SPOILER ALERT: if you’re currently binge-watching The Walking Dead to get caught-up to the Season 8 premiere, STOP READING NOW!
Tonight’s the night! It’s the beginning of All Out War between Rick’s group and Negan’s Saviors! If you haven’t already (really?), check out the trailer above.
In the meantime, let’s remember those we’ve lost.
I’ve compiled a list of eight deaths (NOTE: with a couple of ties) on The Walking Dead that hit me the hardest (from #8: tough; to #1 completely heartbreaking). Full disclosure: I’ve read the comic books all the way up to Issue #145 (but I’ll try to steer clear of that).
#8 Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hold a grudge against Carl for letting that walker loose down by the creek: the walker that eventually ended-up killing/eating Dale. This was especially jarring because Dale lasted longer in The Walking Dead comic books (one of the many times the television writers threw us off by deviating from the comic books!).
#7 Tyreese (Chad Coleman) But he was so close to living after being bitten by Noah’s brother! And I was really hoping they’d keep this character on the television show longer (he was one of my favorites in the comic books). But when he started to be peaceful and compassionate, I had a feeling he was a goner.
#6 Beth (Emily Kinney) Another, “…but she was SO CLOSE!” If Dawn the cop hadn’t (accidentally?) shot Beth (after Beth stabbed her), Beth would have been back with the group! And the camera shot of Daryl carrying a dead Beth out of the hospital (and Maggie’s gut-wrenching reaction) was horrendous.
#5 Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika (Kyla Kenedy) (TIE) Lizzie obviously had some major mental problems (the main one being that she thought it was OK to kill people, because they’d, “come back forever”), and when she was about to kill baby Judith, I almost lunged at my television. But the visual of her deceased sister, Mika, will forever be burned into my brain. And don’t even get me started with Carol’s, “Just look at the flowers, Lizzie…” line.
#4 Merle (Michael Rooker) Yes, Merle was technically a jerk (and I’m editing myself with that term). But, boy, did he redeem himself by going head-to-head with The Governor (even though Merle lost the fight). And the fact that Daryl had to kill “the walker version” of his brother (and cried in the process: one of only a few times he’d done that!) was painful.
#3 Hershel (Scott Wilson) It’s late enough in the television series to divulge the fact that Tyreese was decapitated by The Governor in the comic books. So when Michonne and Hershel were on their knees at the gates of the prison, I knew either death was going to be shocking. But when Rick tried to reason with The Governor…and the camera cut to Hershel’s grin…and The Governor struck Hershel (with his daughters looking on!)…I was speechless.
#2 Sophia (Madison Lintz) I remember a friend telling me he totally predicted Sophia being one of the walkers in Hershel’s barn. I, however, did not (and I believe very few did). So much of Season 2 of The Walking Dead was calm…serene…almost safe. So when “the walker” Sophia shambled out of the barn, it was a punch in the gut for me (I have a daughter Sophia’s age: so I couldn’t help but relate to Carol’s pain). It was a dark, cold reminder of how horrible and heartless this undead world could be.
#1 Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) (TIE) The beginning of Season 7 opened with a couple of the most shocking (and horrifyingly violent) deaths in The Walking Dead universe. Most people thought Abraham would be killed (SPOILER: he was already gone at this point in the comic books): but Glenn’s death (SPOILER: nearly taken panel for panel from the comic books) was especially hard because Daryl “caused it” by attacking Negan/”breaking his rules”. Glenn and Abraham’s deaths were so earth shaking, that almost everything that happened in Season 7 (and will most definitely happen in Season 8) are reactions to these two deaths.
RIP those lost on The Walking Dead.
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