Though The Walking Dead boasts a very sizeable cast of characters, there is constant turnover that comes with every season. Sometimes fans are forced to say goodbye to beloved characters, but other times, they're just glad that TWD finally pulled the trigger. One of the most notable and memorable aspects of this series are the deaths.
During its nearly ten years on the air, The Walking Dead has always been a show to mercilessly kill characters, despite whatever emotions these actions may evoke from their fanbase.
Let's explore 10 of the characters that deserved to stay alive longer, and 5 that should have died sooner.
15 DENISE CLOYD - DESERVED TO STAY ALIVE
Denise's friendly personality and lovable yet awkward camaraderie, made her character a charming and instantly likeable one. Her time on TWD was short, but it's safe to say that in the span of only one season, Denise made her mark.
Denise's death was badly received from the audience, especially since it displayed yet another instance of TWD constantly killing off their LGBTQ+ characters. From striking up an adorable romance with Tara, to saving Carl's life when he took a bullet to the eye, and finally, to her unforgettable death, Denise was a memorable character, who did not deserve to be wasted for cheap shock value.
14 ABRAHAM FORD - SHOULD'VE BEEN KILLED OFF EARLIER
Abraham was abrasive and arrogant since his introduction to the show. As seasons went on, he carried several storylines that, by the time of his death, made him not too well liked.
Perhaps the most memorable part of Abraham Ford was his quotable one-liners. But there was never very much depth to the former army sergeant. In season 6, the harsh way he broke up with long-time girlfriend Rosita as soon as another woman caught his eye spoke volumes about his character. Abraham also had his share of childish meltdowns over various things, conveying that his personality was probably never suited for a post-apocalyptic world.
13 THEODORE "T-DOG" DOUGLAS - DESERVED TO STAY ALIVE
Along with Daryl, Merle, the Morales family, and Jacqui, T-Dog was one of the original characters created by Frank Darabont.
Though he didn't receive as much screen time as he deserved, T-Dog had a likable demeanor, which is why he is still remembered to this day. Early in season 3, he was tragically bitten by a walker during a bout of chaos at the prison. His death came later in a heartbreaking instance where he nobly sacrificed himself for Carol. This alone makes him iconic and unforgettable. He died a hero, but it would have been nice if he had of stayed around for a little longer.
12 ANDREA HARRISON - SHOULD'VE BEEN KILLED OFF EARLIER
Andrea was always one of the strongest survivors in the Atlanta camp. She had an endearing relationship with her sister, Amy, which served to make their final scene, as Andrea held a dying Amy in her arms, even more heart-wrenching.
While Andrea's journey was compelling, when she met the Governor in season 3, things began to fell apart for her character. Her integrity seriously came into question with her decision to abandon Michonne for the Governor. With all of the questionable decisions Andrea made in her final season, and with the fact that she could have prevented her own unfortunate demise on several occasions, fans were hard-pressed to feel sad when it was time to say goodbye.
11 MERLE DIXON - DESERVED TO STAY ALIVE
Sometimes it's easy to forget that Merle Dixon was only in TWD for three seasons. His presence was such a strong, unforgettable one, that it seems as though he was in the series for much longer.
Merle's introduction was definitely an unforgettable one. The third episode of the first season presented Merle handcuffed to a roof while the threat of fast-approaching walkers loomed heavily. Michael Rooker performed this scene in an incredible, captivating way - making it one of the most haunting and memorable moments in Walking Dead history. Merle definitely left a lasting imprint on fans' memories. If he were still alive today, there's no doubt that the series would feel much more alive.
10 CARL GRIMES - SHOULD'VE BEEN KILLED OFF EARLIER
Though his death in season 8 sparked significant backlash, there's no denying that Carl caused his share of turmoil during his time of the series.
Of course, he was just a kid, so that meant that he was always causing some kind of trouble. In season 2, while being the rebellious pre-teen he was, Carl wandered away from Hershel's farmhouse and went into the woods. He came across a walker in a pond and accidentally brought it back with him, tragically killing Dale in the process. This is only one example of the several fatalities and problems that Carl caused during his time on the series. It's hard to deny the fact that things might have turned out a little better for some survivors, had Carl of met his demise a few seasons earlier.
9 TYREESE WILLIAMS - DESERVED TO STAY ALIVE
Tyreese was simply a sweetheart. His time on the series was fairly short, but he made his mark nonetheless. Watching this normally good-natured man endure the loss of his girlfriend, Karen, at the prison, was intriguing. And when he came to terms with it and forgave Carol (who had been revealed to have killed Karen because of a sickness that was wreaking havoc in the prison), it was beautiful.
In the season 5 episode, "What Happened And What's Going On", Tyreese was fatally bitten by a walker. His death was tragic and profound all at once, particularly the moment when he was shown to be in a car with Bob, Beth, Lizzie, and Mika - a beautiful instance of them all presumably driving to the afterlife. But the group and TWD itself probably could have benefitted from having Tyreese live a bit longer.
8 BETH GREENE - SHOULD'VE BEEN KILLED OFF EARLIER
Beth's screen time was fairly limited between during her three seasons on the show. There was never much depth to her, and she often acted childish and immature.
In the rare episodes that delved into her character, she was often shown to be unfit for the post-apocalyptic world. In the season 4 episode, "Still", Beth decides it's time to have her first drink, and though TWD writers attempted to redeem her later in the season 5 episode, "Slabtown", Beth's character was never one that left very much of an impact. Most likely, both the show and the characters would have benefitted from Beth dying back at the farm in season 2.
7 BOB STOOKEY - DESERVED TO STAY ALIVE
This ex-army medic had a very short-lived time on The Walking Dead, but his charm and kind personality means his memory lives on in many fans' minds.
Bob suffered a drinking problem, which was conveyed in season 4. But he quickly redeemed himself, striking up an adorable romance with Sasha and proving himself to truly be a part of the team. Bob remained an optimist till the very end, even during his heartbreaking final moments. He had the kind of positivity that several survivors lack, so a longer lifespan for him could have been valuable for everyone.
6 THE GOVERNOR - SHOULD'VE BEEN KILLED OFF EARLIER
The Governor was an alluring villain at first. That is, until TWD writers got a little carried away and ended up overdeveloping him (an uncommon mistake for them). In the end, viewers were mostly relieved when he died.
This shouldn't have been the case, as he was only in the show for about a season. It felt like so much longer because of the excessive amounts of screen time he received that, in the end, only served to make everyone sick of him. In season 3, it was shown that the Governor kept his young, undead daughter, Penny, chained up in his basement. This was really the only intriguing story that surrounded this villain, and that ended in the third season. In season 4, the Governor basically just wandered around for almost an entire episode, and then plotted to take down the prison with a new group of henchmen, in the next. TWD writers probably should have just killed the Governor before his allure wore off.
5 TARA CHAMBLER - DESERVED TO STAY ALIVE
It's a well-known fact that LGBTQ+ characters have a limited life span in the world of TWD. Tara was the first gay character to be introduced on the show, and at the Governor's camp in season 4, Tara's love-interest was killed off after only a couple episodes.
In season 6, Tara's girlfriend, Denise, took an arrow to the head, making it seem like TWD writers just couldn't refrain from viciously killing these minorities. Now, with Magna and Yumiko's introduction to the show, it seemed TWD had a good collection of LGBTQ+ characters. And then they killed Jesus. And then they killed Tara. It certainly seems that TWD makes a habit of this and that does not bode well for the series' reputation. Tara was undeserving of her tragic fate, and keeping her alive would have certainly made The Walking Dead crew look a lot better.
4 SASHA WILLIAMS - DESERVED TO STAY ALIVE
Sasha Williams deserved better. Like her older brother Tyreese, Sasha was introduced in the third season of TWD, and was shown to be a strong, resourceful survivor from the very beginning.
This might have been the reason that TWD writers doled out endless amounts of pain for this former-firefighter. Her industrious personality made her seemingly unbreakable, but after the loss of Bob, Tyreese, and Abraham, Sasha's tribulation came to a peak. She lost so much, and by the time of her death, her character wasn't what she used to be. But that doesn't mean that she didn't deserve a much longer life.
3 DALE HORVATH - DESERVED TO STAY ALIVE
It was clear to everyone that Dale was the glue that held the group together. He put everyone before himself, and although he at times was a tad intrusive, he did everything because he cared.
Dale's backstory was a tragic one, having witnessed his wife slowly die of cancer. Despite the immense amount of sadness he endured before the apocalypse even started, Dale's morality was one that never became questionable. He remained loyal to his fellow survivors, always putting them before himself, and always trying to keep everyone's humanity intact. Dale's death was devastating, and if he were still alive, he would have undoubtedly stopped many characters from doing less-than-moral things.
2 HERSHEL GREENE - DESERVED TO STAY ALIVE
Being a moral compass on TWD is almost always a death sentence. He wasn't exactly that in the beginning, when Rick's group stayed at his farm, but by season 3, Hershel was shown to be the new Dale. He kept the group sane and human, with both his wisdom and medical skills.
Every show needs a Hershel - someone to guide the other characters to make the right decisions, and The Walking Dead wasted Hershel's potential drastically by killing him off so soon.
1 GLENN RHEE - DESERVED TO STAY ALIVE
Glenn Rhee was the heart of The Walking Dead for nearly seven seasons. He is certainly an unforgettable aspect of the show, and was taken too soon. His death was undeserved and heartbreaking.
Before the apocalypse, Glenn was just a pizza delivery boy. It was when the dead started walking the earth that he really found his place in the world. Glenn was noble, loyal, and always going out of his way to find the good in people. His journey was a long and compelling one, and the fact that by the time of his death, he had a wife and an unborn child, made everything all the more heartbreaking. Glenn deserved to have a longer life, possibly even more than anyone else on this list.