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The Best Villains in ‘The Walking Dead’

Who doesn't love a good Big Bad?

Negan from The Walking Dead holding lucille

It’s an impressive feat when a horror television series goes a long way. A prime example is The Walking Dead and how it’s endured many long years. While the original run is coming to an end this year, it’s still spawned new spinoffs and its sibling show, Fear the Walking Dead, is still going strong. The villains in this beloved horror drama continue to stir people up. Whether they are memorable or not.

Has every season been top tier? Have the detours from the comics (which are the only reason the television franchise exists in the first place) been stellar? No. But we’re not here to talk about anything other than the strongest Big Bads in the series. Hate em’’ or love em’, here they are. Also no I won’t be talking about the forgettable Wolves, they essentially sucked. 


Walkers stumbling around in The Walking Dead
(AMC Networks)

I get it, I do. They aren’t exactly the most thrilling of villains (even if you love zombies). But they are the most persistent. Not only are they constantly being made, but the death by walker(s) is undoubtedly the most common in the show. After all, it is a zombie apocalypse and walkers won’t ever stop chowing down on human flesh. 

Alpha/The Whisperers

Alpha and Beta talking in The Walking Dead
(AMC Networks)

The execution of the war in the show with Alpha and her group, The Whisperers, is almost as unsettling as the comics. (Only the comics did it much better and there wasn’t a horrible sex scene between Negan and Alpha.) Nevertheless, The Whisperers as a whole were quite strong. Not simply in physical strength—because some of the members certainly weren’t. But given they were a disturbing cult, their strength was especially in their perseverance from seasons 9-10. 

Negan/The Saviors

Negan from The Walking Dead pointing lucille
(AMC Networks)

My personal favorite is Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)and, by proxy, his former group, The Saviors. There was nothing he couldn’t do when he had Lucille in his hand. In fact, his introduction, just like the comics, was a brutal one. To kill someone with a barbed wire bat definitely takes strength. And his fights with Rick (who he had the best chemistry with to date. Also, a lot of folks, including myself, ship them. But that’s beside the point!) showcased his physical strength as well. Though there’s also the strength it takes to survive all the brutality and trauma he has in the apocalypse. The bottle episode that does him justice in terms of showing this is “ Here’s Negan” (season 10 episode 22). Redemption arc aside, he’s still a great former villain (or antagonist if you will).

Commonwealth Army

Lance and Commonwealth Army in the Walking Dead
(AMC Networks)

Considering Mercer (Michael James Shaw) is the general of the Commonwealth Army, he doesn’t count as part of the villains. But the rest of the soldiers proudly obeying the orders of Lance (Josh Hamilton) at the moment are no good. All of their resources and training are part of what makes them so dangerous/strong. Living in a community that’s safe and very much like the old world provides this army security. And security is strength in a zombie apocalypse. The final chapter of the show will prove just how much they match up with our protagonists + their allies.

The Governor 

The Governor in The Walking Dead with an angry look on his face
(AMC Networks)

An absolutely horrible and disturbed man, he really went all out as a villainous character. He’s one of those villains that had 0 justification for his actions. And simply wanted to destroy Rick (Andrew Lincoln)’s group because of his own delusions about his daughter/walkers. His original army was dismantled and wasn’t an extreme threat in the end. Originally, he lost his army and community, but it was when he manipulated a different camp of survivors, and essentially caused the deaths of more than just people in Rick’s group, that he really shined as a villain. Most of his strength, unless he got the upper hand of his opponent, was in manipulation.

(featured image: AMC Networks)

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Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a blerd writer and visual artist who loves horror, anime and all things strange. Her writing has appeared in Pink Advocate, Dread Central and more. For more, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theblackbuffy.