The Walking Dead is a horror-drama television show, based on the comic-book of the same name. Created by Frank Darabont, the series first aired on AMC in 2010, sweeping the entire nation. Starting off with ratings that were unprecedentedly high for cable, by its third season, the show had become the most viewed cable series among 18 to 49-year-olds.
The show meets Atlanta Police Deputy Rick Grimes, as he wakes up from a coma following an injury – and finds out the reality around him has taken a turn for the worse, as a zombie apocalypse ensued. Rick is soon reunited with his wife and son, and becomes the leader of a group of survivors. We follow the group as they attempt to find a safe haven and protect themselves from the zombie “walkers,” as well as other groups threatening their existence – most recently the Saviors, led by the merciless Negan.
Of course, with as many dangers to face as they do, there are bound to be casualties – and in The Walking Dead’s case, there are quite a few. It’s well-known that the show-runners don’t shy away from killing off major characters, to the point where no one of the huge ensemble of characters is ever safe.
This might also be one of the reasons The Walking Dead’s ratings have dropped in the past couple of seasons – after the exit of some much loved characters brought about criticism for the way they were killed off. The show also received criticism for packing on too much action and drifting away from its dramatic-horror origins. But despite its drop in viewership, it still remains one of the most watched shows in television.
In 2015, following a peak in the show’s ratings, it spawned a spin-off series called Fear the Walking Dead, which takes place at the very beginning of the zombie apocalypse. As it takes place in the same universe (only earlier), the death count is definitely keeping up with the original series.
The Walking Dead has provided its fans some truly gut-wrenching moments over its enthralling eight seasons so far, offing beloved characters, heroes and villains. And with the survivors now facing the resolution of their all-out war with the Saviors, it’s only inevitable that we would have to witness a few more deaths before it all ends.
With the eighth season finale soon upon us, we’re taking a look back at some of the biggest departures we’ve had in the series. Be careful where you step, there are spoilers ahead.
Shane’s death was a major one – and not only because he was one of the main characters. It’s only when Shane dies and becomes a walker, that we realize everyone is a carrier of the virus. This means they don’t have to get scratched or bitten in order to turn into walkers when they die, so that as long as they have their heads intact, they’ll turn to walkers. Shane grows increasingly jealous of Rick, who’s back in his wife’s arms, and starts to spin out of control. So when he tries to off Rick, Rick realizes he has no choice but to kill Shane himself. But that doesn’t mean it was easy for Rick, or the viewers, to say goodbye to his old partner.