Throughout the 8 seasons The Walking Dead has been on the airwaves, audiences have been treated with some of the most jaw-dropping moments on television. Ever since the first zombie made its appearance in 2010, the public has been enthralled with the idea of what would happen to the remains of civilization during a zombie apocalypse. From the goriness of the zombies, themselves, to the complicated relationships involved in the power struggle amongst the rest of the human population, it seems like there is always a storyline that can shock and enthral audiences.
Each new season has brought on its fair share of surprises, whether it’s through new characters being introduced to the storyline or beloved characters being killed off in the most shocking ways possible. While people enjoyed seeing the original characters from the very first season make their way through the changing world, some of the most captivating episodes have involved these characters being killed off. These instances have caused the many of the viewers to become even more enthralled in the series, despite the heartbreak of seeing their favorite characters cut from the series. With the show in its eighth season, it seems like it would be difficult to keep the audience guessing but the show has done an amazing job in maintaining its shock appeal. Check out our list of the 15 jaw-dropping moments in The Walking Dead’s newest season and see how Season 8 is proving to be the best season to date.
15. Dwight’s Allegiance To Helping Destroy The Saviors
When Dwight was first introduced into The Walking Dead series, audiences didn’t know exactly how to take his character. This was the same reason why Daryl had difficulties in deciding whether or not he was someone that was able to be redeemed. Yet, Dwight ultimately showed his true colors when he betrayed Daryl and took his bike. When Dwight was introduced again, it seemed like he had fully embraced being “Negan” and seemed to kill indiscriminately. He even seemed to enjoy his new role, so it was completely unexpected to learn that he was actually going to help Rick and the other groups to take down the Saviors. During the Season 8 premiere, it was a jaw-dropping moment to learn that Dwight really was going to help and gave up all the information that was needed to take down the outposts of the Saviors.
14. Gregory’s Return To The Hilltop Colony
Ever since Gregory made an appearance as the leader of the Hilltop Colony, the audience knew that he didn’t seem like the best choice for someone to lead a community within The Walking Dead. With each new appearance of Gregory, his character became even more dislikable. So, when he appeared at the Sanctuary and it was discovered that he was betraying his community to the Saviors, it really wasn’t that shocking. The truly shocking part came when Gabriel risked his own life in order to save Gregory. This showed incredible bravery on Gabriel’s part and the audience hoped that Gregory would also change. Instead, he fled in Gabriel’s car and actually had the audacity to make his way back to the Hilltop Colony. Many people disagreed with her decision to let him in, especially since it might come back to bite her in the end.
13. Morgan Goes On A Killing Spree
While all of the characters within The Walking Dead storyline have changed over the years, Morgan’s character seems to be far more complicated than some of the others. Since he was an original character from Season 1, people were rooting for him when he was discovered by Rick, Carl, and Michonne. Yet, his character had been severely changed and he went through a long period where he refused to kill and kept insisting that “all life is precious.” With Morgan being reunited with Rick, he has had a front-row seat to all of the horrors that befell the communities at Alexandria and The Kingdom. These experiences changed his character and audiences got to see his new persona in the second episode of Season 8.
12. Rick Kills A Father Protecting His Baby
The audience has been waiting for Rick and the other communities to finally start fighting back on a bigger level against Negan and the Saviors. The audience was onboard with the all-out war because the Saviors were portrayed as completely evil and worth being taken down. While there were small glimpses of certain individuals (beyond just the workers) within the Saviors that weren’t all completely bad, it seemed like anyone that claimed to be “Negan” was worth killing. Yet, that all changed when Daryl and Rick went into the office building outpost looking for the guns. Rick got into a fight with one of the Saviors and it seemed like he was trying to protect a certain room. Rick wound up impaling him and killing him and then it turned out that the room he was protecting was housing the man’s baby daughter, Gracie.
11. The Return Of Morales From Season 1
The Walking Dead audience is known for being intensely loyal to the original cast members of the series. Not all of the original cast of characters from the first and second season have made it all the way to Season 8 and everyone is still upset about the death of characters like Andrea, Dale, and Glenn. So, when Morales, an original character from Season 1, suddenly appeared in the second episode of Season 8, heads of fans popped off from all over the world. People couldn’t believe that Morales was still alive but the real revelation was when he declared himself as “Negan.” Fans couldn’t believe that he would betray Rick and the rest of the characters that he once knew and lived within the camp they all shared during Season 1.
10. Eric’s Death By The Tree
There are a number of romance storylines within The Walking Dead but history has shown that they don’t usually end up going well. From Lori’s death in the prison to Glenn’s death at the hands of Negan, it seems like none of the characters will be able to live out their days in romantic bliss on the series. Yet, people still held out hope for Aaron and Eric. Neither one of these characters seemed like big fighters on the show, despite the fact that Aaron got his hands dirty on a number of occasions. Yet, people didn’t think Eric would ever be on the frontlines of the fight. When Eric was wounded during the fight against the Saviors, it was a real shocker. His wound was so severe that it became blatantly clear that he wasn’t going to make it.
9. Morgan VS Jesus
When Morgan emerged in Season 8 with a newfound thrill for killing, it was definitely a change from the character he was portrayed as “all life is precious.” This definitely came to the forefront when he took out a huge number of Saviors at the outpost. When Jesus had wrangled the survivors, Morgan wanted to kill them all rather than take them to the Hilltop Colony as prisoners. Morgan was able to be persuaded to go with them to take the prisoners to the Hilltop Colony but his rage became too much to conquer during their trip. The most jaw-dropping moment was when Morgan sought to challenge Jesus and the two of them embarked on a fight that was intense, to say the least. Although Morgan didn’t give the fatal blow in the end, there were times during the fight where his ferocity was seriously eye-opening.
8. Daryl Is Ruthless
Daryl’s character has evolved immensely over the seasons but he has spent the majority of the recent seasons being the voice of reason. He was an advocate for bringing in new people to join the Alexandria community and he seemed quick to want to give people a second chance. Yet, all of that changed in Season 8. When he shot Morales without giving it a second thought, people couldn’t believe that Daryl could be that cold towards someone that was once in his original group. However, the true jaw-dropping moment came when Rick and Daryl were fired upon outside of one of the Saviors’ outposts. Rick promised him that he would let him go but Daryl carelessly shot him in the head as soon as they got all the information they needed.
7. The Kingdom Force Wiped Out By Ambush
When the people of the Kingdom, Hilltop Colony and Alexandria all agreed to join together in order to fight the Saviors, no one believed that it was going to be an easy fight. Yet, the people of the Kingdom weren’t exactly thought of as the least trained in their fighting skills. If anything, it was the Hilltop Colony that seemed lacking in real fighters. King Ezekiel did an amazing job at leading his people and they even had Carol with them as they traveled from one outpost to the next. Carol helped in strategizing a way to catch the Saviors off-guard when they were ambushed in the woods but she couldn’t do much to stop the heavy machine gun from mowing down the entire Kingdom force. This was a jaw-dropping moment since it basically wiped out all the fighters from the Kingdom.
6. Carol Helps Ezekiel
While Carol may have started out as meek and timid, she has evolved into one of the most strategic fighters that Rick has at his side. She remained intensely loyal to her original group but she didn’t seem to accept anyone else. She often acted like anyone that wasn’t part of her core group was an outsider and, therefore, expendable. This is what happened when she killed the first two individuals at the prison for fear that she would get everyone else sick and again when the Wolves attacked Alexandria and she didn’t want to help any of the other community members that were being attacked. So, when she went with Ezekiel and his group to retrieve the Saviors’ guns, fans expected her to be just as cold as usual. It came as a shock when she allowed the Saviors to leave with their guns in order to help Ezekiel and Jerry fight off the walkers.
5. Shiva’s Death By The Walkers
Not everyone that watched The Walking Dead was a huge fan of Shiva, Ezekiel’s tiger. While some felt like it was a great addition to the show and that it gave Ezekiel a truly regal stature, others felt like it was completely unbelievable and it cheapened the storyline. Yet, every episode that featured Shiva started to show exactly how useful having a tiger could be in the zombie apocalypse. Shiva had saved the day on a number of occasions and it was looking like it would be a welcome member of anyone’s community, with everyone going to war with Negan and the Saviors. While there may have been some fans that didn’t agree with Shiva being part of the show, episode 4 of Season 8 may have changed their minds. When Shiva was attacked by the walkers in the woods, many fans were more upset by the tiger’s death than all of the Kingdom fighters.
4. Eugene’s Revelation About Dwight
When Rick and his group attacked Negan’s compound, it set the entire place into disarray. Negan became separated from the rest of his group and the top lieutenants of the Saviors began talking amongst themselves about how they must have a traitor amongst them. Eugene became the obvious person to suspect since he was the newest member of their group and he came from Alexandria. It should only stand to reason that it would be him that would betray the Saviors in order to help Rick. Yet, the audience already knew that it was Dwight that gave Rick’s group all the information they needed to attack the Saviors and their outposts. When Eugene noticed the wet paint from Dwight’s chessboard and then later saw it in implicating Dwight’s betrayal, everyone’s jaw dropped because Eugene could spill the beans.
3. Daryl And Rick Fighting On The Side Of The Road
Daryl and Rick have had disagreements in the past but it’s been quite some time since their disagreements were bad enough to get physical. Season 1 had these two characters at odds over the dispute regarding Daryl’s brother, Merle, but they have since put their differences behind them. Daryl is typically thought of as Rick’s right-hand man but Season 8 has shown that Daryl has changed his thought process when it comes to leniency towards their enemies. Daryl’s behavior at the office building outpost gave a big insight into his newfound ruthless behavior. When Daryl came up with the idea to completely wipe out the Sanctuary by flooding it with walkers, Rick disagreed because he didn’t want the workers and the families living there to get hurt. Not only did Daryl not back down but he threw a few punches at Rick and even tried to choke him out.
2. Negan Shows Mercy On Gabriel
When Negan found himself trapped in the RV, there’s no telling what plans he had for getting out. When Gabriel jumped into the RV, he had no idea that Negan was in there but he felt like it was a great opportunity for him to make his life (and possible death) mean something. The pairing of Negan with Gabriel was something that really shocked fans, especially since Gabriel was trying to get Negan to confess his sins. In the short amount of time they spent together, fans got to see Negan open up a bit to Gabriel and a little of his humanity started to show through. While Negan still threw out threats, it was amazing to see the two of them journey out together and have each other’s backs against the walkers.
1. Gabriel Dying In The Cell
When Gabriel made it inside with Negan, it’s not like they had actually become friends with their shared experience in the RV and making it through the hoard. It was obvious that he didn’t want him to be tortured or beaten since he told the Saviors to “place him gently” in the cell. Yet, he was still going to be imprisoned. In the past, Negan has put people inside the cells in order to use them later to help prove a point, like in the way he did with Daryl and Sasha. Daryl managed to escape and Sasha wound up committing suicide so that she wouldn’t be used to hurt her camp at Alexandria. It was up in the air what would become of Gabriel or how he would try and get out of his predicament until Eugene opened the door and saw him looking like he was already at death’s door.
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