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‘Walking Dead’ Fans Take to Twitter to Mourn Series Regular’s Death in Midseason Finale

Shocking death in final moments leaves fans stunned, saddened and outraged

(Spoiler alert: Do not read on if you have not yet seen AMC’s “The Walking Dead” midseason finale entitled “Coda.”)

Fans hoping to avoid spoilers from the midseason finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” needed to avoid Twitter altogether Sunday night. Not only were fans all over the social media platform expressing their outrage, sadness and shock at the death of one series regular, they got the character’s name trending worldwide.

In other words, there was nowhere to hide online from the death of Emily Kinney’s Beth Greene. By the time the West Coast airing of the show was complete, the Twitter hashtag #RIPBeth was trending nationwide.

While Beth’s sudden execution mercifully didn’t happen in front of her sister Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and only surviving family member, it did happen in front of fan favorite Norman Reedus, whose Daryl Dixon was probably the next person she was closest with among the group.

Dixon shared a poignant episode in the fourth season with Beth that brought them closer together. Many fans speculated romantic feelings, despite the character of Beth being a teen, while others simply saw it as a tight and familial bond.

Sunday night on Twitter, fans expressed their shock and sadness at the loss of her character just as she was becoming someone worth rooting for. Relegated to background recurring status for the second and third seasons, Kinney was promoted to “also starring” status for the show’s fourth season.

It was here that she finally started to show some personality, and some potential as a survivor of her own. She tapped into unknown reservoirs of strength and perseverance as the captor of the hospital survivors in this fifth season, her first as a series regular.

Kinney held her own against Christine Woods’ Dawn Lerner, the leader of the hospital group of survivors. Dawn proved she was operating from a place of fear — fearing others would see her weak — when she changed the terms of an agreed-upon exchange that would have seen the return of two of her officers captured by Rick’s group for the release of Beth and Melissa McBride’s Carol.

When Dawn uped the ante, demanding escapee Noah (Tyler James Williams) also be returned to her side, Beth lashed out in frustration and stabbed her, leading Dawn to shoot her abruptly through the head. Daryl, in shock, returned the favor and both groups narrowly avoided a shootout in the hospital hallways.

Maggie finally showed some emotions about the disappearance of her sister in this episode, but it was too late. All that was left now was the tears shed by the group as they lost yet another of their own.

And those tears were shared by fans online, who flocked to Twitter to express their sadness and shock over the loss of the young actress and her character.