By Chris Post
Oh, The Walking Dead, how you’ve played games with our hearts. Over the last eight seasons, the show has introduced to us dozens of characters only to take them away in a wide array of cruel deaths. But which were the most shocking? We’ve narrowed our list to the Top 5, take-your-breath-away deaths.
Amy, we hardly knew ye. Amy’s death came early in the show (season 1, episode 5) at a time before we had really gotten used to the idea that main characters were going to die. Add to that the the fact that the death was a jump scare and followed such a mundane line about being out of toilet paper and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a great Walking Dead death.
Denise’s death was shocking for its use of misdirection. First, her death comes at moment of relative calm AFTER the group has dispatched a walker. She dies literally mid-sentence after getting taken out by an unseen assailant. In addition to the sudden nature of her demise, Denise’s death also took us off guard because it was actually a departure from from the graphic novel source material on which the television series is based. In the case of the comic, it was actually Abraham who took the arrow to the head from Dwight.
We can’t even see this name in print without hearing the voice of Daryl Dixon yelling it into the Georgia woods. Much of action in the somewhat-listless season 2 was spent by people trying to find the lost girl. She had to be out there somewhere, right? Wrong! We should have known from the season 1 premiere that little girls would not be spared, but our hearts still dropped when zombie Sophia emerged from Hershel’s barn. When the rest of the party froze at the sight of her, it fell to Rick to lay her to rest and, with a single shot, a lot of our innocence died too.
Abraham had a good run in the Apocalypse and always had a way of turning a phrase. Who can forget such gems as “Mother Dick” and “Bitch Nuts?” Viewers tuning in to the season 7 premiere knew someone was going to die from the Season 6 cliffhanger, but the smart money was on Glenn. He’d already cheated death once in Season 6, and this episode was going to bring us up to Issue 100 of the comic, in which Glenn met his maker at the end of Lucille’s barbed wire bashing. When it was Abraham who took the wallop, fans were startled before being shocked and even outraged at the brutality of the beat down. It had such a numbing effect, in fact, that when Glenn did die a few minutes later, it wasn’t nearly as disturbing.
As his mom laying dying on the concrete floor of the prison, she told Carl that he was going to “beat this world” and we believed her. Even Negan saw it, pointing out that Carl was “built for this shit.” This death was a serious surprise given that Carl is alive and well (or as well as a kid can be in the zombie apocalypse) in the comic book source material. As we’ve noted earlier, it’s not the first time the television show has departed from the comics, but this was a huge change that came from seemingly out of nowhere. When Carl revealed that he’d been bitten and was going to die, fan reaction was all over the spectrum. Some were sad, some were angry but all were shocked.