Louisa Mellor at Flipboard came up with her list of The Walking Dead‘s 21 Most Shocking Deaths So Far. Mellor’s list is a good one and a tribute to the number of truly shocking death’s in The Walking Dead‘s eight seasons.
As I was going through the list, I had to keep refining to come up with my top three…
Shane’s death is one of The Walking Dead’s most memorable exits. Andrew Lincoln and Jon Bernthal held nothing back in their performances as former partners turned mortal enemies. Rick’s gambit with the gun—pretending to hand it to Shane then stabbing him in the heart with a knife—was a shock as great as the one little Carl faced when he arrived on the scene and took in what had happened.
Glenn Rhee and Abraham Ford
Perhaps this entry should belong solely to Abraham, as most people were expecting Glenn to follow his comic book counterpart and fall foul of Negan’s baseball bat. The brutality of Glenn’s death though, with its truly stomach-churning prosthetics and make-up, made it no less shocking than the unexpected addition of Sgt Ford. As punishment for their attack on the Savior satellite outpost, Negan famously beat Abraham to death after a massively publicised season six cliff-hanger. When Daryl punched Negan in retaliation, he provoked the Savior leader into additionally murdering Glenn.
The Walking Dead audience, or what’s left of it, had an entire midseason break to get used to the idea that Carl Grimes was a goner. We all saw the bite-mark, we all knew what it meant. Even if you’d ignored the set leaks and behind-the-scenes rumours, it was clear that in a world without a cure, that boy was no more.
Somehow though, having that certainty made it no less surprising when that final gunshot signifying Carl’s suicide rang out from the destroyed church. They finally really did it, those maniacs! A character we’d known since the pilot had breathed his last.
It was hard to not include Sasha’s death in my top three. Also, although the death didn’t make Mellor’s list, I would have included Shane killing Otis!