In the post-apocalyptic world of “The Walking Dead,” gruesome death is practically an everyday occurrence. While graphic beheadings, bludgeonings and dismemberments might stand out as a bit unusual on shows like “Succession” or “The White Lotus,” on AMC’s iconic zombie series, they’re more or less par for the course.
That is, unless they happen to the right characters.
Calculating exactly how many deaths have occurred on “The Walking Dead” would take a supercomputer to figure out, after 11 seasons of non-stop mayhem and murder. And making matters even more complicated is the fact that, quite often, characters are killed twice on the show – first when they’re alive, and then a second time when they’ve become a walker.
What’s clear, however, is that not all victims are created equal. Some “Walking Dead” deaths hit much harder than others, and those deaths have occasionally shifted the direction of the story in bold new directions. As the series nears its conclusion, Variety has chosen — and ranked — 15 deaths that marked significant turning points, either in terms of tone, plot or character. A few of these picks received relatively little screentime on the series, but were chosen because the character’s demise had a lasting impact on the show. As for the handful of fan favorites that aren’t included, like Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Jesus (Tom Payne) and Andrea (Laurie Holden), their deaths, while noteworthy, were less consequential overall than those ranked here.