5 characters who are good role models (and 5 who are not)

A major recurring theme in The walking dead is the post-apocalyptic setting that forces people to their limits. Between the struggle for survival, the constant threat of zombies and the total collapse of public order, the characters of The walking dead must carefully weigh every decision they make – as evidenced by the show’s high mortality rate.

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However, being pushed to the limit doesn’t always make characters bad people. The walking dead indicates that the apocalypse reveals who people really are at a basic level, whether that level is admirable or despicable. As such, some characters are great role models and some are really terrible ones.

ten Good role model: Father Gabriel Stokes adapts without getting lost


Father Gabriel Stokes with a bloody machete in The Walking Dead

For much of his time on The walking dead, the priest, Gabriel Stokes, was a bad role model. Gabriel was a Pharisaic hypocrite who let his parishioners die and tried to betray Rick’s group on several occasions, seeing them as too violent. He was ill-suited to the apocalypse, and a worse person for it.

Events made Gabriel harden. He learned to become a warrior and someone who could command the respect of others. Even though he rose to the occasion, he stayed true to himself. Gabriel became a spiritual leader in Alexandra, important in maintaining morale and morale.

9 Bad role model: Simon Rebels for the wrong reasons


Simon grins maniacally in The Walking Dead

It is well accepted by many that people have the right to disobey immoral orders and the right to remove leaders who are immoral or bad for their group. As such, attempting to dethrone Negan from the Saviors at the height of the war with Rick’s party could have been a great choice.

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Simon rebels, however, purely out of ambition and personal aversion to Negan. Along with gruesome deeds like killing the Scavengers – and costing any chance of peace – Simon shows himself to be devoid of Negan’s low morale. As such, he is one of the worst role models The walking dead.


8 Good role model: Daryl Dixon shows the value of growth


The Walking Dead - Season 11 Episode 6 Daryl

Although he had been the butt of fan love almost since his first appearance, Daryl Dixon had a number of flaws to begin with. Aside from his devotion to his racist and hated brother, he was also a brooding loner with a temper and very little in the way of a purpose in life.

The best people in Daryl’s life are rubbing off on him, and he’s starting to change, almost always for the better. Over time, he becomes a staunch friend of many, a valued member of the community, and one of the most respectful characters of all actors. Daryl is admirable for showing that positive change can happen even under the worst of circumstances.


seven Bad Role Model: Maggie Rhee Lets Revenge Consume Her


Maggie Rhee née Greene with her bow in The Walking Dead

Maggie Rhee (formerly named Greene), is one of the most evolved characters in The walking dead, truly embracing his steel and becoming a leading figure in the post-apocalyptic political landscape. In recent seasons, however, fans have noted a darker turn in its development.

After the war with the Saviors, Maggie became obsessed with revenge against Negan, who had directed the majority of her plots. While it’s undeniable that Negan has done horrible things – or that her redemption is uncertain – Maggie’s obsession with revenge often threatens to get her in trouble, it’s not a role model, despite her many admirable qualities.


6 Good role model: Michonne shows off parenthood under impossible circumstances


Michonne chasing walkers with Judith on The Walking Dead show

There’s obviously more to Michonne Hawthorne’s character in The walking dead than her status as a mother. She’s an important figure in her community, a moral voice, and one of the cast’s deadliest fighters. Nonetheless, recent seasons have seen her act as a mother figure to Judith Grimes as well as her own son, Rick Junior.

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It can be rare on TV to see a healthy portrayal of a blended family, which is even more astonishing in The walking dead, from all places. As such, to deal with a difficult parenting situation in the post-apocalypse, in addition to her other valuable roles, Michonne is undoubtedly a role model.


5 Bad role model: Eugene Porter still struggles with his many flaws


Eugene in Alexandria in The Walking Dead

Eugene Porter started off unpopular with fans, but redeemed himself in the eyes of characters and viewers of The walking dead. Initially portrayed as a goofy manipulator, claiming to be able to cure the zombie plague just to protect himself, he continued to show a devious and manipulative streak.

It got him fans when he turned it against the Saviors, but it’s still something he struggles with with nicer people. Even in the last few seasons, Eugene has struggled to trust people with important information, which, in such a tense survival situation as the characters, is a terrible trait to have.


4 Good role model: Rick comes to find the balance of leadership (eventually)


Rick Grimes in Alexandria the Walking Dead

Leadership is never easy, let alone in the zombie apocalypse. One of the main explorations of The walking deadshoulder seasons were Rick Grimes’ morality and his gang leadership. Slipping between lucidity and instability, and crossing terrible lines to save his chosen family, Rick was for a time a very dark person – I admit it.

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Eventually, Rick would grapple with his morals and come out better. While tough in some ways, Rick consolidates himself as one of the more balanced and somewhat ambitious leaders of the apocalypse.




3 Bad role model: the governor is a bad leader and a worse person


The Governor armed with a rifle The Walking Dead

The walking dead spends a reasonable amount of time exploring the struggles to be a leader, especially in such a difficult environment as post-apocalyptic Georgia. Many leaders of The walking dead admit that they have to be a lot more ruthless than they are comfortable with to keep their people safe and struggle with their morals.

The Governor, however, turns out to be a terrible person without much remorse and – when the going is good – a bad leader. Despite the trust the people of Woodbury have in him, he is happy to drag them into an unnecessary war that he has started. While leaders like Rick focus on protecting their own people. An icon of good leadership, the governor is not.


2 Good role model: Hershel Greene is a moral voice when there isn’t one


Hershell Greene in prison in The Walking Dead

A recurring element of survivors in The walking deadHowever, no matter how the cast varies, there is usually at least one person serving as the group’s conscience, reminding them of a better way. The role was filled by many characters, but one of the most effective was Hershel Greene.

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Originally billed as a disconnected and unnecessarily troublesome man to Rick and his group, Hershel becomes an indispensable member of the group for his wisdom and ability to hold them to account. His death was a blow to the group, for the loss of their true guidance and their selfless nature.


1 Bad role model: Negan tries to redeem himself, but he doesn’t reform


Negan Smith in season 11 of the television series The Walking Dead

One of the most complex characters of the last seasons of The walking dead is Negan Smith. Initially presented as a totally antagonistic figure, he is a brutal leader who seeks to bring local communities under his control. Negan is not afraid to make vicious examples of those who walk through him and commit horrific deeds such as forced marriages.

After the Whisperer Crisis, Negan redeems himself in the eyes of some and makes friends among the other survivors – but not everyone is convinced. Although he seems to have turned a new leaf, Negan believes his main mistake was not in the morality of his actions, but didn’t exterminate Rick’s group on first contact. Negan has changed, but not enough to make him a role model.

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