BySam Plank, writer at
"You have to be what you are. Whatever you are, you gotta be it." -Johnny Cash. Tweet a tweeter at my twitty twitter, @tw1tterintw1t
Sam Plank

On The Walking Dead, there seems to be a pretty simple formula they use to let us know who's going to bite it in the next episode or so. It goes something like this:

Character shows development in some way, good or bad
+ Something bad happens (like a walker herd attack)
Character is dead in either that episode or the next

Seem too simple? Check these unlucky souls out who had some major development in their character, whether it was getting their ass kicked or making some headway in a difficult relationship!

Ed Peletier

He gets his butt kicked by Shane and put in his place in "Tell it to the Frogs," he gets eaten by the same walker herd as Amy in "Vatos."


In "Vatos," Amy and Andrea share some girl time in a boat on a lake, talking about their dad, but is later attacked by the same herd that nom-nommed Ed in the same episode.


This isn't so much character development, but is more like a character acting all out of sorts, and dying soon thereafter. in "Vatos," Jim starts having dreams or visions or something, and starts digging holes.

After the attack that he was bitten during, he reveals the dreams meant that the holes were for the dead, a group he would soon become a member of, after being left by a tree on the side of the road in the next episode, "Wildfire."

Edwin Jenner and Jacqui

If deciding to end it all by being blown to smithereens in a CDC building blast isn't character development, I don't know what is.


This poor guy. Not only does he feel like crap for accidentally shooting Carl while hunting, and then (development alert) in "Bloodletting," goes with Crazy Boy Shane to fetch medical supplies for the kid as a way to pay for his mistake, he gets unwillingly sacrificed by Shane in "Save the Last One," the next episode. He even stays behind to help Shane, who's hurt his poor wittle ankle, Shane ends up shooting Otis in the knee and letting the walkers chomp on him while Shane got away.


Showing sympathy for Randall was his final act of goodwill, and it ultimately stopped Rick from killing the kid, even though Shane did it anyway. Dale is having a moment by himself, looking very much like he's just sick of all the crap, when a walker shows up and tears him open like a Christmas present. Blech. All in the same episode, though!


Shane Walsh. Woo boy. His development occurred right around the time he decided to finally flip his lid and take Rick out into the woods, where he would murder him and become Carl and the future Judith's papa. But, it came to a head in that field, and he bought the farm (see what I did there!).


T-DOG! Poor guy helps Carol escape, and dies in the process. In "Killer Within," he shows compassion for Axel and Oscar, and tries to show Rick they could be an asset to the group. Bitten by a walker while trying to shut the gate that they're flooding through, he uses his last moments to help Carol get out of C block.


An original inmate in the prison before Rick & Gang show up, in the moments before he's taken out in "Home," he volunteers to help Glenn, is turned down, and goes to help Carol. The former criminal seems reformed as he and Carol are chatting it up, right before he's shot in the head by The Guv.


Good ole hick Merle was a bad guy for 99% of his run on TWD, but decides to try and take out the entire Woodbury army, or what's left of it, including The Guv, when he finds out he's a d-bag.


In "Prey," Milton decides he's also had enough of The Governor's BS, so he burns the walkers in the pic that Phillip was going to use on Rick's group when they were going to meet. Eventually, in the next episode, "Welcome to the Tombs," he and Andrea meet their biter ends.


After finding out about The Governor's little torture problem, and (FINALLY) realizes what a d-bag he is, she is soon captured by him and in the same episode, "Prey," she ends up being bitten by a zombified Milton, and kills herself before she reanimates, with Michonne by her side.


With a simple nod of his head in “Too Far Gone,” Hershel's character develops probably more than any other character has in the entire series. His head nod is a signal to Rick that he made the right decision in trying to come to some sort of peace with The Governor, and also maybe, it was Hershel's way of saying that he was ready to die.


His little game of “find the good with the bad” with Sasha in the episode “Strangers” is a little foreshadowing to his coming fate, which involves losing a leg and yelling “Tainted meat!” while laughing maniacally.


Noah probably stands out as the more obvious victims of this equation. In the same episode he sits down with Reg and discusses his future with Alexandria, he ends up being devoured by walkers in front of Glenn, in easily one of the most gruesome deaths of the series. All caused by that sonofa...


Makes the transition from cowardly lion over the course of a couple episodes, to “Thank You,” where he kinda sorta tries to come through for others, even though he and Glenn end up on a dumpster. He thanks Glenn, and then BOOM! Here's *that* scene:

Holy crap...that was a lot of Walking Dead reminiscing, and I even left out Tyreese and Beth. But we all know their characters did some major developing before their untimely deaths, all in the same episodes.

Of course, with characters like Sophia, Tomas, Lori, The Governor & Dawn Lerner (they just had it coming), Patrick, Lizzie (she had it coming after a long walk down Crazy Road), (and those poor turtles, goats, pigs and horses!) it was sometimes a total shock, sometimes a whole season or 2 in the making, or just a crazy plot twist that did them in. Deanna has some major character development, handing the key to Alexandria over to Rick before she bit the dust. So nobody is really safe in the mid-season premiere, but here is who's REALLY in danger:

Abraham (R.I.P.) & Sasha (not quite yet)

This one might get a little tricky. Since the first half of season 6 is essentially a total of 2 days in Rick Time, the character development A&S experienced in “Always Accountable” may come to pass 3 episodes later. The most development is with Abraham it seems, with him screaming at a walker (kind of like's she doing now?), and realized Sasha calling him on his recklessness was right one, thanking her for it.

Sasha's development ever since Bob's death and her little wandering off into Crazy Killing All The Walkers Land has been drawn out more, so she's probably safe.

I say Abraham's going to get it, most likely from the barrel of Daryl's gun:

Gabriel (cya)

Over the course of the past couple days, Gabriel has seemed to have found some common sense. Putting up prayer group signs (which Rick takes down), telling Rick he wants to help, all that good stuff. Quite a big change from the guy who not too long ago was telling Deanna that Rick was the antichrist or whatever. When they're covered in walker goo, he tells Rick that no matter what, he won't give up and run, to which Rick replies “I know.” This implies that a major shift has happened for Gabriel, possibly earning Rick's forgiveness.

Yep, Gabe's a goner. Sorry, Gabe.

Daryl (safe)

All this time, I've been one of those guys saying that Negan is going to bash in Daryl's skull instead of Glenn, and I still stand by that. But for now, Daryl really seems safe. He's had a few brushes with death this season, losing his gun, crossbow, AND motorcycle. But all in all, he's still Daryl. He can still take down a 1,000 walkers by himself. Rumor has it that once, a walker bit Daryl...after 3 days of screaming horrible pain, the walker finally died!

So he's safe. For now, until baaaatter's up!

99% of the residents of Alexandria (Alexandria: soon to be population one and a half)

Because most of them are still just faces, not names.

And the big one-

Glenn (this time it's for real)

Not so much because of his whole “people you love, they're still part of you...even after you're gone” line, and all the developing he did in “Heads Up” with Enid, but from these two scenes in the trailer for the mid-season 6 premiere:

As I stated here and here, Rick and Carl's shocked faces, along with Maggie screaming like she hasn't done since seeing her father beheaded and Daryl carrying Beth, all that tells me that Glenn is a goner.

Cannot WAIT for February 14th when season 6 returns!


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