Every Major Walking Dead Character Who Died Before The End – News Today

Every Major Walking Dead Character Who Died Before The End

The Walking Dead has killed off more characters than just about any other show – here’s every TWD character who died, including in the series finale.

Walking Dead character deaths


  • “The Walking Dead” has the highest death count of any TV show, with major characters falling victim to zombies, humans, and disease.
  • The original main cast of “The Walking Dead” has been almost entirely wiped out throughout the show’s 11 seasons.
  • Each character’s death in “The Walking Dead” is significant and often tragic, adding to the show’s massive graveyard of characters.

The Walking Dead has killed off more characters than just about any other show out there — so, who dies in The Walking Dead? Here are all the major Walking Dead deaths that occurred in TWD seasons 1-11, including those who died in the finale. Although other TV series have featured the deaths of major characters, The Walking Dead remains on top of that mountain of bodies, being the only series to kill off almost the entire original main cast. The list of who dies in The Walking Dead is finally complete, however, as Walking Dead‘s eleventh and final season has finally been completed.

The Walking Dead has killed off dozens and dozens of characters: at the hands of zombies and humans alike, and even by disease. The dead include heroes and villains, main cast members, and one-off bit players, all serving to fill the massive graveyard earned by the show. This makes sense, as a zombie apocalypse isn’t exactly the safest of situations, with potential death lurking around every corner. With that in mind, here’s the full rundown of every main character who dies in The Walking Dead between the premiere in 2010 and 2022’s TWD season 11 finale.

The walking dead season 12 original plan rick grimes


How Walking Dead’s Original Season 12 Plan Changed

The Walking Dead was originally going to span for 12 seasons. Here’s why TWD season 12 never happened, and why the changed plan worked.

1 Dale Horvath (Jeffrey DeMunn)

Season 2, Episode 11, “Judge, Jury And Executioner”

Dale in The Walking Dead

One of the most likable of the initial survivors, Dale fell through no real fault of his own, late in season 2. His Walking Dead death is indirectly caused by Carl, as a zombie the boy has been bothering earlier in the day manages to find his way to the farm. He isn’t bitten but gets disemboweled, which is objectively much worse. Daryl ends up shooting Dale to provide him with a merciful death, as his injuries are critical. This was one of the saddest of the early deaths on The Walking Dead.

2 Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal)

Season 2, Episode 12, “Better Angels”

F-favorite antagonist Shane Walsh died near the end of season 2. Played by future The Punisher star Jon Bernthal, Shane began The Walking Dead as Rick Grimes’ best friend, but they end up at each other’s throats due to a mutual love for Rick’s wife Lori and a desire to lead the group. Shane attempts to kill Rick, but the latter gets the upper hand and stabs his former friend to death late in season 2. Carl then shoots Shane after he turns into a zombie. It is the first human villain’s death in the franchise.

3 Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies)

Season 3, Episode 4, “Killer Within”

Lori in The Walking Dead

Lori Grimes, the love of both her husband Rick Grimes and post-apocalyptic boyfriend Shane Walsh, meets a particularly bad fate early in season 3. Treacherous ex-con Andrew allows zombies into the prison to try and kill Rick, and during the invasion, Lori goes into labor with baby Judith. She ends up needing an emergency c-section from Maggie for the baby to survive, but the shock and blood loss kill her. Carl then shoots his mom off-screen to prevent her reanimation, making it one of the most depressing of The Walking Dead deaths in the series. Luckily, it eliminates the graphic Lori death scene from the comics.

4 Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker)

Season 3, Episode 15, “This Sorrowful Life”

Merle in The Walking Dead

To call Merle Dixon, expertly played by Michael Rooker, a complicated man would be an understatement. In season 1, he’s shown to be both a violent loose cannon and a virulent racist, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him when Rick leaves him to die on a rooftop. By season 3, he’s become the lead henchman for The Governor, but Merle is shown to have a conscience after all when he turns on his boss to save Michonne’s life, only to violently die in The Walking Dead. Later, zombie Merle is found and put down by his brother, a tearful Daryl.

5 Andrea (Laurie Holden)

Season 3, Episode 16, “Welcome To The Tombs”

The Walking Dead's Andrea

Andrea’s Walking Dead death ends up being her terrible decision to get romantically involved with Philip Blake, aka The Governor. Andrea meets her maker in the final episode of season 3 after The Governor turns on her and leaves her to be eaten by the reanimated Milton. Andrea escapes her restraints but still ends up getting bitten by Milton. Andrea later shoots herself in the head with her friend Michonne by her side. This is also very different from the comics, as the TV show changes a lot about Andrea’s character and ends up making her more like Carol in the comics, switching the two characters’ personalities.

6 Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson)

Season 4, Episode 8, “Too Far Gone”

Hershel Greene looking serious in The Walking Dead.

Hershel was at odds with members of Rick’s group at first, due to his attachment to the walkers residing in his barn. Once everyone had fled the barn for the prison though, Hershel evolved into a father figure for the survivors at large, and also a close mentor for Rick as he attempted to lead the group to prosperity. That was until he was violently decapitated by The Governor halfway through season 4. It was tough for Hershel, who dies in The Walking Dead right in front of his daughters Maggie and Beth.

7 The Governor (David Morissey)

Season 4, Episode 8, “Too Far Gone”

The Governor from The Walking Dead holding a rifle and wearing an eyepatch.

When it comes to a villain who dies in The Walking Dead, The Governor, Philip Blake is The Walking Dead‘s first real main antagonist, a contemptible person the survivors could truly unite against. The only one who gravitates to him is Andrea, and this is despite seeing what he has done to the people in his community. In the same episode in which he killed Hershel, The Governor was stabbed to near-death by Michonne’s sword, then later shot in the head by brief romantic interest Lilly Chambler to finish the job. It was a fan-favorite ending for a truly evil character.

8 Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.)

Season 5, Episode 3, “Four Walls And A Roof”

Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey in The Walking Dead

Bob wasn’t much help when he first joined Rick’s group back in The Walking Dead season 4, as he was struggling with alcoholism and depression related to being the sole survivor of his prior post-apocalyptic communities. His outlook improves after making it out of the prison alive, and even more during his romantic relationship with Sasha. Unfortunately, his life ends badly, first being bitten by a zombie, then captured by the cannibals from Terminus and having his leg eaten, then finally being put down before reanimation by Tyreese as a devastated Sasha looks on.

9 Gareth (Andrew J. West)

Season 5, Episode 3, “Four Walls And A Roof”

Gareth in The Walking Dead

The leader of Terminus, Gareth promoted his community as a sanctuary, but it wasn’t, as the residents had been driven to cannibalism after a traumatic experience. For a time, Rick’s group is held hostage in Terminus, but they escape. Gareth gets a measure of revenge by eating Bob’s leg, but an attempted ambush at Father Gabriel’s church goes awry, with Rick getting the upper hand, and then hacking Gareth to death with a machete. Many of the people Rick killed may arguably not have deserved it, but in Gareth’s case, his Walking Dead death very much fit the crime.

10 Beth Greene (Emily Kinney)

Season 5, Episode 8, “Coda”

Emily Kinney as Beth Greene

Beth Greene, Hershel’s daughter, and Maggie’s sister, becomes a polarizing character as her time on the show goes on. She even appears to be making a possible romantic connection with Daryl Dixon, but everything falls apart during season 5 after Beth is kidnapped and taken to a hospital. It is there that she finds survivors who demand servitude in exchange for a place to live safely. While attempting to kill her captor, the controlling cop Dawn, Beth is shot in the head. Beth’s sudden death causes Daryl to kill Dawn in response, but he is immediately overcome by grief afterward.

11 Tyreese Williams (Chad Coleman)

Season 5, Episode 9, “What Happened And What’s Going On”

Chad Coleman in The Walking Dead as Tyreese

While Tyreese is a popular character in both The Walking Dead comic book and TV series, many people feel he wasn’t used to his full potential onscreen, despite a game performance from actor Chad Coleman. In the comics, he was a powerful fighter who battled alongside Rick to protect people, but that role is taken by Daryl on TV. Instead, Tyreese is a pacifist on the TV show. Tyreese, who dies in The Walking Dead midway through season 5, is bitten by two walkers, one of whom is Noah’s little brother. Michonne amputates his arm to try and prevent the infection from spreading, but he later dies of blood loss.

12 Jessie Anderson (Alexandra Breckenridge)

Season 6, Episode 9, “No Way Out”

Jessie in The Walking Dead

Jessie Anderson arrives after Rick’s group reaches Alexandria. Rick kills her abusive husband Pete, and the two later embark on a romantic relationship. Unfortunately, things end horrifyingly, after a swarm of walkers invades the town. Jessie’s son Sam loses it, leading to the walkers eating him, all while Rick and Carl try to help lead the citizens of Alexandria through the hoard and to safety. As a grieving mother, Jessie goes into shock and the zombies devour her next. This leaves Jessie’s older son, Ron, as the last family member alive, so he pulls a gun to shoot Carl. Michonne stabs him first, but Ron shoots out Carl’s eye as he dies.

13 Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh)

Season 6, Episode 10, “The Next World”

Deanna Monroe on The Walking Dead

Thankfully, Deanna doesn’t live long enough to see her son get gutted, as she is bitten when the zombie horde invades Alexandria. Months later, she’s found wandering the woods as one of the undead, and Spencer ends her for good. Before her death, Deanna passes the leadership of Alexandria to Rick, accidentally causing the conflict that would get her son killed. However, unlike her son, Deanna is a good woman and when she ends up bitten, she does it protecting her town and dies a hero.

14 Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz)

Season 7, Episode 1, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”

Abraham moments before his death on The Walking Dead

While his Walking Dead death was overshadowed by Glenn’s in the same episode, Abraham is one of the most sorely missed TWD characters who died. A tough guy with a heart of gold, Abraham Ford is another fan-favorite who meets a horrifically awful demise, being the first onscreen victim of Negan’s signature weapon, Lucille, before Glenn’s murder. This emotionally destroys his current girlfriend Sasha and ex-partner Rosita, and it angers Daryl so much that he punches Negan, indirectly causing Glenn’s death. Abraham taunts Negan to the end. Abraham appears several times in flashbacks, and actor Michael Cudlitz directed episodes of The Walking Dead.

15 Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun)

Season 7, Episode 1, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”

Steven Yeun as Glenn in The Walking Dead

Glenn, another extremely likable character in The Walking Dead, managed to hang onto his humanity a lot longer than most others. He also forms a sweet couple with Maggie, and the two eventually marry, before preparing to have a child. That is until Negan showed up, and smashed Glenn’s head over and over with Lucille to kick off season 7. It is perhaps the show’s most infamous The Walking Dead death ever. It’s a murder that still resonates in The Walking Dead: Dead City, as a reformed Negan and Glenn’s wife Maggie struggle to coexist.

16 Spencer Monroe (Austin Nichols)

Season 7, Episode 8, “Hearts Still Beating”

Spencer Walking Dead

One of a handful of former characters referenced in The Walking Dead finale, Spencer is the treacherous son of Deanna Monroe, Alexandria’s original creator and leader. Following her death, Spencer makes it his mission to oust Rick from power, feeling he can do better. However, his attempt to persuade Negan to kill Rick and put Spencer in charge backfires, as Negan isn’t impressed by Spencer’s cowardly and backhanded approach. Negan guts Spencer, and Rick puts him down after reanimation. He is a character who only survives as long as he did thanks to his mother being in power.

17 Sasha Williams (Sonequa Martin-Green)

Season 7, Episode 16, “The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life”

Sasha had a longer tenure on The Walking Dead than her brother, Tyreese, and she became a favorite of many. She tries to assassinate Negan after his murder of her boyfriend, Abraham, but is caught and offered a chance to join the Saviors. She instead takes a suicide pill crafted by Eugene, and by the time she is transported to Alexandria inside a coffin as part of an ambush, she turns into a zombie, surprising Negan. Seeing Sasha zombified is a sad moment, but the fact her last act gets one over on Negan makes it also a slightly triumphant one. She is later put down by close friend Maggie.

18 Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs)

Season 8, Episode 9, “Honor”

Carl’s death shocked comic book fans. Carl started The Walking Dead as the annoying kid who had to be watched all the time, lest he do something stupid or dangerous. As Carl gets older, he rapidly matures into a teen warrior, and later a moral compass his dad can look to when he starts to stray too far into cruelty. Even Negan liked and respected him. Sadly, Carl is bitten by a zombie while escorting Siddiq to Alexandria during season 8, then later shoots himself in the head after saying goodbye to Rick and his surrogate mother, Michonne.

19 Simon (Steven Ogg)

Season 8, Episode 15, “Worth”

Despite appearing somewhat affably evil at times, Simon is one of the most dangerous Saviors under Negan’s command, but it’s when he eventually tries to mount a coup against his boss that Simon meets his grisly fate. Simon’s attempt is foiled by Dwight, who informs Negan of the plan. Negan and Simon then fought one-on-one for leadership, with Negan strangling Simon, and then leaving him to rot as a walker on the Sanctuary fence. Simon’s ego truly gets the best of him, as challenging Negan is never going to end well, and he’d personally seen his boss isn’t a man to be trifled with.

20 Gregory (Xander Berkeley)

Season 9, Episode 1, “Knots Untie”

Gregory in The Walking Dead played by Xander Berkeley

One of the most unlikable minor villains in The Walking Dead, Gregory is Hilltop’s original leader. He becomes jealous when Maggie and other members of Rick’s group rapidly become more trusted by his people. Gregory loses a leadership vote and then convinces a grieving Earl to try and kill Maggie. Earl fails, as does Gregory himself. For that betrayal, Maggie has Gregory publicly executed by hanging. Some argue that it is an undeservedly harsh fate, but in the post-apocalypse, the consequences for misbehavior are often steep.

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