Season one of The Walking Dead is hands down one of the best seasons of the series. The story followed a small group of survivors in the earlier times of the outbreak and saw Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) reunited with his family. By the end of the series in 2022, only two characters, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), remained from that first season.
The early seasons will always be special because of the smaller cast of characters which allowed fans to become more invested in the lives of each survivor. As the show continued, the cast grew, and it was harder to develop the same feelings for each person in the series as there were many to keep track of.
The beginnings of The Walking Dead hold a special place in the hearts of fans, and even though there are several spinoffs in the works, nothing will compare to the beginnings of the flagship series.
The Walking Dead season 1
Here are some characters from season one of The Walking Dead ranked from worst to best. This list doesn’t include many other characters featured in season one, but this list consists of the worst one and others who were influential in this season.
10. Ed Peletier
Ed was THE WORST. He was abusive to Carol and Sophia. He never contributed around the camp as the others did and seemed content watching everyone else work. His treatment of Carol and Sophia in front of others makes one wonder how terribly he treated them behind closed doors before the world got turned upside down. He was just an awful human being.
9. Shane Walsh
The character you loved it hate. You thought he might be a good guy when we first met him. Rick and Shane enjoying burgers and talking about life in the squad car was a great bonding scene. Not long after, we saw his true colors, and it only got worse after season one.
8. Lori Grimes
We have to give Lori the benefit of the doubt since she did suffer the traumatic loss of her husband on the verge of an apocalypse. She had to be going through significant guilt when Rick returned, and she didn’t handle that well, making her actions and demeanor very annoying. There was just something about her in season one that rubbed a person the wrong way, and that something lasted throughout her appearance on the series.
If only we had gotten the comic book Andrea instead of this character. She is stubborn and doesn’t always think her actions through beforehand. She suffered a significant blow when walkers attacked her sister Amy, but that only worsened her attitude. She was never good at being a team player and made things difficult.
6. Dale Horvath
Not everyone liked Dale, but he was oftentimes a voice of reason. He might have been a bit annoying sometimes, but he always meant well. And he had the RV, which greatly benefited the group overall.
5. Daryl Dixon
When Daryl is first introduced, he is ticked off because a walker was eating his deer, and then he had to find out his brother was left in Atlanta handcuffed to a roof. This would put anyone in a bad mood. In true redneck form, he often did whatever he wanted, but Daryl was there when the group really needed him.
4. Carol Peletier
Carol, as an abuse victim, was timid and quiet. She was the dutiful wife to Ed because she was scared of him. When walkers killed Ed, and Carol was able to smash his head in with a pickax, she started to find her strength. She took all those years of abuse out on her abuser’s corpse, and it was therapeutic and allowed her to become who she is in season ten.
What a guy. Even after Merle, a blatant racist, called him many horrible names, T-Dog was still willing to return to Atlanta to find him. He was brave and a definite asset to the group.
2. Rick Grimes
This man woke from a coma to a world turned upside down to realize his family was gone. Sheriff Rick Grimes was a good man. A loyal and honest person who wanted to do good in this world.
1. Glenn Rhee
Glenn was a resourceful person who was bright and really used his head. He was able to think well under pressure and is definitely the number one of season one. He tried to find the good in things and the good in other people. Most certainly, someone that you want on your team.
Season one was a great opening season that introduced us to a wide range of characters. It was an authentic depiction of how a group of random strangers can bond to keep safe and try to live in a world they weren’t ready to face, especially alone.