The Walking Dead Season 11 is starting soon, ending more than a decade of zombies, deaths, loves, and losses. While The Walking Dead has had some serious heartbreaks, there’s also been plenty of light that has shined through despite there being so much darkness sometimes.
In honor of the new season beginning soon, these are the most heartwarming moments that The Walking Dead has had so far, something that can all make us smile before the show’s conclusion – whether it be good or bad.
When Daryl And Carol Reunite After Terminus (Season 5, Episode 1)
Season 5 of The Walking Dead brought on many heartbreaks along with some of the absolute worst deaths of the show so far (let’s just not talk about Beth, please). However, despite all this negativity that drowns out the positives, there was one shining moment for me in this season, and that was when Daryl and Carol reunited in the first episode.
While there were plenty of moments from the group’s reunion I could have picked, there’s just something about these two dorks (yes, they are my dorks) that just gets me. They have such a deep bond and for a moment, they truly thought neither had survived the fall of the prison. And yet, here they are, both alive, and they embrace in that moment of happiness.
When Glenn Asks Maggie To Marry Him (Season 3, Episode 15)
Let’s all be honest with ourselves – Glenn and Maggie are the relationship that we wish we all had. They were the cutest and honestly, the best couple in all of The Walking Dead. This is why when Glenn asks Maggie to marry him in Season 3 of The Walking Dead, it’s the sweetest moment between the two.
It’s not a huge thing, with the two of them simply out on the prison fence guarding the area when he decides to pull out the ring he had found, but her answer with a passionate kiss and a smile is all that we need. From there, they didn’t need a ceremony or anything. They were just husband and wife, and that was that.
When Negan Helps Judith With Her Homework (Season 9, Episode 6)
I have such a confusing relationship with Negan. He's such an amazing villain on The Walking Dead. I want to hate him for everything he’s done in the past but he and Judith are just so gosh-darn cute. Negan, later on in the show, starts to show that he has genuinely changed as a person since being the leader of the Saviors, but we first get a glance at that in Season 9, Episode 6, when Negan helps Judith with her homework.
It’s one of those moments where if you blink, you miss it. It’s so insignificant to the rest of the episode, even the series, but it shows that even then, he was changing and willing to become a better version of himself, and obviously deepens that connection he has with kids.
When Carol And Daryl Admit They’re Best Friends (Season 10, Episode 1)
Again, these are my two dorks and I will love them until the day I die. In Season 10, Episode 1, Daryl and Carol are out on their own in the woods when Daryl openly admits that she is his best friend.
Afterward, Carol lives up to her comment, teasing Daryl about his attraction to Connie, which the two banter about. It almost makes us forget that this show takes place in a zombie apocalypse instead of two friends who are having almost high school banter. It’s a sweet moment that shows how far they have come together. These two have to survive until the end.
When Rick Remembered Shane (Season 9, Episode 5)
The last episode that Rick was in, Season 9, Episode 5, is hands-down one of the best episodes of The Walking Dead, and what makes it great are some of these moments that Rick had when he was hallucinating.
From Season 1 through Season 2 of The Walking Dead, we saw the downfall of Shane as he slowly lost his good side and turned into one of the villains of the show. However, something that we didn’t get to see as often was Shane’s humor or wit, and in this scene, we get to see it. Albeit, it’s sort of just a memory, but it’s still nice to see Shane and Rick together and actually be good buddies, something that didn’t happen often when Shane was alive.
When Maggie And Glenn Reunited (Season 4, Episode 15)
I’m just not going to think about the finale of Season 6. Anytime I think of Glenn and Maggie, it’s this moment right here in Season 4 of Episode 15. At this point, the prison was long gone and everyone was separated, slowly trying to get back together. Glenn feared the worst and thought that his wife, Maggie, might be gone.
However, we get to see a beautiful reunion between the two of them at the very end of this episode, one that was long-awaited for fans of the couple. It’s loving and full of smiles, something that we should all think about instead of his brutal end. Ugh, here comes my hatred for Negan again.
When Carl Spends His Last Days With Judith (Season 8, Episode 10)
While Carl dying in Season 8 of The Walking Dead was most certainly one of the biggest controversies of the show thus far, no one can deny that this scene between Carl and his little sister, Judith, in Episode 10 is adorably heartbreaking.
We all know what’s going to happen to him, which makes this scene painful in a way, but the heartwarming moment is seeing Carl make these genuine memories with his little sister before he goes. He takes a picture with her, paints their hands together on the porch, holds her in his arms – it’s the perfect amount of sweetness and sadness, which is why it needs to be here. He would be so proud of Judith now.
When Rick Remembered Him And Little Carl (Season 8, Episode 16)
Near the end of Season 8 in The Walking Dead, when the Savior war had just ended, Rick sits down and writes to his son, reading Carl’s letter to him after he died, begging for him to remember who they were before the turn. Rick begins to remember his son when he was very young, lifting him up into his arms alongside the railing of a fence.
But what makes this moment even better is Rick narrating his letter to his son in his head, telling him how his son made him feel like he knew who he was for the first time in his life. Seeing Rick hold little Carl’s hand, saying that Carl showed him the new world – brings tears to my eyes every time.
When Ezekiel and Jerry Say Goodbye (Season 10, Episode 14)
Ugh, these two. I remember when we first met Jerry, he instantly became one of my favorite characters on The Walking Dead. Which is why, in Season 10, Episode 14, when Ezekiel goes to help Eugene and Yumiko find Stephanie, their departure always makes me smile. Jerry admits that he cares so much about Ezekiel, and doesn’t want anything to happen to him, even if Ezekiel is sick.
But he knows that he can’t stop him from going, and Ezekiel won’t let him come because he needs to stay to protect the group, so he gives Ezekiel the biggest hug. Jerry to me has always been a big teddy bear on this show and needs to be protected at all costs, so seeing him hug Ezekiel like this after so many times of working together, it’s like full circle.
When Beth Sang To Daryl (Season 4, Episode 13)
Okay, I’ll admit that I was one of those people that loved Beth and Daryl together, but no one can deny that this scene, no matter who you ship Daryl with, isn’t so sweet and heartwarming in The Walking Dead. In Season 4, after the prison, Beth and Daryl end up getting separated together. While taking shelter in a funeral home, Beth finds a piano.
She begins to sing and Daryl comes in, but instead of her stopping, he encourages her to keep playing while he (albeit morbidly) lays down in an unused casket to listen to her play. She continues to do so. The idea of a hard-shelled man like Daryl, resting, listening to her sing seems almost strange to think, but when it’s actually done, it really shows their little friendship that they built up in the time they were separated together, showing the trust he has for her to be vulnerable in this moment. It makes “Coda” in Season 5 feel even worse now.
When Rick And Daryl Reunite (Season 7, Episode 8)
As the last moment on this list, it’s certainly not the least. Negan had taken Daryl after his assault on the main group, torturing him to the point where he is mute. Eventually, though, he is able to escape and make it back to Hilltop. There, after so much chaos that has already ensued, Daryl and Rick reunite.
At first, it’s the same old Daryl, trying not to give in to being emotional, but after a second of that and it failing pretty badly, he embraces Rick, both of them knowing what they had gone through so far, and what they’re going to continue to go through if they don’t go up against Negan. It’s a powerful scene for many reasons, but heartwarming as well to see this two brothers-by-circumstance reunite again after such hardship.
Which one of these moments do you think is the most heartwarming in The Walking Dead? With the final season coming up soon, it’s only a matter of time before we might get more – maybe even another reunion possibly? All I know is that I’m excited for August 22 and I know you should be too. Now, all we need are those Rick Grimes movies.
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A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.