1,155 characters have died on The Walking Dead. That’s according to the show’s Fandom Wiki page, and it only includes named characters (or community members) or named walkers. A full accounting of all the random zombies that have been shot, stabbled, exploded, impaled, or otherwise put down would likely push that total to five figures.
That’s a lot of death, even for a show with “Dead” right there in the title. It’s also, in part, what made the show so successful and groundbreaking to begin with: Genuine stakes in which any major character could die at any given moment (Game of Thrones, which similarly killed off characters central to the story, came out six months after TWD premiered). The very first scene of the very first episode finds the show’s hero shooting a zombified child right between her eyes. You can’t say they didn’t warn you.
Despite all this, there are a handful of characters who have survived all the way up to the show’s 11th and final season, which premieres this Sunday, August 22 at 9pm ET on AMC (AMC+ subscribers can watch the premiere and other new episodes early). If it’s been a while since you’ve watched the show, here’s a brief overview of the mortality status of the major characters in The Walking Dead. Use the link at the bottom of this page to subscribe to Sling Orange + Blue with AMC, and check out the opening minutes of the new season in the video embedded above. Spoilers follow.
Who is Alive?
Among the original group of Atlanta survivors, only Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) are still on the show. The growth of both characters has been central to TWD's enduring appeal. Carol has overcome the traumas in her life (both before and after the outbreak) to become one of the show's strongest characters, while Daryl—who does not appear in the comics and was invented for the show—has slowly emerged as the selfless hero among the survivors.
The only other fully-tenured character is Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who made her return in season 10. Like the others, Maggie has grown over time, but unlike their redemptive arcs, the brutal murder of her husband Glenn (Steven Yeun) has made her calloused and bitter. It’s an understandable reaction, particularly when, upon her return, she discovers that his killer, the former leader of The Saviors Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), is now out of jail and integrated into the Alexandria community. The tension between these two characters should be one of the central plotlines of the final season.
Outside of these four, Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt)—who both joined the cast in season 4—have survived the longest. Season 5 additions Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) are still alive and kicking (and punching and shooting), along with Carol’s ex and former Kingdom leader Ezekiel (Khary Payton), his right-hand man Jerry (Cooper Andrews), and Alden (Callan McAuliffe). The two other big characters who are returning after being introduced in seasons 9 and 10 are Yumiko (Eleanor Matsura) and “Princess” (Paola Lazaro), who has quickly become a fan favorite.
Who is Presumed Alive but M.I.A?
If you’re just now jumping back into The Walking Dead, you might assume that the show’s main character Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his sword-wielding right-hand woman turned lover Michonne (Danai Gurira) have been killed off. However, both are presumed to be alive; Rick was rescued by a mysterious helicopter after suffering a serious injury and Michonne later sets out in search of him after discovering that he may still be alive. AMC previously announced that a series of Walking Dead films exploring the aftermath of Rick’s rescue would be released in theaters, so there’s a good chance we haven’t seen the last of Mr. Grimes or Michonne.
The whereabouts of Rick’s neighbor Morgan Jones (Lennie James) is also unknown to the larger group, although audiences can catch up with him on Fear the Walking Dead. There are also a handful of supporting characters from the various communities they’ve encountered who could make their return at some point this season.
Who is Dead?
Honestly, at this stage of the show, it’s easier to make a list of who isn’t dead (or undead). We already have a post about the most shocking deaths on the show, so in the interest of time, we’ll focus on the major deaths in season 10. These include Siddiq (Avi Nash), who is murdered by an undercover member of The Whisperers; Brandon, who kills two people in an effort to impress Negan (he was not impressed); and both Alpha (Samantha Morton) and Beta, the leaders of The Whisperers.
Who is a Zombie?
This section is a little messy, since they established all the way back in season 1 that everyone alive has already been infected with the Wildfire virus, which will eventually turn them into zombies once they die. Therefore, many of the characters who died were zombies before being put down for their final rest (we will never shake the image of poor zombified Sophia shuffling out of the barn in the mid-season finale of season 2).
In terms of the undead who are still out there trying to find someone to eat for dinner, the number is surprisingly small: Morgan’s son Duane; Jim from the Atlanta camp; Clara, who took her own life to be with her undead husband; Aaron’s boyfriend Eric, who was last seen joining a herd after dying of a bullet wound; and Matias, one of the Baltimore survivors who was murdered by Alpha. Seriously, that’s it. So even if a character dies, there’s a better chance of them returning in a flashback or dream sequence than as a walker. Which is probably for the best; as we saw in the season 10 finale, no one, not even Negan, wants to see their loved ones like that.
The final season of The Walking Dead premieres Sunday, August 22 at 9pm ET on AMC.