Actor: Andrew Lincoln
In season 1, Rick is a sheriff's deputy from King County, Georgia who awakens from a coma into the zombie apocalypse and has to go find his family who thought he was dead. He finds them and becomes the leader of their survivor group. Rick quickly adapts to the notion of killing walkers but retains his morality towards the living.
In season 7, Rick is still leading the group of the survivors through the hardships and horrors of their post-apocalyptic life. Leading up to season 7, Rick's morality is constantly tested to protect his family and friends. His morals have slowly diminished and he has struggled to keep his humanity intact, becoming colder to his enemies and an overall hardened individual.
Actor: Chandler Riggs
Carl is Rick and Lori's young son. Shane and Lori took him to the supposed safe zone in Atlanta after the outbreak begins. On the way there, he is told his father Rick is dead and has little time to mourn. Carl was oblivious to his mom's relationship with Shane and begins to look at him as a father figure until being reunited with Rick.
After TWD, Kinney appeared in Showtime's Masters of Sex in 2015 as Nora Everett. In 2016 she had a main role as Tess Larson in the series Conviction but ABC canceled the show after one season. After that, Kinney had a recurring role as Casey on the series Ten Days in the Valley.
After his brother Merle's disappearance, Daryl started to shed his aloof personality and bond with the other members of the group. He eventually became the cooperative right-hand man and protector of Rick and leads several supply runs. In season 7, Daryl is the group's primary hunter and a recruiter for the group.
Actor: Steven Yeun
Before the apocalypse, Glenn was a pizza delivery boy from Atlanta. He was separated from his family after the zombie outbreak and joins the group of survivors. Glenn is known for being quick thinking and resourceful, which makes him the group's primary supply runner.
In season 7, Carol is now an empowered member of the group. She is stern and ruthlessly pragmatic, but also a compassionate individual who has been gradually building inner strength. The several tragedies that occur force her to question her ruthless methods.
After TWD, Callies reclaimed her role as Sara Tancredi-Scofield on the show Prison Break in the fifth season revival. The season, also known as Prison Break: Resurrection, was a limited event TV series and the continuation of the original show that ended in 2009.
Actor: Jon Bernthal
Shane is Rick's best friend and sheriff's deputy partner. Shane leads the survivors until Rick's arrival then becomes his right-hand man. Before Rick met up with the group of survivors, Shane thought he was dead and began a secret romance with Rick's wife Lori until they found each other.
Actress: Lauren Cohan
Maggie is Herchel's confident and athletic eldest daughter and Beth's sister. As the outbreak began, Hershel barricaded the Greene family and friends on the farm, leaving her inexperienced and ignorant of the apocalypse, but once Rick's group arrives, she quickly grows into a fierce and skilled fighter.
In season 7, Maggie is now Glenn's wife and is pregnant. Their relationship has been tested in numerous ways so far but they remain strong and even have an adopted daughter. Maggie is fierce and strong-willed. In the season 7 premiere, she had to watch Glenn be killed.
Actor: Michael Rooker
Merle is Daryl's older brother and a Southern redneck hunter who is misogynistic and racist. In Atlanta, he's handcuffed to a pole on a roof and the keys are lost so he's left behind. He had to sever his own hand with a dull hacksaw to escape.
Actor: Jeffrey DeMunn
Dale is the wise and respected elder of the group as its primary moral center. He's always wearing a fisherman's bucket hat. While traveling on his own during the outbreak, he met Andrea and Amy and took them in and they formed a group and set up camp around his RV on the outskirts of Atlanta.
Actor: IronE Singleton
"T-Dog" is a kindhearted man towards his fellow survivors, although he struggles to prove his worth in the group. He is also somewhat clumsy, like when he accidentally dropped the handcuff keys down a drainpipe which led to Merle being stuck on a roof and left behind.