- There have been more than 60 significant deaths on “The Walking Dead” since it premiered in 2010.
- Insider ranked the most shocking major deaths on the zombie drama.
- Beth’s is easily the one that caught us off guard the most. Abraham and Hershel also top our list.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“The Walking Dead” has said goodbye to most of its original cast, as well as dozens of new favorites since its start in 2010.
While the actors behind many of these roles may have moved on, the fandom still feels the effects of some of their brutal and shocking departures. Insider has gone through every big death on “The Walking Dead” and ranked the series’ most shocking deaths.
Our list starts with some of the more insignificant characters whose deaths may have been unexpected but who you had little attachment to, before building all the way up to the ones that really made you jump back in your seat and clasp your mouth.
Keep reading to see the worst deaths on “The Walking Dead” so far, ranked by shock value.
Amy Daire contributed to a previous version of this story.
We barely got to know anything about Alek. All we knew was that he was a member of the Highwaymen group. You may not have even realized his name was Alek.
69. Rodney got plucked up by Alpha to get the pike treatment, too.
That’s what happens when you peer pressure Henry into drinking and then lie to Lydia saying that Henry has a thing for another girl.
68. Addy got taken down with Rodney as another Whisperer victim.
Addy had a thing for Henry. Unfortunately for her, Henry was already taken and with Lydia. We never really had enough time to get to know Addy, but she seemed like a good enough egg. At least she got to die with Henry?
67. Ed Peletier, Carol’s abusive husband, was eaten by walkers.
When a group of the undead unexpectedly wandered into camp, Ed was the first to go. After viewers witnessed his abusive tendencies to Carol firsthand, most would likely agree he had to go.
66. Tammy Rose was among the people the Whisperers put on the pikes.
Brett Butler said on “Talking Dead” she knew from the moment she was cast she would die on the pikes. Her pike death was the only one that was the same from the comics.
Tammy Rose’s addition to the show from the comics really didn’t do anything for us. Show-only viewers likely wondered why the show bothered adding more extraneous characters so late in the show to an already bloated cast if they were only to largely become background characters, as was the case with Tammy Rose.
65. Ozzy led the charge on the Whisperers to save those kidnapped at the fair and wound up with his head on a pike, too.
We didn’t get to know the leader of the Highwaymen much and that’s too bad. He seemed like he would have been a fun addition to the Kingdom.
Ozzy didn’t even get to watch that movie owed to him at the fair. He put his life on the line to skip the film and he paid the price. He was loyal to the end. What a guy.
64. Frankie was also among Alpha’s victims taken from the fair and piked.
We really haven’t seen much of Frankie since her time on season eight when she was holed up at the Sanctuary. Her death really didn’t hit us that hard because we never spent that much time with her.
63. Dr. Edwin Jenner took his own life when he stayed inside the CDC as it exploded.
With his pessimistic outlook on life, there wasn’t a chance Jenner would be around for long. Since Jenner said there was no hope to create a cure for the virus, viewers probably weren’t surprised to see he stayed back for the blast after letting everyone else go.
62. The Governor’s researcher, Milton Mamet, was stabbed by his ally after trying to save Andrea and her friends.
Milton spent his time on the show teetering between good and evil. When he decided to turn on his leader and warn Andrea his group was planning to wage war on Rick, Milton paid dearly for his betrayal.
While we may have known Milton’s time was coming, we didn’t expect him to go down attempting to kill the Governor only to be brutally stabbed in return.
61. Andrea’s sister, Amy, died after a walker surprised her as she was coming out of Dale’s RV.
Watching Andrea not know how to handle the sudden loss of the sister she wanted to protect was one of the first season’s most tender moments. It carried over into the next episode when Andrea stayed by her side until she turned into one of the undead.
Amy’s death played out almost exactly the same way as it did in the comic, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise for fans.
60. Carol’s former mini-flame Tobin died after he was stabbed by a weapon soaked in walker guts.
Ever since Carol up and left Tobin on season six, we weren’t sure if we’d see the two reconnect. It took a knife to the gut for Carol to come to his side. When Tobin was getting some extra screen time with Carol, we had a feeling things were going to go south for him and they quickly did.
If Tobin was more than a recurring background character, we would have been a bit more shocked by his death. But since he popped up with a few lines of dialogue only to be killed off later in the same episode, it seems like the show was finding a way to tie up another loose end.
59. Sam Anderson had a panic attack and was eaten alive by walkers.
Sam had to have been one of the most disliked characters in the show’s history. His phobia of reality made him a nuisance to the group and a pain to watch on TV. It’s no wonder the show axed him by having him take Ron’s fate from the comic series.
After all of his issues, people were begging for him to go, but he wasn’t the only character fans were excited to see die.
58. Ron Anderson, who had just gotten over his issues with Carl, was also eaten and killed by walkers.
Ron was a bit of a loose cannon and, like his brother, was not exactly well-liked among fans. It made sense for the show to kill him off in the same episode.
57. Brandon got himself killed by Negan after he angered the former Savior leader.
From the moment that Brandon revealed himself to be #TeamNegan, we didn’t think he was going to make it to the end of the episode alive. He was pushing Negan’s buttons way too hard by trying to impress him and seemed like a loose cannon. Plus, he doesn’t make it out alive in the comics.
What we didn’t see coming was that Brandon was going to kill an innocent mother and son, leading Negan to bash his brains in with a rock.
56. Ex Savior D.J. died trying to save the kidnapped people from the fair. He found himself on a pike, too.
We ranked D.J. a bit higher because he’s had more screen time than some of the other survivors. He’s been in the background, but has always been on the front lines in the apocalypse after defecting from the Saviors. We were sorry to see him go.
55. Earl was bitten by a walker during the fight at the Hilltop against the Whisperers.
Earl Sutton overstayed his welcome on “The Walking Dead,” so we weren’t surprised to see him go. He was a background character who was added to the show in a nod to the comics without too much to do other than often repeat that the Whisperers were awful and needed to be killed. We get it. Earl’s son was bitten by a walker and his wife, Tammy, was brutally murdered by Alpha.
Earl became a bit more bearable when he took in baby Adam. He won us over more in his final moments when he put his life on the line to save the children in his community. He put their lives before his. When he knew he was bit, he ensured their survival by attempting to put himself down. He didn’t quite get it right, as he reanimated and Judith was forced to take him out, but we salute the effort. Would any of us really be able to end our own lives with nothing but a pike to drive our heads into? Maybe not.
Still, Earl kept Judith and the kids safe, so he doesn’t quite make the bottom of the list. His death was meaningful.
54. Mays was betrayed by Father Gabriel just as the unsavory survivor appeared to be turning over a new leaf.
The “Terminator 2” actor was swiftly killed by Gabe after it appeared he and Aaron may allow Mays to return back to Alexandria with them.
Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) justified killing Mays to a horrified Aaron (Ross Marquand) — who had just told Mays he should trust them — claiming they couldn’t take him with them when he killed his brother’s family. (Of course, we later learned that that wasn’t actually the case. Mays’ brother was alive in a crawl space. Whoops!)
Patrick told Insider he believed Father Gabriel made the wrong choice in killing his character. But, look — there’s no way you’re ever getting a second chance if you have Father Gabe at the wrong end of a gun.
Mays isn’t higher on our list because we just didn’t have enough time to get to know the character. We also weren’t that shocked that Father Gabe tricked Mays. Gabriel has proven time and time again he’ll make the tough calls if it means protecting his family in Alexandria.
Additionally, we hoped that Patrick may stick around for more than one episode as the potential leader of a new villain group — the Ravagers — who are after Maggie’s survivors.
53. Gareth led the cannibals of Terminus before getting bludgeoned and hacked to bits by Rick.
There wasn’t a chance in the world Rick would have let anyone from Terminus live if he got his hands on them. Gareth’s death might have been gruesome, but many people would probably agree it was well-deserved after he ate Bob’s leg.
52. Spencer Monroe’s death was pulled straight from the comic series when he was gutted by Negan.
Spencer had it coming and everyone watching knew it. The show spent nearly an entire episode setting him up to die, which is why most people weren’t too taken aback. His character also died the same way in the comic series, so there wasn’t a big surprise there for the most devoted of fans.
51. Oceanside member Beatrice was ripped apart on the season 10 finale by Beta’s army of the undead.
Daryl said everyone wasn’t going to make it through Beta’s herd of walkers and Beatrice was the unlucky survivor to get eaten alive.
Though Beatrice’s death was pretty brutal — we watched walkers tear her apart in one of the grisliest deaths in some time — it was hard to feel too upset or shocked by her loss. Unless you’ve been keeping close tabs on the minor characters on the show, you may have watched the episode wondering who Beatrice was during her death scene.
We get it. Not only was this the first significant moment in which we were seeing Beatrice all season, but the last time she had any real air time was in the background of season nine, episode five, which aired in November 2018.
The worst part about Beatrice’s death was that as she cried out to Carol for help or to take the supply backpack, Carol continued calmy forward without daring to look back. She knew she couldn’t look back or she’d put herself in danger, but that was cold.
50. Dr. Carson was abruptly shot and killed by the Saviors after he tried to play hero.
We figured the doctor may not make it back to the Hilltop in one piece, but we didn’t expect his death to come at the hands of the Saviors after he survived getting his foot stuck in a bear trap.
Carson got a little too confident after he and Gabriel had several strokes of luck. Unfortunately for the doctor, his luck ran out.
49. Deanna Monroe led Alexandria, but her demise came after facing tons of walkers head on.
Despite being a great leader, Deanna didn’t exactly have what it took to keep her community alive outside of their comfortable walls. Some viewers might have expected her to last a bit longer, but a power struggle between Rick and anyone else probably wouldn’t have worked. At least she got to go down fighting.
48. Gage took his own life and was torn apart by walkers when Maggie refused to save him.
We’ve been waiting for Gage to kick the bucket for a while, so we can’t say we’re totally shocked to see him go. (Reminder: Gage was the kid who bullied Henry and then participated in beating up Lydia last season.)
He’s continued to be a bit of a jerk on the show. On the season 11 premiere, Gage selfishly abandoned the group, stealing their supplies and only returning when he was in trouble. You can say karma caught up with him, but it was pretty shocking to watch as Maggie refused to save the kid who was trapped in a locked subway car as a group of the undead slowly made their way to him.
Gage told off Maggie and shockingly stabbed himself a few times before the dead started ripping him open. There haven’t been too many spooky deaths on the series, but Gage’s was one of the cooler ones cinematically, feeling like a moment out of a horror movie. The above image is quite haunting.
Gage then received a second death after returning as a walker. His death isn’t ranked higher since we expected to see him go at some point and since it reminded us a bit of Noah’s death where he was similarly torn apart by the undead on season five.
47. Simon was choked to death by Negan after he backstabbed him.
We knew Simon’s days were numbered after he went behind Negan’s back and had everyone at the junkyard killed. But it wasn’t certain how Negan would take him out.
We thought Simon would have received a more violent death instead of one of honor where the two fought to the death. Now, he’s living out the rest of his days as a walker chained to the Sanctuary.
46. Michonne was forced to kill her old friend, Jocelyn, when she threatened the lives of herself, Judith, and her unborn child.
It was a huge surprise when Rutina Wesley showed up on “The Walking Dead” as one of Michonne’s closet college friends. It was a bigger surprise when things quickly took a dark turn and Jocelyn betrayed that friendship only to steal the children of Alexandria for her own survival in the zombie apocalypse.
We didn’t rank this death higher because once Jocelyn’s true motives were revealed, it became clear she needed to go. Who forgets their humanity so much that you think it’s ever OK to brand someone who was close to you? It was kill or be killed as Michonne was forced to stab Jocelyn in the chest or risk the chance of losing Judith and her unborn child. It was an unthinkable decision and devastating to watch. It was a reminder that when it comes to survival, the scariest thing in the zombie apocalypse may not be the undead.
45. Mays’ unnamed brother took his own life after stealing a gun off of Father Gabriel.
One of “TWD’s” biggest surprises in a while was learning that Robert Patrick was cast on the show to play twin brothers. The second brother, who was revealed late on season 10, episode 19, was locked in a crawl space forced to live out his days.
When Aaron and Gabriel invited him to come back to Alexandria, he decided to heartbreakingly take his own life instead. It was shocking, but we knew with one season left to go that “TWD” likely wasn’t going to bring on another recurring actor.
44. The Governor was stabbed in the chest by Michonne while fighting with Rick.
The Governor had to go after ruthlessly killing Maggie’s father Hershel in front of everyone. While you may have jumped when Michonne drove her katana through the Governor, his death was more satisfying than surprising, especially when his girlfriend Lily sealed his fate by shooting him in the head.
43. T-Dog was devoured by two walkers at the prison while saving Carol.
Despite being an original cast member, T-Dog wasn’t exactly a major character in the series. While many expected him to part ways with the show eventually, it was slightly surprising to see him sacrifice his life after getting bit to save Carol from walkers.
It’s more surprising to learn that the show actually considered killing Carol in that moment instead of T-Dog.
42. Henry received King Ezekiel’s comic death. He was the final head revealed on the pikes.
Henry’s death was a big change up from the comics as he took over King Ezekiel’s death. We were less shocked to see Henry die since his story has focused heavily around dodging the Whisperers after he convinced Alpha’s daughter, Lydia, to ditch her old life in the communities. His time was up. You can’t escape them forever.
Matt Lintz told INSIDER he was happy his final look at Alpha in the barn before his death made it into the episode. The moment brought his story full circle.
41. Lizzie Samuels was shot by Carol after killing her own sister.
People didn’t expect Lizzie to last long at all after she stabbed her sister and almost killed Judith. Fans still weren’t expecting the heavy scene that came when Carol took the girl out to a field Old Yeller style and told her to look at the flowers while shooting her dead.
40. Negan stabbed David in the neck for attempting to rape Sasha.
While David’s death was adapted straight from the comic, it wasn’t one we were expecting to see play out nearly frame by frame.
For those who aren’t fans of Negan, it may have been a surprise to see him kill one of his own men for attempting to rape Sasha. Despite having several wives, most of whom don’t even want to be married to him, Negan is adamant on his stance about his men committing rape.
39. Just as sparks were starting to fly between Jessie and Rick, she was devoured by walkers.
The only member of the Anderson family that had the slightest chance of surviving outside of Alexandria was Jessie. Unfortunately, she refused to let go of her dying son’s hand and was dragged down into a throng of hungry zombies as well.
This might have come as a shock to some since her relationship with Rick was just starting to kindle. In the end, she met the same death as her character in the comic series.
38. Benjamin died from blood loss after getting shot by a Savior.
Benjamin was just starting to get interesting when he was shot by the Saviors. He had his whole life ahead of him and was working with Morgan as a mentee much like how Morgan worked with his friend Eastman. When Ben was shot instead of Richard it wasn’t only shocking, it was sad.
37. Agatha was bit by a walker before being devoured by a throng of the undead.
Agatha’s (Laurie Fortier) death may not have come as a big surprise since she joined the series for its final season; however, we were shocked at how many walkers were used to take her down.
Since the show has filmed during the pandemic, we thought we may not see deaths like this again on “TWD” for a bit. Seeing an action scene with so many walkers on site made it feel like we were watching the older days of the show.
Agatha’s death scene gets some bonus points for a fun behind-the-scenes detail: One of the walkers who bites her is played by “TWD” executive producer and special effects supervisor, Greg Nicotero.
It was also made a lot sadder once Fortier told us that Agatha and Duncan (who also died on season 11, episode 3) were a couple and that Agatha felt like she had nothing left in the world after his demise.
“When he dies, then it’s kind of like, ‘I have nothing else to live for,'” Fortier told Insider. “So of course it would make sense in that moment that I would sacrifice myself so Maggie can get away.”
You can read more on how Agatha’s death scene came together here.
36. The not-so courageous Nicholas took his life while surrounded by walkers.
Nicholas indirectly killed a couple of people because of his own overwhelming fear, so it wasn’t a surprise that he took his own life after getting trapped by a hoards of walkers. It was a surprise he decided to actually go and do it after Glenn stuck his neck out for him so many times.
The real shock was that he took Glenn down with him. The bigger shock? That the showrunners tortured fans with a “did they? didn’t they?” death scene cliffhanger for Glenn which frustratingly lasted several episodes.
35. Beta died a swift and quick death at the hands of Daryl on the season 10 finale.
We weren’t expecting Beta to survive the season 10 finale. Now, that we know the show is heading into its final 11th season, the Whisperer War had to come to an end sooner or later. We just thought Beta would go out with more of a bang.
The moment Negan, Daryl, and Beta were all on screen together, the scene was over seconds after it began. It was a bit of a frustrating moment for fans who were waiting to see the three (who are good friends in real life) have a little battle royale play out on screen.
“The fact that we didn’t really get a firm real good scene together, I think, we were sad about that,” Ryan Hurst told Insider.
On aftershow “Talking Dead,” Hurst said it was Norman Reedus’ idea to stab Beta in the eyes and get it over with instead of having a long, drawn out fight.
Honestly? The most shocking thing about Beta’s death was how quick it was.
Read more: The biggest moment of ‘The Walking Dead’ finale was shockingly brief. The showrunner and star know fans may be a bit frustrated.
34. Otis was flat out shot and left for dead by Shane.
It’s not just the undead you have to watch out for in the zombie apocalypse. Shane shot Otis in the leg and left him for a group of walkers so he could make an escape.
Otis’ death was so shocking because many thought Shane wouldn’t be capable of something so brutal. Otis didn’t go down without a fight — he tore out a chunk of Shane’s hair — which made watching him get torn apart that much more upsetting.
33. Laura was brutally killed by Beta when he secretly invaded Alexandria.
You may not have even noticed this death.
Beta tossed Laura around violently in the community’s jail cell, leaving her motionless on the floor. However, it wasn’t clear when Beta left whether or not Laura was alive or dead. Her fate wasn’t clear until after-show “Talking Dead” confirmed it following the episode. The character showed up on the show’s “In Memoriam” section.
Laura came a long way after starting out on the show as one of Negan’s Saviors. She redeemed herself by becoming a loyal member of Alexandria. She didn’t hesitate to fight Beta when he threatened the community.
We were a bit surprised to see Laura go from her injuries, especially in an episode where Daryl and Alpha seemed to survive, what should have likely been, wounds that would have killed anyone else.
32. Tara was also taken by the Whisperers and was found on the pikes.
We were definitely surprised Tara took Rosita’s comic death, but Tara hasn’t been given too much to do this season. She was kind of taking over the Hilltop in Maggie and Jesus’ absence, but then Daryl stepped in when the Whisperers showed up at the community.
31. Mika Samuels was killed by her sister offscreen.
Lizzie was clearly a tortured young girl, but nobody expected to see her standing over her dead sister and Judith with a knife in her hand. Luckily, Judith left the scene unharmed. Mika got the short end of the stick and was gruesomely murdered by her older sister, proving that the showrunners have very few boundaries.
30. Lucille took her own life before cancer could kill her.
Lucille’s death wasn’t shocking. Comic fans have waited to see this death play out on screen since the 2017 graphic novel “Here’s Negan” debuted. But little could prepare fans for the emotional gut punch that came with the show’s twist on adapting the character to screen.
In the comics, we barely get to know Lucille. Here, the show made Lucille into a full-fledged badass character fans could fall in love with before tearing her away from viewers in a more meaningful moment than her quick hospital bed death in the graphic novel.
The show presented her as a fighter until her very last breath who went out on her own terms and wasn’t defined by her illness. She overdosed on some of her own pills so her husband, Negan, could stop feeling like he needed to make it his life’s mission to care for her during the zombie apocalypse.
29. Bob Stookey had his leg chopped off and eaten by Terminus residents, but it was a walker bite that eventually killed him.
Bob certainly didn’t play a pivotal role in the group, but his relationship with Sasha and overall kick-butt mentality was gold. After making it out of Terminus alive and reuniting with the group, it was pretty upsetting that he had to go so soon.
At least he got his revenge by letting the cannibals eat tainted meat before he went — a story line taken from Dale’s character in the comic series.
28. Dante was ruthlessly stabbed to death by Father Gabriel.
We didn’t think Dante was going to last long after it was revealed he was a Whisperer mole on the show, but we didn’t expect Father Gabe (Seth Gilliam) to go to town on the spy.
Gabriel brutally stabbed Dante at least 15 times on the “Walking Dead” mid-season finale in his prison cell. On “Talking Dead,” Gilliam said “he decided going in there that he was going to end this particular threat and silence this Whisperer forever.”
“We think that he felt like he might have screwed up in hesitating to act about Negan,” showrunner Angela Kang told Insider of Gabriel’s decision to kill Dante.
“The night that he took to think about what should Negan’s fate be, which is fair and right, that it led to an opening where Negan escaped,” Kang added. “I think in the moment he’s reacting to the fact that Dante has killed a beloved member of his community and his own family, and he kind of swings in the other direction.”
27. Maggie chose to hang Gregory in front of the entire Hilltop after he threatened her life.
Maggie has a zero-tolerance policy with anyone threatening the life of her or her son, Hershel. After giving Gregory numerous chances, he went too far when he tried to have Maggie murdered and subsequently pulled a knife on her himself.
While we were surprised to see Gregory go on the premiere episode, we can’t put him higher on this list because we weren’t surprised by the decision to kill him off. Gregory’s hanging went down almost exactly as it does in the comics.
26. Gavin got stabbed in the neck by Henry.
Just when you thought Morgan was about to take another life — wham! Henry snuck up from behind and drove a spike right through the back of Gavin’s neck.
This death was a bit of a bummer more than an outright shock. Out of all the Saviors, Gavin seemed like one of the few characters who would have been able to turn over a new leaf and work toward a united front between Negan and Rick’s men that Carl envisioned.
Unlike some of Negan’s other top men, Gavin seemed like the Savior you could reason with the most. Right before his death, he told his men to get Ezekiel a pillow to make him comfortable. Does that sound like an awful guy?
25. Enid was another character who was beheaded by the Whisperers and left on a pike.
Enid was the pike death that shocked us the most. We thought her death would have gone to Alden or a member of Magna’s new group of survivors.
Katelyn Nacon, who plays Enid, told Insider she was surprised her character made it past season six. She said her storyline felt like it was starting to have nowhere else to go. The back-half of season nine was really becoming less about her character as an independent, strong character and more about a relationship and that bummed her out a little.
“I thought there was going to be some exciting things to come, but I was a little bummed out with the second [half] of the season of her just kind of being pushed down into a love interest role,” Nacon told INSIDER. “It’s sad that you have a really strong independent woman character on your show already, but then, you put her storyline so focused on a man.”
24. Bad cop Shane Walsh was stabbed in the chest by Rick and then shot in the head by Carl.
Shane needed to go. His jealously over his best friend’s relationship with Rick was sending his character down a grim path and started to take away from the main point of the show. After the stunt he pulled with Otis, it was only a matter of time.
On the other hand, Shane was a huge character in the series, so seeing him finally go was a bit of a shock. Having his former BFF and partner stab him and then watching Carl shoot him in the head at the ripe age of 12 didn’t make it any easier to digest.
23. Merle Dixon was shot in the heart by The Governor before being killed for good by his brother Daryl.
Who thought Merle would return to the show to be such a wickedly good character in the end?
The self-serving brute turned over a new leaf. In his final act, he took out a bunch of the Governor’s men to protect his brother and Rick’s group before getting mercilessly beaten and shot by the Governor himself. If that didn’t get you, Daryl’s reaction to seeing his zombified brother hit fans hard and gave the world the famous Daryl crying meme.
22. Joe, who led the sadistic antagonists of season four, had his neck savagely torn by Rick.
It wasn’t surprising that Rick was able to take Joe and his merry band of misfits out. It was more than shocking to see Rick bite Joe’s neck and rip out his jugular to do it. Sure, it was straight out of the comics, but it was still just plain savage.
21. Walkers tore Shiva apart as she gave her life for Ezekiel, Carol, and Jerry.
Yes, Shiva’s death was sad and a nod to her last moments in the comic; however, it was easy to see this death coming.
It’s been hinted at since San Diego Comic-Con’s season eight trailer for the show. The night of her big farewell, you could feel the show prepping for her death by having Ezekiel give one last big monologue about how much the tiger meant to him. By the time she showed up to save Ezekiel at the episode’s end you already felt like you knew what was coming. Plus, it didn’t seem like the show could keep up with the CG of keeping the character around forever.
20. Negan bashed Glenn’s head in with a baseball bat in the brutal season seven premiere.
This was probably the worst kept secret in the show’s history. After Glenn’s dumpster debacle earlier in season six, it felt like the show continuously teased his potential death. Yet, his life never really felt in jeopardy because big fans of the comic series were expecting Glenn’s iconic comic death to come to fruition when Negan entered the show.
By the time the season seven premiere rolled around many fans weren’t too shocked that Glenn was among the characters to get a bat to the head. Glenn’s fate may have matched the comic series, but after the showrunners tricked viewers into thinking he was spared at the cost of Abraham, many fans boycotted the show.
If the series killed off Abraham at the end of season six and then mercilessly killed Glenn right after instead of making fans wait months for the reveal, the effect probably would have been greater and the death may have been higher up on this list.
19. Sasha committed suicide by taking a cyanide pill given to her by Eugene.
We can’t say we were really surprised to see Sasha go.
Ever since she was captured by Negan’s men it looked like she was going to take the fate of another character from the comics. Most figured her time on the show was also up since she was cast on CBS’ new “Star Trek: Discovery” web series. When flashes of her and her old lover Abraham started playing on screen throughout the season seven finale, we knew Sasha’s time wasn’t long.
The biggest surprise was how the show changed Sasha’s death. Instead of Negan’s men killing her and throwing a sack over her head to return her to Rick — which happens with another character — Sasha died on her own terms, sacrificing herself in the hopes that she would be able to bite Negan or kill another Savior. Still, it wasn’t that big of a surprise since Sasha was given the pill by Eugene the episode prior.
18. Olivia was suddenly shot dead at Negan’s behest.
Olivia’s death was not only shocking because it was so sudden and quick, but also because it strayed far from the comic series where she lasted longer. As well, Olivia (Ann Mahoney) was one of the few characters who wasn’t afraid to stand up to Negan and refuse him. It was something that resonated with fans, making her death more bittersweet.
“There’s a part of me that worried that people would not care that I was gone so I’m really pleasantly surprised that everyone was so upset,” said Mahoney in an interview with Comicbook.com.
17. Tyreese died after getting bitten by one of Noah’s zombified brothers.
After taking care of Judith and becoming one of Carol’s closest friends in the group, it was pretty shocking to see Tyreese get the boot. At the time, Sasha had just recovered from her boyfriend Bob dying only to deal with her brother’s death shortly afterward.
Tyreese’s death was more shocking because of how lame it turned out. One of the big players in the comics and TV show, Tyreese ended up dying from not one, but two walker bites to the arm. This is a character who was decapitated in the comics and his TV death fell a bit flat for a character that was so important in the series. Instead, fans watched an entire episode dedicated to Tyreese hallucinating until he succumbed.
16. Negan slit Alpha’s throat in a moment straight out of the comics.
Comic fans were expecting Alpha to die at some point this season, but not ahead of the finale. Showrunner Angela Kang caught fans off guard by bringing Alpha’s comic death to life in the middle of the show’s half season.
We’re not ranking this higher because the death itself was a bit predictable since it follows Alpha’s comic death almost beat for beat with a few changes. Negan chopped off Alpha’s head and then delivered it to Carol.
Morton told Insider she knew how her character would leave the show since she was cast on the series.
“I was in discussions with [showrunner] Angela [Kang] under the early stages,” said Morton. “If I potentially was going to play Alpha, it was very clear that this character would have her head chopped off.”
The show adaptation receives bonus points for adding extra depth to Alpha’s death. Rick nearly killed Negan on season eight by slitting his throat. Negan then turned around and used that same method to kill Alpha. It was later revealed that Carol released Negan from his jail cell earlier in the season in order for him to infiltrate the Whisperers and assassinate Alpha on her orders. It was a great execution of something fans have seen play out in a different medium.
You can read our full interview with Morton here.
15. The Scavengers were ruthlessly taken out in a spray of bullets at Simon’s command.
After he learned one of his Savior outposts was kidnapped by the Hilltop, Simon was ready to march straight to Maggie for revenge.
Negan stopped him and sent him off to see Jadis and the Scavengers instead. Though he was given orders to kill only one of Jadis’ people, Simon’s rage got the better of him and he shockingly ordered everyone but Jadis to be killed on sight.
Fans haven’t been happy with the junkyard gang for some time, but no one expected them to be killed off so cleanly in one clip.
14. Beta gutted Mary/Gamma in a shocking twist.
We were expecting one or two deaths on season 10, episode 12, but not three.
Mary/Gamma isn’t a character from the comics so when she risked her life to save Alden, Kelly, and her nephew Adam, it was a huge triumph to see her take out all of the dead. We were gutted moments later when Beta showed up out of nowhere to literally gut her with his knife.
Fans probably didn’t see this one coming. Though it was a shocking moment, Mary was never around long enough to become a huge fan favorite. Still, we respect that she went out redeeming herself and protecting her nephew to place her high on our list.
13. Sophia was found zombified in a barn after going missing at the start of season two.
Rick and his crew searched for Carol’s daughter all season. It was a kick to the stomach when she was finally found in the show’s mid-season finale zombified in the barn at the farm where they were staying all along.
12. Lori Grimes died during a hasty C-section birth to Judith.
Her fate was grim, but not nearly as grim as it could’ve been if the show writers had decided to follow through with the death she had in the comic series. Instead of getting blown to bits with a shotgun like in the comics, Lori passed away after giving birth to Judith.
Fans can be thankful that her comic series fate didn’t follow through, but it was still a surprise to see her die before saying goodbye to Rick and spending any real time with her baby.
Another big shock in this scene was that Carl was the one to shoot her in the head before she could reanimate. If you weren’t floored yet, it probably hit you moments later when Rick and the group broke down at the realization of Lori’s death once they saw the baby.
11. Dale Horvath was disemboweled by a walker after Carl refused to kill it in the woods.
His gory demise was a fairly big shock to many viewers who were growing to love Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn). If you follow the comic, his death wasn’t set to come until they were settled into the prison, but the actor opted out early.
According to Jeffery DeMunn he didn’t want to stick around after the show fired the series’ first showrunner, Frank Darabont.
“Yeah when they did that to Frank I told them I wanted out,” DeMunn said at a Walker Stalker Con event. “Frank is a good friend and I wasn’t going to stand there while they screwed him over like that. He worked for five years to get that show on the air.”
10. Carl wound up bit by a walker after he tripped and fell in the woods. He then took his own life offscreen in a church.
After surviving cannibals at Terminus, the wrath of the Governor, and making pals with Negan, Carl wound up dead because of a zombie bite to the side. What a way to go out.
Fans were shocked at the initial reveal in December’s mid-season finale. Carl’s still alive in the comic series of the same name and has become one of the main protagonists as his father is getting older.
The reason Carl isn’t higher on our list is because instead of just killing him off in the winter mid-season finale, the show decided to make fans wait several months before the big reveal of whether or not Carl would survive. By then, it was no secret if you were following the show.
Actor Chandler Riggs himself did an interview with The Hollywood Reporter after it was revealed he was bit and he confirmed his character was getting killed off the show. Riggs shared he had one more episode on the show. Riggs has since poked fun at how his character was killed off the series, even though he told Insider he wasn’t bitter about exiting the zombie drama.
9. Morales was taken out ruthlessly one episode after being reintroduced on the series for the first time since season one.
It was a complete shock to see Morales taken out ruthlessly by Daryl an episode after his huge return to the series. In fact, we were thrown off guard so much so that we were convinced Morales may not actually be dead.
8. Noah was eaten by walkers while trapped in a revolving door.
Noah’s demise wasn’t even his own fault and that’s what makes his death all the more tragic. One of the more unexpected deaths came when Nicholas trapped Noah in a revolving door with walkers to save his own skin.
The only thing that made it worse was watching Glenn’s face as his friend was eaten alive while he couldn’t do anything to stop it or ease his pain.
7. Siddiq was quickly and silently killed by Dante after he was revealed to be a Whisperer in disguise.
In one of the show’s biggest and best twists in years, Siddiq realized that Dante was a Whisperer who held him captive last season. Dante forced him to keep his eyes open and watch his friends get murdered. Unfortunately, Siddiq made this realization while Dante was beside him. Dante had no choice but to kill him right there and then to preserve his secret.
Showrunner Angela Kang and the writers subverted expectations by delivering two big moments that never occurred in the comics, making for surprise TV.
In the comic, Dante is one of the good guys and winds up with Maggie. The Whisperer twist was invented for TV and was tough to see coming unless you picked up on a few small clues throughout the season. Meanwhile, Siddiq is one of the few characters to survive the entire comic run. As we know, on the TV show, doctors never seem to fare well in the zombie apocalypse.
The entire moment was even more heartbreaking because Siddiq was just learning how to start dealing with his PTSD a little more.
“The tragedy is that I think Siddiq was on his first steps out because he was able to start opening up with people about what it is he was going through,” Avi Nash, who plays Siddiq, told Insider.
6. Jesus gets stabbed by a Whisperer who catches him off guard.
Jesus thought he had survived a massive group of walkers. As he went to kill the last one, the walker sidestepped and stabbed Jesus through the middle from behind with a giant sword before telling him he didn’t belong there.
It may have come as a massive shock to some fans since Jesus was still alive in the comics and played a pretty prominent role. This death isn’t ranked higher on our list since it was rumored for months that Payne’s character was getting killed off the show. There was a segment of die-hard fans who saw it coming.
Tom Payne told Insider his death on the show was a mutual decision between both him and the show.
“I was kind of frustrated with what I had gotten to do on the show and I was kind of a bit bored with it,” said Payne. “If I wasn’t being given anything, I was kind of ready to go. And then when Angela called me, I was quite chill about it.”
“I was pretty happy with the whole thing,” he said of how his death scene turned out. “I just want to tell a good story and be part of a shocking moment on the show. I much rather be that than hang around at the Hilltop for another few years.”
5. Denise was shot through the eye with an arrow in the middle of giving a profound speech.
“The Walking Dead” is famous for hitting you where it hurts. After Denise snagged an orange soda for her girlfriend Tara (a clear sign of true love), the showrunners put an arrow straight through her head. The death came as a surprise because its similar to how another character, Abraham, was killed off in the comics. No one expected Denise to meet his fate.
4. Hershel Greene was brutally decapitated by The Governor.
Hershel wasn’t gruesomely decapitated in the comics. Instead, he asked for his life to be taken by the Governor after one of his sons, Billy, was killed.
Hershel received more of a hero’s death on the show. Making his family and friends watch it all go down was awful and jaw-dropping.
3. Abraham Ford was the first character to die at the hands of Negan and his beloved baseball bat Lucille.
After one of the biggest cliffhangers in television history, fans were placing bets on which character would take the hit. It was Glenn who died in the comics, which is why so many people were horrified Negan’s first choice to bludgeon to death ended up being Abraham. (Glenn was just a bonus death on the show.)
Abraham was a well-liked character, but he long outlived his character’s comic arc. In the comics, Abraham never lived to meet Negan. We later learned he wound up being a casualty because Negan saw Abe as the group’s biggest threat.
2. Viewers were shocked to see Andrea die from a walker bite.
Fans thought Andrea would get away from the Governor’s compound unscathed after miraculously fending off a zombified Milton. However, she ended up bitten in the process and shot herself to avoid becoming a walker.
No one thought it was Andrea’s time to go. She lives on in the comics for a long time, so seeing her meet her end came as a huge shock to many.
Laurie Holden, who played Andrea, said she was originally supposed to stick around for her comic character’s story, including falling in love with Rick. Holden said she felt like she had been shot when written out. Now, she’s grateful for how things ended.
“I’m very grateful, how it was written that I went out with grace and with a stellar cast. It wasn’t the way that I wanted, but I loved the way I went out,” she said at Walker Stalker Con in New Jersey in 2016.
1. Beth Greene was suddenly shot just as she was being saved from her kidnappers.
After Beth was held hostage for several episodes at Grady Memorial Hospital, it looked like she was finally back with the group. It was too good to be true.
Beth’s decision to kill the ruthless head of the hospital went from a triumphant moment to one filled with utter, instantaneous shock. No sooner than Beth stabbed Dawn was she accidentally shot in the head as her friends watched in horror. The next scene of Daryl carrying Beth’s limp body out of the hospital to her distraught sister was even more gut-wrenching.