Well, looks like another season of The Walking Dead has wrapped. Old characters have died gruesome deaths and new cast members have been introduced to take their place. Even though The Walking Dead's show-runners would like you to believe that No one is safe, the reality is that three seasons worth of so called "shocking deaths," are, in reality, far from unpredictable. So, if you're worried that your favorite character might be walker bait next season, stop sweating it. Find out your favorite characters' chances with this easily reference list:
5 Signs You're Going to Die
on The Walking Dead
**Contains Spoilers for Seasons 1, 2, and 3***
1.) You're Not the Only Black Person in the Room
Face it. The Walking Dead isn't going to win any NAACP awards for diversity in its programming. Have you ever noticed that despite being set in Georgia, our long-suffering survivors can't seem to keep many black people on their team? Atlanta itself is home to an estimated 1.7 million African Americans, but if you watch The Walking Dead you'd never know it. You know what they say: on The Walking Dead, once you go black, you ain't coming back.
- Unnamed Black Atlanta Camp Survivors -- Eaten by walkers [Season 1]
- Jacqui -- Suicide in CDC explosion [Season 1]
- Sean -- Shot by Hershel then eaten by walkers [Season 2]
- Big Tiny -- Repeatedly bashed in the head [Season 3]
- Andrew -- Shot [Season 3]
- T-Dog -- Devoured by walkers [Season 3]
- Oscar -- Shot [Season 3]
- Sasha (90%). Two strong black women in camp? What does Sasha want on her tombstone?
- Shumpert (75%): A bad guy and a black guy? If he returns, he better watch his back.
- Tyreese (50%). Should be safe unless any other leading black men join.
- Michonne (2%). Like Daryl Dixon, she's protected by fandom. Fans will riot if she dies.
Are you a azSCFbad guy turned good? Have you put your long and troubled past behind you and finally made amends? Maybe you fucked up just once and feel really bad about it. Well, better start drafting a will because The Walking Dead has it out for you. If The Walking Dead has taught us anything, it's that bad guys turned good definitely finish last. I don't know why, but for a show that depicts gruesome violence every week, it still seems to adhere to a very strict cosmic moral code. Are you now or have you ever been even remotely a bad person? Well, payback's a bitch.
- Otis -- Accidentally shoots Carl. Works hard to repay his debt. Later shot and left as walker bait by Shane. [Season 2]
- Shane -- Ditches his best friend in the hospital, sleeps with his wife, and then tries to kill his best friend when he comes back. Kills innocent people. Shot and killed. [Season 2]
- Big Tiny -- Reformed Convict. Repeatedly bashed in the head [Season 3]
- Oscar -- Reformed Convict. Shot [Season 3]
- Axel-- Reformed Convict. Shot [Season 3]
- Merle -- Racist, torturing, murdering asshole. Let's Michonne go. Shot by the Governor. [Season 3]
- Allen -- Turns his back on Tyreese to join the Governor. Turns on the Governor. Shot by the Governor. [Season 3]
- Jody -- Joins the Governor's raiding party. Retreats from the battle in the prison before killing anyone and surrenders to Carl. Carl guns him down. [Season 3]
- Milton -- Aids the Governor. Turns on the Governor. Stabbed in the gut. [Season 3]
- Karen (80%). She once helped the Governor, but now she's helping Rick and his group. But since the audience doesn't have much invested in her, she's easy walker bait come Season 4 if she returns.
- Carl (40%). Has the violent, post-apocalyptic life turned sweet little Carl into Shane Jr.?
3.) You're a woman the writers don't know what to do with so they make everyone hate you.
As much as The Walking Dead doesn't know what to do with its black male characters, it seems to have even more difficulty managing its female characters who don't fit into conventional stereotypes such as mother, sister, girlfriend, or wife. Carol's safe. She's a love interest for Daryl now. Maggie's safe. She's engaged to Glen. Michonne's safe. She's the bad-ass black chick. Aside from Michonne, I hope you're not an unconventional white woman with human flaws and a lack of conventional maternal characteristics because the writers are going to turn you into a real scumbag with erratic motivations and questionable judgement.
- Lori -- Suspects her husband is dead and has sex with his best friend. Can't decide whether she wants Shane to be involved in Carl's life or stay away. Alternates between hot and cold. Manipulative and completely naive. Can never find Carl. Flips a car for no damn reason. Dies in childbirth. [Season 3]
- Andrea -- Doesn't listen to anyone. Has questionable taste in men. Advocates suicide to a young girl. Almost kills Darryl by accident. Ignores Michonne and backs the Governor. Sleeps with the Governor. Is tortured by the Governor and commits suicide before turning after a walker bite. [Season 3]
- Sasha (40%). As one of the new female characters, the writers could just give up on her and make her the new Lori/Andrea.
- Carol (5%). Although highly unlikely given her current status in relationship to Daryl, the writers might hit a dead end with Carol and turn her into crazy bitch.
4.) You're a supporting character suddenly with a lot of screen time
Are you a The Walking Dead supporting cast member who suddenly starts getting a lot more lines to talk about your back story and your hopes and dreams? Maybe you even get your very own monologue! Well, you're the equivalent of a cop in an action movie who keeps talking about how he's one day away from retirement. If the audience isn't that familiar with you, one of the classic tells that you're going to die is if you're suddenly given a lot of exposition about yourself. It's a cheap way to make the audience feel invested in you so when you die by the end of the episode we'll care a little bit.
- Jim-- Becomes the center of attention when he freaks out and starts digging graves and then goes on to reveal some of the back story about what happened to his family. Is bitten by a walker during an attack on the camp and asks to be left to turn. [Season 1]
- Amy -- Has a heartfelt discussion with her sister about her father and their relationship at the beginning of the episode. Bitten by a walker and dies at the end of the episode. [Season 1]
- Dale-- As a secondary character who is suddenly in a lot more episodes, Dale confronts Shane and makes impassioned pleas to spare Randall's life. He is then gutted by a walker. [Season 2]
- T-Dog-- After not having much to do in Season 3, T-Dog suddenly steps to the forefront as a hero to defend the prisoners and argue for their inclusion in the group. Later that episode, he's bitten by walkers and then later consumed. [Season 3]
- Axel-- Oh, Axel's starting to show up in way more episodes and is getting a little something going with Carol. He's talking about how good he feels now. Oh, no. Wait. He's shot. [Season 3]
- Merle -- Daryl's bad-boy brother gets an episode all to himself and does some personal soul-searching with Michonne. Is shot, reanimated, and then re-killed by Daryl. [Season 3]
If you're a member of the main cast, you're generally safe from a grisly death during most of the season because the show's not going to throw away one of its moneymakers during a regular season episode. However, watch out when it gets close to mid-season cliffhanger or end-of-season finale time; your death could be ratings gold. As we've seen on The Walking Dead time and time again, if you're separated from the main group during or close to the mid-season or end-of-season finale you're not likely to return alive. You might as well be a character in a slasher film saying, "I'll be right back!"
- Amy -- At roughly the mid-point of the season, she excuses herself from the group to go to the washroom. Alone, she is attacked and bitten by a walker. [Season 1]
- Sophia -- Disappears at the beginning of the season and ends up a walker in the barn for the mid-season cliffhanger. [Season 2]
- Shane -- Isolated from the rest of the group with Rick in a field, Shane tries to kill Rick. Rick kills him in the season finale. [Season 2]
- Andrea -- Separated from everyone but a mortally-wounded Milton, she dies in the season finale to avoid turning into a walker. [Season 3]