Death is inevitable in a show about a zombie apocalypse. Early on in The Walking Dead, it was about how to survive the hordes of undead people munchers who would turn up around every corner. As the series progressed, it became about how to survive the humans who still remained.
The Walking Dead has lost a lot of great characters. Some deaths were complicated. Merle was mostly a bad guy, but he died trying to save his brother and the rest of the group. Lori was good, but her constant pleading and uncertainty with Rick was grating and made her death a bit of a relief. Here are ten whose deaths were not complicated, simply sad or satisfying.
10 Enjoyed – Andrea
Andrea wasn’t a bad person. She always had good intentions. The problem with Andrea was her judgment. She followed her heart, and while normally that wouldn’t be a bad thing, her heart was kind of an idiot.
Andrea slept with Shane. And after he was gone and she had to escape the farm on her own, she joined Michonne, who nursed her to health when she got sick. They found Woodbury. Despite all evidence, and Michonne’s insistence that he was terrible, Andrea fell in with The Governor and started sleeping with him. She then sees all the bad things he’s done, doesn’t kill him like Carol asks her to do, but tries to make peace. In the end, that decision killed her, and it was just a relief that Andrea's time was over.
9 Broke Our Hearts – Beth Greene
Beth wasn’t built for survival in the world of zombies. A teenager when it all started, she watched as both her brother and her mother became sick and her father put them into the barn hoping for a cure. She watched the walker version of her brother be shot and her mother try to attack her. She became suicidal and withdrawn.
However, Beth adapted. She became Judith’s caregiver after Lori died. She had hope. She learned to use a gun. While on the run with Daryl, Beth forced him to start having faith. She got kidnapped, but it didn’t break her. By the time the rest of the group found her, Beth was strong and confident. So when Dawn accidentally shot her in the head, it was heartbreaking to see all that growth snuffed out.
8 Enjoyed – Spencer Monroe
Spencer wasn’t a terrible person, however, he was sheltered and entitled. Before the apocalypse, he was the son of a politician, who protected him from the true horrors of the outside world. After his parents and brother were killed, he was bitter towards Rick and his family, seeing them as the reason that everything went wrong.
Spencer thought he could take over Alexandria and have a better working relationship with Negan. His attempts to negotiate with Negan behind Rick’s back went poorly, and Negan killed him on the spot. But it was hard to feel bad for Spencer, as he died in the middle of betraying his community.
7 Broke Our Hearts – Sasha Williams
Everyone has a rough time during the apocalypse and everyone loses loved ones, but it seems no one lost more than Sasha. She and her brother joined Rick’s family while they were still at the prison. She began a relationship with Bob, the recovering alcoholic paramedic, and escaped with him and Maggie when the prison fell. After reuniting with the rest of the group, including her brother Tyreese, she lost Bob when he got bit. She was present when Beth was killed and shortly after lost Tyreese, also to a zombie bite.
She was in a bad place for a long time but started coming around and building a relationship with Abraham. That was cut brutally short when Negan murdered him in front of Sasha. Following that, she fell back into a bad place and her only goal was revenge. She finally got it, but at the cost of her own life. Sasha was such a good person – it was terrible that most of her time was spent in misery.
6 Enjoyed – Shane Walsh
Some people find themselves during the zombie apocalypse, but many others lose themselves and Shane falls firmly in that camp. He’s first seen as Rick’s partner as deputy sheriffs. He’s there when Rick gets shot and takes care of his family when they believe that Rick has died. He and Lori start a relationship, so when Rick returns, Shane feels guilty but also upset.
Once they get to Hershel’s farm, Shane slowly starts losing it. On a run for medical supplies, he sacrifices Otis to save himself. He shows everyone what Hershel’s hiding in his barn by releasing the walkers in there and killing them. Shane wants to kill Randall and finally tries to kill Rick before being shot by Carl. Not a moment too soon.
5 Broke Our Hearts – Hershel Greene
Hershel had a rough time adapting to the zombie apocalypse, but he managed it. After losing his wife and step-son, Hershel kept his daughters safe, and once he was forced to acknowledge what the walkers were, his breakdown was brief. He became a sounding board for Rick, offering sage advice when needed, and didn’t even let losing his leg slow him down.
When The Governor decided to seek vengeance on the people of the prison, he took Hershel and Michonne hostage, trying to negotiate his takeover of the prison for their release. With Hershel’s encouragement, Rick tried to compromise but The Governor was crazy and couldn’t be swayed. He executed Hershel with Michonne’s sword in front of his daughters, breaking everyone’s hearts.
4 Enjoyed – Ed Peletier
Ed wasn’t on the show for long, but he made a horrible impression in his short time. He was an abusive monster to his wife, Carol, and their daughter, Sophie. While talking to the other women, Carol showed a little bit of the spirit that would become part of her complete transformation later, but when Ed heard her laughing, he reined her in immediately.
When others called him on it, Ed punched Carol. Shane put a stop to that and beat him up, but it was even more satisfying to see him bitten by a walker. However, the most satisfying part was to see Carol unleash years of rage on Ed after he died.
3 Broke Our Hearts – Carl Grimes
Carl Grimes should have made it to the end, as so much of The Walking Dead has felt like his story in particular. His journey from a young boy to a teenager during a zombie apocalypse. And he came so far. He was a cute but slightly bratty kid. He had some turbulent years adjusting to his horrific reality, the death of his mother, and his killing of Shane and an unarmed member Woodbury.
Nevertheless, Carl adjusted and grew into a compassionate, wise young man. He helped others deal with their traumas, and he wanted to build a better world for his little sister. When he died, it felt like the whole family lost a bit of their soul.
2 Enjoyed – Philip Blake (aka The Governor)
Few people have caused as much trouble for Rick and his family than The Governor. He presided over the town of Woodbury, having created a seemingly safe oasis from walkers; however, beneath the manicured lawns, the town was rotten. The Governor captured walkers to use in gladiator fights, he killed anyone who didn’t join him, regardless of whether they were a threat or not.
Even after Rick and his family defeat him once, Philip joins another group, takes them over, and incites them to follow him to attack the prison. Despite the fact that many of his old Woodbury residents live there, he attacks after killing Hershel in front of everyone. When Michonne stabs him and his new girlfriend shoots him, it’s truly satisfying.
1 Broke Our Hearts – Glenn Rhee
Few characters are as purely good as Glenn. He was kind, dependable, funny, brave, and smart. He was a bit bumbling as he navigated the early parts of his relationship with Maggie, but through everything, they always stayed together. Theirs was true love.
Glenn was good in a fight, the best on a supply run, and managed to make it several years before he had to kill anyone. He was taken by Negan’s people when Daryl and Rosita tried to get revenge. He watched as Negan murdered Abraham as a warning. Daryl tried to fight back but Glenn paid the price for that. It was gruesome and devastating.