The most important character in Season 8 of The Walking Dead isn’t Rick Grimes. It isn’t Negan. It isn’t Daryl (gasp!) or even The Scavengers (aka The Junkyard Gang). As long as he’s alive, it’s Dwight.
Dwight is a member of The Saviors, the baddies who scare the 💩 out of everyone. Toward the end of Season 7, Dwight seemed to turn a corner when one of his wood carvings appeared after a shocking fight between the Alexandrians and The Saviors. The implication was that he’d be willing to help our favorite survivors of Alexandria and The Hilltop Colony. But Dwight is hardly trustworthy and has played both sides in the past. Will he pull through for the survivors, or remain loyal to The Saviors? To predict Dwight’s next few moves, we turned to the best method of character alignment analysis, tried and true: Dungeons and Dragons (5th edition, of course). 🤓
In most role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, every player must choose an alignment for their character. There are 9 alignments, and all include a combination of good and evil, law and chaos. To understand Dwight’s character alignment, we held him up to the ultimate test. Who are the evil characters in The Walking Dead, who are the do-gooders, and where does Dwight fit in? Yeah, we went there:
The best way to understand Lawful Good is to think of Obi Wan Kenobi. Like Obi Wan, Morgan fights evil with compassion. He keeps his word, uses Aikido to fight evil, and has a strong sense of honor and duty. However, while we know how things turned out for Obi Wan, we don’t’ yet know if Morgan will stick to his current style of taking down the big baddies. We’ve seen signs of change, but his sense of honor and discipline has yet to wane. Morgan is Lawful Good.
Rick Grimes has leadership qualities and comes off as a consistent do-gooder. But (and this is a real doozy when it comes to character alignment), Rick has been lured by evil decisions which have come back to haunt not only him but the people who trust him as their leader. The Saviors have wanted to kill the Alexandrians and Hilltop Colony ever since Rick and his tribe raided one of their compounds and mercilessly killed every single person in the building. Going into Season 8, Rick’s leadership qualities are back intact, only after he spent time disappointing all of his followers by giving into Negan’s demands, and that makes him nothing more or less than Neutral Good.
Daryl, Carol, and Michonne
Nobody fights for a cause quite like a rebel who loves their friends. Whether good or bad, a Chaotic Good character has strong morals, but F society. Personal freedom is important to a rebel, but they will never walk away from fighting for greater good. Much like Kara “Starbuck” Thrace in Battlestar Galactica, Chaotic Good characters are the ones who will save us all, even if it’s at their own expense. Carol, Daryl and Michonne are all Chaotic Good, and we’d bank on at least one of them dying for their friends.
Like the Grim Reaper, Walkers have one job to do and one job only: eat people, and brains. They don’t care if they eat the brains of good or bad people. As long as they have a head, they have a job to do, and they’re going to do it. No. Matter. What. Walkers are Lawful Neutral, even if we fear them the most.
Gregory is a lot like Star Wars’ Boba Fett. Like Boba Fett, Gregory will do just about anything to please anyone. It seems evil, but it’s really just what True Neutral characters do best: nothing good, and nothing bad. True Neutral characters lack emotion and conviction. They do whatever they think is best to do depending on the moment. Gregory‘s inability to make real decisions makes him one of the worst leaders on The Walking Dead, and it’s incredibly hard not to throw things at the TV every time he’s on screen. Maybe with a little backstory, his character will become more interesting (?) but right now he’s just another True Neutral, making him the lamest character in the entire series. Gregory is a true True Neutral. Eyeroll.
Jadis is the leader of The Junkyard Gang (aka The Scavengers) and is very likely the “little birdie” who told Negan about Rick’s plans to fight The Saviors. But can we blame her? With a Chaotic Neutral character alignment, this is to be expected. Jadis is a lot like Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Aside from sharing a most curious way of talking, neither Q or Jadis are actually evil, even when their actions appear to be cruel. Chaotic Neutral is often called “The Free Spirit” because they are anarchists. They do not believe in any form of government, and usually, stay mostly focused on their own well being. Chaotic Neutral characters do not take pleasure in the suffering of others, nor are they motivated by it. These anarchists are curious characters. Jadis is not likely to stay loyal to Negan if he impedes upon the well being of her gang.
Simon (is Negan)
Ugh. Simon. Just, ugh. He’s the worst, and he’s basically the Darth Vader of The Walking Dead. Lawful Evil characters are totally diabolical, but not independent. They will always follow their evil leader, whether it’s Negan, or the Emperor. They are totally loyal to their leader and have no regard for life. Known as “The Dominator,” they are the ultimate follower, making them the stewards of evil and destruction. Lawful Evil characters are obedient; they will follow the code of evil at all times. Yikes. And that smile is terrifying, ffs. Simon is Negan’s most loyal follower, and he DGAF if anyone gets hurt, including other Saviors.
Negan is Chaotic Evil
Negan. Is. Terrifying. If Ramsay Bolton were in The Walking Dead universe, he would be Negan. Chaotic Evil characters are selfish destroyers and have no respect for rules. The rule is whatever a Chaotic Evil decides it is. These evil characters are greedy and take from others. Whether it’s Ramsay taking Winterfell, or Negan taking from, well, everyone he can find on the Eastern seaboard, these are the baddies who deal in pure Chaotic Evil.
So, what about Dwight? Is he evil?
Dwight is the malefactor on The Walking Dead. His backstory shows that at one time he may have been good. When he first met Daryl, back before he looked exactly like Two-Face, he answered the infamous 3 Questions. He told Daryl he’d killed more Walkers than he could count but had never killed a human because “When you kill a person, there’s no going back.” Later on in the story, we find Dwight with a half-burned face, killing humans without remorse. It’s clear that by deciding to re-join the Saviors in Episode 6 of the sixth season, he left behind any honorable qualities he may have once maintained. Dwight is Neutral Evil, which basically makes him the Littlefinger of Alexandria. He will work for both sides without any real conviction and engages in evil behavior if he thinks he’ll get away with it. Ew.
Dwight is the most important character walking into Season 8 because he is the malefactor in the story. He’s a wrongdoer, who appears to be willing to do right. But, as with all wrongdoers, he cannot be trusted. He’ll engage in mayhem and destruction if he can get away with it, and he lacks a moral code.
Will Dwight go back to who he was before he re-joined the Saviors and began killing humans? If he does, his alignment will surely shift. But for now, Dwight is Neutral Evil. He’s just a bad guy, willing to do bad things at any time, for either side. The side he chooses may benefit, because the survivors are on the brink of all-out war with the saviors, and it won’t be pretty.