Death is something that THE WALKING DEAD fan comes to expect. Some of them, like Shane and Lori, are not surprising, even if you haven’t read the comic. But others are sad, jarring, sudden – events that stick with you long after the episode ends. We’ve culled together some of the darkest, most upsetting character deaths from the past five seasons – you know, just in case your day is a little too happy.
Mika and Lizzie
Episode 414, “The Grove”
“The Grove” was probably the most controversial episode in the run of THE WALKING DEAD. I loved it because it was real; others hated it because, well, it was too real. Lizzie, not yet a teenager, clearly has some sort of mental illness, something that has been obvious since she first appeared. She doesn’t understand that the dead are “bad,” and are different from the living. They are not their friends; not pets; they are just monsters. In “The Grove,” this all comes to a head when Lizzie kills her younger sister, Mika, to show Carol that Mika will come back to life and they can be friends. “Don’t worry; I didn’t hurt her brain,” Lizzie assures her guardian. Lizzie’s lack of understanding (something even her little sister was trying to teach her) and her willingness to kill Carol and baby Judith to prove her point made her a liability. It is a difficult decision, but Carol takes Lizzie out into the grove and tells her to “just look at the flowers” before she executes the little girl. The death of both girls is a rare look at mental illness and its effects without proper treatment.
Episode 508, “Coda”
Beth was never a popular character, but by the time of her death, she was starting to gain a personality. She was showing strength during her time in the hospital, which was a really dull storyline. When Rick and his crew come to rescue Beth with a hostage exchange, an off-handed comment by her captor, Dawn, causes Beth to go nuts and stab Dawn with a pair of scissors. Dawn retaliates by shooting Beth dead. It is sudden, an instinctual act that causes Daryl to return the favor. The worst part is that Maggie was on her way to the hospital, having been told that her sister, gone for a month or more, was alive and well. Maggie is so excited, but as she arrives at the hospital, Daryl exits, carrying Beth’s limp body. Maggie just crumples. After so much struggle, after the hope that comes with dad Herschel’s surviving a zombie bite, after she and Beth helped each other through Herschel’s eventual murder, her last blood relative is dead.
Episode 316, “Welcome to the Tombs”
“Welcome to the Tombs” was a dark episode, with Rick’s group facing off against the Governor and his Woodbury group. In perhaps the most disturbing move the Governor ever pulled, he shoots dozens of his own soldiers dead, just because he was angry. Not with them, precisely, but with the world in general. They were just there. But Andrea’s death was different. She had been held in the Governor’s torture chamber, and before he left to fight the prison group, he left Milton and a knife with Andrea. The Governor promised Milton would not be allowed out of the room until Andrea was dead. When he tries to attack the Governor, the Governor stabs Milton and leaves him to die, figuring that he will eventually turn and kill Andrea. Either way, Milton will kill Andrea. By the time Rick and Michonne finally find Andrea, Milton is dead. He had turned before she could kill him, and she has a big, oozy zombie bite on her neck. She says her goodbyes to Rick and Michonne, then insists on taking care of it herself. With Rick’s gun, she locks herself into the torture chamber. There is utter silence for a few moments, then a single gunshot.
Episode 514, “Spend”
“Spend” was an intense, action-packed episode from beginning to end. Glenn, Eugene, Tara, Noah, Nicholas, and Aidan go on a warehouse run, and it isn’t long before Aidan and Nicholas both reveal it was their cowardice that killed a scouting group they were leading before Rick’s team showed up to Alexandria. Glenn and the others are disgusted by their actions, but still try to help Aidan when he is impaled on shelving. He is a lost cause, and as the warehouse becomes overrun with walkers, Nicholas, Glenn, and Noah try to escape out the front door. The three of them get wedged into a revolving door, which protects them from the walkers but leaves them few options. Eugene appears with the van, and Nicholas – thinking only of himself – wriggles out of the door and runs to the van. Unfortunately, this leaves Noah open to the walkers, and they waste no time ripping him apart. It is a gory, violent death, one that Glenn is forced to watched.
Episode 207, “Pretty Much Dead Already”
Carol’s daughter, Sophia, got lost at the start of season two. While much of the season was filled with search and worry over the little girl, as the season progressed, it seemed pretty clear Sophia was not going to be found alive. That would have been the Disney ending to that story, and the one thing The Walking Dead isn’t is Disney. But instead of never seeing Sophia again, we find her, just before the mid-season break. The little girl is now a zombie, and she is being kept in Herschel’s barn with the rest of his collected zombies. It is a shock to all, and it takes Rick more than a minute to gather the strength to do what needs to be done.