By Chris Post
The Walking Dead presents a brutal world where anyone can die at any moment. Over the years we’ve seen dozens of characters come and go, but some seem to stick around way too long. Here’s our take on who has lasted well past their expiration date.
Honorable Mention: Jared
When we began putting together this list Jared was going to be here without question. Since he died before the article was published, we’ll include him as an honorable mention. As played by Joshua Mikel, Jared was a total dick. He was a bully who enjoyed hurting people. Even when captured by Maggie and the Hilltoppers, Jared was still not humbled. His arrogance and sadistic nature ensured that he would meet a violent end and he did.
Gabriel has been a flawed character from the beginning. As a minister and shepherd of his congregation he failed spectacularly and has been on a curious journey of redemption since his introduction. This isn’t a bad story arc, but it’s gone on for long enough. Our vote is to have Gabriel save someone (or a group of people) at the sacrifice of his own life. He has struggled with his cowardice, so let him go out a hero and free up screen time for other characters.
Eugene has always been an odd character, but not a particularly interesting one. He’s all mullet and strange dialect and little to no substance. In addition to that, he is a self-serving opportunist without loyalty. Sure, he feels bad about turning on Rick and those who helped keep him alive, but rather than man up to what he’s done, he copes by drinking himself to sleep. Eugene has proven himself unreliable at best.
What is it with these weak-willed characters. Like Eugene, Gregory is a coward willing to make whatever deal he can to keep himself comfortable. He is as slimy as they come and a liability to whatever community might take him in. Arrogant, condescending and generally unlikable, the world will be a better place when Gregory is no longer a part of it.
Unlike some of the others on this list, no one would accuse Simon of being a coward. Actually, as a villain, we like Simon. Sure, he’s not very nuanced, but sometimes a black hat bad guy is just what a show needs. However, he is a wrecking ball within the world of the Walking Dead. His attempts to completely wipe out settlements throws too many things out of balance. The destabilizing nature of Simon’s presence means that he has got to go.
We know this is a controversial choice, but we stand by it. Rick was a good guy at one point. Pre-apocalypse I bet he was a good cop who’d let you off with a warning. He probably would have coached Carl’s soccer team on the weekends. But Rick today is not a good guy. His moral compass spins like a top, he’s got about the worst case of PTSD in history and his plans are about as likely to get his followers killed as they are to actually accomplish what they set out to do. Seriously, how many people have to follow Rick to their death before everyone takes a step back and asks “Is this really the guy we want calling the shots?” Even though Rick is ostensibly the lead character, the show could and probably should go on without him.