‘The Walking Dead’: Which Original Characters Are Still in the Show?

As AMC‘s zombie apocalypse drama, The Walking Dead approaches its tenth season and has just been renewed for an eleventh season, many of the show’s original cast members have moved on to different projects. In fact, there are only a handful of the show’s original cast members from season one remaining. After all, staying alive and well in the zombie apocalypse is no easy task.

For nearly 10 years, we’ve watched as Sheriff Rick Grimes and his band of survivors have quite literally become the walking dead, fleeing hordes of man-eating zombies, known as “walkers” in the show and fighting off rival groups of survivors. We’ve had to say goodbye to many of the shows veteran cast of characters, whether they met a brutal end at the hands of flesh-eating walkers, or simply left the show to move on with their career. Still, we have quite a few familiar faces from The Walking Dead Season 1.

Josh McDermitt, Chad L. Coleman, Lauren Cohan, Alanna Masterson, Steven Yeun, Emily Kinney, Andrew Lincoln, Sonequa Martin-Green, Danai Gurira, Michael Cudlitz, Melissa McBride, and Norman Reedus
Josh McDermitt, Chad L. Coleman, Lauren Cohan, Alanna Masterson, Steven Yeun, Emily Kinney, Andrew Lincoln, Sonequa Martin-Green, Danai Gurira, Michael Cudlitz, Melissa McBride, and Norman Reedus | Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Here are the original characters who have continued to star in The Walking Dead from day one:

Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead
Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln | AMC

Daryl Dixon

For years, The Walking Dead fans have proudly proclaimed that if Daryl dies, they will riot. So, it’s probably safe to say that our favorite motorcycle-riding and crossbow-wielding hero will stick around until the end of the show. Daryl, played by Norman Reedus, has survived the closest of brushes with death, so it’s unlikely that the writers will do him in any time soon, if at all.

When we last saw Daryl in The Walking Dead Season 9, he had become the leader of the Sanctuary, which he wasn’t terribly thrilled about. Daryl had a conflict with Rick over what to do with Negan since Daryl wanted to help Maggie execute him as justice for the murders of Glenn, Abraham, and many others. After a brief scuffle, Daryl and Rick reconcile, but after the explosion at the bridge, Daryl believes that Rick has died.

Six years later, Daryl is now separated from the group, living alone with a pet dog.

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier on The Walking Dead
Melissa McBride | AMC

Carol Peletier

Out of all of the characters in The Walking Dead, Carol, played by Melissa McBride, has experienced some of the most growth and development as a person. When we first meet Carol in the first season, she’s shy, timid, and fearful of her abusive husband, Ed. The Carol we know now is absolutely ruthless, blowing up compounds, threatening children into helping her agenda, and otherwise growing into a cold-blooded warrior who will do whatever it takes to survive.

The biggest question many fans have about The Walking Dead is whether or not Carol and Daryl will end up becoming an item. After all, the two share chemistry unlike any other characters on the show, even Rick and Michonne. According to the Daily News, romantic tension begins to grow between the two during the show’s season premiere.

“You will see a different dynamic from Carol and Daryl for sure this year,” Reedus said in an interview with the Daily News, “It’s complicated. There are a lot of things going on that make those characters go in certain directions. You will get to see how close they are and you’ll also get to see those characters interact in different ways as well.”

Morgan Jones
Lennie James | AMC

Morgan Jones

Morgan Jones, played by Lennie James, was the very first character we came in contact with after Rick emerged from his coma to find the world had gone to ruin. After his first appearance in The Walking Dead Season 1, Morgan’s presence in the show was largely inconsistent. It wasn’t until the fifth season that the character returned once and for all to become a main member of the survivors.

After the horrific death of his wife and son, Morgan went somewhat insane and lost all regard and respect for human life. After spending some time with a solitary farmer, Morgan became a pacifist, refusing to bring an end to human lives.

However, Morgan is no longer a part of The Walking Dead. Instead, he has joined the cast of the series’ spin-off Fear the Walking Dead, where his fate is left unknown to viewers. The last time we saw Morgan in Fear the Walking Dead Season 5, he had lost consciousness as a herd of walkers approached, leaving his fate up to the imagination of fans.

Will there be any big character deaths in ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 10?

Just like HBO’s Game of Thrones, AMC’s The Walking Dead is fond of killing off characters like flies. After seemingly safe characters like Carl Grimes and Glenn Rhee met a gruesome death, it appears that no character is safe from the chopping block.

The characters are facing The Whisperers, a threat that is unlike anything the band of survivors has ever faced before.

“Backed by a massive horde of the dead, a conflict with the Whisperers is seemingly a fight the survivors cannot win,” the network stated, “The question of what to do, and the fear it breeds, will infect the communities and give rise to paranoia, propaganda, secret agendas, and infighting that will test them as both individuals and as a society.”

With a war between our favorite group of apocalypse survivors and The Whisperers looming, it’s more than likely that we’ll lose more of our favorite characters, whether they’ve been on board since the beginning or if they’ve just recently joined the show. After all, in the apocalypse, no one is safe.

AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 10 will premiere on Oct. 6, 2019.