10 Most Shocking Scenes from The Walking Dead TV Show, Ranked

The Walking Dead universe is about to expand in new and exciting directions with its upcoming spinoff, The Ones Who Live. The upcoming spinoff finally brings back Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes, years after he mysteriously disappeared from the flagship series. Longtime fans of the franchise are ecstatic to see the hero return once more after years of following his post-apocalyptic adventures.

In its eleven seasons, The Walking Dead gained a reputation for pulling off shocking and often upsetting stunts that left its fanbase utterly shaken and, at times, even disturbed. Whether by killing off beloved characters or by dropping major bombshells about the apocalypse, The Walking Dead never failed to keep viewers on their toes.

11 Rick Wakes Up In An Abandoned Hospital

The Walking Dead: Rick (Andrew Lincoln) roaming through the hospital

The Walking Dead got off to a terrific start with its pilot episode, which dropped viewers right into the middle of the apocalypse when Rick Grimes woke up from his months-long coma. A long and now iconic sequence follows the dazed Rick as he limps along through the abandoned hospital, slowly uncovering what little remains of the staff and patients inside.

This scene is a true masterclass in tension-building, as audiences are forced to follow Rick as he finds increasingly horrifying imagery, from bullet holes in the wall to a chained door keeping out legions of zombies, and even rows of bodies left behind by the government. This scene showed viewers that The Walking Dead wasn’t messing around, but was willing to go all the way in depicting the horrors of the apocalypse.

10 Dwight Kills Denise

The Walking Dead: Denise is shot with an arrow through the eye

The sixth season of The Walking Dead included a particularly shocking amount of deaths but perhaps none quite as jolting as that of Denise Cloyd, Alexandria’s resident doctor. While on a supply run with Daryl, Rosita, and Eugene, Denise gets fed up with her companions’ bickering and gives an impassioned speech about toughing things out. However, she is cut off halfway through her speech as an arrow lodges itself in her eye, killing her.

While Denise was not as major a character as some other shocking deaths in The Walking Dead, the unexpectedness of her death shook fans to their core. Never again would audiences trust a tight camera angle in a scene, as it is always possible for danger to be lurking around every corner.

9 The Governor Decapitates Hershel

Hershel Greene held captive with a sword to his neck in The Walking Dead

In the midseason finale of The Walking Dead‘s fourth season, the villainous Governor captures Hershel and Michonne and holds them captive in front of the prison community’s walls. Rick begs his enemy to consider resolving things peacefully, only for the Governor to brutally behead Hershel with Michonne’s katana.

Hershel’s death is one of The Walking Dead‘s most shocking scenes, as audiences are forced to watch one of the kindest characters in the series meet one of the most brutal ends imaginable. Even worse, Hershel’s daughters and friends are forced to watch his excruciating demise, easily making his exit one of The Walking Dead‘s saddest deaths ever.

8 The Whisperers Reveal Themselves

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