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The Walking Dead Villain That Fans Find Sympathetic

With AMC's The Walking Dead on the brink of completing its 11-season run in 2021, fans new and old are taking some time to revisit the many, many episodes of the generation-defining show. Over the years, the series has had its ups and downs story-wise, with plenty for viewers to praise and criticize throughout. However, its dedication to building truly engaging characters is one of the strongest aspects of The Walking Dead, and has been since the beginning. Whether they're the heroes or the villains, nearly everyone who had some stake in the story got proper expansion and gave viewers a reason to buy into them.

The likes of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohen) will live on in pop culture long after the credits roll on the series finale, as will their many adversaries. David Morrissey's The Governor and Samantha Morton's Alpha were built up as legitimate threats to the heroes, solidifying their status as some of television's most dastardly bad guys. Of course, all four of these names are main characters, so of course they were well-developed. That isn't to say their supporting castmates didn't leave a mark on the Walking Dead fandom, as well.

Recently, a Reddit poll set up by user emzea asked fans who they considered The Walking Dead's most sympathetic villain. Here's the bad guy who won out, and the rationale for why they're so pitied.

Dwight never wanted to be a bad guy

Dwight (Austin Amelio) was a fairly minor antagonist throughout The Walking Dead's sixth and seventh seasons but never presented himself as someone truly evil to the core. In fact, the only reason he ever aligned with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors was to provide a better, safer life for him and his wife, Sherry (Christine Evangelista). He wasn't a complete villain, it just so happened that his survival hinged on those of lower moral standing, thus bringing him down with them. Given his understandable motivations, Dwight hopped the fence quite frequently throughout his Walking Dead tenure, allowing him to connect with viewers in ways inaccessible to his fellow evildoers.

Many fans gravitated toward Dwight, and felt bad for him, thanks to the untapped potential the character had and the disappointment that came with his departure from the show. Reddit user BasicThuganomics admitted that "Dwight to me should've become a major character on the show," going on to mention that they wished he became a "top player" on TWD. Another user, LessAdministration2, labeled Dwight as "complex and interesting," echoing the sentiment of many that he became so relatable because of his depth and moral ambiguity, adding a layer of sympathy to his arc. 

To further expand on fan desire to see more of Dwight, Redditor giaperalta expressed their high hopes for him as a good guy, specifically when he joined Rick and the gang for a brief time to spy on Negan. "I wouldve loved to see how he couldve joined maybe and they coudlve accepted him [sic]. IMAGINE ALL THE CONFLICT AND DRAMA that could've been created there." Of course, Dwight's journey isn't over yet, as he's become a frequent face on Fear the Walking Dead in recent years. He's generally a heroic presence in that show, so, hopefully, he'll be able to thrive in the protagonist role more than he did as an antagonist