Fans of The Walking Dead love to talk about the series’ most kick-butt characters. From Daryl’s skills with a crossbow and Michonne’s awesome command of her katana, to Carol’s Bear Grylls-level survival skills, many of the show’s most popular characters are also among its most deadly.
That being said, we don’t talk nearly enough about Maggie, played by series standout Lauren Cohan. From her very first moments on The Walking Dead to her gradual transformation into one of its most brilliant leaders, she’s faced devastating losses and still continues to fight her way back. Maggie has had some unforgettable moments throughout her six-plus seasons on the show, but some stand just a bit above the rest in terms of defining who she is. Here are 10 of Maggie Rhee’s most amazing moments on The Walking Dead.
1. Finding Lori after Carl was shot
Maggie is such a vital part of The Walking Dead that it’s easy to forget she didn’t make her first appearance until the Season 2 “Bloodletting.” After Carl was shot, a frantic Rick carried the young boy to the Greene homestead. Hershel was, in many ways, the hero of the hour when it came to saving Carl’s life. But Maggie proved, in one of her first moments on screen, that she was equally caring when she took it upon herself to find Lori and bring her to her son’s bedside. There was something thrilling about watching her careen through the fields and woods in search of a total stranger. And her first actions on The Walking Dead gave us a real hint at the kind of strong, brave, and resourceful character she would be.
2. Making the first move with Glenn
So much of Maggie’s story has centered around her relationship with Glenn Rhee, which was arguably the healthiest and most inspiring relationship from all seven seasons of The Walking Dead. From the moment Glenn saw his future wife, it was obvious that he was smitten. With Maggie, we got our first hint that she was into Glenn in “Cherokee Rose,” the second season’s fourth episode. She recruited him to go on a run for supplies in a wonderfully innuendo-laden exchange, then cornered him in the town pharmacy when she discovered him picking up condoms. Instead of humiliating him, Maggie propositioned him, and they consummated their relationship right there on the linoleum floor.
From their awkward chemistry to Maggie’s take-charge attitude, the onset of “Gleggie” remains one of TWD‘s best and most unconventionally romantic moments ever.
3. Helping Beth work through her issues
Leader, negotiator, confidante, daughter, friend, and wife: Maggie has played a lot of roles during her time on The Walking Dead. But one of the most important to her was clearly that of big sister. In the wake of the barn debacle in Season 2, after Rick had to put down a zombified Sophia and the Greenes realized that their loved ones were never coming back, Beth was down and out.
In “18 Miles Out,” Maggie was the only one who could get through to her, and convince her that suicide wasn’t her only option. She did that in the most Maggie way possible — by showing her sister a bit of tough love. Though she didn’t coddle Beth, she did show her how much she meant to her, and how important it was for life to go on.
4. Putting Glenn in his place
Part of what made Maggie and Glenn a couple worth rooting for was that they weren’t perfect. They had disagreements, and weren’t afraid to call each other out when they stepped out of line. The first, and perhaps best example of this was in “Pretty Much Dead Already.” In the episode, Maggie made Glenn pay for revealing to his friends that her father had been keeping walkers in the barn. Instead of engaging him in a shouting match or chewing him out, she simply stared him down, dropped a rotten egg into his hat, and then smashed it back onto his head. Was it the most mature way to suss out their disagreement? Not at all. But it showed that Maggie had principles, and that she had her own unique way of getting her point across.
5. When she delivered Judith
“The Killer Within” was one of The Walking Dead‘s first truly shocking episodes — and remains one of its best, and saddest, to this day. After a security breach at the prison, the gang was forced to scatter, and Lori unexpectedly went into labor. Maggie snapped into action, as she is wont to do, and did her best to keep both mother and baby alive during the delivery. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, and Lori sacrificed herself to make sure Judith could have a chance to live. Maggie’s incredible bravery during this traumatic ordeal was inspiring; she fought through the overwhelming emotions of facing both life and death all at once and managed to get both of Rick’s children back to him safely.
6. Burning Glenn’s picture
For fans of Maggie and Glenn, much of The Walking Dead‘s fourth season was a rough ride. That’s because they separated after the Mayor’s deadly raid on the prison. The moment they finally reunited in “Us” was heartwarming and sweet, but the conversation they had after was even more proof that they were meant to be.
Maggie insisted on burning Glenn’s only photo of her — one he’d snapped in a prison guard tower during an equally sweet moment several episodes before — because she was sure he was never going to need it. At first, her husband balked, and when he finally helped her complete the task, it seemed as though the couple had come to a deeper understanding. They loved each other, needed each other, and would do whatever it took to stay together. In hindsight, the scene feels especially tragic, given Glenn’s terrible fate; but it still serves as a wonderful reminder of Maggie’s commitment to him.
7. Finding forgiveness in Alexandria
By the time The Walking Dead‘s main ensemble landed in Alexandria, they were all weary. Learning that it wasn’t exactly the utopia they originally thought was hard on everyone, and sent Rick into a tailspin. At the same time, Deanna recognized Maggie’s innate leadership qualities and took her under her wing. That’s part of what made Maggie’s actions in “Conquer” all the more impressive.
Even though her own stake in Alexandria was on the line, she did the right thing and stood up for Rick when the town was contemplating his banishment. Then, she went one step further in her personal journey when, instead of killing Father Gabriel for turning Deanna against Rick, she chose to reconcile with him. In a single episode, Maggie showed us that she not only understands the nuances of leadership, but that she’s capable of making the right decision, even when the pressure is on.
8. Fighting off all the walkers when the Wolves were at the door
Maggie has faced a lot of perilous moments over the years. But between facing down Negan, the Governor, and a band of cannibals, her near-death encounter with a hoard of walkers in the sixth season was one of the most nerve-wracking.
In “No Way Out,” Alexandria was breached by both walkers and the Wolves, and Maggie found herself with few good options. Instead of crumbling or panicking, she reminded us why she has survived as long as she has by battling through the undead, scaling a lookout tower, and fending off the dozens of walkers while she looked for a means to escape. There was something truly heroic about the way she was able to kick and claw her way to safety and live to fight another day.
9. Playing hardball with Gregory
Maggie has showcased her physical toughness on multiple occasions. But as of late, she’s had a chance to really put her mental acuity to work as well. Upon discovering the Hilltop Colony, Rick and Maggie both instantly saw it as an untapped resource; a way to get food, something that Alexandria was lacking. There was just one problem: their unreasonable (and incredibly misogynistic) leader, Gregory. Her first attempts to barter with him in “Knots Untie” were rebuffed. Instead of admitting defeat, Maggie used the encounter to her advantage and began to take note of the colony and its leader’s weak spots. After Gregory was attacked by one of his own on Negan’s orders, Maggie saw an opening. Then, she made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: protection from the Saviors. Watching Maggie flip the balance of power on Gregory, who had grossly underestimated her potential, was one of the most satisfying moments of the latter half of Season 6, and yet another way for her to prove her capabilities.
10. “Maggie. Maggie Rhee.”
The seventh season of The Walking Dead has been a low point for basically all of the characters, but perhaps none more so than Maggie. After watching Glenn lose his life in the most brutal manner possible, she retreated to Hilltop to try to save her pregnancy. There, she bonded with Jesus and did her best to help keep the Colony safe, but in “Go Getters,” Gregory once again proved to be a thorn in her side. Eager to maintain his dominance, he first demanded that she and Sasha leave, then resorted to once again patronizing her — and rubbing his relationship with the Saviors in her face — after he agreed to let them stay.
In response, Maggie showed him exactly how serious she was about being treated as an equal. She punched him in the face, and told him that she was done answering to his pet names. “You’ll learn to call me by my name,” she told him sternly. “Maggie. Maggie Rhee.” It was a jump-out-of-your-chair-and-cheer moment in a season that largely felt like defeat for many fans. In a single moment, she managed to assert her own authority and remind us that while Glenn is gone, he is still with her.
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