Man, you guys made picking a winner of the contest TOUGH. Ultimately what I liked seeing was something stupidly simple that cut to the core of what makes a character fun or something that really got what makes someone tick. I was surprised by two things: the number of people that picked Carl, and the number of people that picked Carol. The Carol fans made some really great points.

In the end though, one reader’s compassion toward a really unlikely character (although a few others picked her as well!) is what got to me.
Here is the winning entry from Kenneth Strader:

My favorite character is one that I feel truly set the tone for what the “meat” of The Walking Dead was all about: Hannah, a.k.a. the “Bicycle Girl” zombie. I’m going to assume that her back story in the webisode follows up with her zombie self in the actual tv series. I feel that her presence was so poignant for me because I was able to learn about her. The first walker that Rick puts out of it’s misery, signifying the start of this compelling journey. To know where she came from, who she was and who she loved is important to me because she was a human on that earth just like everyone else. And to have that stripped away from you and to be forgotten, forced into the wayside of the massive hordes of walkers…is the worst hell I could possibly imagine. And for me, that is the true horror of the show.

Congrats Kenneth! I have your email address and will email you for your information.
Here are the other entries that I really liked, along with what I liked about them:

Pamela Wilcox
Retrospectively, Dale, though annoying as Hell, was my favorite. He was able to walk the razor’s edge between survival and humanity and never truly lost sight of either. He was a voice of not just morality, but logic and reason. R.I.P. Dale.

Dale was definitely the moral compass for a while. I love Jeffrey DeMunn.

Paige Reeves
My favorite character, recently, has to be Negan. Although he is easy to hate for the deaths and struggles he causes for the group, it’s hard to find anything like-able about him. It is forgotten by many that without villains like Negan, there is no conflict and thus no real story to TWD. Negan changes the game, he has a whole group of people basically worshiping him and two other groups scared to death of him. He’s also extremely blunt about things, which brings humor to his character. But the thing that really made me love Negan was that he was scared of Carl. Negan had killed so many men, yet he was scared of a 12 year old. Carl is my second favorite character, and the fact that Negan can see something in him that is terrifying and makes him a complete badass 12 year old is what really got me. Negan’s sick, blunt humor and radical punishments for his followers really make him a great character. Plus you never know what’s going to happen next with him, and everyone loves a surprise ;)

You never know. That is exactly right. You never need to feel guilty about loving a great, hate-able villain.

Kylee Simpson
It is honestly so hard to pick a favorite character because I love ALL of them! (especially Daryl!) But if i had to pick one, I would definitely say Maggie. throughout the seasons we have seen her evolve so much. At first glance she just appeared to be scared and well.. just the farmer’s daughter. but she quickly showed us just how badass she can be! And of course every story has to have a love like Glenn and Maggie’s. I mean how cute would their wedding be??.. surrounded by their closest friends and family, and dozens of walkers of course! but in all seriousness, Maggie is such a strong female character for girls to look up to. Take the finale for example, when the governor and his army attacked the prison, she was out there with the guys defending her family and friends. No doubt about it, Maggie is the most badass girl on the show, and therefore my favorite. And lets face it, even in an apocalypse, she still manages to look pretty damn good! i give her huge props for that alone! :)

Maggie is an ass kicker. Maybe she’ll become the group’s sharp shooter…

Otto Kaiser
Being an avid fan of comics and zombie movies (before it was cool!) I find it strange coming to the realization that it is not the zombies that keep me reading the comic or watching the show. In my opinion “you come for the zombies but you stay for the story”. Seeing the character development work with The Walking Dead is something totally unique to the zombie genre. Never before have we seen what it is like for the people that are made to survive through this hell on earth. Not in any great detail anyway. That being said, the Governor is my favorite character (especially in the comic). I know he’s an evil bastard but he has done so much to enrich the story. Think about how the show or the comic would be if you took him out of the equation… Not even close to the same caliber of story. Mr. Governor, you evil son of a bitch. Thanks for all of the terrible things you do!!! It makes for some great reading/viewing.

Again, you can’t have a great story without a great villain.

A Camp
My favorite character on The Walking Dead tv series is Andrea. From the start Andrea has always believed in the good in people. She is not a blind idealist but from siding with Dale on Randall’s fate to orchestrating a peace conference between Rick’s group and the Woodbury group she has always believed there are redeeming qualities in people. She never once killed a living person, even with the world on the brink of destruction. I know she would have killed Phillip at the end, given the chance, but it’s not a decision she came to lightly. Andrea stayed in Woodbury, at a great risk to her own safety, in order to protect and advocate for the citizens. In the end, even Rick, Daryl and the rest of the prison group (except Carl) all realized that at the end of the world, we need each other to survive and prevail and you have to trust. It’s a dangerous world and there are bad people but being a stranger doesn’t automatically make you a bad person, even doing some bad things doesn’t make you bad and Andrea wanted to believe that humanity, not just humans, can be saved.

You make an excellent case for the TV version of Andrea.

Andrew Barnhart
Jesus! Because his abilities and confidence are something to be excited about. He will obviously play a key role in the coming issues when shit hits the fan. The little thing with the rope and the car that he just did ;) was straight ninja, son! Some Chuck Norris shit! There’s also a lot we don’t know about him (like how bad-ass is he, exactly?), so he has me intrigued.

This almost won just because I love Jesus so much.

Dani
There are some characters I like more in the comic than in the show and vice versa. However, Andrew Lincoln portrays Rick Grimes so accurately that it makes me fall in love with the character that much more. The way he brings Rick’s passion, dedication, leadership and fighting spirit to life absolutely amazes me. How do you even put yourself in Rick Grimes’ shoes to play his character? How do you even imagine the situation that he’s in? A single father who lost his wife (lost other things I can’t say here), trying to raise his children in a world that’s strictly about survival – trying to teach his son the difference between good and evil, in a time when what was considered good or evil in the ‘pre-apocalyptic’ world has changed drastically. He’s not the perfect leader. He’s made bad calls (and took calls from his deceased wife…), been cowardice at times, attempted to abandon his responsibility. But, he’s done what no one else has been willing to do and he always leads with only the best of intentions – though it’s not always with the best of ideas. I really do admire him. I don’t know how many people would have the (explicative) to do what he’s done, and continues to do.

I was looking for someone to really point out just how much Rick has been through and STILL keeps strong. Superfan Dani comes through.

Nat Price
Definitely the Governor. Of course the walkers are absolutely awesome and we all love them. But at this point everyone (audience and characters) knows what to expect from a walker: they will bite you, scratch you, eat your flesh while you are alive. But with the Governor, you just never know what to expect! One can feel safe around him and have their head on a tray in the following minute! Or, to be more authentic: today he gives you wine, food and (please don’t vomit now) love; tomorrow you are gagged in a torture chamber! He was shot, attacked by 30 walkers at once, had a piece of glass piercing his eye, had a knife over his neck while sleeping. And yet he is still standing, with that same peaceful countenance and those totally insane and dark plans. How could it be possible not to love this guy?

Damn, he IS a badass!

amberlanes
When I was little the only female heroes were Wonder Woman, Bionic Woman, and Charlie’s Angels…. Michonne kicks all their collective mascara-ed eyed, hair-sprayed, teased-hair, and tight-jeaned butts! She’s strong, fierce and capable. Amazing female that this world needs more of… Thank you Robert Kirkman, Thanks to all the women who’ve inspired you :)

We could definitely use some more Michonnes in this world.

Nathan Sizemore
Tyreese. One easy math equation. Hammer + prison gym = badass.

Exactly. Also, math.

CoachHulla
I, like most people, have a number of characters of which I am fond. My first instinct was to say Daryl, however I know a LOT of people are going to say him (and with good reason). I’ve decided to take another route and choose Hershel. He has grown so much from when he was first introduced in Season 2. He has gone from a man of God who sees salvation and hope where there is none, to someone who views the world more clearly now and accepts it, yet doesn’t want what’s left of our humanity to perish in this harsh new reality. He has assumed Dale’s role as the “moral compass” of the group (and Dale was another of my favorite characters, for many of the same reasons and characteristics which Hershel possesses). I was concerned when he was bitten so early in Season 3, yet was glad to see the writers take the direction they did with his character. I think he has helped guide and council Rick through his mental breakdown, while never losing faith in him as a leader and believing he’s a good person. Finally, since you wanted this to be brief and I feel it getting long, Hershel had one of the most creative, adapted lines in the Season 2 finale: “Christ promised a resurrection of the dead, I just thought he had something else in mind.”

Hershel is such a soft-spoken sad character, I love that he also finds hope.

Cedric Jenkins
My favorite character on the walking dead Is Carol. Her evolution from scared abused shadow to this dynamic, strong thoughtful woman is inspiring for anyone who has been abused and survived for the better afterwards. She had to not only evolve after the horror of her husbands abuse, she had to do it when the world moved into utter chaos and disorder. To know that I fully expected to see her come to an end in season one, then fully expecting her to fall apart after losing her daughter; to not only survive but survive in season 3 when it appeared all was lost shows the fire and desire of the human spirit to never give up. Thank you for bringing her story to life.

So, so, so well said. Cedric, you were THIS close to winning.

Joshua Warren
How many times has the name “Michonne” been mentioned on this thread?…..I’m sure a lot. However, I can’t abandon my favorite just for the sake of sounding different. Michonne (TV version), immediately got my fires burning (apart from Hershel’s barn ) when I saw her silhouette in the season 2 finale. When season 3 premiered, the built-up anticipation didn’t even come close to threatening the awesomeness her character developed into. Danai Gurira plays her perfectly (with very little dialog)….giving Michonne strength, integrity, vulnerability at times, and what seems to be a mysterious purpose that I, for one, can not wait to see play out. Michonne is, simply, bad-ass.

You even got a pun in there. Guys, puns win championships.

Keven Skinner
My favorite character in The Walking Dead is…. Me! Am I a crazy person? Nope. Well, let’s scratch that, OK maybe I am, but that’s besides the point. I have a cameo as a zombie in the pages of The Walking Dead comic series. I’m the zombie with glasses on page 1 of issue #91. I take a machete to the forehead. I’m a writer for www.dailyblam.com and because I’ve interviewed artist Charlie Adlard a few times, he drew me into my favorite comic series as a walker. No joke, it’s one of the greatest things to ever happen to me aside from my children.

This is awesome. Here’s Keven’s Twitter page (with his pic). Here’s page 1 of issue 91.

Aaron Williams
My favorite is Ezekiel. Granted he just showed up and hasnt had a very big part yet, but the dude has a freaking tiger as a pet. Instant bad ass instant fav. I mean no one wants to mess with a self proclaimed king with a pet tiger right. :-)

Damn straight!

The Sheriff 6GUN
My Favorite character is Rick, Because he is the good and sometimes bad of the show. The most driven character in both comic and show. He is the most “Real” character in terms of how would ME or YOU approach a situation. The things he has gone through and continues going through are remarkable and shear genius when it comes to a main character design. Flawed not perfect but still the greatest!

Again, more sympathy for the man!

Tom Cap
My favorite character from both the comics and the TV show is absolutely Glenn. At this point he is a total badass which perfectly exemplifies the changes a person can undergo when the dead rise. Glenn has went from being a sensitive, insignificant pizza delivery boy to now being a vital component to the group (plus he’s married to a smoking hot chick). I hope that when the zombie apocalypse occurs (because it will) I can change and adapt much like Glenn has (getting married to a smoking hot chick would be a bonus). The writers of this show are brilliant (figured I’d add the brown-nosing).

Glenn has a great arc, is awesome in both the comics and the show, and Steven Yeun plays him perfectly and is also awesome.

Man, you guys did such a great job. I know some of you (most of you) have never commented on the site before but I hope you stick around and bring this much intelligence, insight, and wit to other non-contest posts.