Formerly One for the Worth of Two: Combining Characters and/or Shifting Roles
Something that I've mulled over for a while now is combining some characters that serve similar purposes but required more time devoted to scattered and unfocused character development into one character. This would reduce the feeling that some characters feel redundant next to others or otherwise have little to no purpose in to the plot, leading to a needlessly larger cast of characters who only serve one specific purpose before being killed off.
How do you feel about the very concept of composite and decomposite characters? What are the merits and flaws of each? Which do you prefer? What are examples of your points, Walking Dead or otherwise?
What characters do you think could've been combined to streamline the undergone this process story into a more focused narrative? Why?