The Death of Beloved Characters on The Walking Dead

Carol, Lizzie, Mika, Judith, Tyreese, Dawn, Beth, Noah, Rick, Hershel - The Walking Dead

There once was a time when the death of a main character on TV programs was a rare thing. Some may call those the good old days! In fact, even when an actor wanted off a show, or died during production, the show would typically carry on with a new actor taking the role of the character. For instance, on Bewitched, when Dick York became too ill to work he was replaced with Dick Sargent.

Nowadays, however, it is rare to find a drama, and even some non-dramas, where a major character has not died. Certainly on a drama or action adventure program with lots of danger, death is inevitable. And, rather than go the Classic Star Trek TV program “red shirt” path and never kill off a major character despite the danger, the powers that be now choose to kill off major characters periodically.

When you get to a show like The Walking Dead, well, the danger is augmented – it is after all an apocalypse! It is unrealistic to expect all of the main characters to survive. However, please understand that I am not saying I like it! To be truthful, I don’t – in a major way. Perhaps this is why I have an affinity for programs that have an element of fantasy or alien technology, where people can be resurrected. Just look at Stargate SG-1 where Daniel was resurrected so many times they started to joke about it in the dialogue! But no complaints, I would have been devastated if they had killed him off permanently.

Over the course of its almost six year run, The Walking Dead has not hesitated to kill off major characters, although a few have survived since the beginning. And, I will also admit that some of the characters are more special to me than others. I have cried over the deaths of a few of the characters, but not all. I think that every faithful fan of the show could come up with a list similar to mine but containing different names.

Just by way of example, I did not cry when Shane was killed by Rick. Nor did I cry when Lori died in childbirth. I was appalled over the method, but shed no tears over Andrea’s death. And, I think I may have cheered when The Governor bought it! On the other hand, there have been several tear worthy losses.


Hershel - The Walking Dead

Hershel’s death was so senseless and horrific. The fact that it was witnessed by Beth, Maggie, and the rest of Rick’s group, powerless to stop it, made it all the worse. All Hershel wanted was to live a peaceful life with his family. He even captured walkers in the hopes he could find a cure for their illness.

When The Governor took him and Michonne hostage and attempted to use them as bargaining chips, it became clear that someone would not survive – hostages have a very poor survival rate on The Walking Dead! Adding to the gruesome aspects of his death are the facts that The Governor did not kill him immediately. He was fatally wounded but managed to move away until The Governor came after him, completely severing his head. It was then necessary, after the battle was over, for Michonne to put her katana through Hershel’s head to finish him off.


Dawn, Beth and Rick - TheWalking Dead

Beth’s death was so very unexpected, coming suddenly and on the brink of being reunited with Maggie. After spending what seemed like an eternity in the hospital from hell, she finally was about to be rescued by her group. It was a very tense moment, and there was little trust between the two groups.

When Dawn got greedy and partially reneged on the agreement to free her and Noah, demanding Noah remain at the hospital, Beth was finally through with being pushed around and attempted to kill Dawn. Unfortunately, Dawn’s gun accidentally discharged, killing Beth instantly. Daryl took out Dawn and a truce was finally achieved, but at a terrible cost.


Tyreese and Noah - The Walking Dead

Tyreese’s death was so tragic. A gentle giant with a huge heart, he did not deserve his fate. Tyreese avoided fighting as much as possible. While in Woodbury and being misled by The Governor, he and his sister Sasha asked to remain behind to help guard the children and the elderly, rather than accompany the forces who are planning to assault the prison. Tyreese is the one that saves Judith, Mika, and Lizzie during the final battle with The Governor. He continues to protect Judith, fighting walkers against seemingly unwinnable odds to save her from the clutches of Martin.

Ultimately, it is his humanity that gets him killed. Tyreese follows Noah who is intent on returning to his home. As Tyreese is exploring the house he is bitten by Noah’s twin brother. Despite having his arm cut off in an attempt to save him, Tyreese lost too much blood and succumbed to his wounds. Michonne, who was trying to save him, was then forced to insure he would not become a walker.

Lizzie and Mika

Mika, Lizzie, Judith and Carol - The Walking Dead

Lizzie and Mika had horrendous deaths. To be a child in such an apocalypse is unimaginable. To die at the hand of your older sister who should be protecting you is tragic beyond belief. Mika was the sweet, young, innocent child. Her older sister Lizzie, however, accepted the new reality a little too much. In fact, she was clearly obsessed with walkers, at one point playing with one and calling it her friend.

Lizzie’s obsession became truly shocking when she kills her sister, Mika, to prove that walkers are just different. Carol and Tyreese manage to stop her before she is able to also kill Judith, but the damage is done. Her sister is dead, and Lizzie clearly presents a danger to anyone she is around. Because Tyreese cannot do it, it falls to Carol to kill Lizzie.


Noah - The Walking Dead

Noah was another one of the good guys. Probably not well suited for this new reality, his death was especially gruesome to watch. He had been a true friend to Beth in the hospital from hell, a gentle soul who left her lollipops and helped her understand the rules of operation. He also tried to protect her from the evil intentions of those in charge. Beth died because she was trying to protect him in the final scene at the hospital. Really, all he wanted was to return to his home and be with his family. Unfortunately, this desire led to the death of Tyreese.

Later, when he, Glenn, and Nicholas are trapped in a revolving door with walkers on both sides, Nicholas’ cowardly move seals Noah’s fate in one of the most gruesome deaths seen on the show. Not only do we witness the walkers biting him, but then they get hold of his face and literally tear it off, as we, along with Glenn, must watch helplessly.


As of right now, the elephant in the room is of course Glenn. I have not included him because he is not confirmed dead. If he is dead, then he would most certainly belong here, because he is much beloved! But, until I know for sure, he is not on my list!

Which dead characters were most beloved by you? Whose death did you cry over? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below; I love hearing your thoughts!