A resurfaced cast photo from The Walking Dead’s first season makes sadly clear just how many memorable characters have died on the series to date. One of The Walking Dead’s claims to fame since its very first season has been a willingness to suddenly and shockingly kill off characters, even characters that are beloved or otherwise important to the plot. The Walking Dead likely sports the biggest body count on TV today, with the possible exception of HBO’s soon to end Game of Thrones.
It’s no secret that The Walking Dead isn’t quite the mass media pop culture juggernaut it once was, with the recently finished airing ninth season sporting drastically smaller ratings numbers than seasons 5 and 6, the show’s popularity peak. That said, the show – and the overall franchise it’s spawned – remain big business, and AMC has made it clear that they have no plans to stab The Walking Dead in the brain and put it down for good anytime soon.
Should The Walking Dead survive long enough to reach season 15 – and there’s no reason to believe it won’t – one wonders just how different the cast will look compared to that of this fall’s season 10. As it is, a newly resurfaced season 1 cast photo posted by user eilandbushxxvi on Reddit has served to starkly remind fans just how many characters have been lost in the ensuing nine seasons. Check it out below.
As is readily apparent when looking at the photo, every character in it but Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon is no longer part of The Walking Dead cast. Some might be quick to point out that Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes isn’t technically dead like the rest of the greyed out characters above, but he’s presumed dead by the rest of the current Walking Dead roster, and Lincoln has said Rick will never appear on the flagship series again, so he might as well be deceased in this context. The absence of Melissa McBride’s Carol – also still alive heading toward season 10 – is also readily noticeable, although it’s possible she took the photo, or just ended up cropped out of this version.
The really sad thing about the season 1 photo above is that it doesn’t scratch the surface of Walking Dead’s total character body count. Many major characters introduced since season 1 have also met their makers, such as the late Scott Wilson’s Hershel Greene, Michael Cudlitz’s Abraham Ford, and Tom Payne’s Jesus. Season 9 alone played host to many shocking deaths, the ramifications of which will surely continue to be felt in season 10. Down the road, it’ll be interesting to look at a cast photo for season 9, and see just how many characters are now gone.
More: Walking Dead Season 9 Made Some Shocking Choices – But They Fixed The Show