The Walking Dead is hemorrhaging major cast members in the past two years. It has lost Chandler Riggs (Carl), killed off in an ill-conceived plotline. Andrew Lincoln (Rick) and Lauren Cohan (Maggie) wanted to leave, and will/may return in a diminished or spin-off capacity. And now there’s a word that Danai Gurira (Michonne) will be departing after a handful of season 10 episodes, possibly attaching herself to Rick’s movies while being done with the show itself.
It’s not a great situation, though I remain impressed with how well the show is handling things despite these major losses so far, as season 9 has been the best season of The Walking Dead in several years under the direction of the Angela King.
But with all these departures, I thought it would be time to take stock of the current state of the cast, and figure out who the hell is exactly a “veteran” on the show these days, considering all these big departures which join the usual slate of characters simply being killed off over time, as is the nature of the show. The list I came up with surprised me in a few ways. Here’s your “veteran” cast now, excluding those who have left for Fear like Morgan and Dwight, and not counting Judith who has probably been portrayed by a half dozen infant-to-child actresses at this point.
Ten names, the last of the “old guard,” if you can even call some of them that:
Ezekiel and Jerry (First Appearance: Season 7, Episode 12)
I feel like Ezekiel has been around forever now, but between him and Jerry, the first time ever saw them was near the end of season 7 when Rick was looking for new allies in his war. It’s kind of hard to believe this duo has only been around for not even two years yet, as it certainly seems like longer. And now he’s married to Carol? Time flies. Well, time literally flies, as his longevity has been amplified thanks to the show’s recent years-long time jumps.