The Most Ruthless Characters In The Walking Dead (2023)

In a world overrun by the dead who want nothing more than to hunt down and eat the flesh of the living, you might expect them to be the biggest threat around. As it happens, the living are still far deadlier and more chaotic than a walking corpse bent on eating the world's survivors.

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The Walking Dead has always been about the people and not the dead as the primary characters on the show and in the comics. The many people who have shown up demonstrated early just how dangerous they were, though some were far more ruthless than others...

SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses events inThe Walking Dead #130+ as well as the AMC series' ninth season.



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Martin was one of those characters who didn't remain on the series for long, but he made a lasting impact. He was a resident of Terminus, which meant he had a penchant for eating human flesh. His actions had a lasting impact on Tyreese, who was haunted by visions of him long after he died.

This was the guy who threatened to kill Judith to get out of being captured by Carol and Tyreese, but his biggest assault was what he did to Bob. He captured him and ate his leg right in front of him only to learn he was eating "tainted meat" seeing as Bob wasdealing from a bite at the time.


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Simon was unique to the TV series where he played the second-in-command of the Saviors and one of the most ruthless villains on the show. He had a way of intimidating his victims and getting them to do whatever he wanted, but he did it behind a huge grin making him one of the evilest people on the series.

Simon was one of those people who somehow had charisma but used it to creep people out. He would smile the biggest smile while simultaneously threatening to kill someone, their entire family, and all of their friends. He gets himself choked to death by his boss when he challenged Negan for power.


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Owen was the enigmatic leader of the Wolves, and while there was not much revealed about him, it was clear that he was both psychotic and deadly. For some reason, his only purpose in life was to murder anyone who wasn't a part of his group of like-minded psychopaths.

He clearly loves violence and leaps right into a fray with his followers. They assaulted Alexandria and caused all manner of problems for the survivors including the deaths of several important characters. He got himself bitten right before Carol shot him dead from across the street after he helped keep Denise alive.


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Carol may be one of the good guys, but that doesn't mean she isn't a ruthless killer. Having taken more than a few beatings from her husband, she grew from those experiences to become one of the hardest people on the series. She has killed anyone and everyone who threatened her—including children.

Carol is definitely a good person, but her chaotic way of life resulted in the burning to death of the remaining Saviors, the slaughter of everyone at Terminus, and more killings than anyone else in terms of living-on-living people. She's good, but she's also good at killing without mercy.


Alpha was the leader of the Whisperers, a group that had no qualms about skinning the dead and wearing that skin as a mask. She commanded an army capable of using the dead as a tool and a weapon. Her kind killed several of the survivors before being found out, but it was her assault on Alexandria that started a war.

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Before making herself known, she went to the fair and captured a number of people posing as a normal person. She beheaded dozens of folks and staked their heads along the border of her territory and the others. She killed a lot of main characters including Ezekiel, Rosita, Olivia, Luke, and many more.


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Gareth may have been a good guy at one time, but he evolved into a ruthless and efficient killing machine. As one of the leaders of Terminus, he was directly responsible for luring people to his location, trapping them, and killing them for their meat. Yes, Gareth and his followers were all unapologetic cannibals.

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His demeanor with Rick and the survivors showed a man who saw anyone else as a potential threat. He was unwilling to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, which is why he had no problem imprisoning and slaughtering them. He got his just desserts in the end, but he represented true evil.


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Alpha was more than evil having taken part in the killing of dozens of survivors, but her second-in-command was a step up the ladder of evil creepiness. Beta took command of the Whisperers following the death of Alpha, and he was relentless in his pursuit of revenge upon Alexandria.

Beta ended up carrying out Alpha's threat by unleashing the largest horde of Walkers ever assembled upon Alexandria. His actions resulted in the deaths of numerous characters and nearly destroyed Alexandria. It took a long time for the group to recover from his evil machinations, which puts him a step above his former leader.


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The Governor was one of the most dangerous characters when he was first introduced in the comics. He was the leader of a community, which seemed peaceful at first, but quickly proved to be ingrained with pure evil. The Governor was pretty much insane following the death of his daughter, and his rage extended to everyone around him.

He not only attacked the survivors at the prison, but he also slaughtered many of his own people. If he had a real-world analog, it would be Joseph Stalin, which goes a long way in showing just how ruthless this leader was. Oh, he also cut off Rick's hand to show his dominance shortly after meeting him.

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Of all the ruthless enemies the survivors have faced, Negan is probably the one fans love the most. He is the full package when it comes to chaotic evil characters thanks to his wondrous charisma and his ability to make people do whatever he wants. He led the Saviors to dosome not-so-nice things, but his actions were the worst of all.

To ensure the folks from Alexandria understood just how he wanted them to act, he chose one of the main characters at random to die. In the comics, it was Glenn, but on the show, he beat Abraham to death with his bat, Lucille. Shortly after that, he gave Glenn the same treatment.


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That's right, the most ruthless character on the show isn't the Governor or Negan, it's Rick Grimes himself. Granted, he's left the TV series, but Rick is the driving force of the comic book, and he's compromised himself a number of times to ensure the survival of the people he cares for the most.

On numerous occasions, he has killed anyone and everyone who threatened him. The only one to survive his wrath was Negan, but outside of that, he's ruthless in his killing. He recently shot Dwight in the head to keep him from starting a new conflict in the comics, and while he felt bad about it, that didn't stop him from pulling the trigger.

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