“The Walking Dead”: Which Female Character Would Make the Best Leader?

The Walking Dead

We’ve been watching Rick lead the group on “The Walking Dead” season in and season out. While we do like him, seeing his leadership the last few episodes of this season got us thinking. It would be pretty cool to see the group led by a woman during the zombie apocalypse. If anything ever happens to Rick, it’s interesting to think about which of the women would make the best leader. Maybe one of these lovely ladies should be left in charge.


Will the Ricktatorship be replaced by a Bethocracy? “The Walking Dead” loves foreshadowing, which was evidenced by Rick setting a trap for a rabbit right before being herded into a trap at Terminus. During the season finale, we also saw Rick place his hat on Beth’s head while joking that “There’s a new sheriff in town.” Beth might still be out there, so it’s possible that the “new sheriff” will show up and save her fellow survivors’ skins from being roasted over a spitfire.

Beth has definitely changed a ton since we first met the naive teen. She was once clueless about how much the world had collapsed around her, and she attempted suicide when reality finally hit. However, she’s since proved that she can hold her own against the undead. She can even kill a walker with a broken bottle.

Beth’s optimism is contagious – she actually managed to convince emotionally-distant Daryl that there are still good people in the world, and she refused to give up looking for survivors while Daryl just wanted to sit around and sulk. She’s made peace with her own mortality, but Daryl taught her so much about hunting and tracking that she joked that she’d be just fine without him (hopefully she was right).

She’s extremely caring and maternal, as shown by her dedication to taking care of baby Judith. Hope is a very important thing in this strange new world, and Beth is determined to keep it alive. Hershel’s spirit definitely lives on through Beth.

The only problem with Beth becoming a leader is that she might be too trusting. Most people would be wary of a person who paints dead bodies to create creepy dolls. However, Beth was deeply moved by the mortician’s “artwork.” The last we saw of her, she definitely wasn’t living in the same world as Rick. He ripped a guy’s throat out with his teeth; she wrote a lovely thank you note to the creepy funeral parlor artist.


Maggie and Glenn’s love is a great symbol of hope in a hopeless world, and tenacious Maggie is willing to fight for it.

Maggie has dealt with some very intense situations. She delivered Lori’s baby via C-section, knowing this would kill her; she fought walkers in the fog; and she killed a walker using a human bone as a shank. Hershel said that he’s not worried about her since he knows she can take care of herself.

Maggie is also smart and inventive. She used walker blood to let Glenn know that she was heading to Terminus, and she surrounded herself with walker bodies so that she could sleep outside undetected. Maggie also shares some of Beth’s optimism – she refused to give up on searching for Glenn, and she once told him that she would be fine with having a baby even though things aren’t ideal.

The biggest problem with Maggie being a leader is that she might break down like Rick did after losing Lori if she ever loses Glenn.


Michonne has already been a leader of sorts – she did “lead” those two armless, jawless walkers around in chains before running into Andrea.

If Rick had to choose a female member of the group as its new leader, he’d probably pick Michonne. Obviously he’s a fan of her connection with Carl, but she would also make a great leader because she has great instincts – she knew the Governor was no good as soon as she met him.

Michonne is also very loyal and caring, as shown by the way she nursed Andrea back to health after saving her from becoming walker brunch. She also helped Carl retrieve a photo of his mother, and she helped him be a normal kid by bringing him comic books.

Michonne demonstrated just what a good tracker she is by managing to find Rick and Carl. Her katana skills make her a formidable foe, but she also has a fun side that those close to her get to see. If she wanted to, she could be a leader who would be warm and fair while making sure that what needs to be done gets done. She’s come a long way from the mostly-silent loner we first met.


Rick did kick her out of the prison for killing two people, but he’d probably forgive her if he saw her with Judith. However, the rest of the group might have a hard time accepting her as a leader after what she did (especially Tyreese). She also missed some major warning signs with Lizzie that were extremely obvious.

However, Carol has evolved from a battered wife to a strong woman who managed to survive on her own for a short time after being ousted from the prison (this is no small miracle with groups like the Claimers out there). Out of the remaining women, she’s actually been with Rick’s group the longest.


Sasha might need to work on working better with others. She was hard-headed when Bob tried to convince her there that they should stick with Maggie because there’s strength in numbers, and she was crazy to think that she could survive on her own. Sasha let her fear about her brother’s fate dictate her decision to split from Maggie and Bob, and she was way too pessimistic about the chances of Tyreese being alive. At least she did finally admit that it was a mistake to try to set out on her own. Like most characters on the show, she seems to be growing and learning, so perhaps we’ll see her continue to develop into a better leader.

Who would you like to see lead the group if Rick wasn’t the leader any longer?

Photo: AMC

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Treva Bowdoin is a freelance writer who loves crazy comedies and creepy shows like "The Walking Dead" and "American Horror Story".

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