Fans loved the fealty he showed to those who fell under his leadership. As a leader, he was fearless and exemplary. Although the leader, he was the first to go before those he called his people. He not only had a royal title but a spirit to match. Fans could not help but love how he loved Carol. One could only imagine the courage it takes to continue to fight for your life, besieged by cancer in a world surrounded by zombies. 

9. Hershel

Hershel was the grandfather of the group, the stout-hearted. And he became an authority figure to the world as a whole. Hershel was what one could define as perfectly imperfect. He was sometimes wrong, but when it came down to the wire, he knew when to let go of what didn’t work. His spirit was infectious. So, fans adopted him as their own. He was like family. He saved Carl on the farm. He nursed the sick at the prison and started a garden nurturing more than vegetables but faith in a world where most things died. He spoke life to Rick. When it came time, he died with a gentle smile for Rick upon his lips as he spoke words of hope to the governor. And as he fell from that final blow to the neck, many ruefully mourned. 

8. Abraham

Abraham didn’t start with the clan, but he rapidly became one of the most loved ones. He was the gentle giant ready to do whatever was necessary. Unfortunately, he would die with another fan favorite, Glenn Rhee. It wasn’t only Rhee’s death alone that caused broad dissatisfaction. It was also Abraham’s death.

The death of Abraham left many baffled. Why would someone so solid and instrumental bite the dust especially given his bumbling, daft, and incorrigible ride along Eugene seemed death-proof? 

7. Michonne

She is the warrior. Michonne had the apocalypse by the cojones. She walked the terrain alone with her two brother zombies on a leash earlier in the series. She never backed down. She never gave up. There was so much fight in Michonne’s spirit that it was unfathomable. If anyone was destined to survive the apocalypse, it was no doubt her. But as her walls fell, her heart melted, and she exchanged her hardiness for love, and family fans loved her all the more. 

6. Negan

Not all the most beloved characters are nice. Sometimes a bad guy becomes the fan favorite. Of all the characters within the series, Negan has had the most impact. Ironically the same episode that took away favorites Glenn and Abraham cemented Negan’s status as a supervillain. A considerable segment of the viewing audience still despises him, continuing to hate his guts. And some love him because what he does, he does well. He made villainy look easy. Not only did Negan become the biggest bad, but he also had the most unbelievable transformation. And he had one of the most heart-rending love stories in the series. Fans couldn’t entirely hate him quite the same after season 10, episode 22, “Here’s Negan,” where we meet Lucille, the root of Negan’s ache. Nothing has been more potent than Negan’s presence. No one has moved the masses the way he has.

Best Characters

5. Carol

Carol falls in the top five because of who she has become. She is everyone’s sister, mother, and friend. Although she is no child, as she grew emotionally and mentally, so did we. Fans couldn’t be prouder than to see her step from her cocoon, transforming from a meek abusee to a powerful, no nonsense fighter and survivor. How could one not root for her? Her trials were plenteous, her losses abundant. Yet, through it all, we could see her humanness, her authenticity. No matter the depth of the pain of a soul-sapping apocalypse, she always rose above. For that, she never left their hearts.

4. Carl

Carl was the heir apparent if Rick Grimes could be defined as the nucleus of The Walking Dead. Carl was the template, the blank slate upon which life wrote its lessons. Through his eyes, viewers could see what it was like to grow up in a world at its end. So, fans embraced him. Hearts rejoiced when he was reunited with his dad Rick in season one, episode three. They wanted to nurture him when he lost his mother and almost his dad. Viewers clutched their proverbial pearls when he took on Negan, losing an eye. But what was hard was when he sacrificed himself to help another. Watching Carl die while still expelling so much hope was too much. After everything the apocalypse had taken from him, his spirit continued to soar. As a result of his loss, another group of fans departed. It was too heartbreaking.

3. Glenn

Glenn became one of the most lovable characters in The Walking Dead. He is the apocalyptic prince charming and the white knight in one remarkable person. His love for Maggie made viewers swoon. His determination, compassionate spirit, and will of iron made audiences want to go to war for him. His shocking death at the hands of Negan made the masses react in anger and disbelief. When his heart stopped, more than a few fans held on to theirs and turned off The Walking Dead for good. 

2. Daryl

Daryl’s fan base grew massively over the years. Perhaps it was his rugged charm or his skill. He knew his way around a bow and arrow. But, more than likely, it was his die-hard commitment to those he let into his heart. He was the one to never leave a comrade behind, whether human or animal. And fans were never silent about their love for the rebel with a cause. In fact, one of the biggest cries of desperate fandom came when Daryl found himself in Negan’s line-up of possible casualties. It’s no secret that many fans threatened to boycott or quit the show if Daryl bit the bullet. Whether due to fan pressure, or a larger vision, Daryl held on, and so did those who adored him. 

1. Rick

Rick is the titular character of The Walking Dead series. This was Rick’s world, and passions ebbed and flowed with Grimes. When he grew in frustration, so did the viewers. Audiences cried with him and even rejoiced with him. For many, there was no show without Rick. And when Rick was taken, his fans left with him.

And conversely, when it was revealed that Grimes might be back for the series finale, there was great relief. Social media lit up with reactions of joy and exuberance, knowing the beloved leader of one of the most excellent ensemble casts of characters in television history returned. 

It’s no light thing that this series had such great characters. It speaks well of the entire creative team and solidifies The Walking Dead as one of the greatest shows to be written for tv. There are simply many to love, and they will all be missed.

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I am a writing enthusiast and Entertainment journalist. I live life with unbridled passion. And I live by the mantra love what you do, and do what you love!