The Walking Dead Power Rankings: “The New World”

Each week, we’ll give every episode at least 24 hours to breathe…and for you to get caught up. After that, you’re clicking at your own risk. Spoilers ahead. 

How are we doing? You good?

Sunday’s Season 6 midseason premiere was one of The Walking Dead‘s best episodes. The suspense was at an all-time high for most of the characters. Violence and gore was cranked to 11. We even got some development for a number of characters, which we’ll go further into in the power rankings.

The bodycount we heard about going into the episode was certainly not overstated. There was blood, heartache, and some Tiger Woods fist pumps too (at least on my end).

Before we get into the remaining character ranking, a few goodbyes from last week’s list:

Sam Anderson (Previously 29th) – Admirable attempt to be brave for a second. TWD didn’t hold back on devouring him though. Yeesh. No way he was getting out of that horde alive though.

Jessie Anderson (Previously 13th)– That one hurt…for both Rick and the rest of us who were rooting for the future Mrs. Grimes. 

Ron Anderson (Previously 30th) – Suck it, Ron. Seriously. 

Ron's Dead

Alpha Wolf (Previously Last) – TWD has a knack for either redeeming certain characters a little or throwing them off the deep end right before their demise. Going back for Denise, his hostage, and also protecting her showed some change in The Wolf. It was fitting how Carol was the one to shoot him down and for Morgan to end him.

Wade (Previously 27th) and his posse – I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING (more on that in a minute). The open may have been the best since the pilot episode of the show. Sorry that was at Wade’s expense. I did enjoy some of his banter. 

 

And now the living…

1. Daryl Dixon (Previously 1st)

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Daryl blew shit up and it was fantastic. No crossbow? No problem. He hangs on to the #1 spot for basically bailing every character out of imminent doom – blowing up the Saviors, then setting the water on fire that burned up the remaining horde. There’s an argument that his role has diminished on the show (that could lead to his end by the finale). I think he remains all that is pure on the show, and the angel wings on the back of his vest signify that.

2. Rick Grimes (Previously 2nd)

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The #RickRage was on full display Sunday night. He also ignited the Alexandrians to finally stand up for themselves and fight back. He led one hell of a comeback against some nearly impossible odds…The problem is that it all came after a tragedy, which was partially his fault. He could’ve stepped in and ordered Sam to go with Gabriel, but he didn’t. Chopping off Jessie’s hand that stayed gripped to Carl was a veteran move though.

3. Michonne (Previously 3rd)

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Heads up move of the night goes to Michonne for ending Ron. Michonne is a basically in the Grimes family now, right? Was there to help Carl while Denise fixed him up. Was the first one out to follow #RickRage against the walkers. Then was immediately checking on Judith after.

4. Glenn Rhee (Previously 4th)

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Second time this season Glenn was nearly thrashed apart by walkers, but this time he did it to lead them all away from his wife. His willingness to sacrifice himself for Maggie is unbelievably admirable, and his pep talk to Enid showed the leadership qualities he’s picked up from Rick and all the people he named to her (Dale and Herschel).

5. Abraham Ford (Previously 11th)

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“Can you get the gate? Appreciate it, pal.”

Line of the night after Abraham saved Glenn from breaking all of our hearts (again). Abraham is the right kind of crazy at this point in the show, and proven to be more valuable than most.

6. Enid (Previously 14th)

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I’m not sure Enid is afraid of anything other than people getting close to her. Backing up Glenn to save Maggie was a big step for her, and was just about as brave too. With Ron gone too, I get the feeling she’s going to play a big role in Carl’s recovery.

7. Maggie Greene (Previously 4th)

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Maggie didn’t really do anything to slide in the rankings. It was a result of circumstance and people stepping up when she couldn’t. Maggie’s role will be huge in the rebuild of Alexandria, but in the short term it was cool to see her and Glenn reunite…again.

8. Carl Grimes (Previously 7th)

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RIP, Carl’s right eye. This was actually something that fans of the books were looking forward to. How would the TV show make that work? Well, they did. How he responds will be interesting…Will he resent Rick (again)? Will he have an eye patch and become “The Next Governor”? Or will it make him stronger…because “what doesn’t kill you…”?

9. Sasha (Previously 12th)

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Sasha jumps up a little for extending Abraham’s life a few more seconds (before Daryl saved them both) and then coming back with the group to save the day. Her manic moments seem to be behind her…for now.

10. Aaron (Previously 10th)

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Aaron’s done and said the right things for most of his time on the show. It was no surprise that he would go join Rick on his stand against the horde. Doesn’t seem like someone who has needed much convincing since he was the one who brought Rick’s to Alexandria.

11. Heath (Previously Unranked – Total Oversight)

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Leaving Heath out was a mistake last week, but he wasn’t particularly high on this. However, Heath was one of the most important characters in Sunday’s episode because he represented the newfound courage in the Alexandrians. He rallied the group to jump out and help Rick, who he was always suspicious of.

12. Denise Cloyd (Previously 20th)

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Denise represented some serious hope for the group. Even captured, her safety kept characters like Tara, Rosita and Eugene motivated. She also seemed to ignite something in The Wolf that made him human again…for a brief moment.

13. Father Gabriel (Previously 26th)

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The biggest jump goes to Gabriel, for stepping up in every opportunity that was presented to him. Protecting Judith before the Andersons were devoured and then rallying the weakest remaining Alexandrians definitely redeemed him of his past betrayal of Rick. It’s also nice that a Wire alum can still represent, unlike Bob and Tyreese.

14. Tara Chambler (Previously 15th)

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Motivated to save Denise, Tara remains a solid force on the show. Always ready to help when needed and that keeps her ranked around the same spot.

15. Eugene Porter (Previously 19th)

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Big turn for Eugene. He was working on building up courage to help his people over the past couple episodes. Then when he was told to stay behind, he dropped an inspiring line and joined the #RickRage while rocking his mullet. Eugene represents the weakest link in the pre-Alexandria group, and you’re only as strong as your weakest link. (High five for sports cliches).

16. Morgan Jones (Previously 8th)

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In an episode where every character is stepping up, Morgan was left feeling sorry for himself. Mostly for allowing his Wolf hostage get away and Denise being captured, but also for losing his cool to fight Carol. Obviously he took care of business when it was most important but if Morgan’s going to be a Jedi, he better damn act like one. Because doubt leads to anger, anger leads to hate…You know the rest.

17. Rosita Espinosa (Previously 16th)

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Like Tara, Rosita doesn’t jump or slide very far…simply for being solid.

18. Negan (Previously 6th)

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Still haven’t seen the dude and his appearance is looming, but his impact doesn’t feel as immediate as it did before Wade and his crew got blowed up (real good). Wade’s line about “popping one of you right off the bat” should linger with viewers for a while though. Don’t think Negan will know who was responsible for torching his Saviors, but he’s going to make someone pay for it.

19. Carol Peletier (Previously 9th)

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People are going to hate this but Carol had the biggest slide for me. She was responsible for at least 2 major issues in the episode…

  1. Denise wouldn’t have been kidnapped had she just left Morgan alone with The Wolf.
  2. Sam wouldn’t have heard her voice and gotten eaten had she not put all that fear in him…which was pretty unnecessary to begin with.

If you felt bad for The Wolf after he seemed to transform into a decent person, that’s fine. But he had that bullet coming. I don’t see any reason that would have justified her killing Morgan, like she said she should have. He made a good point stating how similar the two were. That will either bring them closer together or kill them both, I assume.

20. Eric Raleigh (Previously 21st)

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Hey look! Eric’s okay! And he did some fighting too! That’s neat.

21. Tobin (Previously 18th)

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I was even happier that Tobin was alive, but disappointed he thought about holding Gabriel back. Not sure if he was in the church out of necessity to protect those held up there, or because he was scared.

22. Baby Judith (Previously 17th)

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This kid does no wrong. Still worry about her as she’s probably Rick’s last bit of sanity.

23. Olivia (Previously 22nd)

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Hey, you’re here too. Yay.

24. Dwight (Previously 23rd)

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Dwight gets a hat tip for providing Daryl with his rocket launcher.

25. Spencer Monroe (Previously 25th)

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Congrats Spencer! You’re officially in last place (after all the other characters were eliminated on Sunday). If anyone seems likely to cause immediate conflict after Alexandria has gotten itself put back together, it’s the guy who will likely be upset that his mother trusted Rick, Michonne and Maggie with her plans before him. He’s been unraveling all season, and will probably be THAT guy who ruins a good thing.

Anyone too high or too low in this week’s rankings? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter!

The Walking Dead Power Rankings: Midseason 6 Premiere

The Walking Dead returns in time to eat your heart out this Valentine’s Day (Sunday, February 14th) at 8 PM CT on AMC.

This is the part where I tell you that spoilers are very likely from here on out. So stop reading if you aren’t caught up…

Stop it.

This is your last warning…

Now it’s on you if things get spoiled. 

Creator and comic book writer Robert Kirkman is on record for saying that there will be blood this Sunday…a lot of blood. Critics who were lucky enough to get early screenings say that the Season 6 midseason premiere is fast, action-packed, and characters will die. There’s common sentiment in early reviews that this episode should have been the midseason finale, instead of the cliffhanger filled showing fans got before the new year.

We know characters come and go on the show. If Game of Thrones taught us anything in the current climate of television, DON’T GET TOO ATTACHED TO ANYONE. And similar to how we’re approaching the new season of Throneswe’ll be keeping a power ranking of the current characters. But if they make Chris Hardwick’s Talking Dead “In Memoriam”, well…

Walking Dead bye

…we’ll say “bye” too.

I know my opinion of each character will likely be very different than yours. Please feel free to air your grievances on Facebook or Twitter.

1. Daryl Dixon

Darryl TWD

Darryl may not be in the comics, but he certainly is one of the best creations from the TV series. He’s the most skilled among the original group and has grown since the early days of brotherly bigotry bonding. In a world where the dead roam looking for blood and the living proves to be even more dangerous, Darryl still looks for the good in others…even to a fault. If he were part of Rick’s conscience, he’d be the small bit of angel left on one shoulder. That might do him in at some point, but you have to think losing Darryl would be the hardest for most fans.

2. Rick Grimes

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The show still evolves around the man who woke up from a coma in a walker infested hospital, as it should. However, Rick has almost evolved entirely into the deputy he hated…Zero trust for others besides his group, killing the living, lusting after someone else’s wife…He hasn’t gone full-Shane, and that may be what has kept he and those closest to him alive. How he reacts after Sunday’s events may change that.

3. Michonne

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 4.16.23 PM There’s an argument that Michonne can be ranked ahead of Rick.

Michonne

There’s your argument.

She’s also the only one I don’t worry about in a massive horde of Walkers.

4. Maggie Greene

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Maggie has probably suffered the most in the group. She lost her home (the farm), cousin (Arnold), step-brother (Shawn), mother (Josephine), step-mother (Annette), father (Herschel) and sister (BETH!). Yet she has remained one of the strongest willed characters on the show, even while her husband was Jon Snowing it for multiple episodes. That’s why Deanna trusted her as a leader in Alexandria.

5. Glenn Rhee

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Glenn cheated some insane and brutal death, but that whole thing didn’t seem like the way he should go. If Glenn’s going to die, his loved ones should see it and it should haunt our dreams for weeks. Only he can get away with calling Rick “dumbass” and he is still the group’s moral compass…while also being Maggie’s last shred of sanity.

6. Negan

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We haven’t even seen Negan yet he’s one of the most hyped characters in the history of television. That intrigue makes him more interesting, as does the suggestion by one of his cronies that EVERYTHING BELONGS TO HIM.

7. Carl Grimes

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Carl’s come a long way. There was a time I wanted him to be in same place as Sophia -like between him getting shot and then Rick saving him from God-knows-what with the Scavengers…Since then, the kid has stepped up and become quite the badass and way less of a brat.

8. Morgan Jones

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Morgan’s whole “development” episode with Eastman still feels like time I can’t get back, but it’s nice knowing how exactly he became a Jedi. Don’t know if the “no kill” rule is going to last for him or if he’ll last sticking to it. It does, however, bring some much needed humility to members of the group that are on the brink of becoming no better than the Wolves.

9. Carol Peletier

Carol TWD

I know quite a few folks are on Carol’s side in the #CarolvsMorgan fight and I don’t blame them. Her instincts have saved the group on multiple occasions. Her development is as vast as anyone. She’s also the devil to Darryl’s angel on Rick’s shoulders. That’s ironic when you think about how similar and close she and Darryl were at one point.

10. Aaron 

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Aaron is the most capable of all the Alexandrian citizens. Unlike the rest of his group, he actually knew what the outside world was like after spending long periods scouting potential members for the community to make it stronger. Had Aaron been around when the Alexandrians were turning on Rick, he probably would have helped convince them to adapt to the Ricktatorship.

11. Abraham Ford

Abraham TWD

I love Abraham. When he’s got a mission, he’s more focused and and scarier than anyone. Unfortunately he’s been a little broken since Eugene’s admission. I’m worried he’s reached the end of his arc wearing the officers uniform he found, but the method in his madness has practically resurrected Sasha…no Walking Dead pun intended.

12. Sasha Williams

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Sasha’s been the closest to the point of no return, among the group that’s survived since Woodbury. Losing Bob and her brother Tyreese certainly pushed her there. Abraham seems to have shown her just about how far gone she was though, mimicking her manic episode. Still not sure if he was doing that on purpose or not, but she’s as capable as anyone when she’s right.

13. Jessie Anderson

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Jessie is Rick’s moral center now, outside of Carl and Judith. She will also go full Mama Bear from The Revenant on anyone who threatens her children. That’s going to get really interesting if Carl is forced to come off of Ron, or if the zombies get F’ing Sam while he’s whining during their stealthy walk among the horde. At least we have this ‘Love Actually’ inspired gif…

Jessie Love Actually

Just in time for Valentine’s Day.

14. Enid

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Enid’s awesome but pretty wishy washy too. She seems ready to turn on the group at any moment because she doesn’t believe they’re built to survive…even though they’ve made it this far. One thinks she’s better off and more helpful on Carl’s side than the alternative.

15. Tara Chambler

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It’s pretty amazing how accepting the group is of Tara, considering she was aligned with the Governor when he decapitated Herschel. Her guilt being involved in that incident seems to have made up for it, and that’s mirrored with helping Eugene get to a point where he can redeem his own faults as well.

16. Rosita Espinosa

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We know almost nothing about Rosita besides her catching up with Abraham and the two keeping each other company. She’s handy with a gun though and meshes well with the group. Either we’ll get to know her better after this weekend, or we’ll just simply say “see ya” without really being too invested.

17. Baby Judith

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Come on. She’s Judith. Everybody loves Judith.

18. Tobin 

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Tobin is really just one of those “That Guy” characters from the Alexandria group, but he’s one of the few to go along with Rick’s plans. That ranks him a lot higher than most of the town…unless the Walkers got him. We really didn’t see him after they breached the wall.

19. Eugene Porter

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Eugene is working his way back to trust and redemption. His awkwardness and deadpan delivery kinda helps that, at least with the audience. Something tells me he’s got some developing to go and some lives to save before the show is done with him.

20. Denise Cloyd

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Denise is in a tough spot, being captive (we think) to the Alpha Wolf. She has Tara’s attention (and probably motivation) though after kissing her and she’s probably the only one qualified to save anyone medically.

21. Eric Raleigh

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No idea how Eric faired during the breach from the horde. Whatever has happened to him might make or break Aaron though.

22. Olivia

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Olivia runs inventory at Alexandria. That counts for something. And I THINK she’s still alive…?

23. Dwight

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A few things we know about Dwight.

  1. Dwight used to work for Negan.
  2. Dwight stole something from Negan (likely Honey).
  3. Dwight then betrayed Darryl who was trying to help him.
  4. Dwight also has Darryl’s crossbow.

Austin Nichols, who plays Dwight, tweeted about coming back for the finale. Not sure how happy we’re going to be about that.

24. Honey

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Honey is in the same boat as Dwight, when it comes to betraying both Negan and Darryl. I’m sure she’s going to wish she didn’t burn the latter.

25. Spencer Monroe

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Spencer’s in a weird spot. On the one hand, he’s Deanna’s son and has room to grow in her image. On the other hand, he’s reckless and stealing food from inventory. Why you gotta do Olivia like that, Spence?!

26. Father Gabriel

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I have a soft spot for Father Gabriel because Seth Gilliam is one of my favorites from The Wire. His character hasn’t been much help at all since he met the group, even turned on them at one point while he was debating his relationship with God…I have to think there’s a reason he asked for fighting pointers from Carl though and that somehow that will payoff.

27. Wade 

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Dude gives off a Dean Ambrose vibe but until we officially meet Negan, you get the feeling he’s going to be a royal pain in the ass. I’m also worried one of the 3 out of Abraham, Sasha and Darryl is going to be departing because of him.

28. Mikey

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You remember Mikey, right? No idea if this kid is still alive, but at least he’s not Ron.

29. Sam Anderson

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SHUT THE FUCK UP, SAM!

30. Ron Anderson

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Ron has a gun and zero backbone. He’s basically everything that was wrong with Carl during that time we all wanted him dead. Yes, I hope his little brother gets him killed on Sunday.

31. Alpha (Wolf)

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 6.19.48 PM Right now, zombies are more likable than this guy. That’s how bad he sucks.

 

We’ll update the rankings each week for the rest of the season. Hope your favorites stay alive…Unless your favorite is Ron. For more, follow along on Facebook or Twitter

 

And check out the first 4 minutes of Sunday’s midseason premiere now!