I’ll say this for The Walking Dead: It always seems to be at its best when there is an annoying character on the show who fans can redirect their hate. For the first couple of seasons, it was Lori who held the title of the most despised character on The Walking Dead (even Steven Yeun hated that character). Andrea took the mantle up after Lori, and she was so disliked that the writers had to write her out of the show even though her character still exists in the comics.
After Andrea, there was a brief time where fans hated Carl Grimes the most, as he had completely given himself over to the spoiled-brat trope. Carl’s would-be love interest Enid took the title briefly, before passing the torch to Ron and — even worse — Ron’s little brother, Sam, the whiny kid who got himself, his brother, and his mother killed by a horde of zombies in the sixth midseason premiere. Sam was the worst, no matter how many cookies Carol made him.
Spencer followed Sam as the show’s least liked character, and then it went quiet on that front, as no new characters rose a level worthy of that level of scorn. Is it no wonder that the period between Spencer’s death and the ninth season premiere is also considered the creative low points for The Walking Dead?
Thankfully, a new terrible character has surfaced, someone with whom fans of the series can direct all their anger and frustration. His name is Henry, and Henry is awful. It’s almost as though the show decided — after Carl grew out of his annoying phase — that The Walking Dead wanted to return to the glory days when no one could stand Rick’s son. Henry, who took over Carl’s arc from the comics after Chandler Riggs exited the series, fulfills almost all of those same annoying qualities, only he lacks the sheriff’s hat and the love of pudding to offset them.
Don’t take just my word for it. Twitter loves to hate on Henry.
The good news is that The Walking Dead throughout its run has been good about killing off its most hated characters, and from the looks of the preview for this week’s episode, either Henry is going to get himself killed by Beta, or he is going to hilariously annoy a lot of fans with his stupidity. It’s really a win win for everyone.
The Walking Dead returns with the 12th episode of the ninth season on Sunday.