Walking Dead deaths

Walking Dead's 22 Most Painful Deaths

As you brace yourselves for what Norman Reedus has already warned fans of The Walking Dead is going to be an “overwhelming and emotional” Season 7 — starting with the resolution of that “killer” Season 6 cliffhanger — your friends at TVLine thought that now might be a good time to remind you of something:

You’re going to be OK. Really. You’ve been through this before. We all have. So, no matter which of your favorites finds him- or herself on the receiving end of Negan’s blows, you’ll be all right. It may take a while, but seriously — you will.

To make sure that you believe us, we’ve compiled a list of the series’ 22 most painful deaths ever — you know, the ones from which you were sure you’d never recover… and then, of course, got over! We’ve even ranked them from least upsetting (“Uh, who was he again?”) to most heartbreaking (“That’s it! I’m never watching this show again!”).

Oh, and before you dive in, one thing to keep in mind: We’ve left off the demises of total d-bags like Shane and the Governor. It’s significant when the villains are bumped off, sure. But crushing? Not so much.

So, with all that said, let’s get to it. Scroll through the gallery below, then hit the comments with the deaths that you think we should have included (or got in the wrong order).

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. wrstlgirl says:

    Awwww the memories. Thanks for this!!!

  2. Judy says:

    Bad choice for #1. Literally everyone knew Sophia was gonna be in that barn. I couldn’t stand Lori but she should’ve been at the top.

  3. Diane says:

    Tyrese, TDog, Noah, Herschel, and Milton (not mentioned) hurt me the most. they were just all so good and likable.

  4. Spence says:

    Beth obviously hurt the most. Not just viewers, but the writers and creativity of the show. Just when they decided to give a captivating arc to one of the weakest characters of the show (this is coming from Beth’s number one fan right here), they kill her in a poor attempt at shock and ratings. Her death really signaled the downfall of the show creatively.

    • Matt C. says:


    • Wordsmith says:

      It was a harsh reminder that these characters don’t necessarily live in a TV land where storylines build and pay off like they are “supposed to.” They live in a gritty world where sh*t sometimes goes wrong for no good reason. That’s life.

    • O U B says:

      That’s right, Beth was my favourite character too, her death was so shocking and painful. Believe me, i had a terrible night after watchin the episode where she died

    • SeanC says:

      She was an awful character. It is still laughable to me that the writers thought it was a good idea to give her two episodes of her own. Just shows how out of touch they are. They really should have kept her in the background, not saying they shouldn’t have given her an arc but they shouldn’t have tried to make her a main character (which they obviously only did so that they could be like “LOOK WE KILLED A MAIN CHARACTER!”.)

  5. Sunshine says:

    Beth ‘s was the saddest death ever

    • LaDonna says:

      Agree! My top 4 would be Beth, Hershel, Sofia, and Andrea. The only reason Andrea is so low is because her character had become so intolerable by the time she died, she was hard to watch. I know they tried to redeem her at the end, but it was too little too late.

  6. Andrea > Berth > Sofia > Noah > Tabitha

  7. AnnieM says:

    Hershel hurt me the most, but i thought Noah’s death was the most horrifying.

  8. Wordsmith says:

    Just looking at this list reminds me how much it sucks to become the embodiment of hope and innocence on this show. It’s pretty much a death sentence.

  9. Gary says:

    Hershel should be much higher! Lori, Lizzie and Mika should be lower or not on the list — didn’t really care about any of them.

  10. Angela says:

    Shane was definitely the one that hurt the most for me. I don’t think he was a villain, I think he was just misunderstood because he was adapting to the situation a lot faster than the rest of them. If he was still alive, he would totally fit into Rick’s group now.

  11. Cathy says:

    Hershal should be number one. I’m still mourning his death! Rest of my top 5 would be Tyrese, Noah (definitely the most horrifying death), Beth and Bob or Lizzie. Also Jenny and Karen make the list but not Milton who was a major character during the whole Woodbury storyline?

  12. AngelWasHere says:


  13. Tom says:

    How was Beth not like number 2 at least? Or at least top five?

    I still don’t get the whole point of the Sophia storyline. Searching for her only to have her be dead in the barn?

  14. Michelle says:

    For me Noah, Beth,Bob and Hershel hurt the most. For Lori I honestly did not care for her but I hurt for Carl and Rick.

  15. Blu says:

    5. Lori 4. Lizzie and Mika, 3. Sophia 2. Beth 1. Hershel….I still get sad about Hershel.

  16. Jermey says:

    Herschel were Beth the saddest.

    And why is Jenny even on the list? She was on screen for 10 seconds as a walker, and we didn’t even see her die, so…?

  17. Jane says:

    Hershel, Beth, T-Dog & Noah for me. Andrea would be way at the end even below Shane and the Governor.

  18. Tana Davis says:

    Great list. I, personally, didn’t find Lori’s death sad. Hated her. Hershel was the most painful for me so far. Love that you included Tabitha.

  19. Judy says:

    Beth s ghost would have been #1.

  20. MaluFicent says:

    Hershel, Dale, Beth, Tyrese, Lizzie

  21. Gladiator says:

    In my opinion Merle dixon is who had the most hurt death

  22. Irisj728 says:

    1. Beth
    2. Noah
    5. Merel ( Might have been a jerk but, I liked him in the end)
    6. Mika
    8.Bob (Bitten by the dead and the living…WOW)

    Glad Lori died, couldn’t stand her.

  23. Amanda Mathews says:

    Thanks for this also but Dale and Hershey got me the mist. They were both sensible and smart people.. they could see right through anyone and knew things about people the others didn’t know.. I miss them the most

  24. Literally everyone expected Sophia to be in the barn, are you kidding us?

  25. Carolin says:

    #1 Beth. Still.