6. Carl Grimes — Carl is a much better character than he was early on in this series, and he could probably be a decent leader to the younger generation, but the reason why I placed him this high has less to do with Carl’s value to the series, and more to do with the fact that I don’t think I could stomach seeing Rick lose his son. The psychic break Rick had after losing his wife — who he wasn’t really even close to anymore — was difficult enough. To lose his son? The show can’t contain that much devastation. It’d be six episodes of Ghost Lori consoling Rick while Rick moped around in the woods.
5. Michonne — The top five is when it gets really hard, because all of these characters really are fan favorites. It has been tough going for Michonne, though. Her character hasn’t quite become what we’d hoped she’d be. She kicks more ass than anyone on the show, and for zombie kills, no one else can compete. But up until the last episode, we hadn’t really developed a deep emotional connection to Michonne. She’s part of the group now, but she’s still stand-offish, and she hasn’t really invested herself. She’s a great fighter, and her death would be a huge loss to the show, but it wouldn’t be crippling. Of course, I want to see her take out the Governor first, but after that, her character’s purpose will have been seemingly served.
4. Tyreese — A fairly new character, who is only now entrenching himself within the group, Tyreese is placed this high for a few of reasons: 1) Chad Coleman is an amazing actor who has had the ability to connect with the group (and audience) immediately; 2) the series absolutely cannot kill off another black guy anytime soon without suffering major (and deserved) blowback, and 3) Tyreese is the character most likely to supplant Rick as a new leader of the group. He would be an extremely effective leader, too.
3. Maggie Greene — I won’t lie to you: Part of the reason that Maggie is so high is because she’s super hot, and I would really miss Lauren Cohan’s magazine spreads. But she has also become a really terrific character, moving out from behind the shadow of both her father and, of late, she’s beginning to emerge out of the shadow of her relationship with Glenn. She’s the Linda Hamilton character of this series: She’s tough enough to take out a zombie horde, but she’s tender enough to develop a really strong connection with the audience. She is probably my favorite character right now, and without Glenn attached at her hip, there’s still a lot of room to grow for her.
2. Daryl Dixon — If Daryl Dies, We Riot is not just a cool Internet meme, IT IS THE TRUTH. Daryl is the show’s smart ass; he’s the comic relief; and he’s also the heart of The Walking Dead. The series could survive the loss of almost anyone, but not Daryl. He’s too valuable to the group as a fighter, a protector, and the emotional center. He’s also the poster boy for how a zombie apocalypse can transform a redneck sh*tkicker into a mature leader and a force to be reckoned with. The show would lose half its audience without Daryl.
1. Lil Ass Kicker — Deos the show need Judith? No. Probably not. Does she provide any value to the series, other than giving Beth something to do? No, not really. BUT YOU CANNOT KILL THE BABY. That, in a way, crosses the line. I mean, not even Breaking Bad could go that far: It would be too traumatic, not just for the group, but for the viewers at home. If I knew ahead of time that Judith was going to die, I literally would not watch that episode. I could not accept it, plus Judith is symbol for hope, and the show needs hope.
I want more like this!
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