3 – Shane Walsh
Shane featured heavily in the first two seasons as Rick’s friend-turned-rival after the outbreak of Walkers. When Rick is shot and put into a coma in the first episode he is left in a hospital and assumed dead. Shane then assumes the role of husband and father to Rick’s family, Lori and Carl. Although he is happy to see his friend alive and well when he thought he was dead, Shane does not take kindly to Rick returning and taking charge of his group of survivors.
On another supply run, Shane gets into an argument with Rick about his wife and son- specifically about how he is not an effective leader and cannot protect anyone of them because he is still operating on the morals he had before the outbreak, and then soon attempts to kill him.
His resentment towards Rick warps his character throughout the series from the good policeman to a rage filled murderer until Rick is forced to stab him in the chest at the end of season two- “Better Angels”. He then reanimates into a zombie, and gets shot by Carl, the very person he wanted to protect.
Though his actions had reasons behind them, the way he executes his actions presents him as he really is-an unmistakable villain who was once a really good man and friend.
2 – Negan
After hearing many rumours and threats from survivors about an unknown leader called Negan, Rick’s group ran into and killed a small part of Negan’s group earlier in the series, and after some conflict killed them. They thought “The Saviours” were no longer a problem for them until they were ambushed at the end of the series and Negan appeared for the first time, a barbed wire covered baseball bat named Lucille in his hands.
As punishment for killing some of his group, Negan picks one of the group to be beaten to death with his bat whilst the others watch. His enthusiasm at this task makes it clear he does not care for any of their lives, and may even take a private joy in asserting his dominance over everyone there.
Negan’s whole demeanour shows his indifference to the suffering of others. He puts people who cross him, even with the misplacement of a word that is taken as an insult, into serious danger just on the basis that he can. He also uses this power as a constant message to others to deter them from making the same mistakes.
1 – The Governor
The Governor, who featured as the main antagonist in seasons three and four, presented himself as the caring and fair leader of a town called Woodbury. It is soon revealed he is anything but that.
An example of his ruthlessness is in “When the Dead Come Knocking” when Glenn and Maggie, two of Rick’s group, are captured by the Governor and interrogated about where they are staying. The Governor interrogates Maggie, and after refusing to talk, forces her to undress and threatens her with rape in order to frighten her to get information. The fact that he would threaten and humiliate her this way shows how little he cares for her feelings all for the sake of getting information that may not even prove beneficial.
In “Arrow on the Doorstep”, Rick and The Governor arrange to meet to discuss peace between their groups. Rick proposes that they divide territory and stick to their areas in order to save any more fighting. Even though Rick’s proposal is reasonable and well thought out, The Governor is so consumed with pride and anger over the trouble that Rick’s group have caused that he demands Michonne be handed over or the whole group will die.
The Governor is the worst villain of this list, as he manipulates and deceives everyone he meets in order to survive. Though the death of his original family has made him the survivalist that he is today, he demonstrates the capacity to care for others, and then decides to kill them when they don’t suit his agenda. He is ruthless, callous and uncaring for those he has no use for, and cannot be deemed as anything other than the villain he really is.