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Tragic Loss: ‘The Walking Dead’ Star Dies, Leaving Legacy Behind

A person with long hair and a rugged appearance intently aims a crossbow. They are wearing a sleeveless black shirt and are surrounded by a forest, indicating a tense and focused situation in an outdoor, possibly survival scenario.
Credit: AMC

If you are a fan of the hit TV series The Walking Dead, we have some unfortunate news of a passing in the cast.

Daryl and Glen looking nervous in a forest

Credit: AMC

The Walking Dead began its journey as a comic book series created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore. The series debuted in 2003 under Image Comics, with Charlie Adlard taking over as the artist from issue #7 onwards. The story centers on Rick Grimes, a small-town sheriff who awakens from a coma to find the world overrun by zombies, referred to as “walkers.” The series explores the struggles of Rick and other survivors as they navigate a post-apocalyptic world, dealing not only with the undead but also with the complexities of human nature and society’s collapse.

The comic book series was lauded for its intense storytelling, character development, and its unflinching portrayal of a world gone mad. It ran for 193 issues, concluding in 2019. Over its 16-year run, it amassed a dedicated following and won numerous awards, cementing its place as a landmark in horror and graphic novel literature.

Daryl, Rick, and Glen happily goofing around in front of a fence

Credit: AMC

In 2010, AMC premiered the television adaptation of The Walking Dead, developed by Frank Darabont. The show closely followed the comic’s premise, starting with Rick Grimes, portrayed by Andrew Lincoln, waking up in a hospital to find the world overrun by zombies. The series’ plot, while deviating at times from the source material, remained true to its essence—exploring the survival and moral dilemmas faced by the living in a world dominated by the dead.

Some of the characters that fans fell in love with are as follows:

  • Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln): The central character, a former sheriff’s deputy who becomes the group’s leader. Lincoln’s portrayal of Rick earned him critical acclaim and several award nominations.
  • Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus): A fan-favorite character created specifically for the show. Daryl, with his crossbow and rugged demeanor, became an integral part of the series. Reedus’ performance was widely praised and his character became a cultural icon.
  • Michonne (Danai Gurira): Introduced in the third season, Michonne is a katana-wielding survivor known for her resilience and combat skills. Gurira’s performance brought depth and strength to the character.
  • Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun): A resourceful and brave former pizza delivery boy. Glenn’s journey from a young survivor to a mature and vital member of the group was a key storyline, with Yeun’s performance garnering widespread acclaim.
  • Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan): Glenn’s love interest and later wife. Maggie evolves into a strong leader, and Cohan’s portrayal of her growth was well-received.
  • Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride): Carol’s transformation from an abused housewife to a hardened, resourceful survivor is one of the show’s most compelling arcs. McBride’s performance was critically acclaimed.

The Walking Dead quickly became a cultural phenomenon, with its gripping storytelling and character-driven drama attracting a massive audience. At its peak, the show garnered over 17 million viewers for the season five premiere, making it one of the highest-rated cable shows of all time. Despite a decline in ratings in later seasons, it remained a cornerstone of AMC’s programming and retained a loyal fan base for all 11 seasons.

the-walking-dead-rick-and-michonne

Credit: AMC

The success of The Walking Dead led to the creation of several spin-offs and companion series, such as:

  • Fear the Walking Dead: Premiering in 2015, this prequel series explores the onset of the apocalypse through the eyes of a dysfunctional family in Los Angeles. It has carved out its own identity and continues to be a significant part of the franchise.
  • The Walking Dead: World Beyond: Launched in 2020, this limited series focuses on the first generation to come of age in the apocalypse, offering a new perspective on the world and its future.
  • Tales of the Walking Dead: An anthology series announced in 2021, aiming to explore individual stories within the “Walking Dead” universe, featuring new and familiar characters.
  • Rick Grimes Movies: Announced as a trilogy of films that will continue Rick’s story after his departure from the main series, with Andrew Lincoln reprising his role.

The Walking Dead universe continues to expand beyond the original series. Six spin-offs have been produced, including the recently released The Walking Dead: Dead City featuring Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

For fans of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), the most recent spin-off, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, offers a reunion as they navigate the aftermath of their long separation (since Rick’s departure in season nine). 

The Walking Dead has left an indelible mark on both the comic book and television landscapes.

From its origins as a graphic novel to its reign as a TV juggernaut, the series has captivated audiences with its exploration of humanity in the face of relentless horror. Its enduring popularity and expansive universe continue to engage fans, ensuring that the legacy of The Walking Dead will persist for years to come.

Now, while the show has come to an end, Norman Reedus has shared his grievances after hearing of one of his favorite cast mates passing away.

Per The Independent, “It was announced by the AMC series, which ended in 2022, that Seven, who played Daryl’s imaginatively named loyal companion Dog, had died.

A person with long hair, wearing a dark shirt, sits on the ground next to a brown dog. The person is looking to the side, with one hand on the dog's back. The scene appears to be set outdoors at night, with a tent and blurred greenery in the background.

Credit: AMC

The social media post, which hailed Belgian shepherd Seven as The Walking Dead’s “best boy,” inspired tributes from several of the show’s stars, including Daryl actor Norman Reedus.

“Gonna miss u seven,” the actor, who currently stars in his own spinoff series, called Daryl Dixon, wrote on Instagram. After sharing several photos of himself with Seven, he posted a broken-heart emoji and added: “Best TV buddy ever.””

Tributes poured in for the beloved canine actor who played Seven on The Walking Dead. Khary Payton (Ezekiel) and Lynn Collins (Leah) were among the cast members who shared their condolences online. Former showrunner Angela Kang also expressed her sadness by re-sharing the original announcement with a crying-face emoji.

Seven’s character debuted in season nine and appeared in a total of 25 episodes, leaving a paw print on the hearts of both viewers and cast. Norman Reedus, who played Daryl Dixon on the show, spoke fondly of Seven, highlighting the dog’s playful spirit and their unexpected on-set moments that often led to even better scenes. Reedus even playfully predicted that Seven might one day “be running the show.”

Season two of Daryl Dixon, titled The Book of Carol, will feature Norman Reedus alongside Melissa McBride, who portrays Carol.

We send our condolences to the cast and crew of The Walking Dead. 

About Alessia Dunn

Orlando theme park lover who loves thrills and theming, with a side of entertainment. You can often catch me at Disney or Universal sipping a cocktail, or crying during Happily Ever After or Fantasmic.

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