7. Dale Horvath
Dale was the first to prove that you never want to be the moral compass of Rick’s group of survivors or you truly risk your life. Dale’s response to the dilemma of whether or not to kill Randall seemed a little preachy.
But he wasn’t wrong to try to remind that group that keeping their humanity in a brutal world was a choice. Over and over the group has faced that same choice. Some of Rick’s choices, like choosing to slaughter The Saviors at the outpost, would no doubt have horrified Dale. Maybe it’s better he didn’t live to see some of the choices the group has made…
But still, Dale’s death was heartbreaking. Dale was very much the core of the group in the beginning. He was the voice of reason and he saw what Shane was becoming long before Rick did. He knew that the group was heading towards a breaking point and he did everything he could have done to stop it.
But there was no stopping it. The group needed to go through those growing pains. It was part of the process of adapting to the post-apocalypse world. Looking back now, the question of whether or not to kill one person to keep the farm safe seems kind of trivial, considering all the killing the survivors have done. Would Rick have made different choices if Dale had lived? We’ll never know. Dale’s death was brutal, physically and emotionally.