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Characters in Rick's group 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. These spoiler tags will be removed upon the debut of the following season, and the character bios will be updated then as well. Additionally, character portraits will be updated each half-season with the release of an official, complete set from AMC. If you have not seen the first nine seasons read at your own risk!

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Rick Grimes' Group

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/walkingdeadricksgroup_0.jpg
"Hold fast to one another
We will stand stranger to brother
We are one
We carry on..."

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 - the drive that pushes the group to go on and keep surviving.

For individual character tropes, visit their pages through the main index.


  • Action Survivor: All of them at first, especially in the first season. The Alexandrians eventually become this by the midpoint of Season 6 at worst.
  • 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. The Alexandrians later join this crew for good in "No Way Out", making it more of a Badass army.
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  • 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.
  • Battle Couple: Several members of the group are either married or romantically involved.
    • Rick is married to Lori until her death in Season 3, but this is ultimately subverted since she was mostly an Action Survivor as opposed to a full-fledged badass like her husband.
    • Maggie and Glenn get together in Season 2, are married in Season 3, and are expecting a child in Season 6. Both are two of the group's most ferocious fighters. It's destroyed in Season 7 when Glenn is murdered by Negan.
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    • Abraham and Rosita are The Big Guy and an Action Girl respectively, even if we don't see them fighting together too often. After Abraham dumps her, he ends up filling this role with Sasha and presumably Rosita with Spencer. Both relationships are short-lived, however, as both Abraham and Spencer are killed by Negan not too long after.
    • Sasha and Bob during their brief relationship before the latter's death in Season 5.
    • Aaron and Eric successfully recruited for Alexandria for quite some time and both are shown to be absolute badasses in Season 6 especially.
    • Subverted with Rick and Jessie as she died before she could truly become combat-proficient. However, Rick and Michonne, who hook up in "The Next World" certainly qualify.
  • Break the Badass: Amazingly, Negan and the Saviors manage to bring Rick's entire group to tears in "Last Day on Earth." After Rick and his friends tried so hard to fight the Saviors and actually thought that they were ahead of the game, Negan brings them to their knees and coldly murders Glenn and Abraham just to send a message to the rest of them.
  • Changing of the Guard: Rick's disappearance in Season 9 left a huge void on The Hero and Big Good roles. Daryl, Carol, and Michonne eventually fill the role as the show's Power Trio.
  • Co-Dragons: Inverted; Rick generally has about two-four people who form his inner circle.
    • Seasons 1 and 2: Shane (The Lancer) and Lori (his wife).
    • Season 3: Daryl is his main field enforcer while Hershel is his mentor and confidant.
    • Season 4: Rick actually ends up as The Lancer of the prison community before the final battle with The Governor, and for the rest of the season, Rick is only with Carl and Michonne, who becomes another one of Rick's most trusted group members.
    • Season 5: Daryl, Carol, Michonne, Glenn, and Abraham.
    • Season 6: Daryl, Carol, Michonne, Glenn, Abraham, and Maggie.
    • Season 7: Michonne nominally, though she has grown slightly distant from Rick after the group was subjugated by Negan, and following the deaths of Glenn and Abraham, Daryl being kidnapped by Negan, Carol being MIA, and Maggie spending time at Hilltop for treatment from Dr. Carson. Aaron and Gabriel step up as Rick's right hands during the Saviors' first plunder of Alexandria. Most of the surviving group reunites by the mid-season finale, however, but circumstances end up separating them again for the time being. At present, Carol is fighting alongside the Kingdom, with Maggie basically leading Hilltop, and Daryl and Michonne reclaiming their positions as his two Lancers by the end of the season.
  • 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 two note  remaining by the middle of the ninth season.
  • Family of Choice: Made perfectly clear more times than can be counted.
    Glenn: My flesh and blood is standing right here.
  • The Family That Slays Together: Particularly during major events like the taking of the prison, the final prison battle, or the escape from Terminus.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Six major ones as of Season 7.
    • 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 people of color 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.
    • Shane in the second season. He starts out as The Leader, but during season 2 most people in the group (except maybe Lori, Carl, and Andrea) start turning on him and losing respect for him.
    • 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 people of color in the group), he's still not liked and even treated as a weapon by Rick. He also 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 it seems she has forgiven him and helps him face his demons through prayer. This ends up changing Gabriel. In Season 6, while he spends the majority of the first half of the season as a Butt-Monkey who is hated by the group, he ends up fighting alongside his allies when walkers attack Alexandria, which finally earns the respect of Rick.
    • Spencer in the seventh season. No one in the group was particularly fond of him beforehand except for Deanna, but when it's discovered he's been stashing food and guns in his house, Rick calls him "small" and "weak" to his face, and threatens to knock his teeth out when he blames Rick for the deaths of Glenn and Abraham. Even Rosita (who has sex with him) doesn't care about him, and mild-mannered Father Gabriel puts him down by telling him he is a "tremendous shit" in an almost cheerful tone of voice. Possibly subverted when the town reacts in horror upon witnessing his brutal death.
  • Handicapped Badass:
    • The group had one-legged Hershel and one-handed Merle around Seasons 3 and 4.
    • Eric had a broken ankle that afflicted him for the remainder of Season 5 and early Season 6.
    • Carl starting mid-Season 6 after receiving a Moe Greene Special from Ron.
    • If mental illness is considered, then Shane in the first two seasons, Rick from Seasons 3 to 5, Carol since Season 4, Lizzie in Season 4, Sasha in Season 5, and Ron in Season 6.
  • Honorary Uncle: As time went on, they eventually consider each other as family.
  • Idiot Ball: In Season 1, when Shane was in charge of camp he posted no lookouts in case walkers interrupted their campfire. This results in a horde of zombies coming right out of nowhere by surprise, killing off all the unnamed characters, Amy, and Ed.
  • 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, Glenn, and Michonne.
  • 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.
    • In Season 6, this is a major reason why Rick, despite having taken command of Alexandria, is highly reluctant to take in the Alexandrians as part of his extended family, as the vast majority of them are this trope and many Red Shirt's are killed in the season. However, they prove their mettle during the second battle of Alexandria in "No Way Out", and no longer act as this trope.
  • 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. The ensemble officially swells to a group a few dozen strong by "No Way Out" when they stand together as one for the first time.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: They are recruited by the Alexandria Safe-Zone in Season 5 because they are hardened, competent survivors who can infuse some badassery into the community.
  • 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, Noah, and Jessie.
  • 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.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: They initially call the zombies "geeks" before transitioning to "walkers."
  • Parental Substitute: The entire group has this enforced upon them almost immediately from Judith's birth, since at the time Rick was grieving the loss of her mother. Her most prominent non-Grimes caregivers have been Hershel, Beth, Carol, and Tyreese. Michonne has also stepped up to the plate as an adoptive mother to both Judith and Carl since Season 4.
  • 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.
  • These Questions Three...: Starting in Season 4, they use three questions ("How many walkers have you killed?", "How many people have you killed?", and "Why?") to evaluate prospective recruits for the prison community. After they leave the prison, they continue to use the questions, albeit infrequently.
  • 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, Father Gabriel, and Morgan. The latter two end up breaking it in Season 6 after Father Gabriel steps up to become a fighter and Morgan shoots a Savior to rescue Carol.
  • 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.
    • Spencer starts to slip into this trope in Season 7, where he constantly antagonizes Rick and makes it clear that he doesn't respect him as a leader. He dies trying to overthrow Rick by having Negan kill him so that he could take his place.
  • Token Minority:
    • Glenn has been the only Asian member of the group until his death in the Season 7 premiere. It will take another season and a half for them to have one (Siddiq) and another season to have another (Yumiko).
    • There have been a shortage of African-American members in the first three seasons as well, to the point of one being killed off only to be replaced with another one in the very same episode on two separate occasions.
    • 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.
    • Dr. S is the only Indian to have ever appeared on the show.
  • 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.
    • After an extended period of time in Alexandria, when the whole town rallies together as one, this group takes a bigger level in badass than ever before with the addition of dozens more capable fighters in their own right.
  • True Companions: They're each other's family, biological and of choosing, and they will stick for each other no matter what.
  • 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. This is dropped in Season 4, when Rick manages to bring Carl back before he's too far gone.
    • Michonne uses a katana, demonstrating her foreign nature.
    • Merle’s 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.
    • Carol’s snub-nosed pistol is small, unassuming, and easily concealed, much like its owner. Also, it’s a revolver, just like Rick’s gun, but in a tinier package that is no less deadly. For melee, she carries a sentry knuckle, which again highlights her concealed lethal nature.
    • 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. Notably she stops using it after recovering in Season 6.
    • Morgan Jones wields a Simple Staff, which reflects his new-found sturdiness and opposition to spilling blood. It becomes a spear once he decides to avenge his protege Benjamin's death by fighting the Saviors.

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