All Walking Dead Villains, Ranked by Ruthlessness From Dastardly to Deadly


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The Walking Dead has now been off our screens for four months, and there is no time better than the present to rank all the villains the main cast encountered over the show’s 12-year tenure. With nine separate sets of villains to discuss, strap yourself in for a bumpy ride; from ruthless individuals, decapitating governors, and cannibalistic cliques.

9. Shane

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Shane, Shane, Shane, you do really have to be a horrible person, to willingly impregnate the wife of your best friend who you left behind death-bound in a coma. Even though he was a nasty piece of work, Shane did not want to kill his group, but his way of thinking and him being a hothead led to the ex-cop always putting his friends in unwanted danger.

One of the most shocking moments during Jon Bernthal’s time as Shane was when he and Otis, one of the farm hands, went on a dangerous trip to the school. While getting medical supplies, both Otis and Shane picked up leg injuries. This is where a major turning point occurred for Shane as he purposely shot Otis and sacrificed him to the Walkers so that he was able to escape, making it one of the most sadistic Walking Dead scenes early on in the show.

8. The Wolves

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The Wolves never really lived up to the hype on the TV show, with there being so much more they could have done with the group. But alas they make eighth on the list as they were a supporting and primary antagonist for multiple seasons.

They were foreshadowed a few times before officially joining the show, with their graffiti tagline “WOLVES NOT FAR” seen around the surrounding towns in the build-up to their introduction. However, it was their way of murdering and branding that is the reason they are remembered. After killing or making someone into a walker, The Wolves would carve the letter ‘W’ into their forehead. The Wolves became no more as Morgan eventually killed their leader Owen after he turned into a Walker.

7. Terminus

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More of a place than just a group of people, Terminus is where nightmares became reality. A plain old, abandoned train yard in the middle of Georgia was the home of Terminus, where the leader Mary and Gareth were to reside. The real horror within was that the group at Terminus were cannibalistic monsters feeding on the people who refused to join their flesh-eating ways when captured.

They may not have appeared in too many episodes, but they do take the medal for one of the darkest and most horrific episodes the show ever aired. After being captured by the Terminants a few of the series’ main characters are lined up along a pig trough as people around them had their throats slit, with the blood trickling along in front of them. Luckily for them, they escaped with their lives.

6. The Reapers

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The Reapers could very easily have been the best villains we had ever seen in The Walking Dead, but they were just never given enough time to develop their story. In the end, they were just revealed as a generic religious cult and all but disappeared after eight episodes.

They may have been a small group, but under the leadership of Pope, Leah, and Brandon, they were extremely formidable. With his followers willing to suicide bomb for gratification from their commander, the Reapers were a really messed up, brain-washed group. However, their main storyline was really the love life between Leah and Darryl from the main group of survivors, which wasted what could have been the rise of a truly terrifying enemy.

5. The Commonwealth

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The Commonwealth takes the middle ranking spot in this list, mainly because all the terror they did cause, still has not completely sunk in as of yet. A Walker-free safe haven, where people could have real jobs, get paid in real money, and grab a meal in a restaurant, The Commonwealth seemed like the dream destination for people in a post-apocalyptic world. However, if you took a peek behind the curtain the real Commonwealth began to unfold.

Led by Pamela Milton and her deputy Lance Hornsby they formed a powerful partnership and were able to pull the wool over thousands of people’s eyes. At first, it was a ‘perfect world’ but It was issues such as classism being able to thrive that eventually led to the demise of The Commonwealth.

With riots taking place, Milton allowed Walkers into her commune and aimed them toward the poorer communities. However, everyone worked together; civilians, survivors, and military to overthrow the reign of Milton, with her eventually being imprisoned. And that was the end of The Commonwealth.

4. The Governor

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Well well well… Here is the man that started it all. The Governor, otherwise known as Phillip Blake was the first big bad in The Walking Dead franchise. Joining in series three as the primary antagonist, he went to town straight away by being an evil, no-good leader; a power-hungry, psychopathic, ruthless individual whose one aim is to kill or torture anyone who threatens his leadership.

Throughout his time in the show, he took the lives of many fan favorites including the likes of Axel, Merle, Milton, and Andrea. However, it was the death of Hershel via decapitation, who was seen as a grandfather to the main group, that caused the biggest outrage. This ultimately led to his demise at the hands of Michonne and Lilly.

3. The Whisperers

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If this list were to be based on the level of the creepiness of a villain, then the Whisperers would be off the chart. No one comes close to the sadistic nature of their leader Alpha and her right-hand man the seriously unnerving but silent, Beta. Viewers were greeted by the Whisperers as a disgusting group of survivors who ripped the faces off of Walkers and wore them as masks to go around killing other groups for pleasure.

One of their most infamous scenes was where they killed a whole host of the main survivors’ group and stuck their heads on top of pikes to ward the others away. Notable characters to become a victim of Alpha and her minions included Tara, Enid, and Henry.

2. Negan and the Saviors

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If you think The Walking Dead, you almost immediately think of Negan and his Saviors. He is by far the most iconic of all villains to set foot in The Walking Dead, alongside his trusty bat Lucille. Having been introduced at the end of season six as the leader of the Saviors, it wasn’t until the opening of the following season, that we got to see the true terror which is Negan.

The opening episode of season seven goes down in Walking Dead history as one of the most brutal ever. Negan has all the main survivors in a line in front of them and tells them he is going to kill one of them. Pulling out his barbed wire-covered bat Lucille he proceeds to smash in the head of Abraham (who doesn’t go down without one last badass quip). However, he does not stop there. Because Daryl acts out of turn, he then turns Lucille onto Glenn, and in doing so he beat him to a pulp with his eyes and brain exploding in front of everyone.

Getting himself a spin-off show with Maggie, and having the longest tenure of any villain in Walking Dead history is why he is cemented into the number two spot.

1. Walkers

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The Walkers are the first, the last, and the most ruthless of all villains in The Walking Dead. With the highest kill count of anyone on this list, and having killed many fan-favorite characters, the Walkers are the real big bad. Since the show made its debut they have been the primary antagonist and with how essential the undead is to a show about the apocalypse, the human-eating Walkers easily take the number one spot.

With Walkers being a constant within The Walking Dead it is no surprise that they take the gold, fleshy medal. If you disagree go back, watch the show, and make a list of your own, opinions always change. But Walkers rarely do.

About the author

Harrison Lane

I am a Sports Journalism masters graduate, with what some people (my fiancé) call an unhealthy obsession with Football Manager. Enjoy first person shooter and open world games and spend my non gaming times watching comedy and fantasy shows.