SPOILERS AHEAD (obviously).
If you ask those who have been watching it for the past five years, The Walking Dead might just be the finest horror show on TV. It has everything you could possibly want from a modern zombie drama -- zombies (of course), compelling characters, violence, and writers who aren't afraid to kill off your favorite characters at every turn.
We've already had our shocking death of Season 6 (R.I.P. Character Who We Will Not Name Out Of Respect For Spoilers), but let's take this moment to reflect on the other notable deaths from previous seasons.
1. Mika -- killed by her crazy sister
Lunatic Lizzie killed little Mika to prove to Carol and Tyreese that walkers are no different than people (she was wrong). Once Lizzie killed Mika in bloody fashion, Carol had to stab Mika in the head to prevent her reanimation.
2. Lizzie -- mercy shot-in-the-head by Carol
After the death of her father, Lizzie started to lose touch with reality. Her fascination with the Walkers continued to put the group in danger. After she killed her sister Mika, it became clear to Carol and Tyreese that she threatened their survival. Carol led Lizzie outside under the guise of picking flowers for her sister. When Lizzie was looking at the flowers, Carol shot her.
Once again, Carol (the resident badass) shocked us silly with her compassion and / or violence.
Maggie was impressed.
3. Hershel -- decapitated by the Governor
Oh, Hershel. This one always breaks my heart. He was captured by the Governor while burning bodies outside the prison wall in season four. As a hostage of the governor, Hershel was brutally executed with Michonne's own sword in front of Rick, and after Hershel's death, the rest of the group assembled to defend the prison from another attack by the Governor.
4. Sophia -- First, she was killed by zombies. Then, she was shot by Rick. At 12 years old.
Poor, poor Sophia. After being separated from Rick in the woods, Sophia became lost, and then eventually turned by zombies. She was accidentally locked in Herschel's "I'll Save Them All!" zombie hospital / barn, then shot in the head by Rick when the truth was finally revealed.
5. Merle -- taken out after being good, then bad, then okay again
The older brother of everyone's favorite survivor, Daryl, Merle was a pretty terrible person. However, in a twist, he lost his life while he was trying to kill the Governor in season three. His plan backfired, and he was captured by the Governor's men, who then killed him. Nothing is more heartbreaking to watch than the moment when Daryl finds his zombified brother and has to put him down. The feels.
6. Tyreese -- blood loss after being bitten by a zombie and hallucinated for an entire episode
One of the stronger secondary characters on the show, I was really sad to see Tyreese go, especially because he was bitten by a zombie. Michonne attempted to stop the infection from spreading by cutting off Tyreese's arm. However, things went south when they couldn't stop the bleeding. He ultimately died after losing too much blood.
7. Martinez -- zombie lunch
Although not the greatest guy in the world, the Governor's sidekick Martinez still probably didn't deserve to be eaten alive by a pit full o' zombies.
8. Dale -- zombie dinner
Dale was my favorite character for a while there. He provided a nice logical counterpoint to the madness of seasons one and two. His logic cut the irritating fighting that went on between Rick and Shane, after all. Dale met his end while on patrol at the farm. The culprit was a Walker that Carl had previously taunted.
9. Noah -- his face was pulled apart and eaten by zombies (literally)
In possibly one of the most disgusting deaths on The Walking Dead ever, Noah was pulled apart by zombies and devoured as Glenn helplessly watched. One of the Alexandria runners was the cause of Noah's death...one that could have easily been avoided.
10. Gareth -- chopped to bloody bits by Rick and his machete
Gareth, the King Psycho at Terminus, was shown no mercy by Rick and his crew when they chopped them all into tiny bits. Inside of a church.
11. Lori -- death by messy C-section / shot in the face by her own son, Carol / eaten by a random walker
Although most people had a love-hate relationship with Lori (or just a hate-hate relationship), Mrs. Grimes suffered an awful death. After (insanely?) deciding to not give herself a chemical abortion during a zombie apocalypse, she kept the baby...and died during its C-section. Her son, Carl, then shot her once she became a zombie. Then, her body was feasted upon by a random walker in the prison. Ouch.
12. Beth -- shot in the face by the Lady Cop
Rick's group finally arrived at Grady Memorial...resulting in the death of this fan favorite (and wonderfully developing character with depth). During an exchange, Beth approached Dawn (the lady cop in question) and stabbed her in the vest. Dawn reflexively pulls out her gun and shoots Beth in the head. Daryl (and the world at large) are outraged.
Honorable mention: Scumbag Shane Walsh
If Rick never woke up, Shane wouldn't be that bad of a guy. He protected Lori and Carl when things went sideways, he could rock a shaved head, and he was an cop, too. Unfortunately, the Apocalypse Love Triangle drove him a little crazy. So Rick stabbed him. Then Carl shot him in zombie form. Sorry, Shane.
You just can't win in the zombie apocalypse. Unless you're Carol.