When a character is first introduced on The Walking Dead, fans inherently know that it is only a matter of time before they meet their grisly demise. In a world where truly no one is safe for long, it seems as though an early death is an inevitability for most characters in the series.
While it is always difficult to say goodbye to a character whom viewers have grown to love, some find a way to prevail even in death, unafraid and heroic. As some Redditors have recently pointed out, there are certain characters, though long gone, that remain in fans’ memories, thanks in part to the noble nature of their deaths.
Not every heroic death needs to be in the heat of battle. One Reddit user by the name of Egumption remembers one man who accepted his fate with poise and peace of mind: “Jim… his resignation of death is pretty chilling.”
The Season 1 character of Jim may not be remembered by many Walking Dead fans today, but the character certainly set a high bar when it comes to accepting one’s own inevitable death, allowing himself to drift away peacefully on the side of a road rather than being put down before he could turn.
In the midst of a Reddit thread discussing T-Dog, IronE Singleton’s recurring character from the first three seasons of the series, user TerryYockey sang the praises of the man’s heroic death and its repercussions: “He sacrificed himself to save Carol… Carol saved the entire group at Terminus… Thus, in effect, T-Dog saved the group not only at Terminus, but many times over.”
While it is true that T-Dog served a relatively minor role in his time on the series, it would indeed be a massive oversight to fail to acknowledge how he helped the group in his death. Essentially choosing to trade his own life for Carol’s, T-Dog ensured that his friend would live to fight another day. He was proven right in his sacrifice, as Carol would go on to become one of the most important and fearsome members of Rick’s group.
Though not all of The Walking Dead‘s characters are heroic in their lives, some find a certain nobility in their deaths. Such was the case with Creski‘s suggestion that “Merle… Daryl’s bro” had one of the noblest deaths in the series.
While Merle certainly proved to be both one of Daryl Dixon’s best friends and greatest enemies, more often than not demonstrating the latter of these two traits, the oldest Dixon brother managed to find some redemption in his death, as he died in battle against the wicked Governor, the man who sought to destroy the very community that Daryl and his friends resided in.
“Despite the opinions on Lori, her death was absolutely heartbreaking,” writes Redditor verycreativeus3r in a post about the saddest deaths on the series, “her goodbye to Carl always gets me teary-eyed. She was a good mother, and went out in a very heroic way, there’s no doubt this death is one of the show’s saddest.”
Lori may be one of the show’s least popular characters, but many fans are in agreement that she proved her nobility in death, as she put on a brave face and encouraged her son to look after his newborn sister. Her words to Carl would go on to inform much of his arc throughout the series, as he worked hard at protecting his mother’s last gift to the world: his sister Judith.
Sometimes, a character’s death perfectly brings their overarching story to a close. This is what PatDubzz believe happened with the beloved Tyreese Williams, writing “I thought his death was wonderfully executed… I think Tyreese was a guy who never had true peace… he seemed to find the most peace of his entire storyline in his farewell episode.”
Chad L. Coleman’s exit from the acclaimed series was certainly a massive departure from Tyreese’s fate in The Walking Dead comic, which was far more gruesome. However, with this more subtle death, the writers were able to shift the focus entirely on Tyreese’s psyche as he died, weaving together a rather emotional final episode with the beloved character.
Certain characters only need a single episode to make a lasting impression on the sprawling series that is The Walking Dead. One post from a deleted Reddit account sings the praises of Eastman, Morgan’s trainer from the Season 6 episode “Here’s Not Here,” writing that, at the time of his death, “he was no longer alone. And that single moment of Agape [godly love] was more precious than his own life. It was an honorable death.”
The character of Morgan Jones was long troubled as he vacillated between the peaceful man he once was and the murderous one he had become. Eastman, however, managed to change that trajectory, reminding Morgan that all life was truly precious. Though he was unable to see the fruits of his labors, he surely would have been proud of the man that his apprentice turned out to be.
One deleted Reddit account compares Hershel Greene’s character arc in the comics versus the television series, ultimately deciding that the latter proved to be “better portrayed,” with his eventual death being the one that hit them “the hardest” out of the many deaths on the series.
Hershel, as many fans will remember, was beheaded in front of his friends and family by the villainous Governor. Nevertheless, even despite the gruesome nature of his death, Hershel died with the grace and dignity expected of a man of such high moral caliber. His memory would go on to inhabit Rick Grimes’s own conscience, turning him into the great leader that he would one day become.
Disagreeing with a post calling Abraham Ford’s death a disservice to the character, Redditor Zerix1234 points out that Michael Cudlitz’s character got to go out with a bang, rather than living through the next two seasons of pain and hardship. They also refer to his dying resolution to never serve Negan a set of “awesome final words.”
Abraham Ford was certainly a force to be reckoned with on the show, who, despite the horrific death that he suffered, still mustered the courage to hold himself up and stare his murderer in the eye. His sheer courage and refusal to submit to evil make Abraham a character whom fans are hoping to see more of in the spinoff anthology series Tales of the Walking Dead.
“I hated the way Carl died,” writes FluffyHoliday6662 while discussing the saddest deaths on The Walking Dead, “but how prepared he was for it actually made me shed a couple of tears.” As many viewers remember, Carl, the son of series protagonist Rick Grimes died of a walker bite halfway through the show’s eighth season.
Carl’s demise was perhaps the most unexpected death ever on The Walking Dead, and was met with general disdain from fans, who had always operated under the assumption that the New World his father was fighting for would eventually pass on to him. Nevertheless, the fact remains that, despite his age, Carl proved himself to be a brave and honorable young man, unafraid of death until his very last breath.
While many solitary characters can show individual nobility upon their demise, true heroism often lies within a group. Abject_Cellist_4896 comments on this idea when they write “I think the characters on the pikes proved to be pretty heroic just before their deaths. The way they stood up and fought together, even though some of them didn’t even know each other [was] truly heartbreaking.”
Ozzy, Alec, DJ, Frankie, Addy, Rodney, Tammy Rose, Enid, Tara, and Henry may have been killed to serve the Whisperers’ ultimate goals, but they didn’t go down without a fight. Later, Siddiq recalls how they fought side-by-side against their oppressors, sticking together until the very last. Their deaths may have served Alpha’s purpose, but they proved their heroism even in death, inspiring their surviving allies to fight back against the Whisperers.