It’s time to grab a shovel and start digging, because we are unearthing some zombie bones from AMC’s The Walking Dead. As the highest-rated show on network or cable television, we have been gifted seven seasons of stellar storylines and memorable faces.
Consistently beating the likes of Empire, and The Big Bang Theory, you would think that The Walking Dead could at least get its cast right. While the likes of Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan, and Danai Gurira’s Michonne hold up the majority of the story, there have been some not so memorable characters to grace the zombie apocalypse.
Everyone has their favorite – whether it be dangerous homemaker Carol, katana-wielding Michonne, or an eye-patched Governor, but some just don’t cut the mustard. Some are pulled directly from the pages of Robert Kirkman’s comic book and others were made specifically for television, but some some survivors have been left by the wayside, lost in the crowd, or simply so bad that AMC would rather you forget them altogether.
From haphazard villains to faceless extras, forgotten families, and even omittable other halves, TWD has dropped some clangers across its run.
With that in mind, here are 15 Characters The Walking Dead Wants You To Forget.
15. Duane Jones
Going back to beginning seems like a good place to start, so does anyone remember Duane Jones from the very first episode of The Walking Dead? As the son of Morgan, Duane made a very brief appearance, played by actor Adrian Kali Turner. It is easy to forget that Morgan wasn’t the only member of the Jones family we have met.
Although Turner only appeared in the premiere, Morgan revealed that Duane had been turned into a walker after a bite from his undead mother. The death of Duane had clearly affected Morgan, and when we saw him again in season 3’s “Clear”, he was an unhinged lunatic who Rick left to the fates.
Eventually coming to his senses, Morgan is back on form and had picked up his stick to become a badass ninja. Sure, Duane seems like he was vastly underused, but can you really imagine Morgan being the fan-favorite he is today with a child glued to his side? It seems that even Lennie James forgets his character had a kid. Just like Carol needed to lose Sophia, Morgan needed to ditch Duane.
A pre-Penguin Robin Lord Taylor made a forgettable appearance as “Sam” – the kid who somehow managed to keep his hair platinum blonde in the middle of an apocalypse. Given Lord Taylor’s current star status on Gotham, you’d think we would remember him popping up on TWD – twice!
We first met Sam in season 4 alongside his girlfriend Ana. After being rescued by Rick and Carol, Sam was given Rick’s watch and told to meet him after a supply run. It was a grim state of affairs for Sam’s partner Ana, who was discovered being devoured by walkers, but Sam’s whereabouts were left a mystery.
Unfortunately, Sam got an equally grim fate when he crossed paths with Rick and co. again in season 5. Eagle-eyed viewers noticed that Sam was one of Gareth’s victims being held hostage at Terminus. Although our cast of series regulars all escaped with their lives, Sam wasn’t so lucky and had his throat slit like a pig right before our eyes.
13. The Anderson Family
Chances are though, if you Googled “Sam” and “The Walking Dead,” it would come up with Major Dodson’s Children of the Corn performance as Sam Anderson. Becoming not only a maligned character in his own right, Sam was part of the forgettable Anderson brood; quite possibly the show’s most-hated family.
Husband Pete was responsible for the death of Reg Monroe, Jessie was a lame love interest for Rick, Sam became Carol’s pet project, and Ron cost Carl his eye. Sure, each member of the family had some pretty major storylines at the Alexandria Safe Zone, but how come we don’t remember a single one of them?
Perhaps the most forgettable was Alexandra Breckenridge as Jessie. In Rick’s pre-Michonne days, he was busy making goo-goo eyes at the happy homemaker. Wearing walker-soaked sheets and being devoured by the horde, even Sam and Jessie’s death scene is hardly up there with shocking moments from the show.
12. Lilly Chambler
While Tara Chambler has gone onto be a formidable presence on the show, representing the LGBT faction, whatever happened to her sister Lilly? As a pre-apocalypse nurse and a strong family woman, Lilly had all the makings of a great character. However, falling for “Brian Heriot”, Lilly became the show’s second casualty to romance The Governor.
After the fall of Woodbury, The Governor came knocking at Lilly’s door and we met her alongside Tara and Meghan. It didn’t take Guv long to reassemble his forces at Martinez’s camp, and with his final assault on the prison, it was clear there were going to be some casualties. It was only after the decapitation of Hershel Greene that Lilly saw The Governor’s true colors and realized she was in over her head!
Being the actual person to finish off The Governor – quite possibly the show’s best ever villain – it is amazing that Lilly gets so little recognition. After killing David Morrisey’s dastardly dictator, Lilly simply dies off screen by allowing the walkers to surround her.
As the bearded buddy of Rick Grimes, Andrew Rothenberg’s Jim was one of The Walking Dead’s earliest casualties and another wasted character who never got his time to shine. With the show trimming down Robert Kirkman’s source material, we feel like we never got to know Jim as well as we do on the black and white pages of the comic books.
Jim was a bit of a weirdy-beardy, who disturbed the camp after uncontrollably digging holes following an unknown dream. Jim later helped defend the camp from a walker attack, but when our Atlanta survivors discovered he had been bitten by a walker, Jim’s fate was sealed and it was only a matter of time.
Taking the noble decision to be left behind, Jim’s fate remains unknown, but we can only assume he turned into a brain-munching zombie – well, unless someone found a mystery cure and used Jim as their test patient. In all likelihood, Jim got his final wish of being reanimated and joining his walker family out there in the Atlanta apocalypse.
Dubbed “Creepy Clara,” season 4 introduced one of The Walking Dead’s strangest additions. We know that the zombie outbreak can send people a little loopy, but this filthy figure was one sandwich short of a picnic.
Originally coming from Ireland, Clara and her husband were trapped in the Atlanta airport terminal and became some of the few survivors when it was overrun. Since she was first seen chowing down on a boar carcass in the woods, Rick had assumed that Clara was a walker until she spoke. Luring our intrepid leader back to her camp, it soon became apparent that Clara’s motives weren’t as honorable as she made out.
Back at her campsite, Rick met her husband, Eddie – well, what was left of him. When Rick realized that Clara was feeding other survivors to her undead husband, her attitude toward him soon changed. The emaciated Clara was easily dispatched and she stabbed herself in the stomach to join Eddie.
As the second half of season 4 scattered our prison survivors, one of the most promising storylines was Daryl Dixon’s next move. With the show forming its own Sons of Anarchy parody, Daryl joined a leather-clad group of “Claimers” under the leadership of Joe.
Although he had a twinkle in his eye for Daryl, it still didn’t stop Joe being a cold-blooded killer. As a strangely honest and effective leader, we can’t help but feel that Joe was a bit of a Rick Grimes who veered off onto the wrong path. That being said, he became a major antagonist toward Rick, Michonne, and Carl.
We remember Joe’s actions more for the man himself. After Joe tried to sexually abuse Carl in one of TWD’s most uncomfortable moments, Rick tore out Joe’s throat with his teeth. Well, you can’t say he didn’t have it coming.
However, coming in the shadow of The Governor, and given that we would go on to have groups like the Wolves and the Terminus “Hunters,” Joe’s gang of raiders are just too forgettable. Are they just a knock-off biker gang going through a midlife crisis?
As Negan’s squeeze, Christine Evangelista’s Sherry made the leap from comic book to show during season 6’s Savior storyline. Given an expanded role in season 7, Sherry decided to play with fire when attempting to double cross the nefarious Negan.
She’s the woman who is inadvertently responsible for giving Dwight that gnarly face of melted cheese, but life was depressingly sad for Sherry as one of Negan’s wives. Seeing the good in Daryl Dixon, Sherry decided she would right some of the wrongs at the Sanctuary and help free him from his torture of dog food sandwiches and “Easy Street.”
After an attempted reconciliation with Dwight, Sherry made the wise decision to flee. Dwight told Negan that he had caught up with Sherry and killed her. However, we all know this isn’t the case and it is only a matter of time before the lies unravel for all involved.
7. Officer Dawn Lerner
Although Rick Grimes stuck with his law enforcement uniform for a while, he quickly learned that the end of the world is not a time to pine for your position of authority. Sadly, someone who didn’t realize this was Officer Dawn Lerner – a woman who miraculously kept her police badge as shiny as it was prior to the apocalypse.
There have been some great villains over the past seven seasons, but the pint-sized Dawn with her strict rules and regulations will not be remembered as one of them. Treating the Grady Memorial hospital more like a boarding school, was anyone really ever threatened by Dawn?
We always knew that Beth Greene was probably going to perish at the hospital, but being accidentally shot in the head by Dawn – yawn, what a way to go. All we really wanted was for someone to chuck Dawn down that lift shaft to the fate she deserved, but we couldn’t even do that properly. Instead, the tiny terror was shot by Daryl in retaliation for Beth’s demise. At least we can find solace in the fact that this finally brought the lackluster hospital storyline to a close.
The Walking Dead spent a lot of its time at the prison, and under new showrunner Scott Gimple, we met a whole host of forgettable faces. Joining in the gap between season 3 and season 4, the uninspiring Zach arrived alongside his college buddies.
If we’re being honest, Zach (played by Kyle Gallner) was probably never going to find himself with series regular status. Just like Noah, his death was always in the cards.
Zach got the dubious honor of being Beth’s last ever boyfriend. Appearing in only one episode (apart from a brief flashback), Zach’s death was far more memorable than the man himself. Bitten by a walker when rescuing Bob, Zach was then spectacularly crushed from above by a falling helicopter.
Was there ever a more tragic tale than that of Laurie Holden’s time as Andrea? The heroine from the comics was a major presence in the first two seasons of the show, however, TWD dropped the ball when pairing Andrea with The Governor.
It is safe to say that Season 3 saw Andrea dropped slightly in the popularity stakes, but her death was still one hell of a shocker that we didn’t see coming. It appears that time hasn’t healed all wounds, and Holden recently revealed the controversy surrounding her departure.
The actress had originally been contracted to appear up until season 8, however, Andrea bowed out in the season 3 finale. Holden had just moved to Atlanta, but was dramatically told by a departing Glen Mazarra that she was getting the boot.
Andrea became the next Mrs. Grimes and a badass sniper in the comics, but we have slowly seen Danai Gurira’s Michonne take on that role on the show. Andrea’s death took place off screen, so there were hopes she could return, but as ready ourselves for season 8, that looks less and less likely with every day.
4. Ed Peletier
Just like Morgan and Duane, some characters have fared a lot better without the baggage of pre-apocalypse family. Heading back to season 1, we saw Melissa McBride as the beaten housewife Carol. Her worse half was Adam Minarovich as Ed Peletier.
Not sharing food with Carl was by far the least of Ed’s crimes, and he soon showed his true colors as an abusive husband to Carol. Ed became the black sheep of the Atlanta survivors, but it wasn’t long before he got his just desserts. Ravaged by a group of walkers, Ed was put out of his misery by an empowered Carol and a handy pickaxe
3. The Morales Family
Apart from the Andersons, The Walking Dead had another (much earlier) family that was always set for the TV graveyard. However, where the show has killed off most of its loose ends, the Morales Family remain one of TWD’s longest-running mysteries.
Appearing briefly in the premiere season, the Morales’ were led by a father figure who we only ever knew as Morales – he never even got a first name. Lasting only five episodes into the zombie apocalypse, the family had had enough of the Atlanta survivors camp and decided they would make it on their own. The last we ever heard of Morales – he, his wife, and their brood of children were heading off to find some relatives in Birmingham instead of following Rick to the CDC.
Actor Juan G. Pareja even recently took to Twitter to share a joke picture of himself as Morales taking down Negan, but in all likelihood, the Morales family were probably devoured by walkers long ago. However, with the family’s tenure coming under the Frank Darabont years, who knows what plans The Shawshank Redemption director had for them.
A newer addition to the list is Corey Hawkins’ bespectacled Heath. Out of sight, out of mind?
Heath has been missing since the middle of season 7, but it seems that only Alanna Masterson’s Tara remembers that he is gone.
The pairing of Tara and Heath represented season 7 branching off with possibly two of its weakest characters. We did quite enjoy the Oceanside subplot, but was there any need for Heath to come along for the ride? The last we heard of Heath, he was assumed dead. In classic TWD fashion, Tara found a keycard with “PPP” scrawled on it, which means something to her, but not the millions of people who tune in every week.
With actor Corey Hawkins being cast on 24: Legacy, we can only assume that Heath’s absence is temporary, and that both Hawkins and showrunner Scott Gimple have plans for him to return some day. However, given that Heath wasn’t exactly the Rick Grimes of Alexandria, does anyone (character or audience) really give a hoot about where he went?
1. Lori Grimes
Is there anyone else in the great wasteland of Robert Kirkman’s undead ensemble who the writers would rather forget other than the first Mrs. Grimes? Lori may have brought both Carl and Judith in into this world, but few people shed a tear when she kicked the bucket in season 3.
After two seasons, the world’s worst love triangle finally came to an end – it is just a shame that even this couldn’t redeem Lori as a character. Showrunner at the time, Glen Marazza, may have defended Lori, but he was about the only one person who could. While Maggie went on to be a badass, pregnant, feminist icon, Lori remained as a bump in the road.
Arguably, they couldn’t even get Lori’s death right. While the comics gave her a spectacular send-off at the hands of The Governor’s prison assault, the TV version was left to die in a lackluster childbirth plot, then return several times as a ghostly apparition.
Who do you think is The Walking Dead‘s most forgettable character? Sound off in the comments below
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