If there's one the thing The Walking Dead does better than any other TV show, its character deaths. 9 seasons in and The Walking Dead has given us some of the most memorable TV deaths this decade. Who could forget Abe and Glenn's brutal death-by-bat double whammy? Or Hershel's decapitation? Or Carl's slow death after a fatal run-in with some walkers? Whatever criticisms you can give the show, its handling of character deaths have all been different and all memorable.
Which brings us to season 9. After the introduction of the Whisperers, this season has been the scariest and most unpredictable one yet. It's not completely clear yet who will make it out of the series alive but there are ways we can have a very good guess. Read on to see who will probably get out of the season lives intact and those who definitely won't. Beware, spoilers for both the TV show and comic book follow.
10 Alive: Daryl
To nobody's surprise, our newly crowned leading man will not be killed off this season. After Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes was miraculously flown away on a helicopter, Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon has taken over the reins as the show's number 1. Despite it looking as if he's going to be in a couple of tight spots in the remaining season 9 episodes (a huge showdown with Whisperer number 2, Beta, is on the horizon) he's going to stick around for a good while longer.
Reedus loves the show and he's shown no sign of quitting, renegotiating his contract after Lincoln left. He's a fan favorite character too, and The Walking Dead wouldn't be the same without him. At the very least, he's got to stick around until we've found out what those 'X' shaped scars are all about.
9 Dead: Ezekiel
Comic book readers might have a head start (ha) when it comes to the fate of dear old King Ezekiel. While the communities hold the much talked about fair (something the show is building up), Alpha disguises herself as an Alexandrian and infiltrates the fairgrounds. Slowly, she starts luring people away from the fair and decapitating them. Then along the border of the Whisperers' land, she puts the numerous heads on wooden pikes which, surprisingly, includes the leader of the Kingdom and occasional Michonne love interest; King Ezekiel.
The show currently differs slightly in that Ezekiel doesn't have an on-again-off-again relationship with Michonne, but rather a full-blown marriage to Carol. Which means if Khary Payton's TV show Ezekiel gets his comic book counterpart's death, it's going to be even more surprising.
8 Alive: Connie
Now this one might be a bit of a guess but the show does seem to be building up the importance of Lauren Ridloff's Connie and to kill her off now would be a waste. If the name Connie doesn't ring a bell that's because she's one of the show's newest characters, introduced as a member of Magna's group.
The whole group is interesting and diverse, but Connie stands out because of her badass attitude, holding her own against resident badass Daryl Dixon, despite being deaf. And in recent episodes, it seems like there's a budding romance between Daryl and Connie, indicating that perhaps Connie is destined to stick around on the show for a little while longer.
7 Dead: Rosita
Similarly to seeing King Ezekiel's newfound marital bliss, news of Rosita's pregnancy will have had readers of The Walking Dead comics shaking in their boots. In the comics, Rosita was also pregnant (although we never found out the father) but this turned out to be short-lived, as before long Rosita was lured away by Alpha and decapitated.
Rick and the gang later found her head adorning the border wall of the Whisperer's land along with Ezekiel. Perhaps the show will not be so cruel as killing a pregnant woman, and a badass fan favorite character at that, but we wouldn't be so sure. If there's one thing The Walking Dead likes, it's surprising deaths of our favorite characters (see: Glenn).
6 Alive: Negan
If a couple of years ago, you'd told fans of The Walking Dead TV show that Negan - the man who brutally beat Abraham and Glenn to death - was soon going to be one of the good guys, they'd laugh in your face. But that's what comic book readers have been thinking ever since his 2016 introduction.
'Good guy' might be an exaggeration but it's certainly true that in the comics Negan is released and helps Rick and the communities in the whisperer war arc. Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan in the show isn't there yet, but he's getting close. Episode 12 of season 9 "Guardians" saw Negan pleading with Michonne that he's changed and to let him help. She turned him down of course but it won't be long before she goes crawling back. Negan is going to be around for quite a bit longer.
5 Dead: Henry
A controversial choice perhaps, after all, Henry has only recently begun to take center stage and with Carl gone, he's been taking on many of Carl's comic book storylines (namely the Carl and Lydia romance plot line). But the show has never been that obvious with its adaptation of the comics and how better to pull the rug from under us than my killing off someone unexpected? By first killing off her husband and then her 'son', these deaths are going to hit Carol the hardest.
But that sets up a perfect Carol versus Alpha showdown; two mothers, both changed into hardened killers by the apocalypse. It almost writes itself! Like they did with Negan's memorable introduction, the show is not going to recreate iconic moments from the comics shot-for-shot. Killing Henry would be an ideal way of shaking things up.
4 Alive: Judith
This one is obvious; the show is not going to kill off Judith Grimes. Not only because she is a child, although I think that would be a little too grim even for this show, but because she has taken over the mantle of Sherrif Grimes. Like her father and brother before her, she wears the iconic cowboy hat.
Despite her comic book counterpart being long dead by this point, she's got many more storylines left to play out. As the last Grimes standing she's going to take on not just Carl's storylines, but maybe some of Rick's too. Her quasi-fatherly relationship with Negan is only just blossoming too and will continue playing a big part in Negan's turn to the good side.
3 Dead: Father Gabriel
Does anyone remember what Father Gabriel was doing at this point in the comics? Because I don't. At some point in the whisperer war, Gabriel is forgettably killed by Beta. But his TV counterpart is so much better than comic book Father Gabriel, it's almost a shame to put him in this list. However, Gabriel's time is almost up.
The Rosita love triangle he's found himself in has too many people in it. The camp's doctor, Siddiq, is too important to kill off and Eugene has lots of stories left. But Gabriel has already had his full arc; going from cowardly vicar to badass, gun-toting, one-eyed preacher. There are not many places the character can go at this point and when characters are at their happiest, that's when tragedy strikes.
2 Alive: Michonne
Not long after the departure of the show's leading man, we are also going to lose its leading woman too. Danai Gurira, who plays the sword-wielding Michonne, is set to leave the show sometime in season 10 having signed on for a handful of episodes in that season.
Michonne has been a main cast member of the show since season 3 and season 9 has seen her taking on some of Rick's comic book storylines as the leader of Alexandria. But the sad news that she is leaving in season 10 means one thing is for certain; we won't be seeing Michonne die in season 9. What happens next season is anyone's guess but for now she is safe.
1 Dead: Jerry
This hurts to write. Jerry is always happy, whether he's eating cobbler or singing along to 'It's Alright Now' by Eddie Harris. Recently we've heard that Jerry and his wife Nabila have recently had kids, three of them in fact, something which makes Jerry even happier. And as we've previously seen with Glenn, Abe, Noah, Lori, and so many others; tragedy strikes when these characters are at their happiest.
Jerry is a fan favorite character, something that might ordinarily protect him, but he's also not that important. Killing him would provoke the right reaction from the audience but without the show having to lose one of its main players. Unfortunately, it looks as if Jerry's time is up.