The introduction of Tyreese came with some immediate baggage, namely, the near-immediate loss of one of its members. Although Donna was probably the least heart-breaking death on our list, it still tugged at the heart-strings to see an innocent lost for no reason, and to watch Tyreese do the final deed to make sure she wouldn’t reanimate.
8. Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman was dying of prostate cancer, so he volunteered for resident Woodbury science geek Milton’s reanimation experiments. Needless to say, it doesn’t go so well. Though he only appeared for an episode, Coleman’s story (and death, and true death at the hands of Andrea) was a really gut-wrenching look at just how miserably hopeless the war against the disease is at this point in the story.
7. Big Tiny
Big Tiny was one of the prison survivor group, and demonstrated a compassion for Rick and the gang. When Tomas was being an unruly jerk, Big Tiny helped negotiate a more reasonable truce with Rick’s group. He seemed poised to be an amicable ally, until he suffered a scratch from a walker’s broken wrist-bone. While trying to convince everyone that he was OK, Big Tiny was brutally murdered — Tomas repeatedly smashed his head in until he was covered in his blood. A big-tiny bummer.
6. Michonne’s “Pets”
At this point, we’re assuming everyone has done their homework and found out that Michonne’s “pet” walkers were her zombified boyfriend and brother (as revealed in the comics, anyway). Watching her mercilessly decapitate them to avoid capture was a pretty big bummer, especially considering her stone-cold demeanor never had a chance to crack while explaining it to someone. But hey, there’s still time!
We put her in quotes because she didn’t actually die (whew!). But for a few episodes there, it seemed unlikely that Carol would be resurfacing as anything but a flesh-eating undead monster. Daryl’s moment, placing the Cherokee Rose on her empty grave, was really touching.
It isn’t every day a show can create mixed emotions about the decapitation of an insane dictator’s zombified daughter, but it sure was a sad moment when The Governor’s hopes of curing his child were sliced into pieces by Michonne (even if he is the true monster of The Walking Dead).
Big Tiny kind of bit the dust before we really got to know him, but Oscar showed his metal a few times — showing confidence when he refused to beg for his life, and good decision-making skills when he put a bullet in Andrew’s brain instead of Rick. Oscar truly became a part of Rick’s group, even joining in the rescue operation to save Glenn and Maggie from Woodbury, where he finally met his end in “Made To Suffer.” Maggie reluctantly shoots him in the head to prevent reanimation, and the emotional attachment is apparent from both her and Glenn.
Because of blood loss, Lori Grimes wasn’t going to make it through the birth of her daughter Judith, so she asked Maggie to save the baby by performing an impromptu C-section. Regardless of Rick’s tumultuous relationship with Lori, this was a tough one to watch. When Carl made sure his mom didn’t reanimate by shooting her, it was one of the show’s saddest moments (no matter how you felt about Lori).
It’s The Walking Dead. No death is a total surprise. Everyone is at risk. But deaths that are deserved, and deaths that feel like the cold slap of reality. This one was a hard slap. T-Dog has been a part of the group from the beginning, and although he hasn’t always been in the spotlight, he’s been loyal and charismatic, protective and useful. After being bitten, he even used his final moments to sacrifice himself, so Carol could escape. His death was pure tragedy.