April 2020 should have seen the conclusion of the 10th season of The Walking Dead. However Covid-19 has halted post-production and the season finale is delayed indefinitely.
That is not going to stop us though. After (nearly) 10 seasons and close to 150 episodes, FinalBoss takes a walk down memory lane to celebrate some of the show’s best bits.
WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD!
Step forward, Daryl Dixon. The longest-serving male character on The Walking Dead debuted in episode 3. In the early days, his main quality was that he wasn’t quite as much of a bastard as his older brother Merle. From there he developed into a valued member of the group, becoming Rick’s trusted sidekick. He’s shown himself to be an ace tracker, deadly with a crossbow and a great motorcycle rider. As loyal as they come and devoted to his dog, brilliantly known as Dog. Never one for a lot of words, he always steps up with the right ones when it matters.
Apologies to Rick, the heartbeat of the show for so long, but you helicoptered off the show to who-knows-where. Maybe we’ll see you in a movie someday.
Can only be Negan right? He beats out the likes of The Governor and Alpha on longevity alone. He’s been tormenting the group for half the show’s run. As leader of The Saviors, he was a leather jacket wearing, baseball bat-wielding badass. He had a good thing going with local communities living in fear. Until Rick and friends refused to play ball. He gathered the group as prisoners and promised to kill one as punishment for not following his rules. That led to the most famous scenes in the show’s history, as viewers were left wondering who he had struck down in the season 6 finale. In later seasons, he’s mellowed a bit and his loyalties have become harder to decipher but he remains one of the show’s most interesting characters.
There have been a few but for me, it has to be Glenn and Maggie. Remember them? They quickly fell for each other during the second season. Like any relationship, they had their ups and downs. The extreme situations they often faced left plenty of opportunity for heroics though, a sure-fire way to smooth things over after a fight. They married but soon after Maggie discovered that she was pregnant, tragedy struck in the form of Negan, who killed Glenn. Not too many happy endings on The Walking Dead.
Lost his mum, gained a hat. Lost an eye, gained a patch. Carl Grimes had a lot to put up with. His dad was the leader of a group of strangers who became like family. As he got older, and as his dad went through a slightly crazy phase, Carl grew wiser and more concerned with helping others. Unfortunately, his offering of assistance to a stranger led to an encounter with walkers that would bring about his demise.
No ones uses language like Eugene “I am indeed a smarty pants” Porter. He’s direct with the girls- “I have to say you are seriously hot, Tara.” A demanding boss – “No one gets to clock out today, and hell, this is a story people are gonna tell.” Finally, Eugene is a philosophical decision-maker- “Right for some can be downright horrific for others, and knowing that has kept me vertical when so many have gone horizontal.”
There’s only one winner here and it is, of course, Rick Grimes’ sheriff’s hat. The hat has become a symbol of the connection between generations of the Grimes family. Rick handed it down to son Carl, who subsequently passed it onto little sister Judith.
With respect to Daryl’s dog, you can’t beat a tiger. Shiva was beside King Ezekiel when we first met him, and the story goes had been by his side since Ezekiel’s days as a zookeeper. Shiva is a tiger and therefore obviously awesome. She was terrific in battle, instinctively able to identify friend from foe. Sadly her time on the show was short, presumably for cost reasons.
In a strong category, the award goes to Michonne’s katana. Since striding into the show on the season 2 finale and immediately showing its effectiveness, it’s been a consistent threat to walkers. When not being wielded, it’s casually slung across her back for easy access and adds to her “I’m not someone you mess with” look. Honourable mentions to Daryl’s crossbow and Negan’s baseball bat.
Translation: where’s the best place to live? I’m picking Alexandria. It seems the biggest of the main locations and there’s a good chance you’d get your own house. It’s surrounded by high walls and in theory well contained. Oceanside, with its sea views, might have been a serious contender had we seen more of what the living conditions were like.
Last, but very much, not least we turn to the longest-serving female character, Carol. Her life on the show has been such a rollercoaster she’s deserving of her own category. Just like her good friend Daryl, she first appeared way back in episode 3 and it’s fair to say she’s regularly transformed herself during the show’s run. From timid housewife to warrior. Widow to wife to divorce. Loner to leader. Still going strong, Carol, we salute you!
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Shaun is FinalBoss’ most prolific cinephile. If he hasn’t seen it, it ain’t worth watching. You’ll find him writing about everything from blowout blockbusters to small-screen splendours as he waits impatiently for Lord of the Rings to be released by Amazon. Catch up with Shaun and see what he’s been watching on www.letterboxd.com/shaun_1982.