This article contains mentions of suicide and death
After 11 long seasons, fans of The Walking Dead TV show had to say goodbye to several fan-favorite characters as the war with The Commonwealth reached a climactic height. Although Rosa, Jules, and Luke didn’t make it to the end after they tried their best to defend their loved ones from harm, The Survivors did manage to come out on top and find peace. However, that doesn’t mean a few familiar faces won’t return in the future since Rick, Michonne, Daryl, Maggie, and Negan have all been confirmed to appear in future spinoffs.
Out of all the characters on the show, Daryl spinoff is the one that is intriguing The Walking Dead viewers the most since they have no idea of how his story may be shaped (especially considering he had no comic counterpart so they had complete and creative control of the narrative). It’s might have seemed like such a bold choice initially to have included their very own character, particular since The Walking Dead comics have such an extensive list of complex beings – but it was a risk worth taking. As fans have seen, The Walking Dead had such a condensed timeline to fit all the stories in so it’s not surprising that some characters ended up being merged into one or were excluded from the TV show altogether.
10/10 Ben And Billy
In the comics, Billy has the role that was given to Mika on the series and Ben is the counterpart to Lizzie. They are twins and Ben indeed kills Billy due to the belief that he will come back as a walker and be happy. The TV show also changes some things the comics reveals that the entire group discovers the murder (not just Carol and Tyreese), and Carl is the one who kills Ben.
Had Ben and Billy existed on the series, fans would not have been able to experience one of the most gut-wrenching scenes of the show when Carol makes the difficult decision to execute Lizzie. It would also eliminate one of the most notable quotes from the show, “Look at the flowers.” This moment was a pivotal one for Carol’s character, so had Lizzie been Ben and the events occurred as they did in the comics, it would not have impacted her incredible arc.
9/10 Julie And Chris
In the comics, when the group meets Tyreese, he isn’t traveling with his sister Sasha but rather his daughter, Julie, and her boyfriend, Chris. In a pivotal comic book scene, Chris gets into a suicide pact with Julie, only to come out alive while she dies. This understandably infuriates Tyreese, who brutally murders him.
These characters would not have worked on the show, however, because the storylines surrounding them would have made Tyreese – one of the most important characters to die from a walker bite on The Walking Dead – a far different character. He was much softer on the show, with Sasha taking the more outspoken, dominant role. Given that Tyreese was a fan-favorite character, fans would not have wanted to see this much more brutal and on-edge version of him.
8/10 Douglas Monroe
Douglas Monroe was the leader of Alexandria in the comics, a womanizing and downright awful man who was not to be respected. The TV version instead got Deanna Monroe, a level-headed former politician who found herself in the perfect place during the apocalypse: a self-sustaining, solar-powered community. Her leadership qualities made her able to eventually take the reins and she was respected and intelligent. She mentioned her husband but he had long since perished.
Deanna is precisely what Rick’s group needed at the time after dealing with so much death and destruction. It would have been far too much for them to endure another character like Douglas. The introduction of Alexandria needed to be a moment of relative quiet and peace before beginning the big Saviors war, and Deanna brought just that.
7/10 King William
While King Ezekiel – one of the most effective group leaders on The Walking Dead – does indeed appear in the comics, as does his pet tiger Shiva, his ruling of The Kingdom is eventually succeeded by a man named King William (who never appeared on the show). King William doesn’t have quite the same hold on the community as Ezekiel did, but he has the same passion and determination to keep his residents safe from harm.
Watching Ezekiel’s leadership style followed by his lack of confidence after losing his community, many of his people, and Shiva, then his rise back up again to governor of The Commonwealth, was a massive character arc on the show. Having anyone but him lead The Kingdom would not have made sense and would have weakened Ezekiel’s role on the show.
6/10 Captain Pete
In the comics, Captain Pete is an integral member of the Oceanside community, working as the captain of the boat that sails around the different communities to conduct the various trades. On the show, however, Oceanside is completely populated by females. This is because the once Saviors leader, Simon, made the rash and brutal decision to kill all the men, sending a message to those who don’t comply.
Having Oceanside be a successful, female-led community was important, and kept with the show’s theme of portraying strong, female characters. Making Oceanside anything but that would not only have eliminated the backstory as to why Negan took over The Saviors, but would have changed the entire dynamic of the community.
5/10 Jeffrey Grimes
Rick mentions his brother Jeffrey on the show as being the person who introduced him to his eventual wife Lori. But Jeffrey is never seen nor mentioned again. In the comics, he is eventually introduced, apparently in Barcelona. While he tries to make his way back to the U.S., he sadly dies before doing so.
There could only be one adult Grimes on the show, and with Lori passing away early and Carl a kid for much of the show (and still only an older teen when he dies), Rick was it. Having another character with the family name and similar characteristics would have taken too much of the spotlight away from the main character. A brother might have also been too much of a distraction for Rick, and would take away from his efforts and bonds with his newfound family.
During their time at the prison, where Carol made one of her worst decisions on The Walking Dead when she burned Karen and David, the group encountered a variety of others, including some escaped inmates. One of them they don’t see, however, is Dexter. In the comics, this large, burly man initially seems welcoming. But his distrust of Rick turns him off the group and he plots to get rid of them.
The prison was already a bloody and awful place the group had to stay in. With all the other things they had to deal with, including the pending threats from The Governor, another storyline and antagonist on the show would have been too much for that season. So, it is was best to leave Dexter out.
Further to the story of Jeffrey Grimes, Claudia appears in the comics in a parallel storyline in Barcelona. Rick’s brother encounters her and they begin to travel together, both trying to get to America. It is in trying to save her, in fact, that Jeffrey gets bitten. Before he perishes, he asks Claudia to get a message to his brother.
She disappeared from the comics and the storyline didn’t serve the plot in any significant way. It would have been too much to add another storyline and setting to the series, especially since so many seasons were spent dedicating each episode to different members of the group, who were in different places at different times. Adding Barcelona to the mix would likely have catapulted the show’s budget to unattainable levels.
In Negan’s backstory, Lucy is a con woman who tries to get information out of Negan about different communities. He eventually discovers what she is doing but it is too late and his life is being threatened by her two partners. He eventually kills them, however, and invites Lucy to join him on his next quest.
While the “Here’s Negan” episode revealed a lot about the character on The Walking Dead, Lucy did not exist on the show. Her story, however, was similar to that of Laura who, on the show, did indeed end up following Negan. She eventually, in fact, became one of the top-ranking Saviors. Unlike Laura, however, Lucy disappeared from the comics. Laura was quiet and seemed naïve more than evil whereas Lucy seemed to thrive on manipulating others. The story of Negan finding his first vulnerable follower in Laura was far more fitting for the character’s arc on the show, demonstrating how easily he was able to.
Not only is Cloris absent from the series but so is the community she ran in the comics. Called Greenville, she was appointed to lead this small community by the Commonwealth. Michonne and Elodie visited there and had minimal interactions with her. The most notable was when Michonne handed bag of food Cloris gave her to a poor, hungry family, which angered Cloris.
There’s a 25-year time jump in the comics and Cloris is no longer mentioned. It’s just as well, then, that she never appeared on the show. What’s more, The Walking Dead has so many communities already so there would not have been room for yet another one, much less the character from it.
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