To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead — the series’ 100th episode — Yahoo TV will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the season opener.
We know that if Daryl dies, you riot. Many a fan of The Walking Dead has pledged to throw down publicly should Mr. Dixon meet the business end of Lucille or otherwise join the likes of beloved TWD characters like Glenn and Beth and Abraham, all of whom have met tragic endings on the series.
Should we assume that devotion to Daryl means that he is, hands down, fans’ all-time favorite TWD series character? Do viewers not also love them some Rick Grimes, some Hershel Greene, some Carol “Superwoman” Peletier? Aren’t there also big contingents of apocalypse aficionados who count Glenn or Michonne or Maggie as their most loved survivor (or former survivor — RIP, Glenn)?
Here’s your chance to vote for your personal pick, as we’re taking the top 35 characters of The Walking Dead — a list that was not so easy to narrow down, by the way; the absence of Olivia, Enid, and Jadis is not reflective of how awesome they are — and asking you to select your favorites each day during the week of Sept. 12-16. On Sunday, Sept. 17, we’ll post the top five vote-getters, and after a day of voting, we’ll announce your pick for your favorite Walking Dead character of all time on Monday, Sept. 18, along with a flashback to that character’s most memorable moments.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s day one, and time to pick your top choice from the first round of contenders.
Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus)
He initially operated as an outsider, but Daryl’s hunting and tracking skills made him an MVP post-apocalypse, and his loyalty to friends like Rick and Carol helped establish bonds that have made him one of the most trusted, capable, and beloved members of Rick’s self-made family. Plus, you know, he’s pure badass.
Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever)
Sweet, shy Denise… Forced to step up as the town doc after the death of Pete, Denise was unsure about her untested medical training. But her kindness and genuine caring for her fellow Alexandrians trumped her skittishness, and she managed to save lives — namely Carl’s — and develop a relationship with Tara before Dwight sent that arrow flying into her eye.
Dale Horvath (Jeffrey DeMunn)
Moral center Dale was a kindly mentor whose voice of reason wasn’t appreciated by everyone — particularly those who weren’t being reasonable themselves (Shane). As much as his wisdom and guidance would have only become more valuable as the apocalypse presented new challenges to his friends, it’s also just the tiniest bit comforting that Dale’s Season 2 death meant he didn’t have to contend with some of the worst that humanity has had to offer in the TWD universe since then.
Beth Greene (Emily Kinney)
A fragile teen who was thrown into the full experience of the apocalypse after being forced from her family’s farm, Beth quickly adapted and continued to evolve into a stronger young woman. She was committed to maintaining her good heart even in the face of threats from some predatory fellow survivors and managed to keep her faith in the goodness of others right up until her senseless death at the hands of the cowardly Dawn.
Dwight (Austin Amelio)
He robbed and later tortured Daryl, and killed Denise, but we know that pre-apocalypse, pre-Negan’s minion Dwight seems to have been a pretty upstanding guy. He certainly seemed sincere when he tried to redeem himself in the Season 7 finale, offering to play double agent and help the Alexandrians take on and defeat Negan … can they, should they, trust him?
Noah (Tyler James Williams)
Another teen on his own, Noah bonded with Beth at Grady Hospital and tried to help her friends save her. Even after Beth’s death, and learning that his family had also died, brave Noah didn’t give up. Instead, he devoted himself to learning new ways he could contribute to the group’s survival and the growth of Alexandria, making his death — caused by the pure cowardice of Nicholas — one of the most bitter.
Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson)
Dear Hershel was the gentle soul who’d battled pre-apocalypse demons, then managed to accept the hard truth of the apocalypse in time to be a much-valued and loved adviser and contributor to the group’s life at the prison. In fact, it was a backwards ode to Hershel’s position within the group when the Governor murdered him, for he knew that beheading Hershel was also cutting off a big source of Rick’s group’s strength and hopefulness.
The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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