‘Walking Dead’ Main Character Deaths – In Order

walking dead main character deaths

The Walking Dead has gnawed its way onto people’s television screens for the past 12 years. Since then, the universe it has created has grown exponentially. 

We’ve become attached to characters who unfortunately meet their untimely deaths, or not so untimely depending on whose side you’re on. Following Rick and his growing gang over the years has had its challenges, as we’ve lost some of our favorite members of the group. 

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There have been shocking deaths, sad goodbyes, and characters that satisfyingly met their brutal demise throughout the popular TV show.

So, to round it up across the 11 seasons, here is a list of The Walking Dead’s main character deaths (in order of events)…

1. Amy 

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 1, Episode 4

Amy’s sudden and unexpected death was one of the first the tight-knit gang witnessed. We met Andrea’s younger sister back in season one where she got along well with the entire camp, especially Dale who acted as a father figure to her and her sister. 

Amy’s goosebump-inducing death occurred as she was bitten on the neck and arm by a walker during one of the show’s first zombie camp attacks. She later died in Andrea’s arms and shortly after re-animating, she was shot in the head by her very own sibling. 

2. Sophia Peletier

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 2, Episode 7

Sophia Peletier was Carol and Ed’s only daughter. Good pals with Carl and the other children of the camp, Sophia met her demise after running away from an approaching walker.  

One of the most shocking, yet best moments on The Walking Dead, undead Sophia was later discovered to be bitten and turned, while limping out of Hershel’s barn. In what was one of the most memorable and saddest deaths on the show, Sophia was shot and put down by Rick, as the gang watched in horror and desperation. 

3. Dale Horvath

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 2, Episode 11

Dale Horvath was introduced in season one and took on the role of the gang’s ‘voice of reason’. Apart from his issues with Shane, the old guy was extremely likable and favored among the group and viewers.

Sadly, Dale was tragically killed after being torn apart by a walker led onto Hershel’s farm by Carl. He was then put down by Daryl with a shot to the head, as he muttered, “Sorry, brother”. A gut-wrenching (literally) death that impacted everyone on the farm…  

4. Shane Walsh

Cause of Death: Stabbed by Rick
Episode: Season 2, Episode 12

Shane Walsh was Rick’s best friend, and unbeknownst to him, Lori’s boyfriend. A dangerous and over-protective character who would end up being the antagonist of season two, Shane cunningly tried to murder Rick before Rick was able to gain advantage and stab him, instead. 

Shane obviously turned into a walker and was soon shot in the head by Carl. It’s safe to say this villain’s death caused the group to fear Rick and his impending ‘rick-tatorship’ from then on. 

5. T-Dog

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 3, Episode 4

His sacrifice to save a friend will never be forgotten. Until his dreaded departure in season three, T-Dog was a fan-favorite character on The Walking Dead

Although he had little screen time, he was a genuine and trust-worthy character with the best intentions for the group – so much so that he died saving another’s life. T-Dog lost his life while helping Carol escape a walker infestation in the prison, after being bitten by a zombie himself. 

6. Lori Grimes

Cause of Death: Post-birth complications
Episode: Season 3, Episode 4

Lori Grimes had one of the most terrible and tragic deaths on the show – at least for Carl, it was. Her character as wife of Rick was called into question after having an affair with Shane. Lori then got pregnant with what was assumed to be Shane’s child, who would later become Judith Grimes. 

During the walker infestation at the prison, Lori, Carl and Maggie get trapped in a room in the basement and due to the stress, Lori goes into labor, leading to Maggie and Carl to perform a C-section. Dying from birth complications, Lori is then ‘put down’ by her son, an event that changed Carl’s character indefinitely. 

7. Merle Dixon

Cause of Death: Shot by The Governor
Episode: Season 3, Episode 15

Merle Dixon was Daryl’s brother, who at the hands of their father and his regular beatings, grew to be somewhat estranged. Disliked by Rick and co, he was left chained on a rooftop, and in an unforgettable scene, shockingly cut off his own hand before teaming up with the Governor and becoming his henchman.

Eventually, though, Merle had a change of heart and betrayed the Governor to side with Daryl and the gang, but he was soon beaten to death and killed by the baddie himself with a fatal shot to the heart. Going down in history as one of the saddest scenes on The Walking Dead, Daryl then stabs his zombified brother repeatedly in the face, while crying uncontrollably. 

8. Andrea

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 3, Episode 16

While Andrea’s death was unfortunate to say the least, we have to admit, it wasn’t the saddest of losses on the show. We’d all had enough of her ways by the time she was a goner. 

After betrayingly having a relationship with The Governor, she soon learned the truth about him and his heinous acts and tried to escape. Too late, though, as he locked Andrea in a room to be bitten by a zombified Milton. To avoid turning into a walker, she took Rick’s revolver and shot herself with Michonne by her side. 

A major difference between the Walking Dead comic and show? Andrea is actually alive in the comics!

9. Hershel Greene

Cause of Death: Beheaded by The Governor
Episode: Season 4, Episode 8

Hershel Greene, father of Maggie and Beth, was appallingly killed by the Governor after being captured. Rubbing the wound even deeper for fans, the beloved father was beheaded by a swing of Michonne’s katana in front of the entire gang, including his daughters to see. 

Hershel’s death, at this point, was a turning point for the characters and may even have been one of the biggest losses they’d suffered so far. 

10. The Governor

Cause of Death: Stabbed by Michonne
Episode: Season 4, Episode 8

The Governor launched an attack on the prison for his final revenge after burning Woodbury down to the ground. His plan backfired though, as he was rightfully annihilated by Michonne, a promise she’d kept from earlier on. 

Marked as one of the most satisfying Walking Dead deaths, during his fight with Rick, Michonne unexpectedly plunged the Governor in the chest with her katana, leaving him for dead. But what was even more satisfying was when his girlfriend, Lily finished him off by shooting him in the head. 

11. Beth Greene

Cause of Death: Shot by Dawn
Episode: Season 5, Episode 8

A truly shattering death for the group and a heartbreaking moment for viewers, too. Snatched by a group of cops working for a hospital in Atlanta, Beth, Maggie’s younger sister, had a sorrowful demise on the show. 

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When the gang attempted to rescue Beth, she saw red and launched a failed attack on the woman in charge. Dawn, the leader then shot Beth in the head, seemingly by accident, and her dying body was carried out of the building by a sobbing Daryl for Maggie to see and fall to the ground. 

12. Tyreese Williams

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 5, Episode 9

Tyreese Williams, brother of Sasha, was a powerful and loving member of the group. Before his untimely death, he suffered many losses such as the death of his girlfriend, and the two kids that he and Carol took care of. 

Tyreese unfortunately met his end while helping Noah search through his abandoned house. Horrifically bitten by one of Noah’s undead younger twin brothers, Tyreese eventually dies while being driven back to the gang. His death was certainly a powerful force of sorrow for Sasha.

13. Noah

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 5, Episode 14

He didn’t see much screen time, but Noah’s death alone became the catalyst for many characters’ internal growth. It was undoubtedly one of the most horrendous deaths to witness, too. 

Following Beth’s passing, Noah joined the gang, but on a supply mission, was sorrowfully slaughtered. In a heart-racing moment, he, along with Glenn and Nicholas got trapped in a revolving door, but while the others escaped, Noah was left to be devoured by walkers, torn apart limb by limb. You may recall that scene of his cheek being ripped off, too. Stomach-churning, indeed. 

14. Deanna Monroe

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 6, Episode 8

Deanna Monroe, a politician before the outbreak and later a tough and witty leader of Alexandria, lost her life when the walls of the community were broken down by a walker herd. 

Deanna was bitten on her side while trying to escape the walkers and was eventually terminated by her son Spencer after being found wandering in the woods as a zombie. 

15. Jessie Anderson

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 6, Episode 9

You can pretty much blame her own son for this character’s death. Jessie Anderson, Rick’s (short-lived) love interest, was killed when Alexandria’s walls were compromised by walkers. 

In an attempt to ‘blend in’ with the zombies and avoid being detected by the blood-thirsty monsters, Jessie, along with more survivors, covered themselves in walker guts and walked among them in what was definitely a nerve-wracking scene. Jessie’s son, however, lost his cool and began to shriek and cry, causing Jessie and himself to be dragged down and eaten alive. 

16. Denise Cloyd

Cause of Death: Shot by Dwight
Episode: Season 6, Episode 14

Denise Cloyd was Alexandria’s resident doctor who also happened to find romance with fellow survivor, Tara. After becoming pretty insecure about her abilities as a doctor and her struggle with the world, she got friendly with Daryl. 

On a supply run with Daryl and Rosita and while giving a powerful speech about her personal issues, Denise was unexpectedly shot with an arrow through the eye by a lurking Dwight, one of Negan’s henchmen. A squirmish death to witness, Demise’s end triggered the contention between Alexandria and the Saviors. 

17. Abraham Ford

Cause of Death: Bludgeoned by Negan
Episode: Season 7, Episode 1

Abraham Ford was an iconic character on The Walking Dead. A hilarious and dynamic member of the gang, the poor guy fell victim to Negan and his infamous slaughter lineup that we witnessed in season seven. 

While being thrashed to death by Negan’s bat in front of the people who love him most, Abraham delivered the epic line, “suck my nuts” and gave his girlfriend Sasha the peace sign. Abraham’s death was deeply distressing for the group, but there’s no denying he went out in style. 

18. Glenn Rhee

Cause of Death: Bludgeoned by Negan
Episode: Season 7, Episode 1

This legendary main character needs no introduction, but here goes. Glenn Rhee, an original member of the gang since season one, was Maggie’s husband, Rick’s best friend and future dad to Herschel Rhee. His death was devastating for every member of the group, as they lost much more than a best friend that day. 

Glenn succumbed to his death after being bludgeoned by Negan in the season seven premiere. Seeing Glenn’s eyes pop out of their sockets with blood streaming down his face remains without a doubt, the bloodiest and most horrifying Walking Dead death of all time. 

19. Spencer Monroe

Cause of Death: Gutted by Negan
Episode: Season 7, Episode 8

Spencer’s contribution to the gang and community was little to say the most. He was the son of Deanna, had a fleeting fling with Rosita, and was known to cause chaos and steal from Alexandria’s pantry. 

It’s a shame he betrayed Rick by snitching on him to Negan. The baddie soon saw through Spencer’s milk-livered ways and cut his stomach open, leaving his guts to spew out onto the street. The villain, of course, delivered one of his most notorious Negan lines, “You’ve got no guts”. 

20. Sasha Williams

Cause of Death: Suicide pill
Episode: Season 7, Episode 16

A fiery and strong main character, Sasha decided to meet the grim reaper on her own terms, giving us one of the most epic and memorable sendoffs on the show. 

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On a mission to execute Negan, Sasha is held hostage and then placed in a coffin to scare Rick, but unbeknownst to Negan, takes a suicide pill made by Eugene. As Negan and the gang pull up to Alexandria, the coffin is opened and a zombified Sasha leaps out and attacks Negan. Legendary stuff…   

21. Carl Grimes

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 8, Episode 9

Carl, who we assumed would take on leadership after Rick, was surprisingly killed after being bitten while trying to save Siddiq. The brave young man was at death’s door as his father and Michonne comforted him, and decided to take his own life before reanimating with a shot to the head.

Viewers watched Carl grow up (rather quickly) on screen, so there’s no denying his demise weighed heavily on all of us, and every character on the show. 

22. Simon

Cause of Death: Strangled by Negan
Episode: Season 8, Episode 15

Simon, played by GTA veteran Steven Ogg, was an oddly likable character who spoke with such pizzazz on the show. His death was inevitable, though, as he continued to defy Negan’s orders. 

He met his end after making the call to slaughter everyone at the trash heap, which didn’t bode well with Negan. Negan strangled Simon to death, surrounded by a crowd at the Savior compound, and his undead body was strung up along the gates of the compound. 

23. Gregory

Cause of Death: Hanged by Maggie
Episode: Season 9, Episode 1

Gregory, first leader of Hilltop, was weak and spineless and continuously deceived the members of his community. No remorse then when he kicked the bucket in season nine. 

When Maggie was elected as Hilltop’s new leader, Gregory’s jealousy led him to try and murder her while visiting Glenn’s grave. His attack was futile, and so Maggie made the decision to execute Gregory by hanging. Gregory’s death caused a series of events to occur within the group, but we have to admit his annoying and comedic aspects *might* be missed by viewers. 

24. Jesus

Cause of Death: Stabbed by Whisperer
Episode: Season 9, Episode 8

Jesus was a lovable and charming character, favored for his great fighting abilities. In fact, he was the reason the gang met the Hilltop community. Jesus’ death at the hands of a Whisperer, was therefore deeply unsettling and marked the first Whisperer death we’d seen on-screen. 

Unfortunately, Jesus’ extreme martial arts skills were sadly no match for the cunning stab attack served by the Whisperer in disguise. To prevent being zombified, Aaron plowed Jesus in the head and was carried back to the Hilltop for a beautiful burial. 

25. Tara Chambler

Cause of Death: Decapitated by Alpha
Episode: Season 9, Episode 15

Tara Chambler began the series on the side of the Governor, but during the attack on the prison, decided that it was not her fight. She then helped reunite Glenn and Maggie and would become a thriving member of the community, forming a relationship with Denise. 

Tara was one of the many victims whose heads wound up on stakes, creating a border at the hands of Alpha and the Whisperers. Her death was completely unexpected and meant the loss of a vital member of the gang left from the prison story arc. 

26. Enid

Cause of Death: Decapitated by Alpha
Episode: Season 9, Episode 15

Enid was originally Carl’s girlfriend, but following his demise and after much time, would begin to date Alden, a previous member of Negan’s Saviors. She supported Maggie and Sasha through their time at the Hilltop and was a key member of the community.

Sadly, she would also succumb to murder at the reign of the Whisperers. Along with others, her undead head was also placed among the stakes. Enid’s death was another heavy blow to both the viewers and the community of the Walking Dead

27. Henry 

Cause of Death: Decapitated by Alpha
Episode: Season 9, Episode 15

Henry may have infuriated viewers from time to time, as he consistently put himself and others in danger, but his death was yet another sad moment on the show. 

Taken in and cared for as a son by Carol and Ezekiel, Henry developed a crush on Lidia, Alpha’s daughter, who was saved by the gang of survivors. After much commotion and attending the fair between communities, Henry would meet his premature death along with Tara and Enid at the hands of Alpha and the Whisperers. His ending would take an irreparably toll on both Carol and Ezekiel, being one of the causing factors of their separation. 

28. Siddiq

Cause of Death: Strangled by Dante
Episode: Season 10, Episode 7

Siddiq immersed himself into the community by becoming the resident doctor on call. He ended up being the sole survivor of the Whisperer lineup where so many friends were lost at the hands of Alpha. 

Sadly, Siddiq never recovered from this event and would ultimately be betrayed and killed by fellow doctor Dante and Whisperer spy who infiltrated Alexandria. He was then tragically put down by his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, Rosita. Yikes. 

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29. Earl Sutton

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 10, Episode 12

Earl Sutton died trying to be a hero. After getting bitten at Hilltop, Earl managed to save the children and hide them in a cabin away from danger. To avoid reanimating and risking their lives, Earl stabbed himself in the head, but the mission was unsuccessful, leaving the job to Judith who had to put Earl down herself. 

30. Alpha

Cause of Death: Throat slit by Negan
Episode: Season 10, Episode 12

Alpha, leader of the Whisperers and culprit in so many beloved characters’ deaths, had yet another satisfying end on the show.

After reigning terror and causing irreparable damage to the relationships forged among the communities, Negan was the victor who would finally kill the villain. After pretending to be on her side, the anti-hero tricked Alpha into getting her daughter back, and in a swift turn of events, slit her throat and sliced her head off. Let’s just say Alpha will not be missed. 

31. Beta

Cause of Death: Stabbed by Daryl
Episode: Season 10, Episode 16

When the Whisperer’s group leader, Alpha was done and dusted, the monstrous Beta took over the role and continued tormenting the survivors in the most brutal of ways. The masked murderer who had strange tendencies (urm, using Alpha’s dead skin to patch his mask) eventually lost his life by getting stabbed by Daryl and eventually gobbled up by walkers.

32. Pope

Cause of Death: Stabbed by Leah
Episode: Season 11, Episode 8

Pope was the leader of a group of former mercenaries called the Reapers, who decided to continue their work slaughtering people after the apocalypse. He was overzealous and felt ‘god’ wherever he went, justifying the butchering his group later committed. 

Pope was killed by Leah with a stab to the head, who then assumed leadership of the Reapers. His death worked ultimately in favor of the gang, but also to Elijah, whose sister died at the peril of the Reapers.

33. Alden

Cause of Death: Throat slit by Reaper
Episode: Season 11, Episode 9

Starting his journey as a worker for the Saviors, Alden grew to become a beloved character in The Walking Dead. Joining the community at the Hilltop instead, Alden built a relationship with Enid and eventually chose to adopt baby Adam Sutton.

Sadly, Alden died in season 11 after having his legs broken by a Reaper then his throat slit. Poor zombified Alden was soon discovered and put down by Maggie in a heartbreaking scene.

34. Leah

Cause of Death: Shot by Daryl
Episode: Season 11, Episode 16

The characters’ most immediate threat, Leah, was killed off in the show’s mid-season finale and what a sendoff it was.

In an epic showdown between Leah and Maggie, we saw the ruthless villain spill some blood but not enough to completely take her out. The viscous battle resulted in Maggie getting seriously beaten until Daryl turned up and shot Leah in the head. Laters, Leah!

35. Sebastian Milton

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 11, Episode 18

Sebastian Milton lost his life after Eugene pushed an undead Commonwealth resident at him. Of course, the walker bit Sebastian to death by taking a plunge at his neck.

Pretty much an annoyance more so than a villain, we’re happy to wave goodbye to this character as he died a brutal and gruesome death.

36. Lance Hornsby

Cause of Death: Shot by Carol
Episode: Season 11, Episode 20

The Walking Dead’s latest victim in the finale season was none other than the sleazy and slimy Lance Hornsby. Before trying to take down Carol and Daryl, the villain was shot through the neck with an arrow by Carol.

Although it was a death we knew was coming, it wasn’t the most ‘exciting’ way for Lance to go. Still, we’re glad his time was up.

37. Rosita Espinosa 

Cause of Death: Walker bite
Episode: Season 11, Episode 24

And so, we finally arrived at the finale of The Walking Dead, and as expected, we had to bid farewell to one of the show’s leading characters – kick ass Rosita Espinosa. In efforts to protect her daughter from being ambushed by a zombie, the heroic mother received a fatal bite.

The saddening scene which saw the character die for her daughter was definitely one of the emotionally charged casualties on TWD. We’re (kinda) glad it’s the last death we’ll have to endure…

Wow! The Walking Dead introduces and kills characters like it is nobody’s business, right? Keeping up with the constant death toll can be a full-time job. But that doesn’t mean viewers don’t love it any less. 

This show has been a ritualistic watch in millions of households and continues to bring the gore and guts people want and need on their screens. This is the show that brought the zombie horror genre into an entirely new world and audience. And for that it deserves our applause. 

Let us know which Walking Dead character’s death shocked, saddened, or even satisfied you the most in the comments below…


Tale Teller

  • Gráinne Cullen

    Gráinne is a student at the University of Valencia with a Bachelors’ degree in Arts (Politics and Law). She is currently pursuing a Masters’ degree in English literature and linguistics and has also ascertained a diploma in Print Journalism. Gráinne is based in both Ireland/Spain and has an unhealthy obsession with everything pop culture such as music, television shows (The Walking Dead especially), celebrities, and anything to do with the 80s/90s/2000s.

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8 months ago

Jim? Jacqui? If your including Amy who I wouldn’t even consider a main character you should include jim and jacqui

1 year ago

If you’re including Amy, w should have Jim in there too, S1E5 ‘Wildfire’

1 year ago

You forgot Jacqui who died at the CDC in S1E6 ‘TS-19’

1 year ago

The most heart broken for me was beth
The one I liked the most that gave me the most joy was the governor that was the best and the most shocked was Glenn