The Walking Dead, returning for its final episodes this October, has delivered many iconic characters, some that have survived the whole series and others that were taken from fans too soon. Many fans have loved these characters since the start of the comic books, but the TV adaptation has offered a new way to look at this band of survivors.
Some of them have taken a larger role in the show than the comics and some have had the opposite, but the ones that have lasted this long are clearly amongst the strongest and most skilled of what's left of the human population.
Sasha and her brother were introduced in season 3 as a part of their own small group. She later forms a relationship with Bob later on and becomes a very skilled sniper, but she soon looses him and Tyreese. This takes a heavy toll on her, but even with these mental struggles, she's a valued team member.
She gets the strength to move on with Abraham until she's forced to watch him die. The aftermath brings out not only her physical strength, but her mental strength as well. Sasha often powers through the darkest moments of her life, but she shows a very realistic reaction to the tragedy and psychological torture she's put through. Her death comes when she willingly sacrifices herself to give the group an advantage in a battle with Negan.
Carol is probably the character with the biggest development in the series. She starts off as a scared woman and now is a strong and ruthless character willing to do anything it takes to keep her and her group safe. She is shown to be proficient at many weapons, as well as hunting, gathering, and some first-aid skill.
One of her biggest strengths is using her size and appearance to her advantage, and she's not afraid to deceive others to gather information for the group. Carol has been through many personal hardships even her backstory is full of tragedy; over the course of the show she looses many people, such as her children. This has caused her to develop a hard exterior and become more closed off to people she doesn't know.
Ezekiel was the leader of The Kingdom. As a former zookeeper he had a close relationship with a tiger, Shiva, at the zoo. He keeps Shiva as a pet, and she protects him and keeps up the image his people have of him as the King. His love for animals is shown many times throughout the series and Shiva's death is a big emotional moment for him.
He almost instantly falls in love with Carol and the two later adopt a young boy named Henry. Ezekiel's strength lies in his positivity and compassion; he inspires his community to survive and work to build a better future. Ezekiel's positivity never wavers, even through his cancer diagnosis and Henry's death. He may believe in fairytales and hopeful ideas, but his strong mind is a big part of how he's survived for so long.
Connie is a relatively new character in the show, along with her sister, Kelly, and their friends. Connie is completely deaf, but this doesn't define her in the slightest. She survives on her own for quite some time after escaping Alpha's horde. Connie is another character who has a very strong personality and draws a lot of her strength from her ability to care for others.
Connie is also extremely intelligent; she was previously a journalist and was well known for exposing corrupt politicians. Her intelligence is a huge contributor to her survival, and she's shown being capable in strategy and planning. She is not to be ignored, and has shown time and time again just how strong and capable she is.
When Maggie was first introduced she was an innocent and somewhat ignorant farm girl, but she has been through so much, and it has caused her to change a lot. Maggie is known for her epic romance with Glenn, which came to a brutal and devastating halt when he's murdered by Negan.
When she is denied the ability to avenge her husband, she takes their newborn son and leaves to travel with friends. Maggie is a great leader to Hilltop and revolutionize the way the communities work to build a better world. She is also physically strong, shown using a variety of weapons and taking care of large groups of walkers on her own. Many characters recognized Maggie's strong leadership skills and her ability to lead Hilltop.
Gabriel started as a guilt-ridden priest who left his congregation outside to die, but he became a strong fighter and leader that is trusted by many. Gabriel is sometimes ruthless towards enemies and protective of his family, and he doesn't hesitate to punish those who threaten the safety of him and his friends.
His beliefs do inspire his hopes of a bright future and that society will one day return to what it was, and he actively takes part in making that a reality. He stands up for what he thinks is right and is a friend and confidant to Rick and Michonne. He has taken a big leadership role in their absence as the head of the council of Alexandria and makes the tough decisions that need to be made to keep the community afloat.
Rick is the heart of the show and a fearless leader from the very start. He has taken the group through many sticky situations and helps them all survive. It took him a bit to adjust to the new world, but once he did, he never looked back. Rick is physically strong and sometimes a little bloodthirsty even, but he can defend his family from their enemies using his background as a former sheriff.
He paved the way for everyone and inspired them to keep surviving and to live for their loved ones. He helps unite the three communities against common foes, such as the Saviors. Rick is smart and loves his friends and family deeply and would do anything for them, including killing others for their safety, and of course, eliminating as many walkers as possible.
Fan favorite and one of two characters that has survied since the first few episodes, Daryl is a gritty and tough character that will do his best to survive to the end. What he lacks in formal education, he makes up in physical strength and wilderness knowledge, being very skilled in hunting, scavenging, survival skills, and hand-to-hand combat.
His signature items include a motorcycle, a crossbow, and his iconic leather vest. Daryl is very capable of making it on his own, but he has a huge heart and loves the group like family. He is seen as an integral part of the team, and they would certainly be lost without him. Daryl is physically intimidating and can put up a good fight against most of the characters on the show, with or without weapons.
Known to his friends as "Jesus," he is a skilled fighter in martial arts and is seen many times taking down his opponents with only his physical skill. Jesus is a native to Hilltop, though he isn't truly happy there until Maggie takes over, and he becomes the leader when she leaves.
He is a very trustworthy and likable person, which caused him to be accepted by the group somewhat easily. Jesus is recognized as an expert fighter and a kind and humorous person. His death was a huge tragedy that affected not only the characters, but the fans as well.
Michonne was strong from the very beginning, slowly opening up to the others as time went on. She is gifted at using her katana, and it never leaves her side. She becomes a respected leader of Alexandria and member of the group; the other characters often look to her to lead, and they trust her opinion completely.
She is a fierce defender of her loved ones and will do anything it takes to keep them safe, much like Rick. Michonne is eventually pointed 'Head of Security' on the council in Alexandria, which shows her intelligence in strategy and skills in fighting. Her defining traits are her strength and her love for her family and friends.