Our five favourite characters from The Walking Dead
Seven seasons. 91 episodes. Hundreds of characters.
As you can imagine, picking a favourite five was pretty darn difficult. As with any great show, the viewers are left gripped by the story, but also connected to the people within it.
Considering The Walking Dead is about mindless, soulless zombies tearing people to shreds, we have been introduced to some truly brilliant characters…not all of them good. As the story has evolved, the focus on the undead has decreased, as the main protagonists come to the fore. Here’s our famous five:
Daryl Dixon Everyone’s favourite sullen-staring, motorbike-riding, crossbow-shooting redneck is a real fan favourite, and it’s easy to see why.
Daryl wasn’t even a character in Robert Kirkman’s books on which the show is based, but space was made for him after Norman Reedus made a big impression in his audition for Daryl’s brother, Merle.
As viewers, we are ‘treated’ to Merle first. A racist, belligerent, angry piece of work, Merle isn’t going to win ‘Post-Apocalypse Man of the Year’ (not a real award). As a result, we’d be forgiven for thinking that Daryl isn’t going to be so nice either.
However, although he is fiercely loyal to his brother, it soon comes clear that despite being rude, distant and difficult at times, Daryl has a moral code and is willing to do anything to protect those around him.
As the seasons progress, Daryl becomes a more and more significant member of the group. So much so that Big Bad Wolf Negan ensures that Daryl is kept alive as a hostage, knowing his importance to the group. Daryl’s subsequent escape shows that he has the balls to match his heart. Which is a weird sentence now I’ve written it.
In his own words: “before all this, I was nothing.” He’s a lot more than that now.
Eugene Porter Yeah, this is controversial.
Eugene may be a lying, cowardly leech, but he’s a funny, lying, cowardly leech. And he doesn’t deny any of that description. Except maybe the funny part.
We aren’t introduced to Eugene until Season 4, where he and the army personnel protecting him (including Abraham and Rosita) are heading to Washington to deliver a cure to the zombie virus plaguing humanity. Of course, Eugene is telling a massive lie, but he is doing what he needs to do to survive. Like a snake. Or a cockroach.
When we find out that Eugene’s pants are (not literally) on fire, Abraham nearly beats him to death. Eugene shrugs this off in time, suggesting that he is the reason the group have survived this far – by giving them a sense of purpose and something to live for…even if it was complete b***ocks.
What Eugene lacks by way of a spine, he more than makes up for in hair. Way too much hair. Not that Eugene sees anything wrong with his ‘business at the front, party at the back’ mullet. In Season 6, he greets Heath by saying he’s glad to meet someone who ‘respects the hair game.’ What a man.
That’s just one of Eugene’s great quotes. Including: ‘Dibs is dibs’ ‘The hair doesn't make the man, the man makes the man’ ‘Tick-tick-click. Easy peasy.’ ‘I'm gonna allow you to apologize for saying that.’
Michonne I’m 99.93% sure we haven’t learned Michonne’s surname yet, which only adds to the air of mystery and intrigue around her. After all, anyone who carries a katana with here everywhere is pretty damn mysterious and intriguing.
We first meet Michonne accompanied by her two ‘pets’; a couple of mutilated walkers. Is she worried about them? No, they’re ‘armless! Hahaha. Ha. Anyway…
Michonne is probably the strongest member of the entire group. Yes, Rick leads the survivors through some pretty tough situations, but it is Michonne who always seems to keep her cool. She joins the group as an outsider and although Rick distrusts her at first, she soon become a vital member.
She also ends up making some pretty powerful enemies, with Merle and The Governor (to name just two) less than keen about her. Well, those two are dead, and she’s alive, which should tell you everything about her survival skills.
As the seasons move on, Michonne and Rick start to form a romantic bond. For all Rick’s crazy, steely determination, you just know that it is Michonne who wears the trousers. She would kick his ass…or slice it off.
Carol Peletier Carol? She’s just a sweet, harmless housewife, right?
I’ve lost count of how many people have made this mistake about the incredibly badass Carol. The most famous (and gruesome) example of this was her merciless gunning down of a load of Saviours at the end of Season 6. To put this into context, she hid a machine gun IN HER SLEEVE. This is a woman who bakes cookies by day and kicks asses by night.
The transformation in Carol is as inspiring as it is surprising. In the early seasons, Carol was genuinely timid; ordered around and beaten by her husband Ed. His death and the later death of her daughter Sophia toughen her the hell up.
Her killing of two prison inmates in Season 4 lead to her exile, which she somehow survives, before saving the group from Terminus…with the help of a bazooka. Which is so cool.
What sets Carol apart though is her willingness to kill to protect her friends, but her continued guilt over it as she struggles to retain her humanity. This struggle affects her most in Season 7, but we’re sure we’ll see her bounce back to save the day soon enough.
Negan That’s right, my favourite character here is by far the worst man on a planet inhabited almost exclusively by bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters. He is THAT evil.
And yet…I kinda love him.
Expertly played by the terrifyingly charming Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Negan brings an air of menace and threat with every movement, every syllable and every twitch of his trusty baseball bat Lucille. At any moment, you feel Negan could explode in a fit of violence. And yet, you never feel like his out of control.
Think about it, have you ever seen Negan actually angry? I’m not sure I have. He always actually seems in control, even in the wake of the slaughter of his men at the hands of Daryl in Season 6. This is a guy who has dozens of some of the worst men in the world under his control and willing to bend the knee to him every time he walks in a room. He’s like a God. With a leather jacket. And a baseball bat covered in barbed wire.
Although Negan represents the biggest threat to our group and their survival, I want to see more of him in Season 7 and beyond, even if it’s just for some more of his amazing quotes!
So although I hope he kills no more of our heroes, I hope Negan is around a little longer. Just don’t let him offer you a game of pool…or baseball.
A pretty controversial list. I'm sure Rick, Maggie and Jesus fans will be pretty annoyed at their absences, but I can't fit choose them all!
All images: Gene Page/AMC
You can watch all 91 episodes of The Walking Dead on Box Set now, with Season 7 resuming on 13 February...