'The Walking Dead': 12 of the most polarizing characters

Kelly Woo
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of  The Walking Dead — the series’ 100th episode — Yahoo TV will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the season opener.

Love ‘em, hate ‘em, or love to hate ‘em?

The Walking Dead has had its share of polarizing characters that have camps of fans rooting for and against them. Some of the main characters have been among the most divisive, thanks to their deeply flawed actions, foolish mistakes, and boneheaded behavior.

Take the lead character, Rick Grimes, for instance. He’s both the hero and the villain of the show for many fans. Then again, an outright villain like Negan can be admired for his ruthlessness and charisma.

Here’s a look at some of the most polarizing characters in Walking Dead history.

The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.


Yes, he can fight and he can be heroic, but wow is Rick a terrible leader! Seriously, we’ve lost track of all the many bad decisions he’s made, but at the top of the list is triggering this war with Negan and the Saviors, which got Glenn and Abraham killed.

(Photo: AMC)


Oh, where do we start? How about with her ending — the excruciatingly long time it took her to pick up the damn pliers while she was stuck in the room with a dying Milton. Some fans like her feistiness and fight, but then she let herself get suckered in by the likes of The Governor.

(Photo: AMC)


He stepped up to protect Lori and Carl, and lead the group, which is admirable. But then he became unhinged and tried to murder best pal Rick several times. Not cool, bro.

(Photo: AMC)

The Governor

The Woodbury leader cut a dashing figure and we could see how Andrea would fall for him — had he not been a total psychopath who kept zombie heads as trophies and murdered anybody who didn’t conform to his vision of the world.

(Photo: AMC)


Her situation was sympathetic at first: She thought her husband was dead and fell for his best friend. But then, Lori’s behavior grew erratic as she went hot and cold on Rick. She even told him to kill Shane — and then got upset when he actually did it. Still, her death in childbirth was incredibly heart-wrenching.

(Photo: AMC)


He is a badass, no doubt, but his smarmy villainy can get cartoonish — like the over-the-top theatrical way he killed Glenn and Abraham. Murder doesn’t need to be entertainment.

(Photo: AMC)


As amusingly nutty as he can be, the guy is 1) a straight-up liar who pretended to know of a cure for walker-ism, and 2) a coward who has gone over to the dark side with Negan.

(Photo: AMC)


The preacher didn’t earn many friends (or fans) with his cowardly behavior in previous seasons. He’s developed more steel, and has provided some decent counsel, but we personally wouldn’t want him watching our backs.

(Photo: AMC)


As a kid, Carl was a liability. He’s learned to shoot and kill walkers, but teen Carl is still a liability. He makes dumb choices (like trying to assassinate Negan in his own compound). His friendship with Michonne is cute, though.

(Photo: AMC)


He was a bigot and a murderer, a henchman for The Governor, and a thorn in Daryl’s side. But he also genuinely loved his brother and did one good deed (trying to kill The Governor) before dying.

(Photo: AMC)


We get it: Your boyfriend dumped you for another woman and you’re pissed. Does that mean you have to act like an idiot and try to murder Negan — and then fail, only to trigger retaliation? Also, her outfit is just plain ridiculous for dystopian life.

(Photo: AMC)


The dour and cynical teen behaved like a stormcloud that follows people around, dumping sarcastic remarks and stupid behavior on their heads. She’s improved somewhat after adopting Maggie as a mentor, but she’s still way too angsty.

(Photo: AMC)