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The Walking Dead Comic Readers and TV Viewers Need a Unity Horse

How long can The Walking Dead fans hold on to this resentment?


My name is Kate, and I’m a Walking Dead-aholic. I’ve been here, chillin’ on my couch with a glass of vino, since Rick woke up from his coma all those years ago on my TV screen, and I have something to say.  You may not like it, and you may start a fight with me about it on social media, but I still need to tell you:

We don’t deserve to know who got Lucille’d on the season six finale of The Walking Dead. And if I read one more blog post about how it’s definitely Glenn who meets his maker— or no, wait! It was Abraham! — or aw, shit, it was totally Eugene— I will make my own rusty version of Lucille and bid adieu. I’ve been hearing you OG comic fans loud and clear for a solid two months, but now it’s time you sat back, take a breath, and let someone else talk for a second.

And that someone else is a TWD TV viewer.

I will admit, I had an extreme reaction to the finale, just like a majority of viewers. I cursed TWD gods, and broke the cardinal rule of going to bed angry.  I felt gypped, but couldn’t place why, until I realized it was my own fault. I had read online spoilers prior to the finale; I had spent hours on message boards with folks well versed in the Gospel of Kirkman. I knew it was Glenn who got the bat in the comic without actually knowing that Glenn got the bat in the comic because everyone under the sun told me. I quickly felt like there was this huge party I was missing out on, so I dutifully found the comics and began to read, hoping the graphic nature of the original books would serve as a therapy session for my unresolved angst. I immersed myself in The Talking Dead, eating up online interviews with Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman post-finale.  It was a revelation.

You guys, I say this from a place of love: maybe fans are over complicating something that is extraordinarily simple.


Look at the seasons of The Walking Dead past. Shane outlived his own character by an entire season on TV. Dale never felt the sweet, sweet love of Andrea.  Michonne crashed the prison party a tad too early… and that’s simply naming the stand out differences I’ve met in the comics so far, being only 20 issues deep. Why are we so up in arms over being stuck with this cliffhanger? Why are we so surprised that we didn’t get answers the night of the finale? Even Gimple himself is quoted as saying, “We never intend to fuck with people. You all just saw the episode and I want to go on record and say we were not trying to fuck with you.”

So, here’s a crazy idea: why don’t we just believe him?

It’s clear from the get-go that Kirkman has always imagined a televised home for Rick and his crew. This story has been his baby, along with his niche comic read— I mean, enthusiasts. But now, with thanks to AMC, it’s become everyone’s baby. Let’s face it: that’s a whole ‘lotta mouths to feed, all with their own story desperate to be heard.  In a world where we can watch the Game of Thrones‘ red wedding in all its violent glory, or even reflect upon the epic arc of LOST’s true cliffhanger, we need to remember that this is not that.

So, go ahead. Rage-tweet Chris Hardwick.  Watch YouTube videos analyzing the trees and facial shadows of the characters all the live long day.  Just know that there is a bigger picture involved; a picture you’re blind to because you’re in too deep.  It’s a picture that we, as platonic yet equally-invested TV viewers, see with our rose-colored glasses. Spoiler alert! It doesn’t involve an answer about Negan, or Lucille, or her victim until Season 7… because we never felt entitled to an answer at the end of Season 6.

So take the trust fall with us, guys. Close your eyes and believe that with everything The Walking Dead has done right — from Nicotero’s zombie gore to character development, scenic poetry to the rich tapestry of story lines — they simply won’t fuck with us in October.

Kate Barnes