Sunday’s The Walking Dead Season 6 finale was shocking and infuriating to be sure, but despite the totally unsatisfying cliffhanger ending, this season overall introduced some fascinating new characters to the mix and some new directions for our old characters. Let’s take a look back at how these new and old characters fared.
Warning: Major spoilers about Season 6 ahead!
The New Guys
Who is he: Negan is the badass leader of the much-feared Saviors gang who we’ve been hearing about ALL season.
When introduced: The finale! Season 6, Ep 16 – “Last Day on Earth”
Status at end of season: Bashing in the head of one of our favorite characters in graphic audio detail (but which one??) with his barbed-wire bat Lucille in retaliation for Rick and crew’s Saviors killing spree.
Who is he: Jesus is a kung-fu-fighting scout from the Hilltop Colony who helps recruit Rick and gang to defend Hilltop against Negan’s Saviors.
When introduced: Season 6, Ep 10 – “The Next World”
Status at end of season: Totally MIA! We last saw him after the Negan stronghold shootout, but we hope he brings his ninja skills to play during some sort of rescue mission for Rick and the others.
Who is he: We first saw Dwight fleeing the Saviors, crossing paths with Daryl. Then he ends up betraying Daryl to steal his bike and bow. At some point after that, Dwight was recaptured by the Saviors, very clearly punished (that burn scar), and has morphed into a loyal lieutenant for Negan. So, he’s pretty much the worst.
When introduced: Season 6, Ep 6 – “Always Accountable”
Status at end of season: Holding Daryl’s beloved crossbow, guarding the captured heroes. If Rick’s dying to take down Negan, you can bet Daryl’s got his name on Dwight.
Rick started the season taking control in Alexandria, fighting off an invasion of Wolves and walkers. He finally has a moment of clarity when Carl is shot, vowing to hunker down and build a home, which leads him to also explore a deeper relationship with Michonne. Of course, happiness on The Walking Dead turns to hopelessness soon enough. Hoping to shore up Alexandria’s future leads him into the path of Negan and the Saviors. We last see him kneeling and seething before Negan.
Daryl grew closer to the Alexandrians, feeling incredibly protective of this new civilized home. But he also got very good at killing Saviors, starting with the explosive midseason premiere. There are few things quite as badass as Daryl wielding a rocket launcher…just sayin’. But when the Saviors exact revenge by killing doctor Denise on a scavenging run (with his stolen crossbow!), he unravels, leaves Alexandria, and is soon captured. Now he’s in Negan’s batting lineup.
Some of Michonne‘s tough barriers come down this season as her bond with Rick and his kids grew stronger and closer. She sticks by them through the invasion and Carl’s injury, and eventually she and Rick realize they should be together. Awww, don’t they look happy? WRONG! Sorry, no happiness for anyone. While trying to convince Daryl to come back to Alexandria, Michonne and her samurai sword are ambushed by Dwight and his savior crew. Soon she too is kneeling before Negan.
Carl started off clashing with Ron (whose father Rick had killed last season), and falling for the strong-willed Enid. But the walker invasion chaos almost cost Carl his life. Ultimately he only loses an eye thanks to doctor Denise, and the injury only makes him harder. At the end of the season, he leaves with Rick and team to help ailing Maggie — which means Carl is also facing Negan and Lucille.
Poor Glenn had many ups and downs this season, from finding out he’s going to be a dad to being trapped under a dumpster and presumed dead. His disappearance from the credits launched a thousand GIFs and lots of fan outrage. But Enid helps him home, leading him to mentor Alexandria’s battle trainees. But the mission with Michonne and Rosita to bring Daryl back to Alexandria also leads him into the clutches of the Saviors.
Maggie hit new highs this season. Thanks to her Alexandria mentorship with Deanna, she grew some major spine and struck a hard-nosed deal with Gregory, Hilltop’s leader. She trimmed her girlish locks ceremoniously, grooming herself for her lady-boss challenges ahead. But the season ends with her needing a doctor for pregnancy complications, and that puts her on Negan’s firing line, looking like she might die regardless of whether she meets Lucille.
The red-headed warrior with the mustache to end all mustaches grew up a bit, deciding he’s in love with Sasha and not his longtime-squeeze Rosita (after an awkward conversation with Glenn that involves questions about Bisquick). In classic Abraham fashion, he dumps Rosita pretty brutally but tenderly appeals to Sasha. But while she seems to feel the same, The Walking Dead can’t keep hope alive for long; that happiness ends when both of them ended up in line for Negan’s batting practice.
The brains with the mullet also had a breakthrough, facing down his fears by learning to fight and actually using his intellect to be helpful and devising a way to make much-needed bullets. While Eugene‘s fighting (and biting) skill helped fend off one attack by Dwight and the Saviors, he too is captured eventually and winds up with Negan at the end.
Lordy, Carol had a rough season, starting off a stone-cold killer ready to execute the Wolves in their attack. But we soon realize all the killing is taking its toll, and eventually Carol runs off to be a loner so she doesn’t have to kill anymore. Morgan tracks her down, finding she’s mowed down more Saviors to survive. But she has no interest in going back. She’s last seen delirious with multiple bullet and stab wounds from her encounters with Saviors, being helped by Morgan and his new armored companions.
Zen master Morgan continued his campaign of non-killing, even through the Wolves attack, which puts him at odds with murderous Carol. But that incident also connects them, which makes him the perfect person to go after her when she melts down. Most interestingly, Morgan encounters two men in armor after helping Carol, and he returns a horse to them. The kind gesture results in them shaking hands and agreeing to help.
Curious about how others from The Walking Dead fared? Check out the Season 6 page on The Walking Dead Wiki, or check out individual character pages to learn more.