AMC’s The Walking Dead has racked up quite a body count over the years. And I don’t mean all the creative ways the show’s writers have come up with when it comes to disposing of walkers. The living characters are nearly as likely to find themselves on a the receiving end of horrific violence as the zombies, and several beloved regulars have received a visit from the Grim Reaper as the show has progressed through five seasons. But is it true that nobody on the show is safe? Could we someday lose ostensible series lead Rick Grimes? What about fan-favorite crossbow-wielding badass Daryl Dixon? Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd recently addressed exactly that, and the answer might surprise you.
During an interview with IGN, the topic turned to Rick and Daryl, two of the show’s characters believed by many to be “unkillable.” These are the characters filed by fans under the heading of “If they die, we riot.” But even that level of fan passion doesn’t guarantee that Rick and Daryl will make it through to the show’s eventual endpoint. When asked by IGN, Hurd emphasized that there are no characters who can be considered “unkillable.” Hurd said:
The minute that you start speculating what a particular death would mean, you’re taking it out of the context of the creative arc of the story and, once again, putting it in this weird, like, we’re doing it to make a point. That’s never how we approach the writing of the show.
In other words, they’re probably not going to kill off Rick or Daryl just for shock value, but neither are they ruling it out if the show’s story organically leads in that direction. I still think it’s pretty unlikely that Rick or Daryl will get the ax, at least not until the last season maybe. If the show’s nearing its endpoint, I could definitely see one or both of them making a heroic last stand and sacrificing themselves to save the rest of the group. But seriously, if the producers are taking suggestions for shocking deaths, allow us to suggest Carl. Always, always Carl.
Hurd also discussed Carol’s evolution into one of the show’s best characters. Given how awesome she’s been of late, we may want to add her to the “if they die, we riot” list. IGN asked Hurd if she thought Carol had become the equivalent of the books’ Andrea, a character who was far less annoying and more badass in the comics than she was on the show. Hurd said:
In terms of a mantle, maybe. But I think she’s got a very, very different journey, just look at where where she started. So in terms of, is she a character on the show that you’d want to have your back? Absolutely. She will protect them at all costs. At the same time, the one thing she has difficulty accepting is forgiveness.
The Walking Dead airs its midseason finale, “Coda,” tonight at 9/8c on AMC.