Credit: Blake Tyers/AMC Photo: Daryl Is Distraught on The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 6

The word “dead” is right in the title, so it’s not too shocking when people die on The Walking Dead. But not all deaths are the same. We’ve never threatened to kill the producers over departed characters — like these people — but we might have to break out the torches and pitchforks if any of these characters kick the bucket during Season 4.

1. Rick Grimes

What is this show without Rick (Andrew Lincoln)? Comic book guru Robert Kirkman said they could kill Rick off at almost any time, but do you believe that? Kirkman is such a spoiler-phobe, his answer to everything is usually a shrug and “it’s possible.” If he goes on the record threatening Rick’s life, it’s almost a guarantee that Rick will live. Besides, Rick’s the heart of the show. He’s the one we first met. This isn’t Game of Thrones — there’s really only one true king and it’s the Ricktator. He really ties the room together.

2. Daryl Dixon

If they ever do kill Daryl (Norman Reedus) — or even hurt him in a way that makes him look near death — lock your doors, hide your kids, hide your husband, ‘cause the shizz will most definitely hit the fan. Daryl's fans have literally threatened to riot if he's killed off the show, and we believe it. Plus, Daryl just seems like the kind of guy who would survive a zombie apocalypse. Weirdly enough, it’s bringing out the best in him. There’s so much more for him to do ... like get busy with Carol (Melissa McBride), or someone new. And then, yeah, help Rick establish a new world at the prison.


Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Tyreese Looks Worried on The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 8

3. Michonne

Michonne (Danai Gurira) and The Governor (David Morrissey) have unfinished business, and we’re happily biased in favor of her finishing the business. (She could tag-team with Maggie to take him out.) Michonne will still be grieving from the loss of her friend Andrea (Laurie Holden), but she has an opportunity to join a real community now. However, it’s going to be tough for her to go from this lone wolf mentality to part of a huge group. How will the Woodbury people view her? She was one of the first to see beneath The Gov’s facade. And she might actually be in a good position to help Rick get through to Carl (Chandler Riggs), since Michonne and Carl bonded on that trip to visit Morgan (miss you, buddy, there’s always a cell block waiting for you!). Michonne’s story has a lot of potential on every front, including some romance, if they decide to follow that part of the comics.

4. Glenn Rhee OR Maggie Greene

This isn’t technically cheating. It’d be devastating to lose either of the lovebirds, but we’d be able to soldier on without one of them. Just not both. If Maggie (Lauren Cohan) dies, it changes Glenn’s story in a huge way — and vice versa. As painful as that would be to watch, it would offer new opportunities for the plot trajectory. (Like the death of Baby Judith/Little Ass-Kicker — it’d be awful, but it opens good plot doors.) But ixnay on the idea of both Glenn and Maggie dying in the same season — whether at the same time or separately. If a member of the Greene family has to go … eh … that would suck, since they lost a few people in Season 2. But Hershel (Scott Wilson) does have one leg in a world with more ravenous walkers, and we can picture him sacrificing himself to save his family, or the baby, or just about anyone. He’s good people like that.

5. Tyreese

Tyreese’s story may finally be getting on track, now that he’s part of the Woodbury crew at the prison. He can bond with the now not-so-crazy Rick, and perhaps be a bridge between the two groups. We’ll see. His sister, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), is not in the comics, and it remains to be seen whether she’ll end up indispensable (like Daryl, who is also not in the comics) or someone whose death is used to further the story. But hey, she seems cool so far!

What do you think? Which characters are absolutely off limits for a Season 4 kill?