The Walking Dead: How many more of the original cast can it afford to lose?

(Photo: Gene Page/AMC)
(Photo: Gene Page/AMC)

Things have changed massively over the last few seasons of The Walking Dead. Not always for the better. Two years ago in February 2016, we still had six of the original Walking Dead cast members from season 1 alive and well. Then we lost the much beloved Glenn at the hands of Negan and Lucille. It wasn’t much of a surprise to anyone who had read the comics. But it was still a great shame to see an original survivor bite the bat.

Now as we head into the second half of season 8, we might be about to lose at least one, possibly two, maybe even more of that remaining five. If you are not up to date with the show, be warned that this article contains spoilers. If you don’t want to think about who might die in the upcoming eight episodes, then it might also be best to look away.


Firstly, it seems pretty certain that Carl Grimes is on the way out. This is for many, the worst possible death to ever come out of the show. It feels like a betrayal, and not just to those who have read the comics. If Carl dies, then this is the biggest departure from the comics so far (sorry Andrea). The whole show felt as though it was about Rick Grimes and his son. To take that son away seems cruel and not at all in the spirit of Robert Kirkman’s source material.


Then there is the case of Morgan. We know that Morgan is due to pop up in the spin off series Fear the Walking Dead. This is a prequel show so just because Lennie James who plays Morgan is required to work on a different show, does not mean that he cannot continue on The Walking Dead. But it does feel like that might be a big ask for one actor. So some are speculating that Morgan won’t survive season 8.

Who will be left?

That will leave Rick, Carol and Daryl as the sole original survivors from series 1. These are still clearly popular characters. In the case of Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus, their pay certainly testifies to AMC’s desire to keep them on board. Hopefully the writers will figure out what to do with Carol again eventually. Then we can see the magnificence of Melissa McBride back to her best.

However, if AMC are keen to get rid of actors that are costing them too much, then we could see a further culling of the cast going forward. Some have speculated that Chandler Riggs’ exit from the show is financially motivated, as AMC wanted to save money. If AMC refuse to pay some of their stars more, then we might see these actors ditch The Walking Dead for other opportunities.

What about the relatively newer characters?

Lauren Cohan who plays Maggie is reportedly in demand for other roles, and after the success of Black Panther, Danai Gurira (Michonne) is likely to be getting offers from all over the place. Both Michonne and Maggie are integral going forward, if the comics are to be believed. So will AMC bother to fight to keep these actresses? Or will they become too expensive to keep?

If there are only three left of the original cast by the end of season 8, the big question is, will fans continue to watch? Some say, if Daryl dies, we riot.

Personally I’m more concerned with the warrior women of The Walking Dead. If Carol, Michonne, or Maggie get the chop, then something may finally be irreversibly ruined.

Would you keep watching The Walking Dead if all of the original characters died? Or have newer characters like Michonne, Maggie and Ezekiel managed to win you over?

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