Dale Horvath: You once said that we don't kill the living.
Rick Grimes: Well, that was before the living tried to kill us.
Part of what makes The Walking Dead great - the earlier seasons, at least - is the mental conflict on how to deal with other humans. Once you've killed a walker or three, there's not much of a struggle, but other humans?
Starting in season two, we watch as survivors begin to kill other survivors; sometimes, the kills are justified and in self-defense, while other times are flat out murder. But, which characters have killed other humans and which haven't? I trust you'll be able to find that out if you're taking this quiz.
So, this quiz will work with the following guidelines in place:
Mercy killings for those bitten or fatally wounded will not count. These kills are outright murder or self-defense, so Tyreese stabbing Bob in the head during season five would not count. But, if Tyreese were to choke Bob to death...
The deaths have to either be shown, acknowledged, admitted, or ordered. For example, Rick ordering Daryl to kill someone and that happening offscreen would count for the latter, but indirect kills do not count (i.e. Lori twisting Shane's mind would not be a kill for her, while Carl throwing a rock at a walker at the walker that killed Dale does not count either).
Murders that are ambiguous do not count. If there is a group of four that kills someone offscreen, we do not know which character committed the murder. This is very important.
When we're first introduced to a clean-shaven, idealistic Rick Grimes in season one, the man is justifiably anti-murder. A small town cop in Georgia's King County, Rick believes that even when the world has gone to hell, certain laws should be followed if they're to survive; there are no more n----s, he tells Merle Dixon, just us and the dead. But through seven seasons, Rick has turned into a dangerous man, one who will destroy entire walker herds to protect his family. Has he destroyed humans as well?
Though we'll refrain from demanding how far we are into the apocalypse based on Carl's physical appearance - and Chandler Riggs is now old enough to go out past midnight to buy cookie dough - we will say the obvious: Carl has come a long way since the kid who wouldn't leave Lori's sight..or who wouldn't stay in the house. Now missing an eye and with a potential girlfriend in Enid, Carl is experiencing the ups and downs of the apocalypse - but has he experienced killing someone?
What would Lori, a soccer and helicopter mom, have to say about the man Carl has become? Well, she's long dead (though, because the writers are so inconsistent about the timeline, she could be dead eight months) and unable to see that, so we'll try to remember the good times with Lori. Remember when she took down walkers with a baby in her stomach? Yeah, we've warmed up to Lori a bit in hindsight, but we're still not the biggest fans. Did Lori ever kill anyone (other than Shane's brain cells)?
Can you believe that season eight will be six seasons since Rick killed Shane? It's too bad that Jon Bernthal is filming The Punisher because now would be a perfect time for Shane to appear as a hallucination for Rick or Carl. The show's first real villain, Shane is a classic example of the friend-gone-evil trope, but subverts it because there are times where he's not out for his own personal gain or greed; he gives off signs of genuinely wanting to help the group, but RIck comes in the way. Does Shane ever commit murder?
When Shane would go on one of his megalomaniacal, psychopathic rants in season two, Andrea was easily his biggest defender because she, too, thought his ideas were best for the group's survival. On one hand, she may have been onto something but on the other...I think we can all agree Shane was a bit too crazy. Killed off way too early by then-showrunner Glen Mazzara, Andrea was absolutely lethal with a gun at long range, but did she ever have to take down a human?
The first, but not final, of our moral compasses, what made Glenn such a compelling character until he sadly met his end in season 7 was his reluctance to kill. Could Glenn have killed Merle in season 3? Sure. Did Glenn have a chance to kill the Termites? Yes, he did. Nicholas? I think we can all agree that Glenn should have. But, Glenn remained true to his values, even in his final days. Before his head was smashed in, did Glenn kill another human?
In The Walking Dead's early days, I probably wasn't alone in thinking to myself that Daryl may have killed BEFORE the outbreak. Nothing about all of the death and putting down walkers seemed to bother him and Merle had a history of pissing people off, so it was reasonable to think Daryl had a body count. Though that's not the case, Daryl has remained loyal and risked his own life to protect both Merle and others. Has Daryl killed another human being?
So if people thought there was a possibility Daryl had a body count, it was almost a guarantee that Merle had one. A drug dealing racist who had spent time in juvie and prison, Merle likely legitimately had one for his time in the military, but he didn't really give an answer when Michonne asked how many people he killed prior to the outbreak. Before he was ruthlessly shot by The Governor, did we see Merle kill another human being?
If Rick is the antithesis of most villains the group comes across, can we make the case that Merle is the antithesis of Hershel Greene? Both struggled with addiction prior to the apocalypse - Merle was a junkie and Hershel was an alcoholic - while both also come from abusive fathers. And, obviously, both lost a limb in the apocalypse; Merle cut off his hand and Hershel had his leg amputated by Rick. But, while Merle killed after the outbreak, did Hershel?
That the fandom still seems to be torn on Beth Grene nearly three seasons after her death is ridiculous, but that's a topic for another day. What we will say now, though, is that Beth going from an innocent teenager who was willing to attempt suicide in the outbreak's first couple of months to a hardened walker killer is admirable - and Emily Kinney, though her delivery could be odd at times "NO ONE'S CUMMIN, DERLE!!!) played this part well. Did Beth ever kill another human?
The last of the Greene Family, Maggie is arguably a better leader than Rick at this point - and that's not a diss on everyone's favorite sheriff as much as it is a compliment on Maggie. Pregnant and still willing to risk her life in all out war against the Saviors, Abraham was half right in season five; the new world DOES need Rick Grimes, but it also needs Maggie Greene. Through her six full seasons on the show, has Maggie killed another human?
Theodore 'T-Dog' Douglas
It's really too bad that we didn't get to see more of T-Dog - the group's general good guy and secondary moral compass to Dale and Hershel - when things went bad and humans were pitted against humans. Having risked his life in the outbreak's early days to save the elderly, T-Dog is a valuable member of the quarry group and is greatly missed upon his death by walkers - which he sped up by running into a group to save Carol. Before his death, did T-Dog ever kill a human?
Hershel and T-Dog were fantastic moral compasses, but thankfully for many fans, they lacked the preachy and judgmental tones Dale Horvath carried around with him. Now, we did enjoy Dale's time on the show and we commend Jeffrey DeMunn for his loyalty to ousted showrunner Frank Darabont, but him preaching about the old world got tiring quickly. By no means is Dale a perfect character and his scenes with Shane certainly do get repetitive, though he is missed today. Did Dale kill another human?
Father Gabriel Stokes
When Father Gabriel Stokes was introduced in season five, it made sense to envision him as the group's next moral compass. Now? Gabriel has become the moral compass in a way, but in a way that reminds Rick to trust his own judgement on how to handle things. Would you have imagined that when Rick so easily shot down Gabriel's offer to help with the walkers in season six? Ready to play a big role in the upcoming war, has Gabriel DIRECTLY killed another human to this point.
I've asked it before and I'll ask it again: why are so many people torn on Tyreese as a character? True, his anti-killing mentality did last way too long until the outbreak and got people in serious trouble, but he is such a fantastic character with one of the best individual arcs we've had since season three. Chad L. Coleman really outdid himself here. But, for as anti-violence and murder that Tyreese was until his death, did he ever take another life?
Between her snark, her sniping ability, and her character development in a time when female, people of color characters are getting shafted, we are going to miss Sasha so much. Battling a bad case of PTSD by The Walking Dead's standards, Sasha managed to overcome it enough to help make major waves in both Alexandria and The Hilltop. As the group mourns her passing and remembers the good times, we need to remember something else: if Sasha ever killed another human.
Shortly before Sasha was introduced in season three, we got to meet Axel, a prisoner convicted of armed robbery prior to the outbreak. A smooth talker with a sweet mustache, Axel quickly proves of use to the group and is unfortunately taken way too soon in the Prison-Woodbury War; in fact, as we've said before, Axel being killed is really the act that sets off the war, even if the group attacking Woodbury was the first strike. Did Axel kill another human?
After talking about the good guys - or, to some people, the antiheroes - for a while, let's talk about some of the show's many villains. Now, Randall isn't really a villain so much as he is a kid caught up with a bad group (though it's left ambiguous whether or not he participated in said group's rapes), but he is part of the first outside human conflict that our heroes have to deal with in season two. Do we know if Randall killed another human?
When we meet Randall in season two, it's part of a shootout that arises after Rick, Glenn, and Hershel deal with two survivors: Dave and Tony. An uneducated man from Philadelphia, Dave is the smooth talker of the two while Tony is clearly a rapist and general jackass that no one will miss. Though things start out civil, Dave and Tony wound up getting shot by Rick after threatening to take over the farm. Before he dies, does Dave kill anyone - or, at least, admit to it?
One of the Governor's right hand men along with Merle and Shumpert, Caesar Martinez is a man on a mission in the apocalypse: kill as many walkers as he can to avenge his family. It's noble - and, in his personal encounters with Daryl and The Governor, Martinez doesn't come off in the slightest as a truly evil man - but he is a key member of Woodbury. Before The Governor murders him in season four, do we see Martinez kill anyone?
When the world ends, there's no need for the law left; Rick learns this fairly quickly and Shane has all but given up on that process when we first start spending time with her. But Dawn Lerner, another police officer prior to the apocalypse, seems to be living in a dream world as she and her officers still wear their uniforms and have a desire to protect and serve. Alas, their new version is that to be protected, you must serve. Before Daryl shoots her, does Dawn kill anyone?
I've talked about my distaste for Mitch Dolgen before and all those points still stand: the guy is a jackass who was willing to move past the fact The Governor killed his own flesh and blood. Oh, and the deleted scene with Hershel and Michonne where Mitch asks if the farmer has used his peg leg on the samurai doesn't help things either. Before Daryl thankfully shoots him in the heart with an arrow, do we see Mitch kill anyone?
In the short time we see Joe in season four - we're not kidding when we say short time because it's easy to forget he's only in four episodes - he's among the most complex villains we've had in the show yet. While many will question his moral code and his 'claiming system', one also has to respect the fact it keeps his men in line and has kept a group of older men alive this late into the apocalypse. Do we see Joe kill anyone?
Here's a good question - is Gareth more evil than Joe? True, Gareth is the leader of a group that lures people in with promise of safety and instead eats them, but at least there's a tragic backstory for him and safety IS offered to those who will eat the humans. For Joe, he and the group will murder, pillage, and rape...but they have a moral code. Who's worse? More importantly, does Gareth kill anyone before he meets Rick's favorite machete?
Some will argue that Gareth killed Bob, but remember: Bob was dying of a walker bite to begin with. An optimistic survivor who battles bouts of PTSD and alcoholism, Bob quickly became a fan favorite for his ability to find positives in even the worst situations. The lone survivor of several groups before being found by Daryl and Glenn, Bob's death is one of several that impacts the group in a short time and has a lasting impact on Sasha. Do we see Bob kill anyone?
There's not many one episode wonders in The Walking Dead - Dave and Tony immediately come to mind - but if we were to do a list, Eastman almost certainly has to be near the top. A forensic psychiatrist prior to the outbreak, Eastman is Morgan's savior, helping him break free from the 'clear' mindset the man had been in since his son's passing. To help Morgan recover, Eastman tells him parts of his own backstory, including his family's murder by a patient that he declared truly evil. Has Eastman killed anybody?
Well, we saw how well Morgan was able to recover after his talks with Eastman, but how would Ron have fared? The son of an abusive doctor, Ron is really the big bad of season 6A, conspiring to kill Rick and Carl following the former's murder of Pete. But, all Ron does is shoot Carl's eye, getting a katana to the chest in the process. However, especially after his gun training with Rick, was Ron able to kill another human being?
Ron didn't kill anyone, but what about his mother? Though we're certain that Jessie would have liked to kill Pete at times, she instead is only saved when Rick - mainly out of lust - fights and kills him shortly after entering Alexandria. Hooking up with Alexandria's constable less than a week later, we unfortunately don't get the character development that we do with Jessie in the comics, taking away the importance of her death. Before she's devoured by walkers, does she kill anyone?
Before you immediately click yes, I want to remind you of what we wrote about about indirect kills. Yes, Eugene has taken the blame for those who died on the mission to Washington, but he did not kill them. Also, Sasha using Eugene's pills to kill herself does not count either; that was a suicide and it'd be wrong to blame Eugene for that. So, has Eugene directly killed anyone? We know that he's come into conflict with The Saviors and other hostile groups, so think wisely on this one.
In Spanish, Rosita Espinosa roughly means thorn of roses and that's a pretty fair way to describe this survivor. Now permanently scarred on her cheek after a stabbing in season seven, Rosita is dangerous and sometimes axe-crazy, though one can tell she really does care for Alexandria and those she's come to call family. Even Sasha, who arguably took Abraham away from her, gets a nod of approval in her book when the two finally talk. Through seven seasons, has Rosita killed anyone?
If Heath is going to become the new Morales, I wish someone would tell us already because the questions about his future are getting to be too much. Played by Corey Hawkins from 'Straight Outta Compton', Heath plays a major role in the comic books but has been mostly offscreen as Hawkins filmed '24: Legacy' before its cancellation. Will we see Heath alive again? Perhaps. Did Heath kill anyone when he was on the show? We'll let you answer that one.
When we last saw Heath, he and Tara were headed on an extended scavenging run...written into the plot so Hawkins could film other projects and Alanna Masterson could go on maternity leave. With her snark, humor, and realistic lesbian character, Tara has become a fan favorite and an icon for the LGBT community since being introduced in season four. Though her future remains uncertain and some fans believe she'll die against the Saviors, let's take now to enjoy Tara's time on screen. Has Tara killed another human yet?
Well, we can't mention Tara's realistic lesbian character without mentioning her girlfriend, Dr. Denise Cloyd. Some comic fans disagreed with the decision to make Denise a lesbian (in the comic, she is in a long-term relationship with Heath), she was still essentially the same character but more human. That I'm saying this after being so anti-Denise - but for not painting a good picture for those with anxiety - shows I've gone soft. Did Denise ever have to kill anyone in season six?
Hey look, it's Trevor Phillips! Yep, Steven Ogg pretty much reprises his Grand Theft Auto V character as a high-ranking lieutenant of the Saviors in The Walking Dead, but with more charm and less cannibalism. Introduced in the season six finale, Simon has already come into conflict several times with Rick and friends, though he mainly serves as Negan's contact with the Hilltop Colony. With Ogg promoted to a starring role, we'll see much more of Simon in season eight, but has he killed anyone yet?
It'd be so wrong to end a quiz about murderers in The Walking Dead without mentioning Negan, the show's current villain and antithesis of Rick. While there are many fans who don't want to view Negan as sympathetic, the ex-gym teacher does have some redeeming qualities, namely his views on rape - any Savior caught attempting or committing rape is immediately killed - and his love of rules. If the world wants to start anew, then there have to be rules. Is killing those who deserve it a part of those rules?