When viewers decide to watch an apocalyptic-themed movie or show, they do so with the knowledge that characters will die, which could include their favorites. This is true with The Walking Dead, especially since this series ran for 12 years, resulting in a high death toll in the end. Did any of the season 1 characters make it to the final season?
The Walking Dead began airing on Halloween night in 2010, and from the beginning, it was evident that this series would be much different than anything that came before it. While it was based on the comic created by Robert Kirkman, the series took liberties to change things up, including adding new characters.
The series would go on to break and hold many records, and in May 2023, were honored at the annual Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame ceremony with the Iconic Show Award.
The Walking Dead – surviving characters from season 1
There are only four surviving characters from the first season of The Walking Dead series.
Carol Peletier – Melissa McBride
Carol was introduced in the second episode of The Walking Dead, “Tell It To the Frogs.” This would be the same episode where her abusive husband, Ed (Adam Minarovich), was killed. Shortly after, she loses her daughter Sophia (Madison Lintz) and experiences more heartache than most throughout the series. She would use her pain to become an influential leader and warrior and survive until the final episode. Walking Dead creators have said that Carol’s story isn’t over, and she will make her return in the second season of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon.
Morgan Jones – Lennie James
Morgan is introduced in the pilot episode and proves a vital piece in the life of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). He and his son Duane (Adrian Kali Turner) saved Rick’s life, cared for his wounds, and explained what had occurred since the outbreak. Morgan would come and go in Rick’s life, and in season 8 of The Walking Dead, he would crossover into season 4 of Fear the Walking Dead. That is where Morgan’s story will end. James starred in his final TWDU episode during the midseason 8 finale of Fear the Walking Dead. Before his last episode, he returned to King County, Georgia, to get closure on the loss of his wife and son. Before his final episode, he would again experience heartache. He and his daughter Mo (Zoey Merchant) would head out searching for his old friend Rick Grimes. James has stated this is the end of Morgan’s story.
Daryl Dixon – Norman Reedus
Daryl was introduced in the second episode of season 1 and made quite the impression. Daryl is another character who had a significant transformation throughout his time in the series and is one not featured in the comics. He survived to the final episode, and his story will continue in a spinoff series, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, scheduled to release on AMC on September 10, 2023. This series is set in France and will be quite a departure from the wooded setting of the main series. Daryl will encounter friends and foes in France as well as some variant mutated walkers.
Rick Grimes – Andrew Lincoln
Rick was introduced in the pilot, served as the survivors’ leader for the bulk of the show, and, although he left the flagship series in season 9, was a survivor of the series. He was featured in a coda scene following the last episode of the series, revealing some of what he has experienced since he was traded to the CRM (Civic Republic Military) by Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh). He has never lost hope of making his way back to Michonne (Danai Gurira), Judith (Cailey Fleming), and RJ (Antony Azor), the son he doesn’t know he has. His story will be continued in a spinoff, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, which will be released in 2024. This series will continue the epic love story of Rick and Michonne and reunite the powerhouse couple.