The mighty Jontosaurus is risen. Fear him! And also, read his top 5 The Walking Dead deaths and feel all squishy inside for gore of yore…
AMC’S The Walking Dead is in a dark place right now, with viewing figures at their lowest point since season 1. Reviews of season 8 have been remorseless, but there can be no denying that throughout the show’s massive run there have been some truly memorable characters that have perished in some truly memorable ways. And, in the case of Glenn, there have been about ten times we’ve thought he was going to die, only for him to turn up alive- sometimes without a whole lot of explanation. So, in honor of Glenn- God rest his fictional soul- here is a rundown of The Official Jontosaurus Top Five Memorable TWD Deaths Of All Time. As always, this is based purely on personal opinion, so please don’t be offended if your ‘favourite’ doesn’t make it in. Oh, and it goes without saying… but there may be spoilers ahead for those of you who have been living in a cave for the last few years. To be fair, I will try and avoid the most recent two or three seasons just to play it safe.
- Hershel Loses His Head
“When all others lose theirs…” didn’t seem to be part of the plan for Hershel, who definitely loses his head, albeit in a clumsy and ultimately tragic way. Used as a sort of bargaining chip during The Governor’s assault on the prison, he is dragged out and negotiated over like a piece of meat. Just when it seems as though the adorable, well reasoned old man is going to pull through, the series decides to take a drastic U turn. As Maggie and Beth’s father, Hershel has already lost a leg due to a Walker bite, and although he looks about as resilient as a water paper bag, he’s clearly a tough old dog who isn’t ready to throw in the towel just because the apocalypse has reared its ugly head. Unfortunately, the Big Bad in form of David Morrissey’s The Governor has other ideas, and after a drawn-out affair, he grabs a samurai sword- a very familiar samurai sword for that matter- and lops off the old man’s head. What makes this scene so unexpected is that it leaps upon us as viewers just when we think the old man may be spared, and it also shows the removal of the head in graphic detail. We watch as the Governor messes up his first chop, only partly severing the neck, and all the while the dying Hershel just sort of kneels there, serene and untroubled, as his head is cut off. Truly harrowing but, sadly, not the most harrowing death on this list.
- Lori’s Tragic Demise
For a character that seemed to divide audience opinion so much, Lori gets the sort of lingering, emotionally challenging demise that would be befitting more of a universally-loved character. As she becomes pregnant with Shane’s (fuck Shane) baby, we increasingly grow to see her not so much as a tragic character, but more as a potential emotional wreck who regularly threatens to destroy everything Rick has tried to build at the secure prison. But then comes her grisly demise, made even more worse by the fact she has to ask her son to do it. As she goes into painful labour, it becomes clear that the baby is going to need to be cut out, and with Rick and the rest of the team occupied by a conflict elsewhere, it falls to Carl to help his mother out. She calmly but tearfully explains to him what he has to do and he bravely does it, even having to finish her off with a bullet afterwards in case she comes back as one of the undead. Sure, her death has helped bring about the life of Baby Judith, but the manner of it is sure to have left her young son emotionally traumatised. The scene that shortly follows the revelation of her death has spawned a thousand memes about it due to Andrew Lincoln’s somewhat lackadaisical application of his Southern twang and emotionally stilted reaction, but the actual death scene itself will linger in the memory for a long time.
- The Governor Gets His Comeuppance
Long before Negan was The Governor, an eye-patch wearing supervillain who we grew to hate, and hate, and…well, hate, as there was very little to love about him despite his vaguely tragic backstory. Played to perfection by David Morrissey, he was the main antagonist in the series, constantly posing a huge threat to the band of survivors led by Rick at the prison. In the end, he gets a death that is dramatic but also satisfying in equal measure. Having beheaded Hershel- and seriously, how can anyone do that to sweet and loving Hershel?- he watches as his attacking forces lose the battle and he charges in to try and sort out their deathly errors. He tussles with Rick and is ultimately finished off courtesy of Michonne’s sword, which makes for a very bittersweet ending considering she almost killed him once already. This death is perhaps more satisfying due to the fact that he has spent over a season being nothing but a threat to the survivors we follow as an audience. It also serves as a cathartic experience and makes things right with us, the long suffering audience, after months and seasons of pain and misery at the hands of this man. His death may not be the goriest or the most dramatic, but my goodness didn’t it feel good to see him perish!
- Abraham’s Defiance Until the End
In the television series, Abraham Ford is a badass military hero, just as likely to punch a zombie’s head clean off its shoulders as he is to gun it down from 500 yards away. Despite this bravado, though, he is also a fiercely loyal member of the group, and a gentle and caring man towards those he has truly invested his time and life for. Negan’s bat, Lucille, has likely seen many victims, but Abraham is the first part of a brutal double whammy that Negan delivers to the captured members of Rick’s group. With them all court, it seems to be a completely random system that Negan uses to choose his victims, but he understandably decides to bring the bat down on the big man’s head to begin with. It is basic tactical sense to bring down the brute first and he does this with relative ease, although not without a little bit of venom thrown at him for good measure. After the first blow, Abraham rises up again, battered and dazed but by no means dead, and delivers quite possible the best final line ever: “suck my nuts”. It doesn’t stop him dying, of course, but it shows to the rest of the group and to his killer that he isn’t afraid of what will happen. The fact that this just drives Negan on to bring the bat down makes it even more shocking, although the close up of what remains of Abraham’s skull after a few blows is sure to have weaker stomachs churning. The fact that Negan continues to pound on him long after he is dead just shows another element to the villain’s twisted psyche.
- Glenn’s Eye Popping End
As if offing Abraham wasn’t enough, the same episode goes so far as to up the stakes and dispose of Glenn who, in fairness, was already living on borrowed time having had a few lucky escapes before this final encounter. Glenn is a tough cookie, but he isn’t the meat mountain that Abraham is, and so he doesn’t absorb the hits quite so well. He still has the strength of character to resist the first blow from the spike bat, although the hit is heavy enough that it has caused one his eyes to pop from his skull. If nothing else, the SFX department and makeup team before credit for creating some convincing- albeit sickening- gore effects. Wheezing and dying, and likely blinded and reeling from the hit, he turns to Maggie and utters his own final words, which aren’t as badass as Abraham’s but are a thousand times more poignant. “Maggie, I’ll find you”. With just this one utterance a thousand hearts are broken and the rage starts to build up. That rage soon turns to a numb acceptance, though, as we watch Negan pulverise his victim in an even more gruesome way than before. If you weren’t off your supper beforehand, you are not, and yet there is something much sadder and deeper underneath all of the gore. It isn’t blood and brain matter just for the sake of it. This is a scene that shows characters reduced to nothing but human remains where once a living being stood. It also shows a bad guy at the height of his power. It also dares to kill off a character we got to know and love from the very first season- Glenn. If it was ever in doubt, then this death confirms it: no character in The Walking Dead is truly safe from elimination.
So there you have it! Do you agree with this list and, if not, what are your favourite deaths from this wonderfully bloody series? Have your say on our Facebook page or in the comments below!