There's nothing to fear except fear itself. And zombies. And humans.
If you're human and alive in The Walking Dead's post-apocalyptic world, it's likely you've done some pretty unspeakable things to get there. Or ridden on the coattails of those that have (ahem, Eugene). I'm not just talking about stealing a can of pudding and eating it all yourself. The zombies are evil, yes, their sole desire is to sink their decaying chompers into living flesh. At least you know where you stand with walkers. You either run or kill them. But people? That's a whole different matter. Humans are complicated in our civilised world, but in a society that's crumbled away... they're 100% worse. There is no order. No rules telling them what to do or how to behave. These are 15 times actual humans in The Walking Dead proved to be waaaay more dangerous than the undead. It goes without saying - but what the hell: SPOILER ALERT for all six seasons to date!
15. The Anderson family meets their end
The S6 mid-season finale ended on a nail-biting cliffhanger: Rick, Michonne, Carl and the Anderson family covered in zombie guts, making their way across a walker-filled Alexandria. It was never gonna end well was it? Okay, this is partly Carol's fault, and partly Sam's fault for crumbling under pressure. Surrounded by the undead, he hears Carol's ominous warning in his head and totally loses his shit. He calls out for his mom - while they're in the middle of a zombie herd! - and refuses to move. He cries. Zombies eat him. His mom cries. Zombies eat her. Her dead hand still clutching Carl's, Rick chops it off. Then the other Anderson kid shoots Carl in the eye at the exact second Michonne drives her katana through his chest. On the upside; Carl loses an eye and can now wear an eyepatch for life like a gangstah.
14. Shane gets shot, the herd comes running
Hands up who liked Shane? Granted, he wasn't the most likeable person by the time Rick took him out on Hershel's farm, but the domino effect of his death turned into a major catastrophe for the group. He rises from the dead, lumbering behind Rick who tries to convince Carl to lower his weapon. Hey, he's a kid, of course he doesn't listen to his dad. Carl shoots walker-Shane, and the report from the blast draws a zombie herd. Before you can say 'ZOM-BAAAAAAYS' the farm is overrun. The group's attempt to defend the farm is useless - there's just too many to take down. Jimmy and Patricia die and Andrea is left for dead, separated from the group for half a season.
13. The hospital stand-off
Rick brokers a deal with Lieutenant Dawn's crew holed up at the hospital; she gets her two officers back for the safe return of Beth and Carol. It all goes swimmingly 'til Dawn insists Rick also turn over Noah. The lad agrees and Beth gives him a goodbye hug. It's at this moment you're thinking 'Dawn, just keep your trap shut!' but she can't, and makes a backhanded comment. Beth stabs her in the shoulder, Dawn reacts by 'accidentally' shooting Beth in the head. It's harrowing as hell to watch. The worst part is Maggie's reaction as she sees Daryl leave the building carrying her sister's dead body.
12. Eugene lies about being a scientist
Eugene's lie saved his ass on multiple occasions. 'I can't kill zombies - but I'm worth protecting 'cause I'm a scientist who can stop the undead epidemic.' It's a smart move for a guy who offers nothing smart in the way of survival skills. He reveals his true self halfway through their journey to Washington D.C when he confesses that he's not a scientist. On the surface it might seem like no big deal. People on the show have done much worse. But there's the rub: remember how Abraham took that news? He nearly killed the mulleted fraud. Because we can only imagine what Abraham did to ensure Eugene's survival. And don't forget: the group's entire plan moving forward was based around that lie. Talk about a mood killer.
11. Lizzie misunderstands the whole 'human/zombie' distinction
You've got to wonder about the children on this show. All the bad behaviour they pick up from the adults around them, who slaughter humans and zombies on the regular, and dealing with an apocalyptic lifestyle? It can't be easy. For Lizzie this makes her rather unstable. She somehow gets it into her head that zombies are just the same as normal people. Although how she arrives at that conclusion is frankly baffling. To test her theory she kills her sister Mika, telling Carol that it's okay because she'll come back. Poor old Carol, always having to clean up after the kids, takes Lizzie out to a meadow and asks her to look at the flowers. Then blows her head off. Yeah, you've gotta watch out for the young 'uns in an apocalypse too.
10. The Governor ties up Andrea in the same room as Milton, who is almost certainly going to eat her
The Governor's a twisted piece of work. Those heads in an aquarium? What was all that about? Anyway, discussing every one of his rank proclivities is another matter entirely. The moment in question is possibly his most despicable: when he leaves Andrea tied to a chair in a locked room with Milton, who's bleeding out all over the floor ruining the atmos. Well, he was recently bitten by a zombie. As you can imagine it doesn't end well for Andrea. Before long the gang arrives to say their farewells, leaving her in the capable hands of Michonne who finishes her off. Killing your own best friend has got to leave a bit of a blemish on your soul.
9. Morgan refuses to kill bad guys, letting them kill good guys
Morgan's pro-life stance is admirable and it's also, as the show frequently points out, very very dangerous to those around him. We first learn that he's unhappy killing zombies when he can't muster up the courage to shoot his walker-wife. Alright, he's not the only one who struggled with that, but you'd think he might see things differently when his walker-wife kills his still-very-much-alive son. He's not opposed to offing zombies after that, but still sticks rigidly to his 'all men deserve a chance' mantra. Keeping one of the Wolves locked up in an attempt to... what, rehabilitate him? didn't go so well as the prisoner breaks free and holds Denise hostage putting her life in danger. 'Cause the whole place was crawling with walkers at that point. That's not counting all the other Wolves Morgan set free - after he watched them slay their way through Alexandria.
8. Pete goes all ninja on Reg, and it goes horribly wrong
The future never looked rosy for Pete Anderson. Right off the bat we knew he was a bad egg, and yet he was never properly held accountable for his behaviour. He took offense to Rick interfering with his marriage, and used that anger to try and ward off Reg with a sword. Seeing as how we'd never see him handle so much as a cup of tea with confidence, watching him wield a katana, you just know it's gonna end badly. And it does: he slices through poor old Reg, leaving him to die in a pool of blood. That's not even the worst bit! Deanna then demands Rick kill Pete in front of his own children.
7. The Wolves enter Alexandria
When the Wolves break into Alexandria, it happens in the best way possible - through Carol's point of view. One second she's giving her neighbor evils for having a crafty smoke, the next, that same neighbor is viciously attacked by the gang. The terror in this episode (and it takes control of the entire 40 minutes) is down to how ruthless and empty all the murder is. One might think 'Aw, those poor Wolves probably want a couple of cans of baked beans and half a stale loaf of bread' but no! They don't give a monkeys about lunch. They're out for blood, pure and simple. Stabbing, bludgeoning... hell, they've probably got a wood chipper set up somewhere to just throw the Alexandrians in. Far scarier is Carol's transformation: she's just as remorseless as they are when it comes to the slaughter.
6. When Nicholas shoots himself on the dumpster - and nearly kills Glenn
Volunteering to go out on a mission with Nicholas is basically the same as signing your own death warrant. This guy's the most selfish character on the show. So you've got to feel for Glenn when he winds up down a zombie-infested alley with this big girl's blouse as his companion, blubbering all over the shop and spoiling their chances of survival. They finally arrive on top of that now-iconic dumpster, only for Nicholas to decide he's spent. He can't make the jump onto a very nearby building, shooting himself in the head - and taking Glenn down with him. After much trolling, we now know he wasn't killed, but it wasn't as if he had easy escape from that alley. Nicholas' cowardice gave Glenn yet another brush with death.
5. Carl dicks around with a zombie, refuses to kill it... then it kills Dale
Oh Carl. This kid never learns does he? Over the course of six seasons he's got up to some seriously questionable stuff, yet this encounter he has with a walker in season 2 is one of the worst instances. He discovers one of the undead stuck in the mud. Instead of taking the high road and offing it, he chooses to taunt and goad the zombie. Rocks get thrown - just to really fire it up - and he gets really, really close to it just for fun. Why? Who the hell knows! At this point he's witnessed enough death within the group to know how easy it is to get blindsided by walkers, yet he's happy to toy with one. It eventually breaks free, follows his scent and arrives at the farm where it promptly locates a snack in the form of Dale. Nice one Carl.
4. Noah dies in a very, very gruesome way cause of the spineless one (aka Nicholas)
Nicholas' spinelessness really comes to the forefront during this mission. It was a simple enough raid. Glenn, Noah, Aiden, Tara, Eugene and Nicholas hike out to secure some parts needed to repair the solar power system at Alexandria, and are overrun by zombies. This is what happens on these outings, and whoever participates really needs to step up to the plate. But Nicholas refuses to take Glenn's advice when he and Noah get wedged in a revolving door. If Nicholas moves an inch, the walkers will get Noah, so he has to remain still while Glenn jimmies it from outside. Does he listen? Does he heck. This has to be one of the saddest, grimmest deaths on the show. As we watch Noah get torn apart, his screams are only matched by the look of horror and grief on Glenn's face. Seriously, Nicholas is just the worst.
3. The Governor storms the prison, loads of people perish
Prime real estate in The Walking Dead doesn't typically refer to a swanky house - it's the most secure piece of property. For that reason alone Rick's gang only had a temporary hold on the prison, it was too juicy a location for others to not try and steal. The Governor, being the reasonable and mature adult that he is, decides to negotiate with Rick by steam-rolling down the fences and barging his way in. Collateral damage is just something that happens to him. He kills as many people as he can - a lot were his former followers from Woodbury - including Hershel. He hacks at the old geezer's neck 'til his head comes clean off. So, just another day at the office for the Governor, eh?
2. The gang arrives at Terminus to discover it's an all-you-can-eat buffet - and they're on the menu
Everyone scatters after the Governor's attack on the prison. Luckily, the little clumps of survivors discover an old railtrack that's dotted along the way with signs for an apocalyptic mecca called Terminus. Promises of community, food, and sanctuary are a surefire way to ensure any stragglers will make their way there which they do in droves. The thing is, Terminus is none of those things. The maniacs in charge lure people to this supposedly safe place, which turns out to be really a massive slaughterhouse... with human flesh on the menu. They're cannibals. Great.
1. Rick and the gang murder TONS of Saviors in their sleep!
Maggie's season 6 supplies deal with Hilltop leader Gregory is only good if the gang kill Negan and the Saviors. Instead of politely declining this offer, gassing up the RV and getting the hell outta dodge, Rick's all 'Mmmmm, okay then, let's kill a load of strangers.' It's sort of understandable, because the Saviors aren't just misunderstood rogues, they're vicious killers who extort the good will of communities like Alexandria. They need to be taught a lesson! Under cover of darkness, Rick and co. bust into the Saviors' compound and systematically slay all of 'em. Most of them didn't even have time to wake up. It goes to show how far Rick's band of survivors have come: they murder people they've never met to secure regular food deliveries. Hey, Rick needs his cage-free eggs laid fresh every day.