Thus is the genre.
But The Walking Dead on AMC is an interesting case in that nobody is safe and even popular characters die on the show all the time. Just look at this season (Season 3) as an example. Two major members of the crew died in one episode earlier in the season, with one of them being very popular, and the other being, uh, Lori.
But let's get back to that popular character, because his death has brought an interesting trend along with it. Like Highlander, there can only be one, but by one, I mean black guy on the show. In The Walking Dead, it's usually obvious when that character is going to go because he usually gives some big speech or does something noble before he gets the ax (Or the bite, as is prevalent on this show). Don't believe me. Check this out.
Is season one, we had Morgan and his son. Don't remember him? How about now?
Still no? How about now?
Yeah, this scene where Morgan struggled with trying to build the courage to kill his zombified wife was a crucial reason why the first season was so great. So Rick stayed with the man and his son, and then he left. And then...well, we never heard from him again.
Not long after Rick left Morgan, we got the "Aww, hell nawl!" spewing T-Dog to take his place. T-Dog, by the way, is played by a guy named IronE, and no, that E isn't capital by accident. His name is meant to sound like the word "Irony." I like to emphasize the E though, so it sounds like Iron E!!! Anywho, T-Dog was mostly a bungling black guy who dropped a key down a hole, and didn't do much of anything. That is, of course, until one crucial episode in season three, where he gave a major speech about why the new criminals they encountered should be trusted rather than kept as outcasts. This was obviously his death speech, because the sight of two black men on the screen at once was too much for the zombie apocalypse to handle. Oh, well, peace out T-Dog.
Enter the next token black guy.
Now, I don't even know what this guy's name is, but the fact of the matter is, he pretty much became an official member the day T-Dog died. And, spoiler alert, just last night, the guy who played Dennis "Cutty" Wise on The Wire entered the show clocking zombies on the head with a hammer, and, yep, you guessed it, forgettable black prisoner gets shot and killed protecting his new crew.
Yep, there can only be one. Let's see how long this guy lasts.