To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of
We know that if Daryl dies, you riot. Many a fan of The Walking Dead has pledged to throw down publicly should Mr. Dixon meet the business end of Lucille or otherwise join the likes of beloved TWD characters like Glenn and Beth and Abraham, all of whom have met tragic endings on the series.
Should we assume that devotion to Daryl means that he is, hands down, fans’ all-time favorite TWD series character? Do viewers not also love them some Rick Grimes, some Hershel Greene, some Carol “Superwoman” Peletier? Aren’t there also big contingents of apocalypse aficionados who count Glenn or Michonne or Maggie as their most loved survivor (or former survivor — RIP, Glenn)?
Here’s your chance to vote for your personal pick, as we’re taking the top 35 characters of The Walking Dead — a list that was not so easy to narrow down, by the way; the absence of Olivia, Enid, and Jadis is not reflective of how awesome they are — and asking you to select your favorites each day during the week of Sept. 12-16. On Sunday, Sept. 17, we’ll post the top five vote-getters, and after a day of voting, we’ll announce your pick for your favorite Walking Dead character of all time on Monday, Sept. 18, along with a flashback to that character’s most memorable moments.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s day five, and time to pick your top choice from the fifth, and final, round of contenders.
Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride)
A loving mother, but abused wife who was afraid to go against a single word her husband, Ed, said when we met her, Carol has since become one of the most evolved characters in the series. The death of Ed gave her some freedom, but that was followed shortly by the death of her daughter, Sophia. Instead of letting her loss destroy her, Carol transferred her protector instincts to her new family, which has been saved on more than one occasion by her quick-thinking, battle skills, and devotion to keeping them safe. Her sacrifices have come at a cost, as Carol struggles to reconcile her actions with her humanity, but her long friendship with Daryl and more recent bondings with Morgan and King Ezekiel have helped.
Jerry (Cooper Andrews)
Don’t let Jerry’s big smile, friendliness, and perpetual enthusiasm fool you: He is not only King Ezekiel’s friend, but his bodyguard, and Jerry takes that role very seriously; Jerry does not like King Ezekiel to experience so much as an interruption of his speeches. But it is certainly Jerry’s cheerier aspects that have made him such an instantly beloved character, whether he’s delivering cobbler to Carol (or enjoying the peachy Southern pastry himself), congratulating Benjamin on his fighting skills, or showing appreciation for Rick’s “rock in the road” storytelling.
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan in ‘The Walking Dead’ (Photo: AMC)
He murdered Glenn and Abe, two of our all-time favorite characters, and for that, we can never forgive him. But it’s also true that Negan is one of the more entertaining TV villains ever, quick and clever with his wordplay, and so enthusiastic in embracing political incorrectness that even Larry David would be envious. And, though, again, the sheer brutality of his methods can never be forgotten or forgiven, there is a solid philosophy and reason behind his tyrannical rule, which we will begin to see unfold in Season 8.
Tyreese Williams (Chad Coleman)
Tyreese was a good, solid man, devoted to family and friends, and determined to contribute to his community in any way he could. It was Tyreese who saved Baby Judith and sisters Mika and Lizzie after the fall of the prison. But he was also perhaps the guy most tormented by what surviving in the new world required, the constant need to go against his humanity to protect himself and the ones he loved. His death, while yet another tragic loss for the group, was also almost a relief in that it meant Tyreese would never have to kill again.
Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies)
Believing Rick to be dead at the beginning of the apocalypse, Lori turned to his cop partner and BFF, Shane, to get her and Carl to safety. Their relationship became a sexual one, and — as Rick would confirm in Season 7 — even resulted in the birth of Judith. Shane’s meltdown after Rick reappeared led to a rivalry that ended in Shane’s death, and a breakdown in Rick and guilt-ridden Lori’s relationship that remained unhealed when she died. Her final moments were devoted to her children: Judith’s birth, and telling Carl he was the best thing she ever did.
Jesus Rovia (Tom Payne)
Tom Payne as Jesus in ‘The Walking Dead’ (Photo: AMC)
Paul “Jesus” Rovia is perfectly suited to be the Hilltop’s recruiter, as — with the exception of his memorable first meeting with Rick and Daryl — he is a friendly, charming, capable guy who easily connects with almost everyone he meets. He confided to Maggie about his tough childhood that made it difficult for him to connect with people (even boyfriends, he added), but that seems to be changing with some of the new alliances he’s helped establish. Jesus is a major factor in the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and Alexandria banding together to take on the Saviors, and promises to be just as important a contributor to carrying out the impending war against Negan and his people.
Gregory (Xander Berkeley)
Yep, he’s a weasel alright, and we maybe even haven’t yet seen the full extent of his weaseldom, as he was planning a trip to the Sanctuary at the end of Season 7. Gregory is a colorful weasel, though, with his posturing and suits and continuing insistence that he is the Hilltop’s true leader, despite the fact that he’s too afraid to defend himself from walkers and too weak to stand up to Negan or anyone else who challenges him. But his interactions with Negan’s pinch tyrant, Simon, are delightful, and we have to give it up to him for his delivery of the best one-word quote in TWD history:
The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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