The 8 Most Iconic ‘The Walking Dead’ Characters!

Back on Halloween in 2010 the whole wide world was introduced to AMC’s The Walking Dead. Since first waking up in the hospital with Rick to exploring a zombie infected New York to Maggie and Negan we have seen some of the most iconic characters in television hack and slash through walkers for survival, but which are the most iconic? After a lot of gore and research, we believe these 8 top the list.

Father Gabriel

In the earlier seasons of the show, Father Gabriel is introduced as a villain with a weak personality. Gabriel spends nearly a year imprisoned in his church prior to meeting Rick’s crew. They later found out that he had shut his defenseless congregation outside, leaving them vulnerable to the Walkers’ carnage. Gabriel betrays Rick to Deanna a while later, demonstrating his continued gutlessness. And yet, by the series finale, he manages to atone for his mistakes. One of the most intriguing character arcs belongs to Father Gabriel, which explains why people now love him. Father Gabriel eventually ends up becoming one of the best Walking Dead characters, despite his wimpy beginnings.



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Glenn didn’t initially seem to be able to survive the end of the world when he was first presented in Season 1. However, working with Rick changed everything. His wit, sarcasm, and sense of humor were exactly what the group needed. When some were content to give up, he also inspired hope. Glenn’s passing was so heartbreaking and became one of the most divisive moments of the show. Zack Handlen of ‘The A.V Club’ would go on to give the episode of Glenn’s death a C- grade, while other reviewers instead praise the episode, like ‘Den of Geek!’s John Saavedra writing, Anyone hoping for an incredibly bloody hour of murder and mutilation the likes of which we’d never seen before on The Walking Dead should be pretty pleased with the season 7 premiere”. Regardless of how one may feel about Glenn’s death, no one can deny that his character and death were a flagship for the show, for better or for worse.



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In the last season of The Walking Dead, Carol is one of the two characters from season 1 still alive. Melissa McBride, who plays Carol, is presented to viewers as the protective spouse of an abusive husband named Ed and the mother of a small daughter named Sophia. Carol’s husband passes very early on, much to the relief of her fans, giving her character room to grow. One of the first character deaths that causes viewers to go for the tissue box is that of Carol’s daughter, Sophia. This incident forces Carol to mature into a tough, occasionally cunning survivor. Carol is capable of being brutal, especially if she feels the need to defend those she cares about.

Maggie Greene

Since season 2, Maggie has endured The Walking Dead. Fans first meet her when Rick and his crew run onto her family’s property. Along with her father, Hershel, and sister, Beth, Maggie flees the farm as it catches fire and is overrun by walkers. Lauren Cohan plays Maggie, a quick-witted, independent, fair, and loyal character with a strong sense of survival. After Rick opted to spare Negan in season 9, Maggie left the group (and the show) because she could not stand what Negan had done to her husband, Glenn. Fans deeply missed her and rejoiced to see her return at the conclusion of season 10, bringing back one of the best characters from The Walking Dead. With she and Negan getting a spinoff series where the action is set in New York City, there should still be a lot to explore with her character.


One of the best zombie killers in The Walking Dead, Michonne also has one of the strongest character introductions. When Michonne arrived with her katana and pet walkers who had their mouths amputated so they would lose the instinct to attack, the crowd realized she was not someone to mess with. Andrea and Michonne became fast friends, which proved that Michonne was one of the good guys. Fans demand much more of Michonne and her formidable combat skills and magnetic attitude even after The Walking Dead is over. Rick and Michonne’s upcoming spin-off, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, will continue her journey.

Rick Grimes


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Rick, played by Andrew Lincoln, is the first character presented in the series. He awakens in a hospital bed, all by himself and dehydrated, to find that the world has been taken over by the undead and that his loved ones are gone. He finally locates his wife, son, and best friend/deputy partner among a group of survivors thanks to his experience as a sheriff’s deputy and his survival abilities. Survival isn’t the only ability Rick has mastered either, he is a natural leader and leads his group through some of the hardest times and most devastating of losses.



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Fans of The Walking Dead‘s Negan struggled to reconcile his incredible charm with the heinous things he did. Negan was the antagonist they grew to love to hate. He was arrogant and regarded his Saviors more like objects than as actual people. An important element of the plot was Negan and Rick’s continuous animosity. One of the most well-known (and gory) scenes in the series is the one where Negan kills Glenn and Abraham. This is debatably one instance where The Walking Dead went too far. Therefore, it is not shocking that Negan is one of several characters to have their own spin-off.

Daryl Dixon


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Daryl wasn’t even a comic book character, yet he ended up being one of, if not the best, Walking Dead characters. One of The Walking Dead‘s most changed characters, Daryl began the first season as a brash, crossbow-wielding pain in Rick’s side. The softer side of Daryl is initially revealed to viewers in season 2. Over time, he learns to manage the fury he carries from surviving an abusive childhood, and he develops into a dependable and respected member of the gang. It’s hardly surprising that Daryl received a spin-off program. At the end of the shows 11th season he was a sharp, perceptive, capable survivor and tracker. Daryl Dixon is really a favorite.

About the Author

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Michael Coppola

Michael Coppola is a digital media student, an intern for AfterBuzz, and most importantly a kid who loves shows and movies more than anything.