When the world has been overrun with the dead, it’s hard to imagine anyone gets a happy ending. In the world of The Walking Dead, though, it seems like the characters at the center of the story have experienced more tragedy than the usual apocalyptic setting would provide.
One of those characters is former farm-girl Maggie Greene. She’s been a central part of the stories in both the television series (played by Lauren Cohan) and the graphic novels that provide the basis for the show, changing from a young woman in an isolated family to the leader of a community of survivors in just a few short years.
However, this rise to leadership has come with a price.
Maggie has watched those she cares about fall to the walkers, she’s been forced to kill her own friends, she’s been kidnapped, and she’s been tortured both physically and mentally. Her strength has been tested in the years since Rick Grimes first made his way to her family’s farm, and Maggie has proven herself more than capable of handling anything the apocalypse throws at her.
Find out just how much she’s gone through with the 16 Worst Things To Happen To Maggie in The Walking Dead.
16 Putting Sasha Down
Maggie has been through a lot of heartache in her day, but one of the most recent happened at the end of season seven as Maggie was forced to end the life of one of her dear friends.
Sasha, who had been captured by Negan when she attempted to kill him, found herself being used as a bargaining chip against Rick and his people. She chose to commit suicide in transit, giving herself the ability to act as a distraction and attack Negan as a walker when she was released at Alexandria.
Following the fight with the Saviors, it was Maggie and Jesus who tracked Sasha down in the woods. Maggie was the one to put Sasha down, forced to kill the person who had helped her get Glenn’s body to the Hilltop for burial -- not to mention the one who had promised to kill Negan to give them both some peace.
15 Witnessing Abraham And Glenn’s Deaths
If there’s one thing that can scar a person forever, it’s watching someone they love being beaten to death with a baseball bat.
The pivotal issue #100 of the comics was brought to life in season seven of The Walking Dead on television. As Maggie, Rick, and company come face to face with Negan for the first time, they’re punished for their attempts to get rid of him by Negan brutally murdering one of their own with his trusted bat Lucille. After he takes aim against Abraham, he also beats Glenn as punishment for Daryl trying to stop him.
Maggie was already willing to take out Negan and his Saviors before she ever met him; it was Maggie who made the deal with the Hilltop after all. Watching Glenn lose his life in such a violent manner made her certain she made the right decision as she and Sasha promised one another that they would do their best to end Negan’s reign.
14 Being Too Late To Save Beth
With Maggie and Beth being the last surviving members of the Greenes, the two were very close. They shared duties on helping the sick or wounded, and the two grew up very quickly when having to leave the family farm.
Beth became separated from the rest of the group, traveling with Daryl after a walker attack. After she was injured, she was kidnapped by a group working at a hospital. Beth was supposed to work off her “debt” to them for saving her, but she attempted an escape, and the debt began again.
Daryl led a group to save Beth while Maggie planned to meet up with them. Before learning that her sister was in a hospital, Maggie had already accepted that she was dead. Learning she was alive, then to find out that Beth died in an accidental shooting just a short time before getting to her, broke Maggie’s heart.
13 Abducted By The Saviors
When Rick and the rest of the Alexandrians first learned of Negan and his Saviors, they agreed to be the ones to take out the rival group for their community’s survival. It didn’t exactly go as planned, however.
While several members of their group headed into safe houses to kill Saviors, Maggie and Carol were actually kidnapped by another group. Carol spent much of the time acting as a helpless victim to get the jump on their captors. She and Maggie eventually killed everyone who took them, but it wasn’t without consequence.
Maggie was scarred by the experience, telling Glenn after they allowed the others to be eaten by walkers or burned alive, “I can’t anymore,” signalling that, like Carol, she had reached the point where the killing was just too much.
12 Becoming The Hilltop Leader
While the show has Maggie sharing responsibility for the Hilltop community with Gregory (though his followers have rapidly begun turning their favor towards Maggie as the season eight premiere demonstrated), in the comics, Maggie has already assumed leadership of the Hilltop completely, with some unfortunate consequences.
Leading the group meant that she was the one who made the decision to execute Gregory, taking the full responsibility for the community onto her shoulders. It also meant that she began to spend most of her time away from the core group of friends she had made during the run of the series, and it often put her at odds with Rick since their leadership styles were so different.
Ultimately, the mansion at the center of the Hilltop burned to the ground in the comics, leaving Maggie with even more troubles to worry her.
11 A Deal With Gregory
Upon being introduced to the Hilltop community and learning of the existence of the Saviors, it’s Maggie who made a deal with Gregory on behalf of Rick and their people. She agreed that she would get her people to get rid of the Saviors in exchange for Gregory sharing their community’s produce with them.
Being able to trade with nearby communities is a must in an apocalyptic world like the one on The Walking Dead, but when that community is led by someone like Gregory, trade comes with a new set of problems. Gregory has been something of a letch, trying to work out “private deals” with both Maggie and Sasha before the former put a stop to it.
In the comics, their relationship is more than just contentious: Gregory tries to kill Maggie, and she has him executed. The show has seen her getting closer to that point as she’s become the one the members of the Hilltop trust.
10 Losing The Farm
The cast of characters in The Walking Dead might be residents of Alexandria, the Kingdom, and the Hilltop now, but for much of the show (and comics), the group has been nomadic, traveling to a new place as food becomes scarce and the threat of walkers increases.
When Maggie Greene was first introduced in the comics and the television series, she and her family were residents of a farm. Thanks to a crowd of walkers though, Maggie and everyone else who called the farm home had to abandon it in the middle of the night.
It didn’t just mean losing the security of four walls and a roof, but a place that held a lot of memories for Maggie, leaving her effectively homeless as the group struggled to find another safe place to live.
9 Nearly Starving To Death
When the farm was no longer an option, Maggie, her family, and the rest of her new friends, spent a lot of time traveling, trying to find a safe space, and trying to recover food - none of which is easy when the area has been picked clean by other survivors and walkers are everywhere.
The group came so close to starving during their travels that Carl scavenged cans of dog food from one house they picked through, and around a campfire, they were almost willing to dig in. It was Rick who stopped them. (That low point for the group would be revisited by Daryl later when he was captured by the Saviors.)
Unable to farm while traveling, and with so many canned goods gone, the group had to rely on whatever they could “hunt,” even if that meant killing and cooking someone’s former pet, like the very dog they may have found food for.
8 Attempted Suicide
When the world of walkers and post-apocalyptic politics became too much for Maggie in the comics, she considering ending her own life.
Maggie very quickly became an integral part of the main group of characters when she was introduced, but after experiencing so much tragedy and finding herself unable to conceive a child, she reached her breaking point. Maggie made the decision to hang herself, but luckily for her, she was found by friends and revived. She experienced plenty of shame after the fact, deciding that she let her loved ones down.
On the television series, writers took a different route. Instead of Maggie seeking to escape the apocalypse, it was her younger sister Beth who wanted out. When the characters were first introduced, Beth attempted to talk Maggie into taking her own life so that the two wouldn’t have to live without one another. While Beth did make an attempt, Maggie didn’t, and the older sister didn’t stray far from the younger in the aftermath.
7 Becoming A Killer
A side effect of leaving in a violent world is that sometimes, a character isn’t the recipient of violence, but the one delivering it.
Rick, Maggie, and the rest of their people have found themselves making tough decisions as they went against communities ruled by violent dictators, and were forced to retaliate. Despite not having much experience in a fight, Maggie has become one of the most capable of dishing out violence.
Seeing so many of her friends and family struck down has caused her to harden her heart and be ready to pull the trigger or plunge a blade - even if she’s doing it against another person and not a walker.
In the comics, it’s Maggie who dispenses violent justice the quickest. She pulls the trigger to kill the man who killed her siblings, and she’s the one who decides to have Gregory hanged at the Hilltop. These decisions might serve her well now, but if the world ever rebuilds, she’ll have one very dark past.
6 Delivering Lori’s Baby
There aren’t many small children in the world of The Walking Dead, but Judith might be the most memorable on the TV series for her role in changing the show’s cast.
Judith was born during the group’s stay at a prison. Rick’s wife Lori went into labor in the midst of the group defending themselves against walkers and worrying about the Governor tracking them down. It was Lori who made the decision for Maggie to give her a C-section, even though she knew she wouldn’t survive it thanks to the lack of medical supplies.
Maggie didn’t want to do it; she didn’t even think she was capable of it. The experience terrified her, and watching Carl make sure his mother couldn’t return as a walker left her stunned and sobbing when they finally emerged from the prison.
5 A Rough Pregnancy
With large areas subject to no electricity and most of the human population turned into walkers, it’s especially difficult to find a decent doctor on The Walking Dead, a new worry for Maggie when she discovered that she was pregnant.
Though Maggie and Glenn decided that starting a family was a way to bring hope into the world, it came at a bit of a price. After suffering from the usual nausea and fatigue, Maggie also found herself struck with dizzy spells and more difficulties. She was even carried part of the way to the Hilltop on the fateful night the group met Negan.
As it turned out, Maggie was so ill because her placenta separated from the wall of uterus, but a visit with the Hilltop’s doctor determined that she and her baby would be fine, which was a relief for someone who had seen first-hand what could happen to a pregnant woman in the new world already.
4 Being Separated From Family
Due to the nature of the show -- the characters always being on the lookout for better survival options -- there are a lot of storylines that have involved the group splitting up, and that has resulted in Maggie spending a lot of time worrying about those she cares about.
When their homes have been overrun by walkers, Maggie has been separated from her father, her sister, and Glenn on multiple occasions. Sometimes, she had no way to track them down, and had to hope for the best, while other times, she tried to make the best of a bad situation.
In one such instance, she left notes for Glenn along a route to Terminus, telling him that was where she was headed, and she even did it in the blood of walkers, determined that he would find her there eventually. Terminus might not have been the haven they anticipated, but at least they were able to reunite.
3 Meeting The Governor
When Rick, Maggie, and their found family encountered the relatively safe setup of a prison, they made it their new home, clearing out the former walker inhabitants, and creating a garden to feed their growing community. Unfortunately, they came into conflict with the nearby Woodbury.
The self proclaimed Governor of Woodbury had a tight lock on his community, only allowing a select few in, and keeping them within its gates. It allowed for very little freedom amongst its citizens, but it meant that they stayed safe. He also employed a few overzealous citizens to do his dirty work.
Maggie and Glenn were kidnapped while out on a scavenging trip, leading the Governor to do his best to humiliate her, stripping her and allowing Glenn to believe that she had been assaulted, all with the aim of finding their community. The experience traumatized Maggie and put a strain on her relationship with Glenn.
2 Losing Her Entire Family
Being too late to save Beth, witnessing Glenn’s brutal murder, and watching her father die were all horrible moments that caused her guilt, but the reality of her being the only surviving member of the Greene family might be just as bad.
In both the television series and the comics that inspire it, Maggie ends up being the last Greene standing. Her siblings all fall in various tragic circumstances - including at the hands of a serial killer. Even in her found family, she loses members left and right.
Not only does it create a sense of survivor's’ guilt in Maggie, but it also hardens her against the world. With each person she loses, Maggie chips away a little bit more of her humanity, becoming more willing to resort to violence and anger.
1 Meeting Rick Grimes
All of the worst moments for Maggie boil down to this: meeting Rick Grimes and his group of travelers fundamentally changed the course of Maggie’s life.
When Maggie and her family were introduced to Rick’s, the Greene’s were safe and secure on their farm. They had livestock, knew how to grow fruits and vegetables, and weren’t far from a small town to scavenge for other supplies.
They could see walkers coming up to the farm from far away. They were living with people they could trust. In short, the Greene’s probably could have ridden out the zombie apocalypse if they remained carefully isolated.
Meeting Rick Grimes launched the dominoes for Maggie, leading to family members being killed, the walkers in her family barn being released, and trust being a thing of the past.
Did we miss one of Maggie’s worst moments on The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments!