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The Top 10 Bad Ass Characters of The Walking Dead 2.0

Updated on October 26, 2014

I had so much interaction with people over my first badass list, that I thought I would update my list in honor of The Walking Dead season 5 premier. I'm still very interested in what my fellow fans have to say, and this list is the perfect media to get people talking about their favorite characters, and maybe change the minds of a few people who may have a drastic hatred for certain characters.

Be warned! There are spoilers within the text below! Also be warned that the videos are graphic! If you are offended by gore or strong language then please do not watch them. I am not taking credit for any of these videos. The credit belongs to the individuals who put in the time and effort to put them together.

Have fun! Watch the videos, vote in the polls and leave comments below. Let's interact!

Abraham spills some walker blood!

#10 Abraham

Abraham has made quite an impact in the comic series, but as far as his television alter ego, he has yet to develop enough as a character to be substantial. However, this one little detail hasn’t stopped Abraham from developing quite a following. Abraham has a few qualities that are shared by both the comic and TV versions, and these traits are what draws his audience to him. Abraham is a very devoted military man, and behaves as such. His strength is fueled by anger, which makes him a real brute since Abraham is an incredibly angry man. The state of the world, the misfortune that has befallen his family makes him a real force, especially since he has nothing to lose.

In the comics, Abraham has proven his strength and loyalty to Rick on more than one occasion. We actually meet Abraham as he’s escorting Eugene, a high school science teacher claiming to have access to a cure for the walker plague, to Washington D.C. Through a very twisted turn of events, Rick and Abraham join forces and eventually becomes Rick’s right hand man. One night, on a supply run with Rick, Carl and Michonne, they are ambushed by a group of bandits who threaten to rape and kill both Michonne and Carl. Michonne is able to escape the clutches of the bandits, but poor Carl isn’t faring so well. Abraham turns his attention to Carl’s captives and is able to rescue him while Rick tears them apart with his bare hands. Afterward, Abraham confesses that he lost his wife and two children under similar circumstances. So we finally get a chance to see what makes Abraham tick and Rick finds a way to connect with him on a more personal level. On another instance, Abraham rescues Carl from a herd of walkers all on his own. We get the chance to see Abraham carrying Carl over his shoulder, escaping the herd of hundreds, guns blazing and shells littering the ground. What impressed me the most about Abraham, is even though anger seems to fuel his actions, his is still calm and confident. He knew that he and Carl would escape the herd, and never doubted himself for a second even as their jagged teeth and sharp nails sought them only inches behind.

The Abraham on the show is a little less exciting. As of yet, we see him trying to be an effective leader but I’m not quite sure how successful he is. Since Abraham’s television version needs a lot more development to even really analyze his strengths and personality, I’m basing my conclusions based solely on what I’ve read. Even if Abraham can be gullible at times (look how easily he was fooled by Eugene!) his willingness to protect everyone he cares about with every ounce that he has makes him a badass in my book.

With the direction which the show is progressing, it’s almost impossible to predict which direction Abraham is going to grow as a character. While I don’t necessarily believe that TV Abraham and comic Abraham are going to exactly walk hand and hand, I’m more than certain that Abraham is going to show us plenty to convince everyone of his status as a badass.

Maggie rescues her boys, despite the danger.

#9 Maggie

Maggie, like Carol, is a character that is featured on both the comic series and the television series, who has two totally different personas. In the book, we see Maggie as a sheltered woman with some very definitive motherly instincts. While she has lived to see her entire family and her lover slaughtered, her mental state is sometimes in question. I’m not condemning her, since nobody should ever have to see so many of their loved ones bitten and turned or murdered like she has. With bouts of depression and a botched suicide attempt hanging over her head, it seems like we’re counting down her days. Although, when she finds out that she is carrying Glenn’s child, she quickly turns her life around, transforming to a determined mother and eventually the leader of her own colony of survivors.

While the television version of Maggie is much fiercer than that of her counterpart, she didn’t start off that way. In the very beginning, we meet Maggie as a more of an independent person, but she’s more reserved than some of the other characters. She’s very willing to go on horseback supply runs, and will take down a walker as necessary, but she still clings to the hope that those affected by the virus will eventually be cured. As time goes on, we see her naïve outlook on the apocalypse change into a battle-hardened huntress who can take out a zombie as good as all the rest. We see a will of steel that takes a lot to break through. Even when the Governor had her captive in Woodbury, threatening to rape and kill her if she didn’t disclose the location of Rick’s camp, she grit her teeth, prepared for the worst and remained defiant. Maggie’s chutzpah comes more to the forefront during season 4. Faced with the possibility of her lover being taken by a deadly virus that has spread throughout the prison, and the risk of losing her beloved father who volunteered to stay in quarantine to treat the victims, rushed face first into a high virus plague zone when she realizes that the quarantine unit has fallen prey to a walker outbreak. Putting aside the possibilities that she could catch the virus, be bitten or killed, ran without looking back to save the men that matter the most. After the fateful fight with the Governor, Maggie and Glenn get separated, and despite the constant reminders that Glenn is probably dead, she leaves her group behind to search for him alone. Deciding to head to the new colony ‘Terminus’ she leaves notes for Glenn in zombie blood just in case he isn’t there already.

Maggie isn’t necessarily the bravest or most aggressive characters, but the changes that she goes through is more than enough to earn her some badass credit. When she does have a shining moment, they are so big and bold that they can’t help but standout. Where most people would have caved to the Governor, or stay out of the quarantine area to avoid getting sick, Maggie puts on her bravest face and leads the charge. Just because her best moments my see few and far between, doesn’t make them any less badass.

Andrea develops as a character.

#8 Andrea

The comic version of Andrea is still alive and going strong. Not only does the public find her personality so much more appealing than hr counterpart, but both still have a lot to offer. I actually like both versions of her character, as I can find something good in both of them. But for the time being let’s focus on her comic version. Her skills as a sharpshooter are nothing short of astounding, especially since they have saved her and her group from both the living and the undead on more than one occasion. Whether it’s picking off walkers from a prison tower, or backing up Rick from a distance while negotiating, Andrea can hit even the smallest of targets. She’s not your typical girly girl either, as she’s not afraid to take a hit in a fight. One example that comes to mind is after the group take over the prison, there are a few lone survivors that have other intentions. One such prisoner has a fetish for attacking and beheading women. As he catches Andrea alone, intending for her to be the next victim, he isn’t prepared for the fight she would put up. Sure, she took a knife slice to the cheek, but that’s nothing compared to what fate befalls her attacker.

Andrea's best moment during her time on the show.

On the other hand, I really could appreciate the television version of Andrea also. I really liked her no nonsense attitude, and it made much more of an impression on me and really made her stand out. She was never afraid to tell it like it is, or to let fate take its course. The best example that comes to mind is when Maggie’s younger sister, Beth, decides to attempt suicide. Andrea is asked to watch over Beth to make sure she doesn’t hurt herself. But Andrea leaves Beth alone to make her own decision. Her reasoning that if Beth has already made up her mind to end her life, then nothing is going to stop her, even the constant babysitting. Andrea likes things on her terms. When her little sister, Amy, is bitten, Andrea stays vigilant by her side until she finally bleeds out. Then, as she reanimates, she is the one who will kill Amy for good. It is something that she knows she has to do, and despite the many offers from the other members of her camp to finish the task, Andrea is determined to end it herself. Andrea is still one of the toughest characters around. I still think about her being abandoned at the Greene Farm, and escaping the walker herd on foot. Running through the forest, beyond exhaustion, using her wits to take out as many pursuers as physically possible. Andrea catches some serious flak from viewers especially when it comes to her infamous relationship with the Governor. I said it before, and I still maintain the idea that Andrea really was doing her best to bring the groups together, so they could try to thrive as one community, not fighting with each other for supremacy. She really only got half of the story from each side. Rick wasn’t willing to listen to what good opportunities going to Woodbury could bring, and she honestly didn’t know about the wickedness inside the Governor’s soul until it was too late. She had genuine feelings for the Governor, and that made it all the more difficult to kill him even though she had opportunities to do so. Think about it for a second, would you be able to easily kill someone that you thought you loved? I know that I couldn’t.

Even though both versions of Andrea are quite different, there are so many opinions about her, even still to this day. I believe she was completely misunderstood. If she had survived to see the fall of the Governor, would Rick have let her back into the group? I don’t know. But I have no doubt that she would be able to prosper regardless of what obstacles are thrown her way. Her tough exterior, quick wit and generally good natured heart still earns her a spot on my list.

Has your initial opinion of Andrea changed?

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Molly shows us her quick wit!

#7 Molly

I think of every one that has made my list, Molly is going to be the one that is going to get the most reaction out of people. While few people are going to agree with me, and even fewer are going to realize who this character is, but give me just a minute to justify my decision to include her in this very lucrative group.

We first meet Molly in the first season of The Walking Dead game. While we don’t really see much of her, but from what I’ve seen, she is definitely a character that I would want on my team, assuming that she would stay… Depending on the choices you make throughout the game, Molly will either die or decide to leave the group on her own.

Molly and her sister were part of an exclusive survivalist group that formed at the beginning of the apocalypse. Sequestering themselves behind a barricade of sharpened wood planks and a litter of dead zombies, they decided to strive as their own community and wait out the undead reign. As time goes on, the colony starts to notice some of the darker intentions of their leaders. For example, anyone older or with a disability is removed from the group. Anyone who isn’t able to contribute to the work effort are asked to leave. Lastly, anyone with a debilitating disease are not allowed to remain within the confines of the colony. Molly’s sister is diabetic, and despite Molly’s best efforts to hide it (including affairs with the medical staff) is discovered and asked to leave. Sickened by the turn of events, Molly follows her sister and leaves the group, not wanting to associate with a bunch of prejudiced perfectionists who have no interest in caring for the weak.

I like Molly because she’s resourceful, cunning and sly. She took to the streets of Atlanta and turned it into her own personal playground. Surviving pretty much on her own, (especially since we never found out what really happened to her sister), she has found solace in the solitude of being independent. What really caught my attention in the beginning is the way Molly manipulated the city’s chiming church bells, drawing the attention of the walker population so that she can safely traverse to different parts of the city to scavenge. What also impressed me is her handy multi tool. It reminds me of a pick ax, but it’s perfect for climbing, killing, prying, pulling and any other of the ing verbs that you would expect to do during a zombie outbreak.

For keeping her conscience and not conforming to ridiculous rules just to feel the comfort of safety in numbers, and for using her wits to survive when most others would simply panic, is more than enough to earn her a place among the badasses.

Obviously, I took out a few people. Should I have kept one of them? Who?

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Carol grows into her badass character!

#6 Carol

I’ve never been a real fan of Carol in either the comic book or the show. In the comic, we see her as an average housewife, doing what she can to keep her daughter and herself out of her abusive husband’s line of fire. Suffering from a broken mental and emotional state (as I think most abuse victims would). We can see her slip further and further away from stability as she watches her husband commit suicide at the beginning of the apocalypse. We almost get the chance to see Carol mellow out when she and Tyreese start building a relationship together. Sadly, when Tyreese calls off the affair, the distraught woman her feeds herself to a walker.

However, the television version took some time (4 seasons) to see some development in Carol’s character. When she loses both her husband and her daughter in two separate walker invasions, our sympathetic hearts go out to her as she tries to cope with her sadness. By the beginning of season 4, we see Carol make a complete 180. Using her past tragedies, she has turned her sadness into determination and a will to survive. As the prison’s survivor population begins to grow, Carol has taken up the task of teaching the children how to defend themselves during a walker attack. Despite the fact that it’s a very controversial issue amongst the community, Carol realizes it’s what is best for the new world that they live in and therefore, deems it as a necessity. When the prison falls victim to a terrible flu like virus, Carol is the first to act by secretly killing the first plague victims, then burning their bodies in the hopes of preventing the spread of an epidemic. One of these victims being Tyreese’s new crush Karen. Rick is furious, mostly because she acted on her own, not discussing things over with him first. But, he is also concerned for Carol’s safety, thinking that Tyreese might hurt her for killing Karen. Thus, Carol was excommunicated, and sent off on her own. Carol, accepting her fate, walked away never looking back.

Did Carol makes the right decision to shoot Lizzie?

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Although, what really sealed Carol’s fate in my eyes is after the Governors last attack on the prison. Although many had died, the few survivors remaining scattered into various places around the prison's perimeter. Carol happened to come across a shaken Tyreese who was trying to care for infant Judith as well as young sisters Lizzie and Mika. Not knowing if Rick has told Tyreese about killing Karen, Carol decided to join Tyreese’s team and take her chances with the outcome. Tyreese couldn’t refuse an extra hand with the children and gladly accepted the help. As the group heads out in search of fellow prison survivors, Carol witnesses young Lizzie about to plunge a knife into Judith, and the bloody body of poor Mika at Lizzie’s feet. It seems as if something had snapped in Lizzie’s mind, and was convinced that when Mika returned, she would be the same person as before. Her mind couldn’t grasp the idea that a reanimated corpse was nothing more than a diseased eating machine and not the people she had once knew. Having talked the weapon out of Lizzie’s hands, Carol and Tyreese quietly discuss the situation at hand and the instability of Lizzie’s mind, and Carol takes Lizzie to a wildflower field and shoots the girl, convincing herself that the new world would be too much for Lizzie to handle and is better off this way.

There is no doubt that some tough decisions had to be made, regardless if we agreed with them or not, Carol was the only person to make those choices and then follow through with them. Very few others would have had the balls to do what Carol has. For this, Carol’s television version trumps the comic book Carol, earning her a spot as one of the Walking Dead’s badass characters.

Tyreese uses his mighty hammer to help his friends escape.

#5 Tyreese

Tyreese is a powerhouse, no doubt about it, as proved in both The Walking Dead comic and series. Fearless and rough, Tyreese can intimidate most just with his stature alone. When it comes to the comic book, Tyreese is a powerful mountain of muscle, who fought hard to earn his place among Rick’s good graces, and his loyalty cemented him there.

My favorite memory of Tyreese is when Rick and a few others are trying to clear out the prison and discover a gym full of the dead. When they decide to clear out the zombies from a closed in place, they are easily over whelmed and forced to retread. Except Tyreese is lost to the crowd and locked in with the rest of the walkers. The others believing his doom had been sealed, decide to regroup after untucking their tails from between their legs. Deciding to launch another attack, they open the gym only to find Tyreese sitting amongst a mountain of corpses. His reaction? What took you guys so long? As I mentioned earlier, Tyreese is extremely loyal. He decided to make a stand against the Governor alone, but when his assignation attempt fails, he selflessly gives his life to protect Rick’s group and the prison.

In the series, Tyreese may not be as hardcore, but he has a genuine caring nature for people, which is a trait I can really admire. When the prison is attacked by the Governor, Tyreese could have easily escaped by himself, but grabbed baby Judith, saving her from a number of particularly nasty fates. In battle Tyreese is still a brute, brandishing a hammer just like his comic counterpart. It actually reminds me of a time when He, Daryl, Michonne and Bob are travelling in a car and it gets surrounded by a walker herd. He used his mighty hammer to distract the walkers so everyone could escape.

If we could put Comic and TV versions of Tyreese together we could have one amazing character. The perfect balance of strength and caring that would find a way into any viewer’s heart.

Lee risks life and limb to save Clementine.

#4 Lee

Lee existed solely in the first installment of The Walking Dead game. Just because his death concluded the game, doesn’t mean that people aren’t still talking about him. In the second season, many returning characters including Clementine and Kenny all reminisce about Lee, remembering what a good man he was, wishing that he were still around to help guide and bring comfort in the tough times to come.

Imagine that you’re a convicted felon, on your way to prison where you’re destined to live you days behind cold steel bars. Now think about the heart pounding, paralyzing fear that you feel as you watch your police escort run over a zombie in the middle of the road, only to crash and become one himself. Scared because of what you’ve just seen, excited because you’re getting a taste of already missed freedom and petrified over the idea that you don’t know what’s coming next. These are some of thoughts that are running through your head as you make your way back to the city. These thoughts linger as you enter a home looking for some medical aide, and come across a young girl, Clementine, all by herself and just as terrified as you are. Would you take her with you so that she can find her family? Or would you leave her? You’re conscience reasoning that she’s okay for the moment and that her family is surely on their way back for her. What would you do? I’m sure a lot of people would think of self-preservation. Given the circumstances, I don’t think anyone could be blamed for making that decision… However, that was a choice that Lee didn’t hesitate to make. He brought the girl with him.

Shortly thereafter, the two bond. They save each other and protect each other, bringing one another strength and peace of mind as the road gets rocky. Soon, Lee begins to love Clementine, thinking of her as the daughter that he would never have. As the two are ripped apart by fate, you can’t help but shed a tear and the gut wrenching emotion that will make you realize that not all endings always wind up being happy.

Lee begs Clementine to shoot him.

Could you have shot Lee?

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You don’t have to be an extremely muscular, machine gun wielding suicide mission warrior to be a badass. Especially since Lee is none of those things. What makes this character so impressive is his resolve to do what’s right, even in a time where that fine line between right and wrong is blurred. Lee would have done anything to protect Clementine. Hell, we’ve seen it in all stages of the game. He’s killed to keep her safe, stolen to supplement her needs and even put himself in harm’s way to keep his ‘daughter’ protected. Her life became his number one priority, putting her safety about everything else. If nothing else, he is a person that deserves respect, even if he’s done a few bad things in the past. With the best interest of others in mind, Lee was never afraid to take on a dangerous task, or lend an extra hand just because he could, or make some hard decisions because others couldn’t make them and through everything he never lost his head. For example, when Kenny’s son, Duck, is bitten and moments away from turning into a walker, Lee offers to shoot him so that his parents don’t have to add to their misery. Another great example is when Clementine is abducted and Lee takes on a herd of walkers alone to find her.

Lee’s resourcefulness and cleverness has gotten his group out of tough situations on more than one occasion, and the fact that he was more than willing to put his neck on the line for someone else is a true sign of a hero. If risking life and limb to protect those who are weaker isn’t grounds to be considered a badass, then I don’t know what else would.


#3 Clementine

We met Clementine during the first season of The Walking Dead video game. We all fell in love with the way that she kept Lee grounded, giving him something to focus on when conditions looked bleak or unclear. Previously, I had given her a lot of credit for being so young and learning how to survive the zombie rising all on her own but still maintaining her youthful glow. Unfortunately, in the second season of the game, we’ve witnessed Clementine as she’s forced to grow up into an 11 year old adult. She is making decisions that she shouldn’t have to make, taking actions that she should never have to take and giving advice to people about subjects that she should not know anything about at age 11.

In the first season we got the chance to see Clementine grow under Lee’s nurturing eye. We watched as she learned to shoot (quite well I must admit), learn to survive and as the knowledge sets in that the world might never be the same again, we fail to see that sparkle in her eye fade away into hopelessness and despair. Especially since more adults couldn’t take the pressure of living in such a horrific environment, as sad as it is that she has to grow up in these conditions, it’s more so that full grown adults are looking to her for support and to take on some massive tasks that most adults wouldn’t take. In the second season, we get to see a little more mature Clementine and watch as her true character comes out. She’s clever, resourceful and cares for the weak. I was so inspired by the way she took naïve Sarah under her wing. Undergoing extra suffering to keep her safe. I was also incredibly proud of her when she found the courage to suture a wound using regular household items. Her former sweet sense of humor has quickly grown into a bit of snarky sarcasm that just seems appropriate for her age, and is a nice welcome to all the seriousness. Surviving on her own and making sound judgment on top of taking on adversary after adversary proves just what a tough girl she is.

I feel bad for her. That she’s missing out on the great and simple things in life, that she’s missing out on being a kid. Clementine had two choices: give up or fight. But Clementine took it a step farther. She took on every task, fought both the living and the dead, played moderator and even leader at times. For not only taking on this new Hell on Earth, but for taking it in stride, and for becoming such a necessity for any team at such a young age makes her more than deserving for her spot on the badass list.

Some of Clementines standout moments.

Daryl's character evolution.

#2 Daryl

Daryl is a character written exclusively for The Walking Dead TV series. I don’t think it’s too farfetched to say that Daryl could almost be the sole force driving the success of the series. He has drawn such a following, that I’ve seen several petitions on Twitter and Facebook sporting the idea that ‘If Daryl Dies, We Riot’. Is it really possible that one person can carry such an impact? Even if he were to die, are viewers such addicts to continue watching out of anger? Denial? Or even just out of enjoyment. What would happen if Daryl was introduced to the comic? Would the success explode? What would his character be like?

I think a lot of Daryl’s appeal comes from the mystery that surrounds him. If you think about it, what do we really know about Daryl Dixon? Most of what we know about our favorite archer comes from what we’ve seen though his character development. But then again, maybe that’s what draws us to him. In the beginning, he’s an intolerant redneck with a hot temper. A lone wolf who thrives on facing the world alone. Slowly, we start pulling back Daryl’s layers and we really discover that he is a loyal team player with a heart of gold. I can’t help but think about when Sophia is lost, and Daryl is one of the few group members who refuses to give up the search. And as Carol’s hope deflates, he is the only one who tried to reassure and comfort her.

Usually the first to volunteer to go on supply runs and is often the first person Rick calls for when going on surveillance or attack missions, means that he is trusted and that he truly has the best interests of those around him at heart. I’ve always thought of Daryl as being trustworthy, no matter how far he and the group my get separated, he always manages to find his way back. His loyalty can rarely be questions. Although he may switch, he always give his all to whoever he is worth. He defended his brother up until his death, fully assisted Rick until they got separated by the prison attack and even protected Beth as best he could throughout season four.

While we can agree to disagree the degree of success The Walking Dead franchise has enjoyed thanks to Daryl Dixon, no one can argue the impact he has had on the show. That all on its own, simply boasts his badass level on atmospheric proportions.

Daryl, forever the badass!

Michonne, sword wielding badass!

#1 Michonne

Michonne, is the only character who is represented almost the same in the comic book as well as the show. Granted, there are a few slight differences, but I think it’s safe to say that her level as a badass character carries equally across all platforms. She has all of the qualities that one would hope to find in an ally. A melee fighter who is silent and deadly, capable of handling a large group by herself.

It’s difficult to truly compare the comic version of Michonne with the TV version since the two are written so similarly that it would be pointing out the small details instead of ones that matter. So I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to focus on some of the great things about Michonne that appears in both.

The first thing that I’m sure everyone is going to think of when I mention Michonne is going to be her sword and her skills in wielding the weapon. We can flip through hundreds of pages and rewind hours of zombie killing content and see the endless number of walkers that she’s slain with such a silent swiftness that many would consider her a modern day ninja. Most survivors rely on guns and the safety they feel with the distance between themselves and the walkers, but Michonne is right out in the fray taking out zombie after zombie that a precise style that looks effortless. Michonne is also incredibly clever. She was the first to realize that zombies can tell the difference between humans and other members of the undead. So she took two walkers, sliced off their arms and lower jaws, bound them and found a way to wander through the perilous new world unnoticed. Genius! Basically, she created a walking supply caravan that carries a heavy dose of walker repellant!

Not afraid to rush into danger, skillful and resourceful, not to mention clever and quick,

Michonne has all of the great qualities that earns her, once again, the top spot on my badass list.

Who tops YOUR badass list??

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Rate The Walking Dead as a franchise.

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    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile image

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 

      4 years ago from Washington State

      Thanks for the update to the list. Very interesting!


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