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So much death in ‘The Walking Dead.’ Which characters are most indispensable at the moment?

Norman Reedus plays Daryl Dixon with steely resolve. No way the producers would kill him off. Right? CREDIT: AMC

Norman Reedus plays Daryl Dixon with steely resolve. No way the producers would kill him off. Right? CREDIT: AMC

Which "Walking Dead" characters would you NOT want killed any time soon? (pick up to three)

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I was talking to a colleague about “The Walking Dead” and I said that Daryl Dixon is probably the most popular character on the show. That made me wonder: who do you think is the most indispensable character on the show, the one person the producers are least likely to kill off?

Sure, they could follow the graphic novels on that front but that is clearly not a necessity. Shane lived a lot longer on the TV show than the novels. Daryl doesn’t even exist in comic books.

This is a huge ensemble cast. The show has already nixed a host of characters. Last season, they lost Sophia, Dale and key figure Shane. This season, T-Dog and Rick’s wife Lori have bit the dust.  More are likely to come.

But “The Walking Dead” hinges as much – if not more – on its cast as it does on the zombies. Kill off too many popular characters and the audience might rebel and stop watching. So far, the deaths have worked for the story lines to date and have not hurt the show’s buzzworthiness. (The sixth episode Sunday night drew a season low but still formidable 9.21 million viewers, with a 4.9 rating among 18 to 49 year olds.) The producers introduced two deeply intriguing new characters this season in the Governor and Michonne, while bringing back our favorite psycho redneck Merle, now replete with a convenient stabbing device for an arm.

People are now wondering what will happen when Daryl reunites with his bro Merle. How will that go? There is a presumption that if one has to die, it would be Merle. Norman Reedus portrays Daryl as a combination of steel, warmth and power. His death would certainly cause a major rebellion among “Walking Dead” aficionados.

Which characters would you like dead (or not miss at all if they did become zombies)? Pick up to 3

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But is Rick really all that indispensable? Sure, he’s been the stoic, determined leader for his crew of survivors. But post-Lori, is he capable of making the right decisions for the group? Could Daryl take over and do as good a job? Would he want the responsibility?

I can’t see the producers killing the Governor or Michonne off any time soon. They’re both too integral to current story lines – at least through the finale of this season.

Glenn and Maggie as a couple are popular, too. Turning one of them over to the walker side might engender serious backlash.

Would Andrea's death kill your desire to keep watching the show? CREDIT: AMC

Would Andrea's death kill your desire to keep watching the show? CREDIT: AMC

But the rest of the crew, I fathom, could go away and not necessarily hurt the show.

Hershel is missing part of a leg. He can’t run. He has limited mobility. He probably isn’t long for this world. His daughter Beth has very few lines. Will anyone care if she dies? The two prisoners – Oscar and Axel – are clearly dispensable. I don’t get a sense the writers are overly committed to their survival.

And that baby. Given how dangerous the world is now, does the infant stand a chance?

Andrea, given how easily she’s fallen for the Governor instead of sticking with Michonne, is now probably viewers’ least favorite character right now. She could certainly go away and few tears would be shed.

Milton, the scientist-type, seems too important to the Woodbury crew to die in the near future. He seems like a good-hearted character at the moment.

Carol may be alive now but for how long?  She has always been a secondary character so she could be used as a pawn down the road.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and theories.

A reminder: there are only eight episodes airing through Dec.2 before the show goes on a break until February, 2013 for the final eight of season three.

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71 comments Add your comment


November 20th, 2012
3:37 pm

I predict Andrea bites the dust, either directly or indirectly by the Gov. She’s going to stumble on his secrets, and that will be all she wrote….


November 20th, 2012
3:52 pm

Andea might be more interesting if she was played by an actress with more emotional range. The person who plays her now has a total of two facial expressions: confused (frown), and not-confused (smirk and nod). She can go any day now.


November 20th, 2012
3:59 pm

Rick will survive until Carl is ready to take over. Daryl is the wild-card. I unfortunately see his demise by season 5 although would welcome he and Carl as the future leaders once Rick is dead. Andrea is in for the long haul as much as we don’t want her to be. Maggie, well she and Glenn have good times and bad but either one is gone by season 5. Carol will be there for awhile but always in peril. Merle is good as dead. Michonne survives until the end as the only strong female character left who also happens to be African American. Would have loved to see the exchanges between TDog and Oscar had they let them both exist in the prison.


November 20th, 2012
4:03 pm

Andrea will be fed to the Governors Daughter, like the others!

Mr. Obvious

November 20th, 2012
4:15 pm

As she announced in Season 1, and as we could on Sunday night, “Andrea The Easy” REALLY misses her vibrator.

Merle Dixon is probably the only remaining bad boy in that post-apocalyptic world she wouldn’t mount.

Mr. Obvious

November 20th, 2012
4:18 pm

In trying to rescue Glenn & Maggie, Daryl Dixon will be forced to make a choice to either kill his brother Merle or be killed by him.

Mr. Obvious

November 20th, 2012
4:21 pm

The Governor is probably going to bend Maggie over a table and make Glenn watch as part of his interrogation.


November 20th, 2012
4:26 pm

Andrea is probably carrying so many STDs in her body right now from all her sleeping around that the “zombie virus” should be THE LEAST of her concerns.


November 20th, 2012
4:32 pm

I know that there are times that Daryl gets his arrows back from zombies, but there are other times he doesn’t. He has to be running low by now. I’m guessing there’ll be a showdown between him and that woman on the wall who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a cannonball in the next episode.

Anyways, good write up Rodney. If I had to pick someone to die it’d be Herschell and his younger daughter. I’ve no clue how they survived that previous onslaught.. Oscar can fix cars and motorcycles, so I’d keep him around. I think that now that Axel has some slippers, he may grow into his character more. Michonne won’t die any time soon. In the episdoe where Merle was about to defy the governor to look for his brother, I thought I saw a shred of human decency and redemption in Merle and he could have gone down the right path had he treated Glenn and Maggie right, but no, he’s too much of a loose cannon and needs to die QUICKLY. Michonne sliced the wrong peopple.


November 20th, 2012
4:46 pm

To the “DeadManWalking” above, you have you’re characters confused. Axel is the scrawny muskrat white guy, and Oscar is the big black guy.

Anyway, I know this won’t happen, because it was drive Rick insane to death, but I really wish they would just dropkick Carl off the show. His attitude is that of a psycho little kid and he thinks he’s better and older than he is. He isn’t mature and he’s going for a girl (Beth) who has at least four years on him. It’s time for a reality check.


November 20th, 2012
5:02 pm

There will be some interesting tensions between Daryl & Michonne…..both well versed in the wild.I also believe Merle & Daryl will be pitted against each other…but I see Merle sacrificing himself for the old crew.Andrea will see her mistake getting pulled in by the Governor. Hell…Lori’s gone,,,why NOT Rick? Smearing themselves with guts…they’ll be leaving the prison soon….I see the Governor gone by this season’s end.Hershel now does’nt have to run….covered in guts.So my picks? Merle & The Governor gone by season’s end.


November 20th, 2012
5:16 pm

I think Andrea is an easily redeemable character. Viewers are easily swayed as to her allegiances. I think she will grow from this as much as I don’t like her now. And for the fact alone that I do not like her, I respect the dubious character she represents. Most characters fall either on good or bad, but Andrea is one of the few that we can hate and forgive. I think the writers of the Walking Dead can easily make us either hate her more or adore her by season 3. If she helps Glenn or Maggie or kills the Governor I will regain my respect. If she turns sides I will finally say that I am done with her. Let’s not forget that she was in fact left behind when trying to rescue another character – So easy we judge. I also disagree with people that say she is a bad actress. She stirs too much commotion to be that. When we watch a show it’s easy to see where the chips fall. It’s easy to side with Michonne especially since we agree with her knowing things Michonne does not. It almost makes me question, where she gets this deep knowledge that Rick’s group can be trusted and Gov. couldn’t. I get the investigation she’s done, but let’s be honest she didn’t like him before that when she had nothing to go on. I would be ok with that if she didn’t trust anyone, but she comes to the prison without reservations. Daryl, Glenn and Carol are by far my favorites. I don’t know why so little people like Carol. She’s soft spoken, solid and likable. She obviously knows how to survive. She just did it on her own (barely, but still). I just see potential.


November 20th, 2012
5:16 pm

The Governor,Merle,Axel,Oscar,Beth and I hate to say it but Daryl………


November 20th, 2012
5:54 pm

I still would like to see zombie babies. I thought for sure little zombie toddlers would come crawling out at the daycare center. What a moral dilemma. Do we kill the zombie babies or just leave?


November 20th, 2012
6:23 pm

We still are not sure if Lori is dead. We have an ongoing bet in my household that she is still alive.i would like to see the gov bend her over the table

Carolyn Mc Donough

November 20th, 2012
6:26 pm

Unfortunately I think Andrea will become like the Governors daughter…a walker that he will keep around…bye for now


November 20th, 2012
6:32 pm

wow, didnt know there was so much andrea hate. she been my favourite from the start and think she a brilliant actress. I dont blame her for going over to the governor, she feels abandoned by her group and is just looking for some normality.I do think it likely she bite the dust soon though but overall her story been the one i most interested in and think it great, the changes she been through have been very telling of what the zombie apocalypse can do to a person, but since she in such a risky position it doesnt look good for her. I loved lori but her death was so exceptional that it didnt turn me off, but instead one of the most fraught scenes i ever seen. If andrea does go i hope it does her character justice as well as i would be very disappointed if it was a death for the sake of it


November 20th, 2012
6:48 pm

i think merle will cut off glens hand and the governor will rape maggie, these wre both scenes important to the comic but with different characters, and i think there will be some kind of cros betwee daryl,merle,the governor and rick and ddaryl or merle will kill the governor


November 20th, 2012
7:47 pm

Andrea is destined to kill the Governator.

Jimmy john's

November 20th, 2012
7:50 pm

I would love to lay with Andrea. That scene with her feet and legs in the bed made me howl!!!!!


November 20th, 2012
8:28 pm

My bad on having the two prisoners confused. Carl won’t be dying any time soon. Rick would lose it and probably kill everyone including the cameramen and producers. I can’t believe people still think Lori is alive…


November 20th, 2012
8:33 pm

@ Jimmy john’s

Those legs and feet were obviously a body double.

Chucky chese

November 20th, 2012
8:51 pm

it is possible Lori could be alive? Remember the Walkers/Biters dont eat the dead, and there was no body found.I see some sort of conflict between the “Gov” vs Merle he has got to be punished for not being loyal, and lying.

Blu N Bea's Mom

November 20th, 2012
9:25 pm

I don’t hate Andrea. Remember when Andrea said that she didn’t know that much about Michonne. The governor is shown to be a charasmatic man(even though we all know differently). Who wouldn’t want the semblence of safety and seeing other people living a semi-normal life? To Andrea, Michonne is a bit paranoid…though the paranoid is justified. I am totally digging Michonne though, she is awesome! Hershel–he will stay around, he will prove that an injured man is just as important as an uninjured one. The white prisoner–where was he last episode? He needs to go. I think he is going to do something bad to Beth and those 2 will be off the show. Darryl and Carol–we all know that Darryl is helping all of those ‘bad boys’ have a chance to find true love! (Thanks writers and Norman Reedus! LOL) I think Michonne will teach Rick and the group a thing or two about surviving with the walkers maybe even talk about her ‘pets’.

Bye Bye

November 20th, 2012
9:57 pm

Maggie – Pretty young lady and has been a good character…. but she dies only because her fake southern accent is the worst in cable history.


November 20th, 2012
10:23 pm

Along with hearing voices on the telephone and the other effects of his mental meltdown it would’ve been interesting if Rick started speaking with Andrew Lincoln’s Brit accent.


November 20th, 2012
11:56 pm

I’ve always said as long as Daryl’s alive they can do whatever they want. But him and Rick and the baby for me, would suck to see them go. Those are the three but I pretty much would miss anyone BUT Andrea, the Governor and Milton.

Mr Yo

November 21st, 2012
12:04 am

Kill Carol. She’s used as a prop to develop Daryl and only magic writing this season has made her suddenly useful.


November 21st, 2012
12:17 am

I think Daryl is actually at the most danger of dying. He is the most loved, so naturally the most in danger. I fear he’ll be decapitated by the governor or something. I just know the writers will do something more to make the second half of the season to gut wrench all the fans.

Truth be Told

November 21st, 2012
12:30 am

Hershel was stopped for DUI in Peachtree City last month while driving a PT Cruiser after 2AM. I predict he’s a goner. But then, anyone driving a PT Cruiser after 2AM is probably a goner. Leg or no leg.


November 21st, 2012
2:15 am

i think this is one of the best tv shows out there so far i think there should be less of the drama and more action like the first 2 season’s…..i like all the characters they all serve there purposes…


November 21st, 2012
4:20 am

I would hope that only Beth and Maggie or one or both of the prison guys would kick the bucket. Anyone else would be a waste. I think the rest serve a purpose that needs to be explored. Definitely not up to loosing any of the main group after the loses we had already.

790 The Thug: Bad Radio for Bad People

November 21st, 2012
5:37 am

RE: The Dead Don’t Eat The Dead


Remember the dead camper who had hung himself in Season 2 where the Walkers had eaten his legs while his dead body was hanging from a tree & prior to his turning?


November 21st, 2012
5:42 am

Glen and Maggie could easily go. They contribute very little to the storyline. Hershel, the character, has a way of speaking that’s particularly annoying. Rick’s fake Southern accent is amazingly fake! Anyway, the storyline is kind of losing its way at this point. There’s a limit to what you can do with Zombies and a post-apocalyptic world. I think that’s why the scenes are becoming more gruesome….to maintain audience interest and shock value.

Norman Reedus

November 21st, 2012
5:54 am

Andrea needs to stop having sex with everything!!!!!!


November 21st, 2012
8:12 am

It’s all a dream and Rick Grimes will awaken back in the hospital after being in a coma. Shane, Lori and Carl will be at his side with love. :-)


November 21st, 2012
8:23 am

790 you are incorrect- the camper tried to hang himself but his neck didn’t snap. The walkers gnawed at his legs while he was still alive.


November 21st, 2012
9:09 am

Many of the same people on here who profess such “love” for Daryl Dixon are the same ones who come on the AJC blogs to make fun of the Daryl Dixon-types of the real world for living in trailer parks, watching NASCAR, bowhunting animals, being under-educated and simply being “redneck white trash.”

You people know who you are.


November 21st, 2012
9:16 am

People the comic series is the story arch. Rich, Carl, Andrea and Michonne will not be killed unless one of the actors playing does characters wants off the TV show. Don’t forget all of the major deaths also have happened in the comic series just not in the same time frame. Michonne probably trust Rick’s group because she’s spent months with Andrea listening to her talk about the group. Andrea has only had sex on the TV show twice so she’s not sleeping with everything. The most likely major person to go will be Hershel or Beth with one sacrificing themselves for the other.


November 21st, 2012
9:50 am

I hate to think about it, but I think Glenn’s going to lose a hand. I wish they wouldn’t do that, but I think that’s what is coming.

I do see some major confrontation coming between Daryl and Meryl. That’s probably the cliff hanger at the end of episode 8. Daryl will have to choose between his brother and saving the group.

I see Milton turning on the Governor to save Andrea or Glenn and Maggie. I could see him joining the group back at the prison.

Remember everyone, this show has stayed very unpredictable since the beginning. I read the comics and still haven’t been able to predict what is coming. It doesn’t matter what the sneak peaks or pictures show, the story will take a direction no one can predict. That’s what I love about it.


November 21st, 2012
10:23 am

Can’t wait til Daryl faces his brother. Daryl has found the “family” he never had and when he sees Meryl, the hatred and pain will come flooding in and it’s going to be messy.


November 21st, 2012
10:48 am

Andrea is the only character on the show is slept with as many men in the 25 episodes of the show as Rick’s Ex-Ho Dead Wife.

Maggie said she liked to smoke cigarettes a lot after her mom died.

We all know what THAT means, don’t we, Fellas?


November 21st, 2012
10:51 am


Andrea is the only **FEMALE** character on the show is slept with as many men in the 25 episodes of the show as Rick’s Ex-Ho Dead Wife.

Shane & The Governor have probably even tried HITTIN’ IT with not-too-bad-looking Walker Chicks.

Jay Roc

November 21st, 2012
12:56 pm

I disagree, I think the remaining central characters are all vital to the fan base. Andrea, although she may be unlikable at points, still is one of the defining characters in the show. She’s the very independent woman who can hold her own. I actually enjoy her–she offers a very Cleopatra attitude to the show. Rick is also a pivotal character. The story just wouldn’t be the same without him. No one, not even Daryl, could replace Rick as the central character. Michonne, like Andrea (as in the comics), is a central character and pivotal in driving the story. Glen and Maggie are fan favorites. If you kill either of them, then I doubt the show could last much longer without either of their character arcs. Of everyone, Carol (even though I love her character), Hershel, Beth, Axel and Oscar are all expendable. But, the central characters, if you kill either of them off, I think you would lose some fans.

[...] AccessAtlanta Traducido por Lilith / Staff Norman Reedus [...]

Unpopular Opinions

November 24th, 2012
1:51 am

I like Andrea on paper but the actress’ acting tics bother the hell out of me. But I have to say that people judging her for sleeping with the Governor and for trusting him are wrong. She doesn’t know what we know and she thinks Woodbury is safe.

I’m not invested in Andrea though and everytime I hear people say things about how awesome she is in the comics, I want to say back to them that I too read the comics and a cast of more one dimensional zombie killers and cartoon badasses couldn’t be found. Same goes for all the characters. The show has its issues but the characters are accessible at least.

The show is not the comics. The show is not the comics.

I like Michonne because she is a person of color but again, she’s cartoon badass with the her katanas and the stuff with the governor solidified it. Rick’s character development in the comics is horrible.

Sigh. I wish the show would go its own way and not let the comics or fan popularity tie their hands in terms of character death. It’s certain that Daryl is the most popular character but I hope when the show kills him off, they do it when it’s right for the TV show character and not because the comics necessitate it and at the same time, I hope they don’t keep him on to pacify fans either. I will say this, I think killing off Daryl will probably only be done when the show’s run out of some steam and they need a big splash and it most probably will affect the popularity of the show.

The people whose death I fear right now are Carol’s, Beth’s, and Hershel’s. I just need them to make it to S3. The introduction of Tyreese soon makes me nervous for Carol who is a far improved character from her comic self.

Rick, Andrea, and Michonne are the safest but I don’t really care about them even though I know that. I feel like I should care about Michonne – solidarity as a minority – but she’s not accessible at all to me. I don’t care about Carl either. /shrugs. I’m going to sit here and shake my head because most of the central comics characters are the characters I care least about. I liked Lori and I wish that death hadn’t happened.

I need Glenn, Maggie, Carol, Daryl, Beth, Oscar, and Hershel to make it to S4. I don’t mind if the baby dies but I kind of want her to live just to counteract her fate in the comics.

I would trade Rick, Andrea, and Michonne for my favorites to live and for Lori to come back. I don’t really care about a bunch of cartoon badasses with weak character narratives. If I wanted that, I’d go read DC or Marvel.

Unpopular Opinions

November 24th, 2012
1:59 am

@Kat I think Andrea could be an interesting character but the actress, barring some moments like with her sister and when she talks about her sister, cannot act well. She relies on the same acting tics and the smirk drives me crazy. I wish people would stop slutshaming her though. As long as she’s being safe, who cares? And she only slept with 2 people! That’s one of the least objectionable things about Andrea but that’s what people pick up on.


November 24th, 2012
8:44 pm

If either Daryl or Glenn dies I refuse to watch the show that is a promise. The governor and Andrea aren’t going to die because who will we hate besides Merle? I think either carol, Beth, or Hershel may die though. As for the baby well I don’t know how viewers will feel about a baby dying but then again how long can it survive?


November 24th, 2012
10:05 pm

I realize this story is based on a comic, however, I read an interesting article stating if you keep killing main characters, viewers will tire and quit watching. Very good ratings, still last week they were down. I for one, am tired of the whole Shane,Dale, and now Lori and TDogg demise(s). Getting sick of the show killing good characters, and so find myself not staying with an entire show anymore (just kind of checking in so to speak). So…..maybe the writers better realize to keep this show around they should wake up and realize that killing main characters is not a shock anymore. I have many family members that just quit watching. Is this going to be just a teen male show? Too bad, enjoyed the first couple years a lot.


November 24th, 2012
11:36 pm

Kat, you are a joke. Perhaps you missed the first two seasons.