After eleven seasons, the characters on The Walking Dead have gotten up to a lot of killing, and here’s who’s racked up the highest body counts. Most of the characters inhabiting The Walking Dead‘s world don’t particularly enjoy taking lives, but as has been proven countless time since the start of the series, sometimes there’s no other way to handle a situation. Especially when sadistic killers like The Governor, Negan or Alpha are lurking out there, ready to kill to attain more power and resources.
Killing people changes a person, as anyone who’s had to do so in real life would confirm. This has held true for the characters on The Walking Dead, with some characters – such as the often inconsistent Morgan Jones – having a hard time looking at themselves in the mirror later on, and many finding themselves progressively hardened emotionally due to the toll of ending life after life. Still, when the choice is kill or die, the vast majority of people are going to choose kill, as the drive to preserve oneself is incredibly strong.
With all that in mind, here are The Walking Dead characters with the highest kill counts to date, including characters with 20 or more kills. This count includes only confirmed, onscreen kills, and (for obvious reasons) doesn’t include “killing” Walkers. Thus, for anyone surprised not to see Maggie make the list, she’s actually killed very few humans. For the record, when Walker “kills” are included, Negan leads the way with over 200 bodies at his feet.
The Governor (David Morrissey) – 20
The Governor, aka Philip Blake, racked up an onscreen kill count of 20 over his tenure on The Walking Dead. The show’s first main antagonist, The Governor racked up some signature kills, including putting a sniper’s bullet right through the head of Axel at the prison. He also shoots Merle Dixon in the chest, purposefully allowing him to reanimate and be found by his brother Daryl later. The Governor’s most shocking kill was definitely Hershel Greene, who he viciously decapitated with Michonne’s sword, right in front of his daughters Maggie and Beth.
Michonne (Dania Gurira) – 23
Speaking of Michonne, she’s next on the list of highest Walking Dead kill counts with 23. Surprisingly, she hasn’t really killed any major characters, although her weapon of choice is always her ever-present sword. Michonne’s most difficult kills came during the season 9 episode “Scars,” which told in flashbacks how Jocelyn, an old friend of Michonne’s, had abducted Judith and attempted to recruit her into a makeshift gang of killer children that she had created. A pregnant Michonne ended up not only killing Jocelyn, but being forced to slaughter most of the children she had turned to the dark side. She’s since taken her leave from The Walking Dead, heading off to search for her lost love Rick.
Morgan Jones (Lennie James) – 31
For someone who eventually became consumed by not wanting to kill anyone, Morgan sure racked up a sizeable kill count. Keep in mind, this character kill count only applies to the main Walking Dead show, not Morgan’s exploits on the Fear the Walking Dead spinoff. Like Michonne, Morgan hasn’t really killed anyone major, but he did kill fellow Kingdom member Richard after the latter’s stupid gambit to try and get Ezekiel – who’s long since dead in the comics – to war with the Saviors ended up getting Benjamin killed. Morgan’s weapon of choice is his ever-present staff, especially its pointed end. Morgan currently remains alive, leading the Fear the Walking Dead cast through season 7.
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) – 41
It seems like a given that a murderer like Negan would be on the list of highest Walking Dead kill counts, even with his more recent transformation into something resembling an antihero. What’s a bit surprising is that he’s not higher up on it. Negan has so far racked up 37 confirmed kills, most using his trademark barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat called Lucille. Negan of course infamously used that instrument to bash Glenn and Abraham’s heads in, and more recently, managed to use a blade to decapitate Whisperer leader Alpha’s head and present it to a grateful Carol. This seemingly cemented Negan’s place in the main group, but since Maggie’s return, their relationship has been understandably contentious. He may have “reformed,” but Negan still killed Glenn. Either way, they’ve had to begrudgingly work together.
Carol Pelletier (Melissa McBride) – 47
Carol began The Walking Dead as a battered wife, but over the years, she’s evolved into a stone cold badass, willing to do whatever it takes to survive – even if that means killing living people alongside the undead. This said, killing so many people has indeed taken its toll on her mentally, especially in the last few seasons, where the impact of having to kill others appears to have held an increasingly heavy weight for her. She’s yet to kill a truly major character, although there was the infamous instance in season 4 where she was forced to shoot Lizzie after she stabbed her sister Mika to death in a futile attempt to prove Walkers were intelligent. At that point, it was quite clear that Lizzie’s mental illness had made her a danger to herself and others, and she was beyond saving. While Carol may not have the most star-studded kill count, she’s got one of the biggest, and it’s only continued to grow as The Walking Dead‘s final season nears its crescendo.
Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) – 54
The Walking Dead‘s resident fan-favorite, there are many who have pledged to stop watching if Daryl is killed off. Meanwhile, Daryl has done quite a bit of killing others, racking up a body count of 54, tied with his close friend Rick Grimes as the character with the highest kill count. Armed with his trusty crossbow, Daryl holds the dubious distinction of having to mercy kill a friend, that being Dale in season 2. He also took revenge on Officer Dawn after she killed Beth, and took out Morales after he turned on Rick. Daryl also throws the execution switch on Gregory, after Maggie orders the former Hilltop leader dead for his betrayal. It took Daryl longer than Rick to reach the 50-kill milestone, but he’s poised to break Rick’s record before The Walking Dead signs off. Whether that’s an achievement or a shame is up for debate, as after all, these victims are still people.
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) – 54
Any Walking Dead viewer could probably see this kill count coming, as former protagonist Rick Grimes has perhaps unsurprisingly also racked up a whopping 54 kills. Usually armed with his powerful magnum, Rick has had to kill his best friend Shane Walsh, Terminus leader Gareth, a whole bunch of Saviors, and many more. However, Rick’s most notable action is probably the time he chose not to kill, that being after defeating Negan. Inspired by Carl, Rick’s mercy prevailed over his wrath, and he let Negan live to serve as an example to others. Not that that sat well with Maggie and Daryl, thanks to, well, everyone Negan had killed in cold blood. Still, Rick did what he thought was right, and that’s all a person can do. Rick is set to return and possibly kill more people in a trilogy of Walking Dead theatrical movies, although it’s still unclear when said movies will actually arrive in theaters. When they do though, Rick will have the opportunity to retake his spot at Walking Dead‘s most prolific killer, presuming one counts them as an extension of the show.
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