Few shows on the air are deadlier than AMC's The Walking Dead. Based on Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's comic book series by the same name, it follows a group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland, fending off both the undead and, more menacingly, the worst humanity has to offer in a battle to see who will survive.
Obviously, if you're doing a show like that right, there will be some characters who die even though the fandom really wishes they hadn't.
With the mid-season finale coming up and a new chapter seemingly opening up for the group in the second half of Season Five, we decided to take a look back at some of the characters we miss the most.
For clarification: We're including here only members of the show's regular cast, so we've excluded people like The Governor and Merle Dixon simply because it's harder to miss somebody who was only there once in a while anyway.
When I reached out to some fans on social media to see who they missed the most, everyone who responded said Hershel.
His quote, spoken during the outbreak at the prison shortly before his death, sums up what made him so special and why so many fans miss him...and is arguably the most famous line in the series.
"You walk outside, you risk your life. You take a drink of water, you risk your life. Nowadays you breathe and you risk your life. You don’t have a choice. The only thing you can choose is what you’re risking it for."
Beth and Maggie's father took on Rick Grimes' group of survivors as a kind of extended family and not only was his death a dark moment for the group, but it came at the fall of the prison, meaning that at a time when things were at their worst and the group could use somebody organized, smart, rational and faithful...they just lost that guy.
The impact of her loss on the show remains to be seen, since she was just killed during the midseason finale last month.
Still, she more or less has to be added to the list on account of the unprecedented outcry over her death, including the infamous petition with more than 59,000 signatures on it demanding that AMC bring her back.
He never appeared in the comics and was always considered to be "on the chopping block" each time some big, new event took place. When he continued to survive time and time again, fans warmed to him even more...until finally it seemed he was popular enough to make his death dramatically satisfying and they got rid of him.
T-Dog's death wasn't mourned in the same way as Lori's, who died in the same episode, but the likable character, a likable actor who interacts with his fans...and a small contingent who love him ironically for his silly name...have made him one of the most talked-about former stars on the show.
Seriously. This guy (probably) knocked up Rick's wife, tried to kill him, died a villain and still has more people reminiscing about the "good old days" when he was on the show than anyone except Hershel.
It seems like just about every time something major happens, the first or second question on Talking Dead that night is, "How would this have played out differently if Shane was here in stead of Rick?"
Which is fair, of course; it's well-known that in the comics, Robert Kirkman briefly considered having Shane win the fight with Rick, kill him and then the book follow him as the protagonist.
We're cheating, because really people only miss them because of how great their comic book counterparts are and the unrealized potential they had...so I'll give them each half a spot on the list.
But given their relationship in the comics, I don't imagine they'd object to sharing a spot for a while.