The Walking Dead started production and filming for its final, eleventh season this week. The final season will have approximately 24 episodes, which are nearly eight more than previous seasons. The final season will be filled with dramatic moments and a lot of nostalgia. One thing that has made The Walking Dead great is its ability to surprise fans with the death of any character at any time. With the season set to be the final chapter of the television show, we lay out the odds of who lives and who dies in Season 11.
First, we have to address that AMC has announced the spinoff that will star Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride). We know that these to characters will make it through the final season of the show. We also know that The Walking Dead‘s creator, Robert Kirkman, made it known that Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) would make it through the finale. Beyond these four characters and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who we will see in the upcoming Walking Dead movies, anyone is fair game.
Let’s break down who has the best chance of living (and dying) in the final season of The Walking Dead, going from least likely to die to most likely to be killed off.
Judith Grimes 1:1
Judith Grimes has been around since season three of The Walking Dead. However, in the past two seasons, a much older version of the character has taken central stage on the show. Her character now represents the future of the Grimes family (yes, we know R.J. exists, but he really is a background character). With the death of Carl, Judith carries the torch for the Grimes family and most likely takes over the Carl story line from the comic books. Unless Rick returns in this final season, which is unlikely, the show will most likely end with Judith Grimes standing as the champion character in the end.
Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is one of the last remaining staples of The Walking Dead. Although she’s been gone for several seasons, Maggie’s return brings back one of the show’s most popular characters. As well, Maggie, other than Rick, may have endured more tragedy on the show than any other character. Maggie has lost Glenn, Hershel, Beth, and the rest of her farm family. To have Maggie die on the show, leaving her young son below, would be too tragic and not a good look for a show that has been criticized for already taking things to far when it comes to the Rhee family. Maggie is left standing and it’s likely everything she’s learned as a leader that will leave her standing in charge of the community in the end, which is most likely The Commonwealth.
Father Gabriel 8:1
Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) has lived much longer than most characters on The Walking Dead. His character has escaped death over and over again, most recently avoiding the death that Father Gabriel suffers in the comic books at the hands of the Whisperers. Father Gabriel remains as the sole character who represents those of faith, even as he struggles with it himself. It would do the show good to see his character through to the end as a way to resurrect faith for the future of society.
Aaron (Ross Marquand) is also a character who has survived and endured some pretty tragic moments, especially losing Eric. Aaron is now a single father and his character is a representative of the LBGTQ+ community. As as a father, the show should see his character through to the future and for the support of the future of his child.
Jerry (Cooper Andrews) is the lovable big-guy of the show. With his wife Nadine and his multiple children, killing Jerry would be a crushing blow to the series.
Ezekiel (Khary Payton) is believed to have cancer. Here’s where our hope rests for the King… we are hoping that The Commonwealth has the medical support and ability to get Ezekiel into chemotherapy or even rule out cancer all together. We know that the CRM (seen in The Walking Dead: World Beyond) is a huge city with real medical care. We are hoping the same for The Commonwealth and that Ezekiel can take advantage of this care.
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is a major mystery as to if his character will make it past this final season. Morgan is one of the few actors who has star power beyond The Walking Dead, so his inclusion in the films or even a spinoff would be an immediate ratings boost because he brings in fans who aren’t necessarily only fans of The Walking Dead franchise. In terms of his character, Negan, Negan’s story does extend beyond the ending in the comic books, as Robert Kirkman released a one-off comic, Negan Lives, which tells us how Negan is doing. This comic would/could be the groundwork for a Negan spinoff or even a separate story line in the films.
Rosita (Christian Serratos) has been noticeably absent at the end of Season 10. Serratos is now staring in Netflix’s Selena series. She’s still involved with The Walking Dead, but her character has taken a back seat – so much so that we really aren’t sure where she is and what she’s doing. With this all in mind, Rosita’s death would be impactful and an emotional moment for the show in its final season. The show will still need some moments like this to stay true to its roots.
Luke, Connie, and Kelly 40:1
These three characters, Luke, Connie, and Kelly, came onto the show in the same episode. All bring something unique to the show: Luke’s a musician, while Connie and Kelly represent the disabled community on-screen. The three characters have still remained minor and have had their moments to shine. However, similar to Rosita, the show will need its dramatic moments and deaths and each of these characters would have that sort of impact if they were to die. As we get further down this list, we get to the secondary characters whose deaths would be impactful yet not alienate the viewers who have stuck with the show to its end.
Nadia and Eleanor 50:1
We are coupling Nadia and Eleanor together because they are, well, a couple! They’re a couple romantically but they’re also a couple of bad-ass women who aren’t willing to back down from a fight. Given their status as secondary characters on the show and as one of the last remaining couples, the death of one of the two of these characters would carry the emotional weight of their loss that would be impactful to the viewer.
Lydia (Cassidy McClincy) has flirted with death on a few occasions. Now, under the care of Carol, we don’t expect anything less but for another child/teenager to not make it. Yep, it’s terrible to say, but Carol’s track record is horrible in this department. We love Lydia, but she needs to run and run quick!
We’re kidding (sort of!)!
Look, The Walking Dead hasn’t done itself any favors when coming out ahead of its final season and announcing that its biggest characters would be appearing in future projects. It takes away a lot of the suspense. However, fans have long made it clear that if Daryl died, they’d riot, and that Carol is meant to end up with Daryl. As well, fans love Negan, even despite the character’s past sins.
The show will definitely need to stay true to its ability to surprise fans and with the final season approaching it will be important for them to surprise viewers with the occasional significant death. Here’s ONE caveat…
… there could be a time jump in this final season that takes us into the future, seeing an older Judith, Daryl, Carol, and so on. This time jump takes us into the comic book’s final chapter and someone significant suffers the same fate that Rick’s character suffered in the comic books. If that’s the case, we could see Daryl or Carol’s death on-screen. This would mean that the Daryl and Carol spinoff would take place in the time period of the time jump. A very cool theory, indeed!
What’s your thoughts on who survives the final season of The Walking Dead? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
James Frazier, former INC 500 CEO and Founder, takes his creative abilities to Crooked Llama to create a new platform for entertainment news and content. The goal of Crooked Llama is to provide entertainment new but do it in a way that’s entertaining and from the perspective of a fan, not a critic.