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TV/Film

The Walking Dead Season 8 Characters: Then and Now

A lot changes in 100 episodes. Kids become adults, adults become killers, and killers decide the rules of the new world. Below we compared the main characters of Season 8 from their first appearance to now.


Rick Grimes

First Appearance (Season 1, Episode 1)

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Rick Grimes was a sheriff who woke up from a coma to discover the world had changed. Back then, his only goal was finding his family and keeping them safe.

Now

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Gallery - Photo Credit: Alan Clarke/AMC

After suffering through unimaginable odds, Rick is still focused on keeping his family safe along with the community he now runs. He’s not going to let a bat-swinging guy wearing a leather jacket stop that now.


Morgan Jones

First Appearance (Season 1, Episode 1)

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We first met Morgan in the pilot episode when he nearly killed Rick after mistaking him for a walker. Thankfully, he and his son Duane offered Rick shelter (in his own home) and allowed him to search for his family in peace.

Now

Lennie James as Morgan Jones - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

With Duane long gone Morgan went through his violent Clear phase, a peaceful no-kill phase, and now back to his less crazy but still violent phase again.


Carl Grimes

First Appearance (Season 1, Episode 1)

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Carl was a precocious kid living in a survival camp with his mother outside of Atlanta following the outbreak. When his father reappeared and the camp went to shit, Carl was forced to grow up quickly.

Now

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Greg Nicotero/AMC

With an education in apocalypse survival Carl is stronger than ever. He proved that last season when he tried to assassinate Negan during a solo mission to The Sanctuary. Although his plan failed, he gained the respect of the most notorious villain he’s ever encountered. But by no means are they friends – Carl is ready for war. “He’s been preparing for this since he confronted the Saviors,” Riggs told Entertainment Weekly. “He and a lot of other people have definitely been ready for this.”


Carol Peletier

First Appearance (Season 1, Episode 3)

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Carol was the meek victim of an abusive relationship when we first met her in the Atlanta camp. Following the deaths of her husband and daughter Carol began finding strength where she didn’t believe there was any.

Now

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Gallery - Photo Credit: Alan Clarke/AMC

Although Carol despises the killing and violence that goes along with surviving an apocalypse, she will do what she has to to protect what’s left of those she loves. Now that Glenn and Abraham are dead, Carol has a renewed sense of purpose and revenge heading into Season 8.


Daryl Dixon

First Appearance (Season 1, Episode 3)

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Daryl was the crossbow-wielding badass with that tough exterior/heart of gold personality that made it hard to hate him. He stood up against abusers, comforted friends, and kept his people safe.

Now

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Daryl is going into Season 8 with a tougher exterior than ever before. Haunted by Glenn’s death Daryl is out for blood in Season 8. Norman Reedus recently told Entertainment Weekly, “He’s ready to kill everybody, no matter what the group says, no matter what anybody says. He’s just like, ‘Nah, screw it. Everybody dies.’ He’s very focused on revenge.”


Maggie Rhee

First Appearance (Season 2, Episode 2)

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Maggie was the strong farmer’s daughter we met back at Hershel’s farm in Season 2. She quickly developed a relationship with Glenn and joined Rick’s group to the Prison and beyond.

Now

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Negan killing Glenn was the worst thing to ever happen to Maggie. Although the loss would break most people, Maggie summoned the strength to get back on her feet, take the reigns of The Hilltop as their leader, and train her new people to fight back against the man who murdered her husband.


Michonne

First Appearance (Season 2, Episode 13)

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Michonne made a dramatic entrance onto the show – dressed in a cloak, wielding a katana, and traveling with two armless and jawless walkers by her side. She was not to be messed with. Although shy at first, Michonne eventually bonded with Rick and Carl, and then the rest of the group. Leaving her past behind, which included a dead boyfriend and son, Michonne was ready to feel happy again.

Now

Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Gallery - Photo Credit: Alan Clarke/AMC

Michonne has become stronger and stronger each season. Recently, she’s formed a romantic relationship with Rick and has become a full-on motherly figure to Carl. Along with strengthening her relationships, she has also strengthened her soldier skills – secretly mastering her marksmanship with a rifle when Negan wasn’t around. Although she got pretty beaten up in the Battle of Alexandria, Michonne will be fully healed and ready to fight in Season 8’s All Out War.


Tara Chambler

First Appearance (Season 4, Episode 6)

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Tara bit off more than she could chew when she joined The Governor’s Woodbury Army. Despite being involved on the attack on the prison, Rick and the others eventually forgave her and welcomed her into the group. With her family dead, Tara was ready for a new start.

Now

Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Gallery - Photo Credit: Alan Clarke/AMC

With the death of her girlfriend Denise fresh on her mind, Tara will also look to seek her revenge against The Saviors in Season 8. In addition to that, she can also be useful in keeping people like Rosita more in check.


Rosita Espinosa

First Appearance (Season 4, Episode 10)

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We first encountered Rosita when she was traveling with Eugene and Abraham to D.C. to find the cure to the disease. Once that plan was scrapped, she and her crew joined Rick’s team.

Now

Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Gallery - Photo Credit: Carlos Serrao/AMC

Rosita went rogue in Season 7. After seeing her former lover Abraham get bludgeoned to death by Negan, she made it her mission to enact her revenge. Unfortunately, her plans kept getting thwarted – she missed shooting Negan at point-blank range, got tricked out of infiltrating The Sanctuary, and was shot during the Battle of Alexandria in the finale. She now has to recover quickly and become a team player if she wants to get her revenge the right way.


Eugene Porter

First Appearance (Season 4, Episode 10)

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The cowardly Eugene first appeared on the scene with Rosita and Abraham, who he was manipulating into taking him to D.C. He was quickly found out about but still allowed to join Rick’s group.

Now

Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Eugene’s manipulation skills came in handy when he got captured by the Saviors. He convinced them he could be their next doctor and actually came up with innovative ideas to contain the walkers. Now he’s with Negan and doesn’t look to change sides anytime soon.


Father Gabriel

First Appearance (Season 5, Episode 2)

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Speaking of cowards, Father Gabriel was first introduced cowering from walkers on a rock. Despite Rick’s group keeping him alive, Father Gabriel was a thorn in Rick’s side time and time again.

Now

Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Father Gabriel finally located his balls and became the valuable soldier Rick wanted him to be from the beginning. Rick’s going to need him too, if he wants to defeat Negan.


Aaron

First Appearance (Season 5, Episode 10)

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Aaron was the scout who first introduced us and our characters to Alexandria. He knew they could be valuable to the community and he was right. Though, he probably didn’t predict them taking over.

Now

Ross Marquand as Aaron - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Aaron’s scouting days are over. Despite some missteps (like leading the Wolves straight to Alexandria) Aaron has proved to be a welcome and useful addition to Rick’s group.


Enid

First Appearance (Season 5, Episode 12)

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Enid began as an introverted rebellious teen who was haunted by the death of her parents. Carl tried to relate to her but it was Glenn who broke through that tough exterior.

Now

enid2

After learning to Just Survive Somehow, Enid has finally found happiness and a community at The Hilltop with Maggie and Jesus. Not only that, but she’s ready to fight for her friends in the war against Negan.


Dwight

First Appearance (Season 6, Episode 6)

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We first met Dwight in Season 6 when he, his wife, and his friend captured and robbed Daryl after escaping Negan and The Sanctuary.

Now

dwight

After getting caught and punished for escaping, Dwight returned to The Sanctuary as a high-ranking member of The Saviors. Despite being in Negan’s good graces again, Dwight doesn’t see a future for himself at The Sanctuary (especially with his wife gone). He proved this by showing up at Alexandria’s doorstep last season promising Rick he would help him.


Jesus (Paul Rovia)

First Appearance (Season 6, Episode 10)

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Jesus was first introduced in Season 6 when he tried stealing supplies from Rick and Daryl. After a cat and mouse chase, he was captured and sent to Alexandria. Thankfully, he proved he was a friend and not a foe when he introduced Rick and his group to his own community, The Hilltop.

Now

jesus2

Although The Hilltop had a number of problems (mostly just Gregory), the community became an invaluable resource to Rick in his fight against Negan.


Negan

First Appearance (Season 6, Episode 16)

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Negan came in like a wrecking ball – he stripped all of our characters of their power and brutally murdered two of them. This horrific night set the stage for seasons to come.

Now

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Gallery - Photo Credit: Alan Clarke/AMC

Negan suffered a setback in the Season 7 finale when Rick and his allied communities successfully staved Negan and his people out of Alexandria. Battered but not broken, Negan will look to end Rick’s coup once and for all in Season 8.


Simon

First Appearance (Season 6, Episode 16)

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Simon was introduced as one of the high-ranking Saviors in the lead up to Negan’s arrival. With a vicious smile and wide eyes, he seemed like a nightmare to anyone that crossed him.

Now

Steven Ogg as Simon - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Gallery - Photo Credit: Alan Clarke/AMC

Simon still serves as Negan’s right-hand man, and will be instrumental in protecting him during All Out War.


Ezekiel

First Appearance (Season 7, Episode 2)

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Seated on a throne in a high school auditorium with a tiger by his side, King Ezekiel looked ridiculous to Carol. She’s one of the first of our group to meet him and learn of his community The Kingdom. To Carol, Ezekiel was more interested than playing fairytale than living in the real world.

Now

Khary Payton as Ezekiel - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The real world caught up with Ezekiel really quickly when the Saviors, who also controlled his community, killed one of his young proteges Benjamin. With the help of Carol, Ezekiel finally decided to (mostly) drop the fairytale and go to war with The Saviors. The timing was impeccable – Ezekiel led his people to victory against the Saviors in the Battle of Alexandria. Ezekiel now looks to play a huge role in Season 8’s All Out War.


Which character transformation is your favorite? Tell us in the comments and tune into The Walking Dead’s Season 8 Premiere Sunday, October 22nd @ 9PM.

  1. Dinny October 19, 2017 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Carl’s first appearance was season 1 episode 1. Not 2. Please correct your mistake.

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