Characters: The Walking Dead TV Show

Characters from the television show The Walking Dead:

Due to the Anyone Can Die nature of the show and quickly moving plots, only spoilers from the current/most recent season will be spoiled out to prevent entire pages of whited out text. If you have not seen the first five seasons read at your own risk!

     Rick's Group in general 

Tropes that apply to the group in general

"Hold fast to one another / We will stand stranger to brother / We are one / We carry on.."

Season One cast 
Season Two cast 
Season Three cast 
Season Four cast 
Season Five cast 
Season Six cast 

The main protagonists of the series. Thanks to the Anyone Can Die nature of the series, the group's lineup changes considerably from season to season. While its' lineup may be constantly changing, one thing isn't - Rick's leadership that pushes the group to go on and keep surviving.

  • Action Survivor: All of them at first, especially in the first season.
  • Badass Crew: This trope begins applying in Season 3, when everyone in the group is combat-proficient and work together as a tight, cohesive unit.
  • Badass in Distress: While this can happen at any given time in the Zombie Apocalypse, it really looked like the group's goose was cooked when they were captured by Terminus, who outsmarted and overpowered them. Luckily, Carol hadn't arrived yet and promptly blew shit up good, saving them.
  • Badass Family: While they eventually treat each other as such, some of the members are actually bound by blood, specifically The Grimeses, The Peletiers, The Greenes and the Sibling Teams of Daryl and Merle, Andrea and Amy and Tyreese and Sasha.
  • Co-Dragons: Inverted; Rick generally has about two-four people who form his inner circle. In Seasons 1 and 2, it was Shane (The Lancer) and Lori (his wife). In Season 3, Daryl is his main field enforcer while Hershel is his mentor and confidante. In Season 4, Michonne becomes one of Rick's most trusted group members. Come Season 5, and his inner circle consists of Daryl, Carol, Michonne, Glenn, and Abraham.
  • Combat Pragmatist: A common trait of the group members is their ability and willingness to use anything as a weapon. Best shown in the Season 5 premiere when everyone fashions weapons from their jewelry, clothing, accessories, and pieces of their train car to fight their way out of Terminus.
  • Darkest Hour: Them features the group at its' lowest point to date, as they're out of food, water, supplies, and they've just lost three consecutive members of their group.
  • Determinator: Even on their darkest days, they never let up and keep pushing on.
  • Dwindling Party: While the group as a whole is more of a revolving door of characters, the original Season 1 cast is subjected to this trope, with only five note  remaining by the end of the fifth season.
  • The Family That Slays Together: Particularly during major events like the taking of the prison, the final prison battle, or the escape from Terminus.
  • Honorary Uncle: As time went on, they eventually consider each other as family.
  • The Leader: Rick is the overarching leader of the group, even if he is on break. Others who have filled in for him in his absence (be it due to Rick being on a run, in grieving, or something else) include Daryl, Hershel, Carol, and Glenn.
  • The Load: An argument that persisted largely in the second season was over who contributed the least to the group, though this argument promptly ended when Rick ended all the drama in the group and made sure everyone pulled their weight. By the end of Season 5, the only ones who have truly qualified as this during the course of the series were Amy, Carol (before taking a level in badass), Noah, and Gabriel.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: While granted there aren't as many characters in this group as there were in, say, Woodbury, the ensemble can be quite large (numbering a whopping sixteen during the Season 5 episode Strangers); not even counting when the community was very large at the start of the show and at the beginning of Season 4.
  • Mauve Shirt: The group has occasionally had members who didn't get to do much or reveal much about themselves before dying, most notably the likes of T-Dog, Oscar, and Noah.
  • Not So Different: The group is often disturbed to find that they share similarities with their enemies or rivals.
    • Woodbury: Best displayed in Arrow on the Doorpost when Rick and The Governor have a sit-down, while their lieutenants bond with each other in the meantime. Both sides as a whole are misled or misunderstood (Rick believed all of Woodbury was evil when it was only The Governor's inner circle, while the prison group's attack is painted as a "terrorist" raid), both want to protect their families (makeshift and biological), and both are being misled by The Governor to some degree. Once The Governor is defeated at the end of the season, the surviving Woodbury members quickly integrate with the prison group upon learning of the massacre of the militia.
    • Terminus: Both at one point welcomed in new survivors to join their camp, but after a horrific experience with hostile outsiders, they hardened up and became far less trusting, and as a result Took a Level in Badass. While Rick's group was able to remain good people thanks to their moral center, Hershel, the Terminus people eventually devolved to become psychopathic, gluttonous cannibals.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The focus of the second half of Season 4, after the fall of the prison.
  • Red Shirt: As noted below, at two points the group has had numerous extras as group members who are quickly slaughtered to up the show's body count. Among the named examples of this trope are Jimmy, Patricia, and Ryan Samuels.
  • The Remnant: Shane's original Atlanta camp was composed of both the main cast and a large number of incidentals, many of whom were wiped out during the fish fry attack in Tell It To The Frogs, making for a much smaller group. Later, at the start of Season 4, the group has tripled in size thanks to taking in the survivors of Woodbury and accepting in worthy survivors from outside the prison. Unfortunately, a plague and the final prison battle immediately following it wipes out the majority of the community. Simply put, whenever there's a large amount of background extras in the group, expect them to drop like flies and the survivors become this trope.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: In the first season and early into the second season, it was largely the men who were combat-proficient and would fight for the group. The women did the cooking, cleaning, and looking after the children, though this did not go unnoticed by them. However, this began to change when Andrea first took the initiative to join the group's main fighters (inspired by Maggie), and by season three everyone is fighting together, regardless of sex.
  • The Team: They finally started working together as an effective unit starting Season 3.
  • Team Dad: As the leader, Rick serves as this to the group as a whole. Dale, Hershel, and Tyreese were more of the nurturing types.
  • Team Mom: Lori initially filled the position, but upon her death, it was taken by Carol. Both are quite the Mama Bear indeed.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Four major ones as of the end of Season 5.
    • Ed in the first season. He's a domestic abuser and Jerkass who is implied to have been a pedophile towards his daughter. Plus he never helped around camp besides the comfy position of sitting in chairs, keeping watch and drinking beers or smoking. Nobody gives a shit that he is among the first casualties of the show.
    • Daryl in the first season. Much like his brother, he's a confrontational Jerkass (albeit he's far less hostile to the colored members of the group than his brother). However, the search for Sophia begins to integrate him deeper into the group and prove that he is a reliable, loyal member of the group. He replaces Shane as the Number Two of the group and becomes one of the most beloved members of the gang (best seen in the Season 4 premiere when it's shown he's become very popular among the prison community) thanks to his immense Character Development.
    • Merle in Guts and in Season 3 when he rejoins the group. He's a bigoted, confrontational asshole who loves to rub people the wrong way. Rick and the gang are forced to accept him into the group in Season 3, and while he's mellowed out a bit since Season 1 (notably he doesn't jump at the chance to shout racist slurs at the colored members of the group), he's still not liked and even treated as a weapon by Rick. Not to mention the fact he captured Maggie and Glenn and delivered them to The Governor to be tortured and nearly raped in the former's case. However, the group comes to respect him posthumously when they learn that he gave his life taking down many of the Woodbury militia in an attempt to kill The Governor and save Daryl and the prison.
    • Father Gabriel in the fifth season. He's another member of the group who doesn't contribute much, and the fact he let his congregation die to save himself doesn't score him any points. While the group's other newest members like Abraham, Eugene, or Rosita integrate into the family pretty quickly, Gabriel is not respected or liked by anyone. He realizes this by the time they get to Alexandria, even after he helped repel the walkers attacking the barn, and begged Deanna to evict them. Only Maggie is aware of this until the season finale, but as it seems she has forgiven him and is helping him face his demons through prayer, this might end up changing for Gabriel.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Initially Rick refused to allow the killing of living people. Then Dave and Tony showed up, proving Hershel's fear of hostile groups of survivors was justified. While the group elected not to kill Randall to honor Dale's dying wish, the group hardens to the point they'll kill anyone who poises a threat to them. Nobody likes having to kill (particularly evident by some of the group's faces during the massacre of the Hunters), but no one is arguing that sometimes it needs to be done. In later seasons, the only ones who adhere to this principle are Tyreese and Father Gabriel.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Merle and Ed were originally the most despicable members of the group. Due to a bad combination of Love Makes You Evil and the stress of the Apocalypse, Shane fills this role throughout Season 2 until Rick finally kills him. Merle resumes this role when he rejoins in Season 3 until his death at the season's penultimate episode.
  • Token Minority: Six seasons in and Glenn has been the only Asian member of the group. There have been a shortage of African-American members in the first three seasons as well. Likewise with Hispanic members, as after the Morales family decided to take a different path from the group way back in Season 1, it took four seasons for them to gain a new one with Rosita.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Following the deaths of Shane and Dale and the loss of the farm, Rick decides to end all conflict in the group and forges them into a well-oiled killing machine.
  • True Companions: Made perfectly clear more times than can be counted.
    Glenn: My flesh and blood is standing right here.
  • Weapon of Choice: Some members of the group just have these that reflect their respective owners.
    • Rick uses a very large, nickel-plated Colt Python, showing that he's an idealist (nickel-plated = shining armor) field leader (pistols demonstrate leader, but the size implies he actually uses it. Very much contrasted to Shane's Mossberg 590. He stops using it when he starts going crazy, but uses it again when he starts getting his act back together.
    • Dale always has a scoped Remington 700 VLS in his hands, fitting since he is both the lookout, and the one who spends his time watching the others.
    • Daryl uses a crossbow, representing his simple, country-folk nature.
    • Creepy Child Carl uses a handgun with a suppressor, representing how his father struggles to keep his humanity in check by taming the budding sociopath within.
    • Michonne uses a katana, demonstrating her foreign nature.
    • Merleís bayonet hand symbolizes the fact that he himself has become little more than a tool for the Governor. Notably, he loses the bayonet at the same time he is betrayed by the Governor and reunited with his Morality Pet Daryl.
    • Morally-conflicted Gentle Giant Tyreese uses a hammer, which can be used both to destroy and to create.
    • Carolís snub-nosed pistol is small, unassuming, and easily concealed, much like its owner. Also, itís a revolver, just like Rickís gun, but in a tinier package that is no less deadly.
    • Sasha initially uses a shovel, reflecting how she and her original group are always looking to build/find their own place. After the deaths of those closest to her, she begins using a silenced sniper rifle, which is fitting for a person who has become detached, cold and quiet.
    • Morgan Jones wields a Simple Staff, which reflects his newfound sturdiness and opposition to spilling blood.


  • The Grimes Familynote 
  • King County Survivorsnote 
  • Atlanta Camp Survivorsnote 
  • Atlanta Survivorsnote 
  • Hershel's Farm Survivorsnote 
  • Woodbury Survivorsnote 
  • Tyreese's Groupnote 
  • Prison Newcomersnote 
  • The Chambler Familynote 
  • Abraham's Groupnote 
  • Terminus Survivorsnote 
  • Grady Memorial Survivorsnote 
  • Alexandria Survivorsnote 
  • Other Survivorsnote