The Walking Dead: Who Lives and Who Dies
The Walking Dead returns to AMC for the second half of season three on Sunday. To prepare, I thought it would be morbid fun to lay odds on who will die in the last episodes of the season.
I don’t have any inside info, so there are no true spoilers for the show. But I will discuss some events from the comic which may or may not play out on the show. I will save one potentially big spoiler for the comments section. Those who are extremely spoiler-averse may not want to read on. Otherwise, you should be fine.
Description: Sheriff. Reluctant leader of a group of survivors. Father of Carl and newborn baby daughter, Judith. Recently lost his (incredibly annoying) wife, Lori, during child-birth. Prone to hallucinations of former cast members who happen to be available to shoot cameos that week. Hobbies include ignoring his children and leading people to certain death. When faced with a zombie horde, his idea of a good plan is to lock himself in a tank with no escape route. And yet, people listen to him. Also prone to hamminess on the scale of William Shatner.
In his favor: He’s the protagonist of the TV show and the comic book it is based on.
Working against him: It sure would be a water cooler moment if Rick died!
Odds: 1-10,000,000 Unless Andrew Lincoln demands a raise, he’s not going anywhere.
Description: One half of the good ol’ Dixon brothers. Despite the fact that Merle and Daryl are brothers, they have never had a scene together that wasn’t a hallucination until the mid-season finale of season 3. Serves as Rick’s right-hand man and enforcer. Carries a crossbow. Shoots small furry animals and zombies. Gets really excited about cooking up squirrels. Has a mild flirtation with Carol who looks like she could be his mom. Gets really sentimental about flowers, newborn babies and dead mothers.
In his favor: He has a signature weapon. No one with a signature weapon has ever died on the show. He is by far one of the most popular characters on the show.
Working against him: He doesn’t exist in the comic book. Tyreese served as Rick’s right-hand man in the comic book. Now that Tyreese is on the show, Daryl could be redundant.
Odds: 1-1,000,000 He is the most popular character on the show.
Description: Mysterious warrior woman with a secretive past and a samurai sword. Favorite pets: zombies with no arms or lower jaws. Best frenemies with Andrea. Hates speaking even if a very simple explanation could save lives including her own. Generally growls and refuses to share important information. #1 Turn-off: People who lock her sword in a curio case. Prone to acts of vengeance with or without proper motivation.
In her favor: She is one of the most popular characters in the comic book and presumably on the show. Has a signature weapon. One of the few female character on the show who does not suck.
Working against her: Not much, really. The show has a bad track record with killing off minorities. But seems mostly to focus on African-American men.
Odds: 1-999,999 Michonne has a story to tell which will most likely be dragged out for several seasons.
Description: Scrappy scavenger with a remarkable resemblance to Short Round. Dating way out of his league with farmer’s daughter Maggie. Prone to being used as bait for little to no benefit. Hobbies: grieving characters neither he nor the audience had any relationship with.
In his favor: Glenn is another popular character with a relatively long life in the comic book. His relationship with Maggie is the only romance on the show that doesn’t make you want to puke your guts out. Without Glenn, every other character would die of starvation or stupidity except Daryl who can live forever on squirrel.
Working against him: He looks a lot like Short Round. Plus, he is always in harm’s way.
Odds: 1-900,000 Despite the fact that he should die about every 3 episodes, Glenn is immune.
Description: Son of Rick and Lori Grimes. Killed his mother rather than seeing her come back to life as a zombie. Killed his father-figure Shane rather than seeing him kill is biological father. Got Dale killed through stupidity but no one cared because TV Dale was annoying and season 2 is best forgotten. Named his sister after his third grade teacher for no discernible reason. Wears his dad’s hat because of comic book covers.
In his favor: Carl is reasonably popular and has a long life in the comic. Killing Carl off gives Rick virtually no motivation to go on. Leaving him alive gives the show another generation should they one day decide to kill off Rick.
Working against him: The Walking Dead loves killing off kids. If Carl is allowed to live, his growth will mark the passage of time faster than the typically slow pace of the show to date.
Odds: 1-500,000 He’ll live long enough to hit puberty. Then, all bets are off.
Description: Hot farmer’s daughter. Seriously, I think that is all they have worked out for her. Protective of her boyfriend, Glenn. Not all that concerned when her father loses a leg. Easily gives up her friends and family when topless. Hershel Greene is her father. She had a couple dozen siblings most of whom are dead. What’s Her Name is Maggie’s last living sister.
In her favor: She’s hot. Much as in the real world, being a hottie goes a long way in the zombie apocalypse. As with Glenn, she’s one half of the show’s only successful romance. As with Michonne, she’s one of the few female characters you don’t want to punch in the face. Plus, toplessness and sexy time. Lived a relatively long life in the comics.
Working against her: Big time damsel in distress factor.
Odds: 1-100,000 Maggie will almost certainly be the last Greene standing.
Description: Seems to be leading a small group of survivors that includes his younger sister and a father and son. Seems like a nice enough guy. So far, defined by his hat and hammer combo.
In his favor: Tyreese is based on a popular comic book character who was basically replaced by Daryl on the show. Plus, he has a signature weapon. They just introduced him, they can’t kill him off yet.
Working against him: This season alone, the show has killed off two black men. Will it go for the trifecta? In the comic, Tyreese’s story ends right about where it is beginning on the TV show.
Odds: 1-1,000 They just introduced him. They won’t kill him off for a while.
Philip (aka The Governor)
Description: The leader of the survivors in Woodbury. Kind of like Rick’s shadowy mirror image except with a lot less shadow then you would expect. Turn ons include gladiatorial fights and aquariums filled with zombie heads. The apocalypse hasn’t slowed his love life one little bit. His wife apparently died before the outbreak and he kept his daughter alive as a zombie until Michonne killed her. Kills people who would probably be helpful to him. Sounds like an English actor with a bad Southern accent.
In his favor: The Governor is the single most popular villain in the comic. Producers have talked about having “long term plans” for him. They reinvented the character as a sauve English ladies’ man. He’s got more in common with James Bond than the character from the comic book.
Working against him: Things did not end well for the Governor in the comic.
Odds: 1-500 The show has made it pretty clear that this is not the Governor from the comic. Based on comments from those in charge, Philip will live to torment Rick another day.
Description: Mother to Sophia who we have all agreed never to speak of again. Continues to buzzcut her hair despite the fact it makes her look like a cancer patient and she has no realistic way of maintaining this haircut in a post apocalyptic world. Has a weird flirtation/mother relationship with Daryl. Learned how to perform a C-section from a vet in a matter of days/weeks/maybe months. Practiced once on a dead zombie and was totally prepared to deliver a baby. Assumed dead whenever she hides.
In his favor: She’s been on the show a long time without making much of an impression one way or another. She kind of has a romantic relationship with Daryl if you read between the lines. If she was killed off, no one would really care. They already had a funeral despite not finding a body or even really looking for her.
Working against her: She’s been on the show a long time without making much of an impression one way or another. Call it, the T-Dog factor. You can kill her off and claim to have killed a significant cast member.
Odds: 1-100 If they were going to kill her off, they wouldn’t have just faked her death earlier in the season.
Description: The less likeable of the brothers Dixon. Racist, sexist, hot-tempered. Merle is practically without redeeming value save for the fact he is played by Michael Rooker (who is awesome). Chopped off his own hand to survive being handcuffed to the roof of a building filled with zombies. Which, as it turns out, was totally unnecessary. Holds a grudge against the survivors he blames for the incident which is pretty much everybody. Talked about looking for his brother without really looking very much. Is crazy half the time and just an asshole the other half. Sometimes, he’s a hallucination.
In his favor: He is played by Michael Rooker (who is awesome). Fans have been clamoring for his return since he left the show in season one.
Working against him: Like Daryl, he doesn’t exist in the comic book. The show may not need two living Dixon brothers. Killing Rooker off probably means saving money.
Odds: 1-25 If Rooker is available, they will want him back.
Description: Farmer, Veteran, Soldier, Philosopher, Father of dozens of kids. The Grimes Gang spent most of season 2 stranded on Hershel’s farm before they needlessly burned his barn to the ground and then recklessly abandoned it with no plan to regroup. Hershel has lost most of his children, his farm and a leg. He can go from man of faith to bloodthirsty soldier of fortune depending on the needs of the script. He can also develop a never-before-mentioned drinking problem if the plot calls for him to go to the local pub.
In his favor: He’s basically filling in the role of the group’s conscience now that Dale is dead. Plus, he’s played by Scott Wilson who makes the character interesting even when his dialogue and motivations make no sense. One of my favorite moments of Season 3 has to be when Wilson delivered a line about baby Grimes needing formula right away or she would die!
Working against him: With one leg, Hershel shouldn’t last long. In the comics, he was basically a background character. But now he’s taking the role of Dale from the comics. But Dale didn’t last much longer either.
Description: She’s blonde, likes to shoot guns, and has a dead sister. Supposedly she and Michonne had a close friendship and a series of off-screen adventures. But you’d never know it from the way they act on screen. Turn-ons: homocidal lunatics. Andrea hops into bed with the craziest guy every season. When faced with evidenced of their lunacy, she makes a face like someone farted.
In her favor: She is actually a very different character in the comic book. Andrea in the comic is a strong, central character. As such, she has been a part of the cast for a long time.
Working against her:On the show, Andrea sucks. Her only character trait seems to be her bad judgement with men. With Lori gone, Andrea is the most annoying character left on the show. Her story either needs to end with some kind of redemptive moment or death.
What’s Her Name (aka Beth)
Description: Hershel’s youngest living daughter, Maggie’s sister, Carl’s creepy would-be girlfriend. She has no defining characteristics other than being prone to unexplained comas and suicide.
In her favor: Um…. ah…. Let me think. I’ll get back to you
Working against her: This show is littered with dead Greenes. It only needs one and Maggie fills that role.
Everyone else is cannon fodder. Odds are the show will take an interest in one or two of them. Maybe some of Tyreese’s clan will step up. But for now, let’s just assume Axel and the others are dead men and women walking.