To celebrate the upcoming 100th episode of The Walking Dead, Yahoo TV will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the series’ Season 8 premiere in October.
We’re all saying “woohoo!” for the introduction of the first female Doctor Who, but on The Walking Dead, the female characters have been kicking butt and saving lives for seven seasons now. With the promise of much more to come in Season 8 — Carol, for instance, is back from her sabbatical and ready to mix it up with Negan and the Saviors — it’s the perfect time to look back at some of the all-time greatest, bravest, most mind-blowing moments from the women of TWD.
The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres in October on AMC.
Sasha Makes the Ultimate Sacrifice (“The First Day of the Rest of Your Life,” Season 7)
She’d lost her lover, Bob, and her brother, Tyreese, and after a brief walk along meltdown highway (remember when she stretched out on top of the grave pit of walkers she’d killed?), Sasha had rebounded to find love again, with Abraham, and then… well, you know. Instead of shutting down after losing Abe, though, Sasha dedicated herself to helping pregnant friend Maggie and to stopping Negan from killing anyone else she loved. So when the Lucille bat swinger thought he’d manipulated Sasha to help him in his plot to attack Alexandria again, he was the one who got a surprise when, just outside Alexandria’s gates, he opened the coffin Sasha was riding in to find she’d zombified herself; she took Eugene’s DIY poison pill, knowing she’d die and reanimate by the time Negan planned to use her in his battle against Rick. A hangry walker Sasha lunged at Negan, creating chaos that allowed the Alexandrians a moment of diversion during the season finale skirmish.
The Return of Commando Carol (“Bury Me Here,” Season 7)
Carol spent all of Season 7 in self-imposed exile in a house outside the Kingdom, physically and emotionally spent from all the killing she’s had to do while doing (more than) her fair share to help keep her loved ones safe. Part of her staycation from apocalyptic chaos meant not even knowing what was happening back home in Alexandria, and even Daryl recognized during his brief visit to her bungalow, that Carol desperately needed this break from the all too real world. But Daryl’s well-intentioned lie about the status of #TeamRick’s battle with the Saviors didn’t pass Carol’s BS detector, and as soon as Morgan admitted to her that Negan viciously beat Glenn and Abraham to death and was still tormenting the others on the regular, Commando Carol resurfaced; she packed her bags and went straight to Ezekiel, where she declared they needed to go to war against the Saviors.
Michonne’s Comeback (“Say Yes,” Season 7
Rick and Michonne were off on a search for guns and supplies, and their road trip provided the couple some rare private time for romance and exchanging sweet nothings. They also talked about serious matters like the real and ever-present threat of death, and when Michonne suggested Rick should be the one to unite the various communities after they end Negan’s tyrannical rule, he said he was only interested if she would be his partner. And it was with that monumental proposal that they went into clearing a field of walkers at a carnival, where a risky move by Rick quickly turned into a scene of tragedy, as Michonne saw him fall from an amusement park ride into a pit of noshing zombies. With her love being eaten alive, she froze, dropped her katana and stood immobilized by the loss that was unfolding in front of her … until Rick jumped out of a hiding spot (it was a deer the walkers attacked), yelled her name, and tossed her katana to her. Without missing a beat, Michonne caught it and beheaded two walkers in one swift motion.
Jadis Pushes Rick to Test Himself (“New Best Friends,” Season 7)
Rick wanted the Heapsters, that odd new group of garbage dump-dwelling survivors, to team up with his people to do battle against Negan and the Saviors. But before Heapster leader Jadis would give the official thumbs up, she made Rick prove he was worthy of the Heapsters as teammates, by having him do battle with a spiky walker. And she made it the ultimate test by not even telling him he was about to be challenged; she simply made him scale a giant junk heap, then calmly pushed him to the bottom of it, where he came face-to-spike with the metal menace known as Winslow.
Now Batting: Rosita (“Hearts Still Beating,” Season 7)
Rosita had been stewing in her grief over Abraham and Glenn’s deaths, and she could finally stand by no more after Negan gutted, literally, her on-again, off-again fling Spencer. Rosita pulled out her gun, and using the DIY bullet she’d badgered Eugene into fashioning for her, she aimed it right at Negan. Her suicide mission to kill the baddie failed — she only managed to nick his bat, Lucille — but just her attempt at revenge and to make a big change for her people had even the angry Negan labelling her a badass. Did he still have Olivia killed and Eugene kidnapped as a result? Yes. Still … badass effort by Ms. Espinosa.
Maggie Socks It to Gregory (“Go Getters,” Season 7)
Pregnant, still grieving the brutal murder of her husband, and running on almost no sleep after having helped save the entire Hilltop community from a middle-of-the-night attack, Maggie is forced into a confrontation with the weasel Gregory when he tries to kick her and Sasha out of the Hilltop, and tries to tell her the Saviors can be reasonable. She punches him right in the face, and then takes back Glenn’s pocketwatch (the one Hershel gave him), which Gregory had stolen from Glenn’s grave. And she’s still not done: She tells Gregory she won’t be addressed as “honey,” or “dear,” or “Marsha,” or any of the other names he’s used for her. This is her home now, she tells him, so he will learn to call her “Maggie … Maggie Rhee.”
Maggie’s Tractor Trounce (“Go Getters,” Season 7)
Pregnant and still grieving the brutal murder of her husband, farm girl Maggie still didn’t hesitate to use her farm girl skills to stop a Saviors-sparked walker attack on the Hilltop. Even as supposed Hilltop leader Gregory hid like a wimp inside his home, Maggie started up a giant tractor and backed it right over several walkers, on her way to driving it over an AMC Gremlin the Saviors had rigged to play loud music to draw the zombies into the community. Maggie-1, Saviors and Gremlin-0.
Paging Dr. Denise (“No Way Out,” Season 6)
Denise had just been through a traumatic situation herself, being held hostage by the unnamed Wolf member Morgan had imprisoned, then watching him die after he risked his life to save her from a walker. But, still shaken, she managed to pull herself together and calmly direct everyone around her to gather and do what she needed to save Carl’s life, after his teenage love rival Ron shot him in the head. Without the quick thinking of Denise, Carl would have lost much more than his right eye.
Deanna’s Last Stand (“Start to Finish,” Season 6)
Inexperienced in just how harsh the apocalypse could be from her cushy home inside Alexandria, Deanna was nonetheless a true leader, willing to acknowledge the big-picture reality that life was not likely to remain as easy as it had been, and embracing the advice Rick and Maggie offered her about how to prepare to weather the changes coming. That made it even more tragic that Deanna was bitten by a walker just before her group proved to be resilient in its first big challenge. But Deanna went out fighting in her own way — instead of lying in a bed, waiting to die from the bite, she hobbled to the door, opened it to a hallway filled with walkers, and began killing them with a gun, making one final big push to make the town safe for her people.
Sasha’s a Big Shot (“Coda,” Season 5)
When Rick was trying to negotiate a swapping of Grady Hospital hostages Beth and Carol for a pair of Grady cops being held by Rick and the gang, he assured gun-toting Grady cops Franco and McGinley that he was not alone. Just as a walker started to lumber up behind the cops, one of them asked where Rick’s people were. A shot rang out, killing the walker they didn’t even know was an imminent threat, and prompting Rick to answer, “They’re close.” “They” included supershot Sasha, who took out the walker with one bullet, launched from her sniper perch atop a nearby building.
Joan Takes a Bite Out of Gorman’s Crimes (“Slabtown,” Season 5)
Grady Hospital resident Joan was the victim of regular sexual assault by hospital cop Gorman, and when Joan was bitten by a walker while trying to escape, she didn’t even want Dr. Edwards to amputate her arm to save her life. He did, and a distraught Joan knew that meant Gorman would continue to rape her. So she snuck into hospital leader Dawn’s office and ripped out her stitches so she would bleed to death. While Beth was in the office snooping, Gorman came in and immediately planned to make Beth his next victim, but the reanimated Joan intervened, chomping down on Gorman before he could carry out his evildoing. Sure, Joan was dead, but, as the series has hinted at several times, we think this is evidence to support the argument that walkers may feel some connection to their previous lives. Either way, Joan finally got her vengeance on Gorman, and saved Beth at the same time, so … posthumous badassery.
Carol and the Flying Walkers (“No Sanctuary,” Season 5)
Remember, this came after Rick had banished her from the prison because she killed the infected Karen, but Carol was still there when it came time to save Rick and the rest of her friends from the cannibalistic plans of Gareth and his Terminus brethren. Carol’s ultimate move during her stellar one-woman rescue mission: a clever DIY bomb that began with her sniper shot at a gas tank, which she then set on fire with another sniper shot, sending dozens of walkers flying through the air. The ensuing chaos created a diversion that allowed Rick and the others to overtake the Terminus turkeys and escape certain death.
Carol and the Flowers (“The Grove,” Season 4)
Carol and Tyrese knew disturbed tween Lizzie had a bizarro fascination with walkers, but when they found out she had killed her little sister, Mika, so she would come back as a walker — and was about to murder baby Judith for the same reason — they knew something drastic had to be done. With no mental health help in the apocalypse, Lizzie was only going to continue to be as big a threat to the living as the walkers were. So it fell to Carol, who had lost her own daughter and had come to feel like a surrogate mom to orphaned Lizzie and Mika, to do the unthinkable, but necessary: She walked Lizzie to a patch of flowers, told her to look at them (one of the only things that seemed to soothe the girl), and shot her in the head.
Michonne vs. a Pack of Walkers (“After,” Season 4)
Depressed and unsure whether there was any point forging onward after the Governor’s devastating attack on the prison, Michonne made herself a new set of walker “pets,” and then fled the scene on her own when she failed to find any of her friends still alive. Flashbacks throughout the episode reveal Michonne had a young son and a boyfriend pre-apocalypse, and when she sees a walker who looks like her, she realizes her purpose is to live, and to do so with the friends who’ve become her new family. She kills her pets, and, with nothing but some fierce swings of her katana, wipes out more than a dozen walkers in quick succession, then follows a set of footprints to reunite with her buddies Carl and Rick.
Lori and Maggie Bring the Lil’ Asskicker Into the World (“Killer Within,” Season 3)
Lori knew it wouldn’t be easy, but with Maggie’s help, she thought she could get through a natural birth for her baby. But when she went into labor in the middle of a walker attack on the prison, and there was an issue with the delivery, Lori cared about nothing more than making sure the baby survived. She finally convinced a terrified Maggie to perform a C-section — with no drugs and Carl’s hunting knife — and the two women’s bravery did result in the survival of Judith, the infant Daryl so memorably nicknamed “Lil’ Asskicker.” Lori, sadly, didn’t survive the birth, forcing her son Carl to shoot her and prevent her reanimation.
Andrea (Almost) Kills the Governor (“Prey,” Season 3)
Andrea did eventually find out just how villainous her boyfriend Phillip/the Governor was, and escaped from Woodbury to go warn Rick and the others at the prison that the Governor planned to kill them. He chased after her, and while hiding out in a warehouse overrun with walkers, clever Andrea managed to lure him to a door that was hiding a stairwell full of rotters. She let them loose on him and shut the door behind her, feeling confident that she had permanently dealt with ol’ Phil while she made her way to the prison. Sadly, the Governor still had some evildoing to unleash: He survived the warehouse walkers, and caught up with Andrea at the prison, just in time to prevent her reunion with her friends and drag her back to Woodbury.
Michonne Tanks the Governor (“Made to Suffer,” Season 3)
He fooled her pal Andrea for a while, but the Governor always gave Michonne the creeps. She tried to take him out with her trusty katana, but he fought back viciously when she killed the zombie daughter, Penny, he’d been keeping locked away in his lair, along with his wall of fish tanks containing walker heads. Michonne also smashed some of those during their tussle, and really left her mark on the Governor when she used a shard of glass from one of the tanks to stab him right in the eyeball. As for his death, that eventually came courtesy of Michonne, when she plunged her katana right through him to stop him from strangling Rick to death in “Too Far Gone,” and his one-time girlfriend, Lily, topped off the wound with a gunshot to the head.