Characters: The Walking Dead TV Show Atlanta Camp Survivors
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 four seasons read at your own risk!
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The Dixon Brothers
"It's a waste of time, all this hoping and praying."
Portrayed by: Norman Reedus
"Shoot me again? You best pray I'm dead."
Daryl is one of two redneck brothers who joined the group. Merle was the nastier and more vicious of the two, and eventually got left behind in a Dirty Business
sort of situation. Daryl is slowly growing away from the behavior he displayed with his brother now that he is among the rest of the group without Merle's influence. He has developed a friendship with Carol and become an ally of Rick's, acting as one of his biggest supporters within the group.
Daryl and Merle are the protagonists of The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
, a First-Person Shooter
by Activision that tells the story of how they arrived at the Atlanta camp.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Daryl briefly loses the will to help others after failing to save Sophia. He goes back to his usual self once the situation escalates again.
- Abusive Parents: According to Norman Reedus, Daryl was beaten and abandoned as a child. Confirmed in "Home" when Merle, accidentally, sees the scars left by their father.
- The Ace: He's pretty much the best overall fighter in the group, able to do anything that he needs to and is a force to be reckoned with. In Season 4, he takes down a tank alone.
- Broken Ace: He is not the most well-adjusted individual.
- Achilles in His Tent: After leaving them in "The Suicide King", he spends most of "Home", the next episode, away from the group after leaving with Merle. He comes back.
- Alliterative Name: His first and last name starts with a D.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Word Of God states that Norman Reedus plays Daryl as so socially awkward that he be considered a "total virgin." Due to his Character Development, he swings between this trope and Chaste Hero.
- The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: At least it does once his brother is out of the picture.
- An Axe to Grind: He even uses two axes at once in the Season 1 finale.
- Anti-Hero: At the start of the series. His Character Development has turned him into more of a straight up hero while Rick has descended into being an anti-hero.
- Archer Archetype: We rarely see him use a weapon other than his crossbow.
- Automatic Crossbows: Averted. It can be difficult to spot, but Daryl does occasionally nock another bolt.
- Badass: Uses a crossbow, has a no-nonsense attitude to the apocalypse and panicking camp members, kills walkers with deadpan one-liners, is a fantastic shot and a very competent tracker.
- Badass Beard: Gets more noticeable after Season 1.
- Badass Biker: Becomes one in late Season 1 and afterwards. Apparently the Cool Bike used to be Merle's, so he probably counts as one too.
- Badass in Distress: See below, and also happens in the mid-season finale of Season 3 when he is captured in Woodbury.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: with Merle in "The Suicide King".
- Battle Trophy: Daryl begins a collection by making a necklace of the ears of the zombies he killed while searching for Sophia, as an indication to himself how tough and strong he is. It might also have had the practical use of masking his living scent.
- Bash Brothers / Sibling Team: With Merle. Although not much seen, but they've already played these tropes when the apocalypse started. Since Season 3, Daryl is also Bash Brothers with Rick.
- Big Damn Heroes: A few notable examples:
- In the Season 2 opener, he saves T-Dog from becoming walker food by shooting the walker about to chomp on T-Dog and then dumping said walker's body on T-Dog to mask his scent.
- Subverted late in Season 2 — he tackles down a walker that's about to eat Dale, but he's moments too late from saving him and he personally delivers the Mercy Kill as an apology.
- Midlate in Season 3, he does it twice in one episode, once to save a group of Mexican strangers he didn't even know, and once to save Rick.
- The Big Guy: Class 3. Becomes The Lancer after Shane is killed.
- Breakout Character: One of the most popular characters, he was promoted to the main cast in Season 2 and given an entire episode to show his badass credentials. In Season 3, he's become the second-in-command to Rick and runs the group when he's not available. By Season 4, he's probably the show's Deuteragonist.
- By Season 5, it's probably safe to say that he's one of few characters on this show with Plot Armor.
- Broken Pedestal: Seems to experience this when he finds out that Carol murdered Karen and David.
- Broken Tears: When finding his brother Merle as a Walker then Mercy Killing him.
- Butt Monkey: "Chupacabra" showed Daryl falling down a cliff twice, the initial fall causing one of his arrows to impale him, the second when he's trying to get back up. Then he was nearly eaten by walkers and when attempting to (successfully) climb back the second time, he had hallucinations of Merle mocking and berating him. Once he got back in the farm, his friends mistook him as a walker and was nearly killed when one of them (Andrea) shot him. Again, it all happened in one episode.
- Byronic Hero: He is cynical, determined, and brooding and also has a strict personal code with a lot of loyalty to his friends.
- Canon Foreigner: Fans of the show may be surprised to find he and his brother are nowhere to be seen in the comics.
- Celibate Hero: Due to his abusive past, he has trouble with letting people get close or touching him. When Carol starts joking about the two of them having sex he gets real quiet and asks her to stop.
- Character Development: Daryl is one of the characters who has changed the most out of the cast, highlighted in the episode "Home", where his new personality clashes with Merle's outdated perception of him. While Daryl was originally a mildly racist, belligerent redneck who only looked out for himself and his brother, as Merle dominated him through mild psychological bullying, Daryl chooses Rick's group over Merle in the episode. He's now a brave, compassionate and stronger man, who has bypassed Merle and can see his flaws.
- He hasn't completely left his old Hot-Blooded ways behind, just tempered them with something that looks suspiciously like maturity and civilization.
- Combat Pragmatist: Wields a crossbow, recognizing that he can both hunt food for the group and silently stealth kill any Walkers he encounters without bringing a dozen more down on his head. He also attempts to recover fired bolts if he can, allowing him to conserve ammunition. He even knows how to make new ones. Even without the crossbow he is still this, such as using a Walker's head as a melee weapon in an emergency.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Brought to the fore in "The Suicide King", when he's forced to choose between Rick's group and his brother Merle, and ends up going with the latter. Then in "Home", he decides that Rick's group is his real family and goes back to them, with Merle reluctantly being forced to follow.
- Covered with Scars: Seen in the episode "Chupacabra". Norman Reedus states they're from Daryl's childhood abuse. "Home" confirms that both he and Merle were physically abused by their father.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Explored in "Home".
- A Day in the Limelight: Season 2's "Chupacabra", Season 3's "Home" (shared with his brother), Season 4's "Still" (shared with Beth), and Season 5's "Consumed" (shared with Carol).
- Deadpan Snarker:
- After a walker growls at him, he replies with a crossbow bolt through the head and "Shut up".
- Instead of asking for help while he's bleeding from one of his own arrows on his way back to Hershel's farm, he simply notes to Rick that this is the third time Rick has pulled a gun on him at this point and then asked if Rick would pull the trigger this time. He is then shot by Andrea, who doesn't know it's him from afar. The bullet just barely grazes his head. Most would be unconscious or just plain dead, but Daryl, being... Daryl, still manages to mutter as the others pick him up, "I was kidding."
- Decomposite Character: While pretty much still a Canon Foreigner, he filled in most of Tyreese's role in the first two and a half seasons, specifically The Lancer (after Shane's death) and his close relationship with Carol.
- Defrosting Ice King: Initially hostile to everyone else in the group, he slowly grows closer to each group member and becomes loyal to them.
- Determinator: Even after being stabbed in the side by one of his crossbow bolts following being tossed from a spooked horse down into a ravine, he still manages to make it back to the camp on his own.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: After the group finds and shoots the undead Sophia, Daryl separates himself from the others in frustration. Carol, who knew how hard Daryl searched for Sophia, tells him he can't just shut the others out and that the group needs him. Daryl angrily tells her that he was better off on his own to begin with, that Sophia wasn't his problem, and that he doesn't need her to try and take care of him. Knowing that this is Daryl's way of handling what happened, Carol stands there and lets him vent as long as he needs.
- Failure Knight: Word of God says that he feels that he's this after Beth was killed.
- Friend to All Children: Willing to look for Sophia in Season 2, bonds with Carl, and cares for the new born Judith Grimes and even calls her Little Asskicker. His main reason for saving a random Mexican family in Season 3 is that he could hear their crying baby.
- Genre Savvy: In Season 2, he was the only person who noticed that Shane had returned from his raid with Otis with Otis's gun, despite Shane's claim that Otis had pulled a Heroic Sacrifice so he could escape. Daryl quickly deduces that Shane left Otis for dead, but keeps it to himself until he's questioned by Dale.
- Good Is Not Nice: Well, not all the time.
- Guilt Complex: It's revealed in "Still" that he feels responsible for Hershel's death and the destruction of the prison, as he gave up looking for the Governor and later talked Michonne into doing the same.
- Sophia's name also comes up.
- Hallucinations: After two falls down a riverbank and a pretty severe injury, Daryl starts having hallucinations about his brother Merle - mocking him and egging him on to survive.
- Handicapped Badass: Or, in this case, an injured one. After being badly injured after a fall and impaled on one of his own crossbow bolts, Daryl wakes up with a walker attempting to eat his (thankfully booted) foot. He kills it with a stick, and then pulls the aforementioned bolt out of his own body and uses it to shoot another.
- Hates Being Touched: Flinches back when Carol (probably the least threatening member of the group) leans in to give him a motherly kiss on the forehead. Word of God states that he's "constantly expecting to be hit" due to his childhood abuse.
- By Season 4 he is openly more physically affectionate with many people — including Rick, Carol and Beth — and even around people he does not know very well.
- Heroic BSOD: He shuts down almost completely for a time after the loss of the prison, hunting for food and killing walkers when necessary but mostly following Beth around and communicating in monosyllables. He eventually snaps out of it after getting into a drunken argument with Beth that leads to him breaking down and opening up to her, only to lapse into another one in the very next episode when Beth is kidnapped and he falls in with the Marauders.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Non-lethal version: he gives Rick and the others time to escape from Woodbury by laying down cover fire. He's subsequently captured by the end of the episode, but is rescued in the next one.
- Hidden Depths: Shown to have this side to him in Season 2. He's the most confident that they will find Sophia alive and even comforts Carol. The Cherokee Rose scene won him a LOT of fans.
- Hot-Blooded: Becomes less so as the series goes on.
- Arguably by the 3rd season, after taking over as The Lancer, he has switched roles with Rick who was very level headed in Season 1, and is now more Hot Blooded and unpredictable. Daryl is now the calmer, more reliable one.
- Season 4 has shown that alcohol brings out Daryl's hot-blooded Jerkass side, to the point where he's shouting quite loudly at Beth despite having walkers within earshot.
- Iconic Item: His crossbow. Also his wing-embroidered vest.
- The Idealist: Surprisingly; aside from Rick, he was the one who was the most confident they would find Sophia alive. Sadly, he was wrong.
- I Work Alone: Used to believe this, but grows used to working with the other survivors and in "This Sorrowful Life" he tells Merle that they can't survive without people anymore.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: On Randall in "Judge, Jury, and Executioner".
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A mildly racist redneck like his brother Merle, but he continually goes out of his way to help others in the group, such as helping Rick rescue Glenn from the Vatos, saving T-Dog's life several times, and even revealing Merle's secret drug stash when T-Dog gets a nasty infection. He also cares about finding Sophia far more than any of the other members of the group besides Carol.
- Kill the Ones You Love: Killed the zombified Merle.
- Knife Nut: Capable of being this when he needs to be. Besides using one as a secondary weapon, he's also comfortable enough throwing them that he is able to hit a walker with in the face with a knife throw, without so much as grazing someone inches away from said walker's face.
- The Lancer: As tension between Rick and Shane rapidly escalates towards the end of Season 2, Daryl gradually became Rick's right-hand man. Following Shane's death at the end of Season 2, Daryl officially becomes this starting Season 3.
- Lightning Bruiser: Since his arrows can be reused, he has quicker reload time than his allies. He is well adapted to close-range combat, too.
- Loners Are Freaks: Daryl grew up having only himself to rely on, and as an adult prefers solitude. He also has a violent temper, and has some disconcerting hobbies, such as collecting pieces from his zombie kills.
- Loner-Turned-Friend: For a long time, he alienated himself from the group and preferred avoiding human intimacy as much as possible. Eventually, he becomes one of the group's most loyal members.
- Made of Iron. He falls down a steep slope and impales himself on one of his crossbow bolts. He then climbs up the slope, falls, then tries again, eventually limping back to camp, where not even being grazed on the head by a rifle shot keeps him down.
- Manly Tears: Some prominent examples were when he discovered Merle's Heroic Sacrifice and subsequent zombification, reuniting with Carol in the season 5 premiere, and after Beth's death in "Coda".
- Regarding the later incident - Norman Reedus said in interviews that he had spent an hour before the shot sitting on a crate and 'crying his eyes out' in order to work out all that emotional reaction. Multiple viewers noted that it didn't really work as well as Reedus might have wished.
- Missing Mom: She died in a fire when he was still a kid.
- Morality Pet: To Merle.
- Multi-Ranged Master: While he's often seen with crossbow, he also sometimes uses guns.
- The Nicknamer: Called Glenn Chinaman in Season 1 and coined Lori's newborn baby as "Little Asskicker" before being named Judith by Carl.
- Noble Bigot: While being no fan of Glenn or T-Dog, he won't simply stand by and withhold assistance if either one of them is in need, even if it means putting his life on the line. Used to demonstrate his character development in Season 3 when Merle calls Glenn Chinese. While Daryl had called Glenn a Chinaman in the past, this time he responds by telling Merle that Glenn is Korean.
- In a subtle call back to this establishing character moment trait, through S5, Daryl remains far more likely to get hostile with African-Americans than with Caucasian characters, indicating that he hasn't left early conditioning behind forever.
- No One Gets Left Behind:
- This is a big issue for him, possibly because of what happened to Merle. Whenever someone goes missing, he will be the first to volunteer to look for them. The only time he refused was shortly after the barn massacre and Sophia being found as a walker, as he was too torn up about his failure. He also is the most insistent on returning to search for Andrea when the farm is overrun and she is separated from the group. In Season 3, when Glenn and Maggie are kidnapped, he immediately volunteers to go after them.
- He brings this up as a big reason for why he leaves the group in "The Suicide King". He isn't willing to abandon Merle a second time. However, he realizes that they parted ways in how they think a long time ago and decides to return to the group, followed in shock by his brother.
- Despite his strong disapproval of Bob's actions in Season 4's "Indifference", Daryl doesn't even threaten to leave him behind.
- Eventually subverted in "Too Far Gone", when he and Beth are forced to flee the prison without the others after the defenses are lost and the group is scattered during the final battle with the Governor.
- Odd Friendship: Most obviously with Rick, with whom Daryl was intially deeply at odds with. (What with the whole cop-who-left-my-brother-to-die thing going on.)
- With Carol, who becomes an important figure for him during Season 2 and beyond. Carol jokes about the idea of them being attracted to each other, and it's obvious that they're both devoted to each other, but beyond that, nothing definitive has been shown in canon.
- Starting with "Still", he developed this with Beth, despite their outlooks and pre-apocalypse lives being complete polar opposites.
- No Sympathy: When the group considers booting out the inmate survivors, Daryl compares himself to them, stating they are not monsters. Regardless, he still thinks they should hit the road.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Mildly racist to start but muchly reduced gone by the third season, but still willing to stick his neck out for all the members of the camp.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Beginning in Season 2.
- Rated M for Manly: The show always find ways to highlight his Badassness, such as taking out the crossbow impaled to him or destroying a tank by himself.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Merle's red. Also, as The Lancer he's the Blue to Ricks Red
- Scarily Competent Tracker: Shown when he and Rick look for Sophia at the start of Season 2.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After he and Merle are rescued by Rick's group from Woodbury, Daryl abandons Rick and the group to stay with his brother. The next episode, he pulls this on Merle and heads back to the group, deciding that they are his real family. Merle is forced to follow along so he doesn't get left alone.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: His relationship with Merle has him as the one more willing to help out others without insisting on payment, which he gets called on by Merle.
- Sherlock Scan: Twice. He figured out that Shane killed Otis due to the fact that Shane had Otis' gun when he supposedly did a Heroic Sacrifice, and the second time when he determined Shane killed Randall by noting their footprints were walking together, the tree which Shane banged his face against to make it seem like Randall had attacked him, and Randall's broken neck.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: His signature look, though sleeves are beginning to appear as winter nears.
- Smoking Is Cool: Daryl is a smoker, as seen in Season 3's "Arrow on the Doorpost" and Season 4's "Indifference".
- Suicide Is Shameful: Daryl has no sympathy for people who give up and take the easy way out.
- Take Me Instead: Tries to do this in the Season 4 finale by offering his own life in exchange for the Marauders letting Rick, Carl, and Michonne go free. It doesn't work, as they just decide to kill him as well.
- Think Nothing of It: When Carol thanks him for trying to save Sophia, he only responds by insisting Rick and Shane would have done the same. Likewise, when Carol notes his efforts to bring in refugees in S4, Daryl notes that Rick saved many as well.
- Token White: In Season 4, he goes on a medicine retrieval arc being accompanied by Michonne, Bob, and Tyreese.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Daryl's Character Development since the first season is very evident, to say the least.
- Undying Loyalty: Towards Rick, from the end of Season 2 onwards. Even when Merle comes back into the picture in Season 3, Daryl ends up choosing Rick, and he always backs Rick's play even if he doesn't necessarily agree that it's the best course of action.
- By S5, this is beginning to fracture somewhat.
- Warrior Poet: In "Cherokee Rose", describing the myth about the plant.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Carol constantly reassures Daryl that he's more than just a killer, and has more good in him than he'd like to admit.
"Youíve got to play the hand youre dealt. I only got one."
Portrayed by: Michael Rooker
"Now, how's about a big hug for your ol' pal Merle? Huh?"
Merle is Daryl's much more racist and jerkass older brother. He put the scavenging group sent to Atlanta at risk, and attacks other members of the group. This forces the others to leave him behind, and he ends up forced to cut his own hand off to escape, disappearing into Atlanta. He was rescued by the Governor and became his right hand man in Woodbury. When Woodbury came into conflict with the group, Merle quickly deserted the Governor to join his brother Daryl, although he was stunned by how much he had changed and was disliked by the rest of the group. He eventually attempts to assassinate the Governor on his own, killing several of Woodbury's top soldiers before being killed by the Governor.
Merle and Daryl are the protagonists of The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
, a First-Person Shooter
by Activision that tells the story of how they arrived at the Atlanta camp.
- Abusive Parents: He ran away from home to escape his father's physical abuse, stating that he would have killed him had he stayed any longer.
- Affably Evil: Seems to have become this by Season 3, at least to some people. To others, he's Faux Affably Evil.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Played straight in Season 1, subverted in Season 3.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Of a sort, considering he'd had a definitive Heel-Face Turn over the course of the episode, but the finale of "This Sorrowful Life", with Daryl's Broken Tears, can make many people feel sorry for Merle, who previously was reviled by many for his racism and sexism.
- Aloof Big Brother: While it's indicated he is Big Brother Bully to Daryl, he does have Big Brother Instinct moments, such as when Governor ordered him to kill Daryl or be killed, he fought Daryl and even though he beat his brother for real, he quickly got away with his brother when they got the chance (and they even went Back-to-Back Badasses before that!). In "The Suicide King", he is seen to be horrified when he notices scars on Daryl's back from beatings that he received as a child from their father. Their brotherhood relationship is pretty much a Tough Love at its worst, where Merle has no qualms in beating Daryl when he had to, but he still cares about Daryl nonetheless.
- An Arm and a Leg:
- He loses his right hand after having to use a hacksaw to cut it off so he can get out of handcuffs that were keeping him from escaping the horde of walkers looking to invite him for dinner, in the first season.
- He had two of his fingers bit off by The Governor in Episode 15 of Season 3.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: After being shot by the Governor in "This Sorrowful Life". Daryl reluctantly puts him down by the end of the episode.
- Artificial Limbs: Merle ended up with a "replacement" after creating it. He replaced his missing hand with a contraption of things he found together inside a medical warehouse.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He apparently believes in this, attempting to take over the scavenging group in Atlanta after beating up T-Dog. Luckily, Rick had something to say about that.
- The Atoner: When he lets Michonne go free and decides to take down as much of Woodbury that he can.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: By "This Sorrowful Life", he takes this approach as a Token Evil Teammate, and even very nearly says the trope name verbatim.
Merle: Maybe these people need someone like me around. To do their dirty work. The bad guy.
- Badass: He may be a total dick, but you have to respect his quiet amputation of his own hand and his escape through a walker-infested city. Becomes a Handicapped Badass post-amputation.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: with Daryl in "The Suicide King".
- Badass Bookworm: The only thing he misses about Woodbury is the library, since he's gotten to become rather literate in at least The Bible by Season 3.
- Badass Grandpa: His age isn't clearly stated, but he's obviously around in his late forties (Michael Rooker started to play him at 55).
- Bald of Evil: Though less evil (and bald, coincidentally) by Season 3.
- Bash Brothers / Sibling Team: with Daryl. Although not much seen, but they've already played these tropes when the apocalypse started.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: He tells the Governor that he's eager to find his baby brother Daryl when he finds out the group is nearby. In the mid-season finale, the Governor uses the connection between Merle and Daryl to publicly accuse Merle of treason, and he and Daryl finally meet again at last — in Woodbury's gladiator ring.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: His "replacement" version ended up becoming something akin to Ash Williams when Merle created a blade attachment. His knife once attached works like a bayonet, making it very effective in Walker killings and hostage taking as Glenn and Maggie figured out.
- Big Brother Instinct: Once Merle finds out Daryl is alive, he'll do anything he has to to find him again. And when Daryl threatens to leave him behind, he follows him back to the Prison. And when he's at the prison, he says he's only there for his brother.
- Blood Knight: While not as crazy as Shane, Merle does love combat especially the staged walker fights in Woodbury.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He really loves to fight.
- Bring It: He always tries to provoke people into fights with him using taunts. He even practices his taunts while he is alone!
- The Bus Came Back: After being unseen since the third episode of Season 1 (save for appearing to his brother via hallucination in Season 2's "Chupacabra"), he finally turns up again in Season 3.
- Canon Foreigner: Fans of the show may be surprised to find he and his brother are nowhere to be seen in the comics.
- Catch Phrase: Probably the closest to one the series will get: "I ain't begging/I ain't gonna beg you."
- A Death in the Limelight: "This Sorrowful Life", which packs in a lot of Character Development and ends with his death, twice.
- Defector from Decadence: After the Governor pits him and his brother Daryl against one another in a death match, he breaks away from Woodbury.
- Defiant to the End: "I ain't beggin' you... I ain't beggin'...."
- Determinator: He sliced through his own hand, slowed the blood loss, climbed down the staircase of a skyscraper, killed several walkers, cauterized the stump and then escaped with the heroes' truck. He did all of this bleeding heavily and quietly to avoid attracting more walkers. If Merle has one defining characteristic, it's his absolute refusal to die.
- Didn't See That Coming: He's surprised, to say the least, when being accused as a traitor by the Governor in the aftermath of the Woodbury attack.
- Dirty Business
"Maybe these people need somebody like me around, someone to do their dirty work; a bad guy."
- The Dragon/The Brute: To the Governor in Season 3. Until he defects. Martinez picks up the slack instead.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: His assault on the Woodbury Militia in "This Sorrowful Life", which takes out some of the Governor's best soldiers.
- Establishing Character Moment: Recklessly shooting walkers which draws attention to the survivors, beating up T-Dog and calling him a nigger, and attempting to take control of the scavenger group through violence. Plus he was hyped up on drugs at the time.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Looks thoroughly shocked and disturbed when The Governor is seen fondling a naked Maggie.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Don't mess with his brother. Ever.
- Fingore: Had his ring and middle fingers bitten off by the Governor before being killed by him.
- Flat Character: In Season 1, is the most stereotypical, over the top, one dimensional bigot in the show, being on the scene for all of fifteen seconds before throwing out racial slurs and trying to kill T-Dog at the drop of a hat while making sexist and homophobic comments to anyone in the vicinity. It makes you wonder why they even let this guy come with them for this long. When he returned in the third season, he was still the racist he is, but brought down to a more believable level, not once does he call Michonne the N word, even when he has much more reason to hate her than he would with T-Dog.
- It helps that practically the first thing he asks Andrea about in S3 is Daryl, and reuniting with his brother is the character's motivation for the rest of the season.
- Glass Cannon: Merle mostly focused on attacking, and is one of the best on the offensive in the series. However, his lack of defensive skills led him to trouble several times such as when Rick neutralized him resulting to him being handcuffed then losing his hand, and not noticing a walker beside him during his solo attack on Woodbury that leads to his death.
- Handicapped Badass: Even losing his hand doesn't stop him from kicking ass.
- Hate Sink: In Season 1 he was the most intensely unlikeable character on the show aside from Ed. Averted when he comes back for Season 3, where he becomes much more sympathetic.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Mostly a heel but is still capable of doing good if it is in his best interest.
- Heel Realization: Michonne exposes Merle's guilt about all the people he's killed and all the horrible things he's done for the sake of Woodbury. This results in him sparing Michonne's life and becoming a Death Seeker.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He decided to take down as much of Woodbury that he could to protect Daryl and the prison.
- Hidden Depths: Merle is very knowledgeable about the Bible, and he admits to Hershel that Woodbury's library is the only thing he misses about the town. He's kept count on how many people he's killed and doesn't seem proud of it.
- Hot-Blooded: Whether it's a racist rant or beating the crap out of someone, he does everything with gusto and a big grin on his face.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: A victim of this, often with disastrous results.
- In Season 1, shooting walkers at random led Rick to handcuff him to stop attracting attention, and his screaming at T-Dog to release him probably contributed a bit to T-Dog's falling and dropping the key.
- In Season 3, he lies to the Governor about successfully killing Michonne, thinking she had no reason to come back to Woodbury anyway. Not knowing that Michonne is still nearby, he kidnaps and takes Glenn and Maggie back to Woodbury. Michonne seeks out Rick's group to inform them of Woodbury's location and they provide her with enough distraction for her to sneak into the Governor's office and kill the walker-daughter of the Governor. This leads the Governor to publicly brand him a traitor in front of all of Woodbury.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Fairly often to survive or for whoever he is affiliated with. Deconstructed in "This Sorrowful Life". Its discussed that he's always making bad choices and what results those actions will have, and most importantly the weight of it all for his conscious.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: He employs this on Glenn in "When the Dead Come Knocking".
- Jerkass: Merle is racist, misogynistic, violent, and short-tempered.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He seems to have become somewhat less of a Jerkass in Season 3... but is utterly sadistic toward anyone who isn't from Woodbury or named Daryl Dixon. Which isn't to say he isn't a jerk to Daryl, too. When he leaves Woodbury with Daryl, Rick, Glenn, Maggie, and Michonne, he wastes absolutely no time in taunting and insulting all of them until Rick gets fed up and just knocks him out.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His final characterization.
- Kick the Dog: He kills Gargulio for questioning his orders (even after he saved Merle's life) and takes Maggie and Glenn hostage in "Hounded".
- Knight Templar Big Brother: He takes Glenn and Maggie hostage in order to get back together with his brother Daryl.
- Large Ham: He loves hamming it up. Likely why he was such a huge hit with the fans despite being a racist asshole.
- Lean and Mean: In Season 3. Michael Rooker states that he lost 20 pounds to play Merle again to invoke this.
- Life or Limb Decision: When he was left on a rooftop in Season 1. He chose life.
- Necessarily Evil: He chooses to be the Token Evil Teammate because he believes that only Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work and there are times that it is the best, or worse, only option.
- The Nicknamer: He has a number of nicknames that he uses to refer to other characters:
- Daryl: Little Baby Brother, Darlina
- Rick: The Sheriff, Officer Friendly
- Andrea: Blondie, Sugar Tits, Rug-Muncher, Whore
- Maggie: Bo-Peep
- Michonne: Mute, Nubian Queen
- T-Dog: Spear-Chucker, Mr. Yo
- Morales: Taco Vendor
- Caesar: Brownie
- Gargulio: Neil, although this is due to him not being able to pronounce Garguilo's name.
- Milton: Miltie
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Zig-Zagged. His ambush on the Woodbury Militia is used as justification by the Governor to wage war on the prison. However, with most of the strongest Woodbury soldiers dead, the operation failed. This ultimately leads to a total collapse of the Governor's forces when the majority of his soldiers abandon the cause. So ultimately, Merle's actions exacerbated the situation, but also turned things in Rick's favor.
- Not So Different: Michonne's long discussion with him in "This Sorrowful Life" leads him to realize that the Governor has been making Merle more like himself, turning him into a killer of men (which, for all he was a Jerkass, he was never a killer, not even in the army; he's killed sixteen men since joining the Governor). So to prove that he actually is different from the Governor, he lets Michonne go and sets off on his Heroic Sacrifice, taking out eight of Woodbury's finest and nearly the Governor before being taken down himself.
- Odd Friendship: With Hershel in Season 3. They share two mutual things: they are amputees and they like quoting The Bible.
- One-Man Army: He manages to kill eight of Woodbury's troops all by himself before his Heroic Sacrifice.
- Pet the Dog: When Andrea tells Merle that Amy is dead, he looks genuinely sad and comments that she was a good girl.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Merle is quite a bit more of a racist and sexist than Daryl. In Season 3, however, he appears to have toned it down a great deal. It's possible having your hand cut off while in the midst of a coked-up racist beat-down changes your perspective.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Beginning in Season 3.
- Psycho Party Member: When he was with the scouting group in Atlanta, shooting walkers without need and attacking other group members. And in Woodbury, he kills Gargulio in order to make sure his lies about killing Michonne stay intact.
- Really Gets Around: According to Daryl, he "got the clap on occasion."
- Redemption Equals Death: Dies while trying to protect his brother and the prison group, and very narrowly missed killing the Governor in the process.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Daryl's blue.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Following the accusation of treason by the Governor.
- Second Episode Introduction: Like with most of the Atlanta survivors, he's introduced in the second episode of the show.
- Shoot the Dog: When he kills Gargulio.
- Sixth Ranger: His situation kinda enforced him to be this for Rick's group in the last half of Season 3.
- Stupid Evil: It's repeatedly pointed out in the back half of the third season that Merle is quite reckless. At one point, Rick asks him straight out "Do you even know why you do what you do?" Merle eventually confesses that no, he doesn't know. This, and his long conversation with Michonne, leads to his eventual Heel Realization.
- Sword and Gun: His artificial hand has a Blade Below the Shoulder attachment for melee combat, while uses guns in his remaining hand.
- Tattooed Crook: Daryl mentions he spent some time in prison before the Zombie Apocalypse.
- Token Evil Teammate: When he's with his brother's group. He even brings it up in "This Sorrowful Life".
- Took a Level in Kindness: Not too much kindness, of course, but he's grown more even-tempered. He seems to be working on this after reuniting with his brother and the Atlanta group.
"If you want to live, you have to become strong."
"I'm hardly the woman I was a year ago, but if Ed walked through that door right now, breathing, and told me to go with him, Iíd like to think Iíd tell him to go to hell."
Carol survived the initial stages of the zombie apocalypse with Ed, her husband, and Sophia, her daughter. Ed abused her, but he died during the walker attack on the camp. After that, Carol became more independent, but the disappearance and later death of her daughter demoralized her again.
However, she has since recovered and started becoming more assertive, taking a larger role in the group as both as shooter and medic. Carol has also established a strong friendship with Daryl and began to deeply care about him after he kept looking for the missing Sophia in Season 2. After the community in the prison was established, Carol became a member of the council that helped run the group.
- Action Mom: In Season 4, she becomes this to Lizzie and Mika, who she adopts after their father dies.
- Action Survivor: In Season 3. Later upgrades to a full-fledged Action Girl starting in Season 4, and by Season 5 she's able to keep up with Daryl in toughness.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: She's having it much worse here than in the comics.
- Adaptational Badass: By Season 3, she becomes more combat proficient and emotionally stable than her comic counterpart. Which is a good thing because she really needs to be. In the Season 5 premiere Carol almost singlehandedly destroys Terminus, by blowing up its fences and taking advantage of a passing herd. It would have been impossible for Rick and co. to escape without her aid.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Went from having medium length blonde hair in the comics to short cropped grey-black hair. Justified in that outside of a few plot points, she has very little in common with the character from the comics.
- A Day in the Limelight: "The Grove" and "Consumed" are both very Carol-centric.
- Age Lift: Carol is younger than Rick and Lori in the comicbook.
- Badass Longcoat: Wears a brown one. It's not a duster like most examples, but it's below the waist.
- Badass Teacher: In the Season 4 premiere, she's shown teaching the kids how to use weapons and defend themselves behind Rick's back.
- Badass in Distress: She is knocked out and captured by Grady Memorial Hospital at the end of "Consumed".
- Be Careful What You Wish For:
- Throughout the episode "Indifference", she tries to get Rick to be more active again and deal with the situation at hand, as far her killing Karen and David, and he does... by exiling her from the group.
- In "The Grove", her efforts to train Lizzie and Mika to be Action Survivors end in disaster. Mika is the Only Sane Girl who, while perhaps a bit too soft and scared for her own good in a post-apocalyptic world, is/becomes a much stronger and well-adjusted girl than Carol gives her credit; Lizzie, meanwhile, while having some creepy ideas that the Walkers are more real than living people, Carol thinks of as the strong one because of her willingness to kill. By the end of the episode, Lizzie is revealed as an Ax-Crazy Broken Bird who kills small animals like mice (both to feed walkers and for fun) and ends up murdering Mika (and thinking of murdering Judith) because she thinks she'll be better off as a Walker. Carol was so focused on the girls not ending up like Sophia that she was blind to the danger right in front of her.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's known for being one of the most caring and even-tempered members of the group, yet in Season 4 it's revealed that she murdered Karen and David and burned their bodies in an attempt to prevent the fatal disease they were suffering with from spreading.
- Breakout Character: Despite being on the show since the beginning, it wasn't until season 5 that she became this. Her truly amazing siege on Terminus to rescue Rick and the others in the premiere, which included blowing up a fuel tank with a firework, sniping various Termites, and getting in a fight with (and ultimately killing) Mary, cemented her as a bonafide badass.
- Broken Bird: First she gets broken by her husband's abuse, and then Sophia's death. Since then, she's taken numerous levels in badass to become a skilled shooter and valuable member of the group as the secondary medic.
- Butt Monkey: In Season 1, she suffers abuse from her husband, and then in Season 2 she has to deal with Sophia's disappearance and death. Things look up for her in Season 3, but then T-Dog dies to save her and she still nearly dies of exhaustion and lack of water when lost in the prison. She outgrows it afterward.
- Composite Character: Since Andrea dies early, all her roles in the comics were given to Carol: She is the one in charge of Lizzie and Mika (just like Andrea adopts Ben and Billy) and Carol also becomes the most Badass female from the original Atlanta group. Also she was in charge of killing Lizzie after she proves to be too unstable, just like Carl had to do in the comics about Ben.
- Deadpan Snarker: Seems to be becoming more and more of one as of Season 3.
- Despair Event Horizon: Seeing the undead Sophia walking out of the barn. Daryl has to stop her from running to her.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Subverted, in a way. Sophia's death does indeed push her to her Despair Event Horizon, but she gets back up after enough time, arguably sooner than any other woman normally would after losing a daughter the way she did. It's everyone else that insists on awkwardly avoiding her for a while afterward. When Carl, who can't find a way to handle his own grief at Sophia dying, tells Carol that heaven is a lie, Carol then confronts Lori, telling her that Rick and Lori need to control Carl and that everyone needs to stop pitying her and treating her like a headcase.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: A mild example toward the kids in Season 4, as she gives Patrick a hard time for wanting to be excused from her "lessons" and says that Lizzie is weak for being unable to Mercy Kill her Zombie Infectee father. Justified, when you realize that she's trying to get them to toughen up so that they don't meet the same fate as Sophia.
- The Exile: Gets kicked out of the prison by Rick in "Indifference", not appearing again until "Inmates".
- Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Tyreese forgives her for killing Karen, although he considers executing her.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Her justification for murdering Karen and David, though Rick doesn't buy it. It gets Deconstructed eventually. When she runs into Tyreese and he talks about Karen she starts feeling worse about it. It culminates in her admitting out of guilt and firmly expecting Tyreese to kill her as a result.
- Kill the Ones You Love: Tearfully kills Lizzie after she murders her younger sister.
- Knife Nut: Her primary weapon in later seasons, though she's reasonably capable with firearms as well. Notably, she uses her knife to kill Karen and David.
- Lady of War: She became one of the more mature and composed Action Girls next to Michonne. In fact, she's rather stoic when killing walkers.
- The Leader: In Season 4, along with Daryl, Glenn, Hershel, and Sasha, as part of the council in charge of the prison community.
- The Load: Averted between Seasons 2 and 3 onward.
- The Medic: Under Hershel's tutelage she has picked up some medical skills and knowledge.
- Mistaken for Gay: By Axel, due to her short hair.
- Named by the Adaptation: As her comic counterpart has Only One Name, she was given a surname by default due to Ed playing this trope entirely straight.
- Never Found the Body: The other survivors think she is dead after the massive walker attack in "Killer Within" and make a grave was made for her despite never finding the body. Daryl later discovers her alive but weak from thirst and exhaustion.
- Odd Friendship/Ship Tease: With Daryl. Loads of subtext, and they're obviously important to each other, but the exact nature of the commitment they share is ambigious. Also with Axel in Season 3, albeit very briefly.
- One-Man Army: After the season 5 premiere Carol now has one of the largest bodycounts on the show, as she arranged the deaths of most of Terminus by directing a herd into the compound.
- Pragmatic Hero: She's still a fundamentally good person acting with the best of intentions, but she's willing to commit some very questionable acts in the name of keeping the group safe and she has no problem taking things under her own initiative rather than consulting with the others.
- Promoted to Love Interest: Inverted with Tyreese. They didn't become a couple like their comic counterparts. And because of some circumstances in Season 4, they likely won't be.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Beginning in Season 4.
- Promotion to Parent: In "Infected", a dying Ryan Samuels begs Carol to take care of his daughters as if they were her own, as they don't have anyone else left. She agrees, and they appear to be becoming Replacement Goldfish to her for Sophia.
- Put on a Bus: On a car to be more accurate. Seems to be the case as of "Indifference", though it's highly unlikely this is the last we'll see of her.
- The Quiet One: Due to Ed's abuse, and then to Sophia's disappearance and death. She starts speaking up more in Season 3 and especially Season 4, where she is one of the five members on the council running the prison.
- Shrinking Violet: Due to her abusive husband, she is somewhat reserved around others. She starts growing out of this in Season 2, and by Season 3 this trope no longer applies to her.
- Spared by the Adaptation: So far, she managed to stay alive longer than her comic counterpart, who committed suicide before the Woodbury's (second in this adaptation) attack on the prison, thanks to her Adaptational Badassness. She can now in fact be considered Comic!Andrea's equivalent.
- Team Mom: Takes up this role after Lori dies.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the break between Season 2 and 3. She apparently learned how to headshot walkers from a considerable distance. Rick even lampshaded it in Season 4, even using it as basis when he exiled her. Her actions in the fifth season have elevated her to a Memetic Badass on par with Daryl in the eyes of the show's fandom.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Murdered Karen and David to try and prevent the illness from spreading further.
- What You Are in the Dark: Carol's advice and actions throughout Season 3 and 4 indicate that her Character Development is taking a darker turn, as she makes more and more decisions on her own and without the rest of the groups knowledge to keep them safe.
- Tells Andrea she can end the conflict between the group and the Governor if she stabs him in his sleep.
- Begins to teach the children how to use weapons and asks Carl not to tell his father when he finds out.
- Kills Karen and David early in Season 4 to keep a disease from spreading to others in the prison and burns their bodies.
- A deleted S3 scene has Carol quietly declaring to a borderline-reformed Merle that she " will slit his throat while he sleeps" if Merle screws things up for his brother Daryl.
- Widow Woman: She doesn't mind much, since Ed abused her and "looked" at Sophia.
- Would Hurt a Child: She kills Lizzie, as she views her as too much of a threat to Judith. However, obviously she didn't want it to come to that.
Portrayed by: Adam Minarovich
Ed is the abusive husband of Carol and the father of Sophia. He died during the walker attack on the camp outside of Atlanta.
- Adaptational Villainy: While it was stated in the comics that the Zombie Apocalypse strained his relationship with his wife and daughter, they were still able to remember him fondly and sympathetically. That can't be the case here.
- The Alcoholic: Par for the course in his Domestic Abuser background.
- Asshole Victim: Nobody gave a crap that walkers ate him, including his family.
- Crazy Survivalist: Showed a few signs of this in a flashback.
- Death by Pragmatism: A rare example of the pragmatic qualities being revealed after death, when he is shown hoarding military rations during the early stages of the Zombie Apocalypse and refuses to socialize with other people.
- Domestic Abuser: Ed hits his wife Carol in the third episode. Comments between the characters indicate that he has a history of doing this. That and "looking" at his daughter.
- Dying Alone: His own fault, since he refused to join the others for dinner after getting the crap kicked out of him by Shane for abusing his wife.
- Eaten Alive: Gets eaten when walkers wander into the camp and several enter his tent.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Being a Jerkass Domestic Abuser and a Pervert Dad, it's not hard to see why the Atlanta group never liked him and didn't care that he died.
- Jerkass: He's shown to be an abusive asshole to a lot of people, particularly his wife.
- Karmic Death: Ed gets eaten by a Walker just one episode after he slaps his wife. Notably, he gets killed because he's alone in his tent — he refuses to eat with the others since Shane beat him for hitting his wife, and his wife and daughter don't want to spend time around him.
- The Load: He doesn't help at camp, apparently.
- Mauve Shirt: Along with Amy and Jim.
- Named by the Adaptation: The name of Carol's husband wasn't mentioned in the comics.
- Pervert Dad: According to Carol, he "looked at Sophia in ways a father should never look at his daughter".
- Spared by the Adaptation: Ed's comic counterpart is already dead before the events in the comics take place, although he doesn't last very long.
- Survivalist Stash: Had a bunch of military rations he kept from the others and scolded his wife for offering to share them.
- Token Evil Teammate: Aside from Merle, he is the only member of the camp that doesn't have some positive traits and is a complete asshole.
"No, no, don't leave me!"
Portrayed by: Madison Lintz
Sophia is the daughter of Carol and Ed, and is a friend of Carl. She went missing in a forest after running away from walkers, and was eventually found in the barn of Hershel's farm, having become a walker. She was put down by Rick.
- Abusive Parents: Her father Ed.
- Age Lift: Similar to Carl's.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: The Reveal of the ending part of Season 2 shows that she ultimately became a walker.
- Bus Crash: Disappearing after the first episode of Season 2, she came back (un)dead.
- Creepy Child: After becoming a walker.
- Dead All Along: Much of the second season the group searched for her without effect. Near the end of the season, it's discovered that she's one of the walkers captured by Otis and kept in Hershel's barn.
- Death by Adaptation: Sophia is currently still alive and well in the comics.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Carl.
- Dying Alone: After getting lost in the woods and bitten by a walker.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple/True Blue Femininity: Her shirt has an overlapping blue and violet scheme.
- Kill the Cutie: Twice, if you count her getting bitten, and then her walker self getting shot by Rick.
- The Load: While she was never much of a hindrance in the first season, the entire set up for the second season's arc was because she went missing.
- Morality Pet: To Daryl in the second season.
- Named by the Adaptation: Like her mom, her comic counterpart has Only One Name.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: One of the reasons she got killed off was because Madison Lintz was growing too fast for the timeframe the show is supposed to take place in. Just look at the zombified Sophia and compare her to her earlier appearances.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Her death proves that not even children or characters who are still alive in the comics are safe from death on this show.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Gets lost in the woods, and a long search for her ends at the farms barn where Otis had put her walker form but died before telling anyone.
- Tagalong Kid: From Season 1 to the first episode of Season 2.
- Tragic Monster: After becoming a walker.
- Trauma Conga Line: Has an abusive father, watches said father get the crap kicked out of him then eaten, barely survives multiple attacks by walkers while watching people die around her, and then get lost in the woods and becomes a walker. Poor kid.
- Undead Child: Her tragic fate.
- Youthful Freckles: Madison Lintz's own freckles.
Andrea and Amy
"The pain doesn't go away. You just make room for it."
Portrayed by: Laurie Holden
"What part of "everything is gone" do you not understand?"
Andrea was a civil rights lawyer before the outbreak, but was on a road trip with her sister Amy when the apocalypse began. She and her sister were doing fine at the camp until her sister got bitten. Andrea had to put her own sister down rather than let her continue as a walker. This experience led her to having a death wish. Dale guilt tripped her into not going through with it; she holds something of a grudge against him for that, but is beginning to shake the death wish off. She does, and by the end of the second season has become one of the group's protectors before she gets separated from the rest in the finale and forced to fend for herself.
Andrea is found and rescued in the forest by Michonne, and the two of them spend several months surviving on their own before encountering Woodbury. Andrea stays there and enters into a relationship with the Governor, but is caught in the middle of the conflict between Woodbury and her old group at the prison. She eventually tries to return to the prison but is caught by the Governor and locked her in a room with a dying Milton, who turns into a walker and bites Andrea before she can free herself. She is later discovered by Rick, Daryl, and Michonne, who stays with Andrea as she commits suicide to avoid becoming a walker.
- Action Girl: Andrea is the female survivor who carries a gun the most. Once she gets some training she's mowing down walkers with the best of them. Best shown in "By The Dying Fire", as she is on the run through the forest for hours while being hounded by walkers and carrying an entire bag of weapons. She takes down a ton of them, but running out of ammo and exhaustion allowed one to finally jump her. Thankfully, Michonne chose that moment to make her debut.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Her depression was highly increased over the comic version.
- Adaptational Wimp: Downplayed. While she's a credible Action Girl here, she's nowhere near the competence of her comic counterpart.
- Age Lift: In order to further increase the differences between her and Amy. Whereas Comics!Andrea was fresh out of college, TV!Andrea is in her mid-thirties
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Has a fling with Shane and falls for the Governor.
- Blood Knight: After getting gun training, she seemed to enjoy cutting down walkers a little too much.
- Bound and Gagged: Towards the end of the third season she's captured by the Governor and is secured to an old dentist's chair.
- Broken Bird: While Amy's death initially sends her into a depressed suicidal state, she eventually bounces back and resolves to survive by becoming as Badass as possible.
- Captain Obvious: A lot of the things she says, especially in her introduction, are self-explanatory.
- Chickification: She seems to undergo a bit of this during her time at Woodbury, though she tries to keep from being forced away from battle.
- Chilly Reception: Due to being separated from Rick's group for several months, she's unaware of their Character Development or the fact they Took a Level in Badass since she last saw them, especially with Glenn, Carol, Carl, and Maggie. She's completely shocked to find them hardened up from a harsh winter and an attack from the Governor, as well as their hostile reception of her, particularly for trying to claim the Governor's a good man.
- Composite Character: Her character arc in Season 3 is more in-line with Alice from the comicbook.
- Conflicting Loyalty: In Season 3, big time, between the Governor and Rick's group at the prison.
- Cradling Their Kill: Her sister Amy, after she turned into a walker.
- Death Seeker: She becomes one at the end of the first season, following Amy's death. She really, really doesn't appreciate having her gun taken away, either.
- Death by Adaptation: She is currently alive and well in the comics.
- Decomposite Character: Since she dies early, all her roles in the comics were distributed to several characters; Her role as the most Badass female from the original Atlanta group, as well as being the one in charge of Lizzie and Mika (just like her comic counterpart adopts Ben and Billy) were given to Carol. Her (and Dale's) tragic love story in the show's Fear the Hunters arc was given to Sasha (and Bob). Her role as Rick's female Lancer and Confidant was given to Michonne.
- Despair Event Horizon: First her sister Amy gets killed by a walker, then Andrea has to put her down.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: See Cradling Their Kill above. In Season 3, she dies in Michonne's, shooting herself in the head after being bitten.
- Distressed Damsel: Near the end of Season 3, she gets kidnapped and brutally tortured by the Governor.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: The woman with the most active sex life in the show.
- Face Death with Dignity: Solemnly asked for Rick's Colt Python in order to shoot herself so she won't reanimate.
- The Gunslinger: Andrea has a natural aptitude for firearms despite having little experience prior to the apocalypse, her proficiency far outstripping that of the other civilians in the group when Shane gives them gun training in Season 2.
- Hello, Attorney!: Prior to the Zombie Apocalypse, she was a lawyer. The judgment one would expect of a lawyer, however, doesn't seem to be in evidence given her on-screen record.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Michonne at the beginning of the third season. Michonne tenderly cares for Andrea when she's ill at the start of the season, and Andrea begs her to just go on without her.
- Horrible Judge of Character:
- She was one of Shane's greatest supporters, so she has a track record of taking a liking to the series' villains.
- She still listens to the Governor after seeing his collection of severed heads and the staged fights.
- Trusts Milton, who she knows is completely loyal to the Governor, to aid her escape from Woodbury. He predictably tells the Governor of all Andrea's plans. However, Andrea is later proven right about him when he realizes how far off the deep end the Governor is and starts helping her.
- Hypocrite: While it's strongly implied that Dale only threatened to stay in the CDC with her as a means of making Andrea leave, her position about him forcing her to go is a bit undercut by the fact that for all her talk of the importance of "choices" (which comes up again when it becomes a problem with Beth), staying with her was Dale's choice, and she left because she didn't want him making it.
- Idiot Ball:
- Trying to prove she's a badass made her do some idiotic things in Season 2, including shooting a gun despite knowing the shot could attract other walkers and nearly shooting Daryl's head off as a result.
- Choosing to side with the Governor over Michonne, who kept her alive for seven months! Even after learning about the Governor's severed head collection, and after he threatens her.
- The group flat out tells her that the Governor fired first during his assault on the prison, tried to kill them all, and managed to kill Axel. She responds by more or less ignoring it and claiming the Governor wants peace. Naturally, the group doesn't buy it.
- Her firm grip on the Idiot Ball leads to her death at the end of Season 3. She stops working to get off her handcuffs several times to talk with a dying Milton. It gets even worse when you consider the fact that even he tells her that she needs to hurry. She easily talks to him for a few minutes in a situation where a mere ten seconds may have been enough to keep her from getting bitten.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: She wanted gun training in order to defend the camp, but her desire to prove herself led to her accidentally shooting and wounding Daryl.
- Ironic Echo: "I know how the safety works."note
- Jack of All Stats: She's a well-balanced Action Girl, effective in handguns and melee weapons.
- Living Emotional Crutch: For Dale, who has come to see her as a daughter. When she attempts suicide at the CDC base, Dale tries to join her, claiming he has nothing else to live for.
- The Load: Her Season 2 character arc involves wanting to grow out of this. She succeeds admirably.
- Martial Pacifist: Tries so hard to be this in Season 3.
- Ms. Fanservice: After Maggie, she's the second closest thing to one on the show. She dons thong underwear in "When the Dead Come Knocking" and gets completely nude in "I Ain't a Judas".
- My God, What Have I Done?: Once she realizes what the Governor is really like, including what he did to Maggie and Glenn.
- Only One Name: Her last name, like Amy's, has never been revealed.
- Only Sane Woman: In Woodbury as of the second half of Season 3.
- Plucky Girl: As of "Beside the Dying Fire". On her own against a horde of walkers, she runs and fights her way through the forest for the better part of eighteen hours. She only gets overwhelmed when she loses her knife, and luckily Michonne shows up to save her.
- Promoted to Love Interest: The show made her a one night stand partner to Shane and put into a full-blown relationship with the Governor. Ironically, she didn't ended-up with any of her two canonical love interest due to Death by Adaptation; Dale, who died early, and Rick, whom are supposed to be each other's Second Love, thus leaving this very trope open to be filled (if, at all) by a different character.
- Redemption Quest: Andrea decides to go after the Governor herself to make up for not realizing he was a sociopath before.
- Replacement Goldfish: She bears a remarkable resemblance to the Governor's late wife, seen only in a photograph.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In "Prey", she finally realized her mistake of siding with The Governor and flees Woodbury to warn Rick and the others only to be recaptured.
- Second Episode Introduction: Although she was still credited in the first.
- Survivor Guilt: In Season 1, from having to put down her sister. It doesn't help that before the apocalypse she had a tendency to blow off most of her chances of bonding with said sister, and was only just starting to get to know her properly.
- Too Dumb to Live: In the Season 3 finale. The Governor ties her in a chair and locks her in room with a dying Milton. There are pliers nearby she can use to free herself if she can grab them with her feet. Milton repeatedly tells her to hurry, but she wastes precious seconds talking to and comforting him even when he stops moving. Predictably, Milton reanimates and bites her, dooming her, half a second after she had freed herself. Had she not wasted time trying to talk to Milton, she would have been able to free herself in time.
- Took a Level in Badass: After Shane trained her on how to shoot, to the point that she can run all night carrying a bag of guns (but no ammo) killing walkers with a knife.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Sorry your sister died, Andrea, but you don't need to tell Lori you hate her because her family is still alive.
- Will Not Be A Victim: Once she gets over her suicidal tendencies in Season 2, she resolves to survive by becoming as Badass as possible. Even once she eventually gets bitten, she insists on ending her own life while she still can rather than succumbing to the infection or allowing one of the others to put her down.
- Zombie Infectee: She is bitten in the Season 3 finale and kills herself with a headshot to avoid becoming a walker.
Portrayed by: Emma Bell
Amy is Andrea's younger sister and was killed in a walker attack early in the series.
Other Atlanta Camp Survivors
"Nice moves there, Clint Eastwood. You the new sheriff come riding in to clean up the town?"
"If bad ideas were an Olympic event this would get the gold."
Glenn is more than he seems. He's quick, clever, and brave, and these traits helped him save Rick when they met in zombie-overrun Atlanta. He is kind of laid back personality-wise, though, and has a tendency to let youthful exuberance override common sense. This causes the group to underestimate him and sometimes take advantage of him, while also causing him to sometimes not think out all his plans clearly. While staying on Hershel's farm, he began a relationship with Maggie, who he became engaged to in Season 3.
"C'mon, man, don't give me that gangsta shit."
T-Dog is a member of the original survivor group and former football player
. He feels that that he doesn't really have a place in the group, and seeks to find a way to prove himself to the others. By the third season, he has become one of the group's main fighters, working alongside Rick and Daryl. He is killed early in Season 3, when he gets bitten and then Eaten Alive
holding two walkers back so Carol can escape.
"You can't just be the good guy and expect to live. Not anymore."
Portrayed by: Jon Bernthal
"Hell, man, if you think about it in the cold light of day, you are pretty much dead already."
Rick's best friend and fellow police officer. He saw Rick in the hospital, then went back in to serve and protect. Before the hospital was given up for lost, Shane checked one last time on Rick. He heard no heartbeat but tried to leave things in a way that his friend would be safe if he did wake up. Believing Rick dead, he broke the news to Lori, which led to a full romance
, which was broken off abruptly when Rick returned.
Shane has not coped well since losing both his position as leader and his position in the hearts of Lori and Carl. He has a increasing ruthless streak which we get to see more and more of as the show progresses. He was killed by Rick in the penultimate episode of Season 2 after attempting to murder him to regain leadership of the group and Lori.
- Action Dad: Was a surrogate sort to Lori and Carl when they all thought Rick was dead. Possibly one to Judith too.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Due to being Spared by the Adaptation, the show was able to emphasize his Deuteragonist Journey To Villain via Love Makes You Crazy and Evil.
- Adaptational Villainy: Justified due to being Spared by the Adaptation. As a result, Shane was fully utilized as a character compared to his comic counterpart.
- Age Lift: Shane is 25 at the start of the comics. He's in his mid-thirties in this one.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: For about ten seconds, after dying from a knife wound in the gut.
- Anti-Hero: As the show progresses he goes from being an Unscrupulous Hero to a Nominal one.
- Apologetic Attacker: He tells Otis he is sorry before shooting him in the leg and leaving him as bait for the walkers.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: When he was the Atlanta group's leader.
- Badass: Best seen when he goes to the school with Otis for medical supplies. For Season 1 and 2, Shane is Rick's only rival at skill with a gun.
- Bald of Evil: After his Important Haircut.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Subverted. For all his Cowboy Cop, "do what must be done" and "take over the farm" crap, Rick's the one that has to shoot Sophia after Shane doesn't have the nerve to do it.
- Big Bad: For Season 2, in one of the most rare examples in all media where one doesn't lead a Five-Bad Band but is instead a member of the main characters' group.
- Blood from the Mouth: After Rick fatally stabs him in the chest.
- The Cameo: Makes a brief appearance in Season 3 when the by that point very unstable Rick hallucinates that a Woodbury guard is him.
- Character Tic: He had a tendency to rub his head when stressed.
- Comforting the Widow: When he and Lori believed Rick was dead. It unfortunately led him down the roads to how he ended up.
- Composite Character: Since his comic counterpart dies very early and Tyreese debuted in a later timeline than in the source material, Shane filled, if not took, pivotal elements of the former's Character Development (specifically being The Lancer and the Love Triangle gone bad storyline) and fused it with his own.
- Cowboy Cop: More so than Rick, though the cop part gets increasingly consumed by Crazy Survivalist
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Begins developing into this after Rick finds the survivors and Lori & Carl go back to him.
- Crazy Survivalist: Increasingly as the series goes on.
- Death by Irony: After (and aside from) his Karmic Death, Shane's reanimated self was shot and killed by Carl, the boy he taught to shoot.
- A Death in the Limelight: "Better Angels" depicts Shane's full descent into villainy, and ends with his death at the hands of Rick
- Do Unto Others Before They Do Unto Us: His overall mindset, especially in season 2.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: When training Andrea to shoot. He realizes that he's gone straight into Jerkass when he brings up "the Walker that bit Amy".
- Fallen Hero: He was a genuine friend of Rick and fine leader of the group. But when Rick returned from his coma, reunites with Lori and took over as the group's leader, Shane gradually changes and things ultimately go From Bad to Worse from there.
- Foil: He is naturally Rick's, being his second-in-command with a radically different approach to problems.
- Heel Face Door Slam: In "Better Angels", when he tries to murder Rick for the last time. Rick manages to talk him down, and for a moment Shane seems like he's listening. He lowers his gun, lets Rick close...and Rick stabs him in the heart. Justified in that it was clear by that point that Shane was beyond the pale of redemption, and letting him live would only lead to him trying to kill Rick again down the line.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Especially poignant if you consider the title of the show.
- Hot-Blooded: He has a lot of trouble reigning in his emotions and is on the verge of yelling a lot of the time.
- I Can Live With That
Rick: You gonna kill me in cold blood? Screw my wife, have my children, my children call you daddy?! Is that what you want? That life won't be worth a damn. I know you; you won't be able to live with this.
Shane: What you know what I can live with? You've got no idea what I can live with. With what I live with!!
- Implied Death Threat: To Dale.
- Important Haircut: After killing Otis he shaves his head, after snagging his hair almost got him killed. It also helped conceal the fact he murdered Otis to escape rather than escaping because of a Heroic Sacrifice on Otis' part, as Otis tore out a patch of his hair.
- It Gets Easier: Deconstructed.
"There is nothing easy about taking a manís life no matter how little value it may have. But when you get it done, you have to forget it. I guess I havenít quite got that last part down."
- It's All About Me: The ultimate reason why Shane ends up a villain.
- Jerkass: He grows into one after his Important Haircut. He casually threatens other group members lives when they inconvenience him and handles most situations in the most aggressive way possible without giving much thought to how other people may think or feel about them.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Lampshaded by Andrea. He may be brutal, but most of his suggestions for the safety of the group are correct. He's just too ruthless, stubborn and quick in trying to implement them. In later seasons, Rick ultimately adopts much of his mentality to great effect.
- Karmic Death: Killed by his former best friend, after repeatedly attempting to murder him.
- Kick the Dog:
- He shoots Otis and leaves him for the walkers to get time to run away. Although this was partly done to get medical supplies for Carl, he was saving his own skin, too.
- Threatening to kill Dale if he causes too much trouble.
- Ruthlessly massacring the walkers in the barn in front of Hershel, who, bear in mind, believed said walkers were his potentially curable friends and family.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Shane beating the crap out of Ed probably had a little more to do with his own frustrations than with doing the right thing, but damned if he didn't pick a deserving target.
- His murder of Randall might count, if you believe that Randall wasn't so innocent after all.
- The Lancer: Shane is Rick's right-hand man, and often offers completely contrasting advice, normally of a harsher nature.
- Lawman Gone Bad: Was once a heroic officer, but the stress of the apocalypse led to selfish choices.
- The Leader: When he was in charge of the group, Shane was a combination of Type III and IV.
- Love Makes You Crazy: His love for Lori partially fuels his Sanity Slippage.
- Manipulative Bastard: He staged Randall's escape in order to lure Rick far out so he could murder him.
- Mr. Fanservice: The writers seem determined to have him show as much skin as possible in Season 2.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Multiple times.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Shane nearly goes through with it. Twice. In "Better Angels", after trying it a third time and losing his nerve, Rick kills him.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Or rather "My God, What Have I Almost Done?", if his expression of horror after considering to shoot Rick is anything to go by.
- The Needs of the Many: A strict believer of this philosophy.
- Perma Stubble: Grows a Beard of Evil in at least in one of Rick's visual hallucinations, as the Woodbury soldier who kills Oscar.
- Pet the Dog: His scene with Carol after Sophia is found to be a walker and then shot. However, it's been pointed out that, even though he's doing this for Carol, most of Shane's dialogue in this scene is still about his own problems.
- Really Gets Around: An entire scene in Season 2 was devoted to he and Rick talking about his... escapades back in high school, including mention of the 30-year-old PE teacher. He's also gotten with 2/3 of the remaining original female group members — Andrea and Lori.
- The Resenter: Of Rick.
- Sanity Slippage: Mostly generated by guilt and rage.
- When Rick comes back from his coma, Shane loses his relationship with Lori and Carl. He takes it badly enough to contemplate shooting Rick to have his spot back as group leader and loved-by-Lori.
- When walkers close in on them, Shane shoots Otis, presumably so he can get away to bring the medical equipment to Carl, but also to save himself.
- Dale calls him out on pointing his gun at Rick. Shane asks Dale what he thinks Shane would do if he's the kind of man who'd shoot his own best friend. He's doing some very creepy swaying and other body language all the while.
- The Sheriff: Again, just a deputy, and junior to Rick. Also, no hat.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Repeatedly calls Rick out on thinking they can live like they used to, arguing that the rules of the old world don't apply anymore.
- Sociopathic Hero: He shows a distinct Lack of Empathy towards most of the other group members and to all human threats, and routinely advocates the most ruthless or violent solution to every problem. Deconstructed in that such actions endanger the group by encouraging Hershel to kick them off the farm, and his behavior encourages Rick to kill him
- Spared by the Adaptation: An excellent example until "Better Angels". This was one of the reasons the creator wanted to do the show; so he could explore more fully the character of Shane. And boy howdy did it have ramifications.
- The Starscream: Although Rick is not a Big Bad, on at least one occasion Shane has considered killing him and taking back leadership of the group (not to mention giving Shane another chance with Lori).
- He also seemed rather receptive towards Andrea's sarcastic suggestion that he kill Hershel to take over his farm.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: Shane is literally half-an-inch short on fitting the trope to a T. note
- Team Killer: Kills Otis and threatens to kill Dale. Attempts to kill Rick three times.
- Token Evil Teammate: Almost shooting Rick in cold blood and is very prone to Kick the Dog moments.
- The Unfettered: He gradually loses his moral restrictions, including repeatedly considering killing Rick before ultimately being killed by him in the penultimate episode of Season 2.
- What You Are in the Dark: He considers shooting Rick in "Wildfire" when they were alone (Dale was watching, but he didn't know that), but ultimately can't go through with it.
- However, he ultimately fails this test in "Save The Last One" when he knee-caps Otis to save himself as well as bring the medical supplies a wounded Carl needed back to the camp, leaving him to be torn apart by walkers.
- Wife-Basher Basher: Although it turned into a way for him to take out his frustrations.
- With Friends Like These...: He and Rick used to be really good friends, but the pressure of the Zombie Apocalypse and the Love Triangle with Lori has driven a massive wedge between them, resulting in them arguing all the time and eventually trying to kill each other.
- Yandere: Of the Obsessive flavor.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: To Dale when he wouldn't return the weapons. He was right.
"If I had known the world was ending, I would have brought better books."
"I may not have what it takes to last for long, but thatís okay. At least I can say that when the world goes to shit I didnít let it take me down with it."
Dale is an old man who is kind of the father figure to the group. He is quiet and observant, and often something of a trickster as he'll let the others believe incorrect information if he believes it's in the best interests of the group. He is killed when he gets gutted by a walker on Hershelís farm and Daryl is forced to Mercy Kill
- Badass Bookworm: He has a ton of books in his RV that he lends out the other group members. He does regret not having a better selection, and states that he would have brought more if he had known the world was going to end.
- Badass Grandpa: 64-years-old and can swing an axe like a much younger man.
- Badass Pacifist: Very evident in Season 2, especially when dealing with Shane. It was heavily implied that he's a Martial Pacifist, though.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He wasn't afraid on standing up to Shane regarding the latter's controversial decisions.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Which the internet became fans of.
- Boom, Headshot: Via Daryl, to prevent Dale from suffering after getting attacked and gutted by a walker.
- Cool Car: His RV.
- Cool Old Guy: Lends out books to the group, swings a axe with the best of them, stands up to Shane's aggressive tactics, and tries to steer the group along a moral path.
- The Conscience: Even more so than Rick. Partly deconstructed though in that he can come off at times as preachy, and his moral advice is not always useful in the harsh situations the group find themselves in.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Poor guy gets his stomach ripped open by a walker. And then he's left writhing in agony on the ground for a good minute before Daryl finally gives him a Mercy Kill.
- Death by Adaptation: In the comics, Dale died at the cannibals arc (which was after the prison arc).
- Decomposite Character: Since he dies early, all his Character Development in the comics were given to Hershel; specifically his role as the Team Dad and the Life or Limb Decision storyline. His having his leg cut off and eaten by the Hunters while he was still alive was given to Bob.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: His sudden death at the hands of a walker is somewhat anticlimatic. He wasn't originally planned to go this way; the writers had to throw it in after Jeffery Demunn quit the show.
- Good Is Old-Fashioned: The big concept that Dale's character adamantly fights against.
- Guile Hero: He's willing to trick and deceive his camp members if he thinks it will keep the group together and safe.
- Gutted Like a Fish: By a walker's hands.
- Honor Before Reason: Defends Randall from execution on the virtue that killing someone for potentially being a threat is inhumane. Shane argues that Dale's way of thinking is far too risky.
- Mercy Kill: Daryl puts him out of his misery after he is mortally wounded.
- Nice Guy: Aside from Glenn, he is the most openly caring person in the group and his main focus is keeping everyone from doing immoral things to survive.
- Nice Hat: His omnipresent white bucket fishing hat.
- Promoted to Love Interest: Inverted. He instead becomes a genuine father-figure to Andrea in this version instead of entering in a May-December Romance with her like in the comics.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: His actor (Jeffrey DeMunn) was upset at original showrunner (and longtime friend) Frank Darabont's dismissal, and quit in protest, thus necessitating Dale's death.
- Sacrificial Lion: While he was far from the first character death on the show, he was the first main cast member to die.
- Team Dad: Dale is the member of the camp most dedicated to keeping it together, and who takes the most time to make sure its members are ok. Whether they want him to or not.
- What You Are in the Dark: After taking the guns to prevent Shane from arming everyone to kill the walkers in the barn and take over Hershel's farm, he has the opportunity to kill Shane, who he knows is a threat to people in the group. However, he can't bring himself to actually pull the trigger and take a human life.
Portrayed by: Jeryl Prescott Sales
Jacqui is a survivor who worked for the Atlanta city zoning department, and uses knowledge from her job to aid the survivors. She chose to commit suicide by staying in the CDC with Doctor Jenner when it exploded.
- An Axe to Grind: When the walkers attacked the camp, Jacqui was armed with an axe.
- Canon Foreigner: Never appeared in the comics.
- Driven to Suicide: Dies by way of thermobaric munitions in the CDC by her own choice.
- Face Death with Dignity: Chooses to die on her own terms, instead of eventually becoming a victim of the walkers.
- Genre Savvy: She quickly notices Jim has been bitten, even as he tries to conceal it by acting casual and saying the blood on his shirt is not his. When he begs her not to tell the others that he's infected, she does so immediately.
- Go Out with a Smile: Smiles before the explosion, knowing that her friends are safe and she'll be at peace.
- Hallucinations: In "Hounded", she is one of the people who calls Rick during his hallucinations.
- Mauve Shirt: Survives and makes it all the way to the CDC base, only to succumb to her despair and commit suicide when the base self-destructs.
- Only One Name: Her surname is never mentioned.
- Sassy Black Woman: She gets plenty of smart jabs out.
- Second Episode Introduction: Introduced with the rest of the Atlanta scouting party in the second episode of Season 1.
Portrayed by: Juan Gabriel Pareja
A member of the original survivor group, Morales and his family left to look for family in Birmingham, Alabama after the group decided to go to the CDC.
- Action Survivor: He has no martial training, but he manages to take down quite a few walkers with his baseball bat.
- Batter Up: His main melee weapon.
- Canon Foreigner: Never appeared in the comics, although some fans speculated that he was a replacement for Allen and his family.
- Happily Married: To his wife, Miranda.
- Last Name Basis: His wife and kids get first names, but his is never revealed.
- Mauve Shirt: Luckily for him, he was only Put on a Bus instead of being killed off.
- Nice Guy: He treats Rick well despite his actions having endangered Morales and the rest of the scouting group and gives him advanced warning that Daryl will likely be out for Rick's blood once learning about how Merle got left behind.
- Papa Wolf: Rips the walkers a new one while protecting his family during the attack on the camp.
- Perma Stubble: bordering on Badass Beard
- Put on a Bus: He and his family leave the group to look for relatives in Birmingham, Alabama.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Has not been seen since.
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"Do you hear that? That's the sound of God laughing while you make plans."
"You know, the only reason I got away was 'cause the dead were too busy eating my family."
Jim is a survivor in the original group. He was infected during a zombie attack on the camp. He was left behind after asking to die from the infection, feeling he didn't deserve to live for failing his family.
- Batter Up: His primary weapon is a baseball bat.
- Despair Event Horizon: His family's death, although he managed to keep going until getting bitten.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: In "Vatos", he mentions this that he thinks he did this, having dug numerous graves before the walker attack on the camp.
- Dying Alone: His own choice, as he wanted to be left alone so that when he came back as a walker, he might be able to find his family.
- Face Death with Dignity: Knowing there is no hope for him, he decided to be left alone in a tree to die.
- Grease Monkey: He was the groups mechanic, having been an auto mechanic before the Zombie Apocalypse.
- Hallucinations: In "Hounded", he is one of the people who calls Rick during his hallucinations.
- Nice Hat: He is wearing a blue cap in almost all of his scenes.
- Sanity Slippage: He may have dreamt the future, or just gone completely insane. Not even he is sure which.
- Survivors Guilt: He only managed to escape from walkers because they were so busy eating his family.
- Zombie Infectee: He tries to hide it and begs Jacqui not to give it away. However, she's Genre Savvy enough to tell the rest of the group immediately.