The Strongest Survivors On 'The Walking Dead,' Ranked

List Rules
'Walking Dead' fans only - vote up the survivors you'd most want watching your back when facing a zombie horde.

AMC's The Walking Dead (TWD) television series has been going strong with nine seasons and more than 130 episodes under its belt. The show has not outlived the comic book, which concluded with issue #193, and many of the strongest characters on TWD have shown quite a proficiency for survival... even the undead ones.

Despite some characters' untimely demise at the hands of other survivors, or even the jaws of the walkers, there are a number of people on the show who could give survival tips to Les Stroud and anyone else who claims to be able to survive in an austere environment. This list focuses on some of the key characters from the television series and how they managed to survive for as long as they did.

Check out the characters below and vote up the person you think has what it takes to survive. Don't forget, even if they have perished, try to imagine they didn't and focus on what key attributes they had, which made them a good survivor. Vote up your favorite and see which of the best characters from AMC's TWD could have survived to outlive the rest!


  • 1
    992 VOTES
    Daryl Dixon
    Photo: AMC

    Who He Is: Daryl and Merle show up early on in the first season where they are shown to be capable survivors. Merle isn't the nicest guy in the world, but Daryl is able to work and play well with others, which quickly makes him a vital member of the team. He's been a leader and a good protector throughout his time on the series, and he's one of the few characters (alongside his brother) who isn't in the comics.

    How He's Survived: Daryl clearly has survival skills when he first appears, but he's honed them to perfection over the seasons. He can use just about any tool, but he prefers the silence and accuracy of a crossbow, which he uses against the living and the walkers.

    His Strongest Moment: Sucker-punching Negan after he bashes in Abraham's skull.

    His Weakest Moment: When Rick is "slain," Daryl retreats to the wild to live in seclusion for years.

    • Actor: Norman Reedus
  • 2
    817 VOTES
    Rick Grimes
    Photo: AMC

    Who He Is: A sheriff's deputy who wakes up in the hospital to find the world he knew is gone. He manages to find his wife, son, and best friend, which ultimately leads to him becoming the leader of a large group of survivors. His leadership skills and willingness to do anything necessary to keep his family and friends safe brings him and the survivors into direct conflict with several groups. He is eventually "slain" when he sacrifices himself to blow a bridge up full of walkers. He survives and is taken away on a helicopter, never to return to the survivors of Alexandria again.

    How He's Survived: His unwavering willingness to viciously slay anyone who gets in his way, which gives way to a willingness to work with his former enemies to create a community. He is also a skilled fighter and can hit just about anything with his trusty revolver, but he's equally skilled with a knife or hatchet.

    His Strongest Moment: Stopping the fights against the Saviors after he defeats Negan and his side gains the upper hand. Instead of slaying them, he invites them to join his side and become a community.

    His Weakest Moment: He loses his sense when his wife is slain and nearly loses his way.

    • Actor: Andrew Lincoln
  • 3
    758 VOTES
    Photo: The Walking Dead / AMC

    Who She Is: Michonne is a relatively mysterious woman in the television series. She had a three-year-old son named André Anthony, and the fact that he's not present in the series speaks volumes to the loss she's endured. While her character has been fleshed out more fully in the comics, her past is mostly unknown on the show. She is first seen in the second season and became a series regular the following season.

    How She's Survived: She discovered early on that it was easiest to hide among the walkers if she walked with two of her own. She removed the jaws of her bitten boyfriend and his friend, chained them up to become her pet walkers, and used them as cover to move about the world with her katana, which she's become a master at using against the walkers.

    Her Strongest Moment: She defeats her former friend, Jocelyn, and all her children to save Judith, which is intense and horrific, but shows that she is willing to do whatever is necessary to save the people she loves.

    Her Weakest Moment: Michonne is one of the strongest characters on the show, so there aren't any true "weak" moments, but she does get captured a number of times and breaks down when she suffers a loss, which happens often.

    • Actor: Danai Gurira
  • 4
    781 VOTES
    Carol Peletier
    Photo: AMC

    Who She Is: When Carol is first introduced, she is shown as a beaten and battered housewife, but after her husband is slain, she grows to become an incredibly strong and capable survivor. After losing her daughter, she manages to carry on, and even though she's gone through periods of isolation, she eventually returns to the group and becomes one of its most capable leaders.

    How She's Survived: Absolute brutality whenever necessary. She will slay anyone and anything that threatens her or the people she's come to love. She has also demonstrated an ability to use knives and side arms in combat against the living and the walkers. She can survive in the wild on her own for extended periods of time, has used the walkers as tools, and will stop at nothing to ensure her survival.

    Her Strongest Moment: Freeing the survivors from Terminus all by herself. She manages to infiltrate the facility and slay everyone who gets in her way.

    Her Weakest Moment: Separating herself from everyone after the weight of her actions begins to wear on her. She comes close to taking her life at this point but is ultimately brought back by her friends and King Ezekiel.

    • Actor: Melissa McBride
  • 5
    573 VOTES


    Photo: AMC

    Who He Is: Negan was once the leader of the Sanctuary and its people, who called themselves the Saviors. He ruled in a dictatorial fashion and oversaw the gathering of tribute from neighboring groups of survivors in a sort of protection scheme. Anyone who disobeyed was dealt with severely, and he took out a lot of people to maintain power. His backstory isn't fully revealed in the show as it was in the comics, but he's depicted as a charismatic man who takes to leadership and brutality easily.

    How He's Survived: Brutality and relying on others. He carries a bat named Lucille, which he uses to dispatch both the walkers and the living.

    His Strongest Moment: His strongest moment is also one of his most dastardly. He lines up the survivors from Alexandria and bashes in Abraham's skull before turning to do the same to Glenn after Daryl sucker-punches him.

    His Weakest Moment: After he escapes confinement, he travels the world to see that his kingdom has collapsed, and without anyone to turn to, he returns to his life of imprisonment.

    • Actor: Jeffrey Dean Morgan
  • 6
    573 VOTES
    Glenn Rhee
    Photo: AMC

    Who He Is: Glenn shows up in Atlanta where he helps talk Rick out of the tank he crawls into to escape the horde of walkers after they eat his horse. Throughout his time on the series, he proves to be able to get out of any situation involving the walkers, and that is what makes him one of the best scouts and scavengers in the group. He forms a strong bond with Rick and has a lasting relationship with Maggie. Ultimately, it isn't a walker that ends him, it's Negan.

    How He's Survived: Being fast, agile, and able to keep on the move. While he can take out a walker when he needs to, he's proven time and time again that a 'wait and see' attitude coupled with agility Spider-Man would envy helps keep him going day after day.

    His Strongest Moment: Refusing to break while being beaten and threatened by the Governor. He refuses to give up the location of the group.

    His Weakest Moment: Getting his head bashed in by Lucille, though admittedly, he doesn't have much choice in the matter.

    • Actor: Steven Yeun