The Walking Dead has burnt through most of its characters who were introduced in its first season.
The six-episode run in 2010 brought us to Atlanta, weeks after a zombie apocalypse had taken down most of the world. In a camp outside of the city the show's main protagonist Rick Grimes would reunitie with his wife and son, police partner, and meet a group of survivors for the first time.
Of the group introduced in the earliest episodes, most of them are long dead by now. Rick's wife Lori bowed out during childbirth, moral compass Dale was killed after a surprising walker bite in the second season, Andrea and her sister Amy were simply not cut out for the world of the undead, and neither Carol's husband nor daughter would survive beyond the second season.
With the show being as deadly as it is, built on the mantra of "no one is safe," the characters who have survived from the first season heading into the eighth are in constant danger. Today, there are five. Whether or not these five with survive the upcoming 16-episode run... Only time will tell.
For now, we're ruling Carl Grimes as "safe."
The child of the apocalypse has a lot of growing up left to do, despite fans clamoring of the rumors of his college life having any effect on his role in the AMC series.
Carl has survived being shot in the stomach, lost an eye to a bullet, and continues to press on. He is eager to take down Negan, which could have cost him already as he raided the villain's Sanctuary and gunned down a few of his men. However, Rick Grimes would lay his life on the line to protect his son and Negan has some sort of weird appreciation for the scarred bad boy.
Carl isn't going anywhere.
While Robert Kirkman has promised to kill Rick Grimes "eventually," that time wont be coming in Season 8.
Rick is the show's focus point. He is the leader of Alexandria and will continue to be the glue which holds all of the communities together. While he was certainly be involved with some treacherous scenarios during the upcoming war, he will not be meeting the reaper in Episode 100 or the 15 which follow.
Based on The Walking Dead comics, it's also safe to say that Rick has a lot more obstacles to tackles than Negan. He has a war more threatening than his current bout with the Saviors beyond the horizon and will have to maintain the trust of his own people as the community grows and new threats emerge.
Plus, no one is better equipped to survive in the apocalyptic world than Rick.
Morgan's introduction came unexpectedly. His son Duane clobbered Rick Grimes in the back of the head with a shovel. Duane, unfortunately, became a casualty of the apocalypse. Morgan, however, has pressed on.
Morgan is one of the characters listed as "in danger" for Season 8.
Heading into the war with Negan, Morgan is unstable. With the loss of Benjamin having a major effect on him late in Season 7, the character snapped and killed Richard before serving as a valuable ally in the battle at Alexandria in the Season 7 finale. Currently in the mindset of wanting to kill every last Savior, Morgan has little to live for other than protecting those around him.
The man will be quick to sacrifice himself or act anxiously when war brings the battle to him.
In The Walking Dead comics, Morgan has already died by the time Negan arrives. This makes him a wild card for television, at this point. Of all the characters to have survived from the first season, Morgan feels like the next in line to go.
The biggest threat to Carol Pelettier is herself. First introduced in The Walking Dead's second episode, Carol started out as a humbled and abused wife only to evolve into one of the apocalypse's best survivors. Not only is Carol a survivor but she is often a hero.
With a war with the Saviors coming, Carol's fate is uncertain. Her comic book counterpart committed suicide ahead of the war, put her in the same wildcard category as Morgan. With Carol showing signs which lead fans to believe she desires a similar fate, the crowd who loves the character has become a little bit worried about her in Season 8.
While we aren't putting Carol at the top of our watch list, it would be jumping the gun to rule the fan-favorite character as "safe." Anything can happen on a battlefield and Carol is certainly the type to put herself before others when they are in the face of danger.
Daryl Dixon seems like the one character The Walking Dead will never kill.
He's a fan-favorite character in a series with ratings which have been treated quite delicately in the wake of violence controversy to kick off Season 7. However, Daryl Dixon can go at any time. The character never existed in the comics, meaning anything can happen.
While Season 8 is not the place where we expect to see Daryl's run on The Walking Dead come to an end, it is unlikely he will survive the series through the final moments of its final episode. Still, there might be another half of a decade left in The Walking Dead's tank, so Daryl is probably here to stay -- for now.
MORE WALKING DEAD: New Photo Of Johnny Depp's Dead Head Prop / Negan's Backstory Reveals Completely Different Character / Watch Negan's Alternate Kills / TWD F-Take Clips With Rick And Daryl / Major Criticism Fixed For Season 8 / TWD Casting Two New Characters
The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season in October of 2017. The first trailer is expected to arrive at San Diego Comic Con in July. For complete coverage and insider info all off-season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.