The Walking Dead: The violence and brutality question

No Sanctuary. The Walking Dead - AMC
No Sanctuary. The Walking Dead - AMC /

WIth the season 7 premiere, the level of brutality and violence in The Walking Dead has come into question among fans of the show.

The season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead was dark and brutal. It was violent. That is not a question. But was it too violent? Was it so violent that it has crossed a line? So violent that fans who are vowing to quit watching makes sense?

I’m not a person who watches things with violence and gore. It took a little prodding for me to watch the first episode of The Walking Dead. I found the premiere to be a little tough at times with shovels to the head. But I persevered because I promised I would and I was hooked on the story.

I understand not wanting violence and gore to enter your psyche. That’s your right and your choice. I walked out of Gangs of New York at the very beginning and I understand that was a really good movie and story.

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But it’s season 7 of The Walking Dead. The violence is not a surprise. So what has changed? Many say that it has crossed a line and they are ready to stop watching. If that is truly the case and it is the level of violence that has made them decide to stop watching, that is their choice. I don’t judge.

Many fans get upset and call them fake fans or try to defend the violence. That’s not necessary, although I understand that desire as well-we don’t want those people to ruin or insult something that we still love. Hopefully, those people will just stop watching and shut up about it like I do with violent movies that other people love.

I do wonder though if the violence has really escalated or if was the idea that it was our beloved Abraham and Glenn who were beaten. I’m not denying the brutality. I blinked and looked away at times. That’s always an option!

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I remember when I was deeply affected by the slaughter in the church during “4 Walls and a Roof” and people were always so quick to point out to me that Gareth and Martin and the Termites were evil and deserved that.

That was completely beside the point in my eyes. Watching them be bludgeoned to death was brutal and moreover I cried for our people that they had to experience this. Didn’t people realize that it must be awful for someone to kill another person whether they deserved it or not? And so intimately and savagely.

Rick Grimes, Sam and Jessie Anderson, Carl - The Walking Dead, AMC
Rick Grimes, Sam and Jessie Anderson, Carl – The Walking Dead, AMC /

People laughed and cheered when little Sam was eaten by walkers. Cheered! A little boy that they thought was annoying because he was a liability and would get someone they loved killed. Can you imagine? Think of your 10-year-old son or nephew scared out of his wits and people mad at him for being scared.

Think of the irony here. People are claiming that the show is too violent for their children to watch (which I won’t even go into), yet they think a 10-year-old in the “real” apocalypse shouldn’t be afraid of “real” zombies and he should suck it up and grow up and not be a liability to the adults. Pots, kettles, black?

Dr. Denise Cloyd - The Walking Dead, AMC
Dr. Denise Cloyd – The Walking Dead, AMC /

People laughed when Denise was shot through the eye with an arrow. There were comments about being glad she was dead because she was fat or because she was stupid and weak or thank God that arrow came to make her shut up because she was rambling.

Father Gabriel and Tyreese taking care of Judith makes them weak and uninteresting, but when they kill they are badass. Carol being weighed down by her kill list and wanting to leave because she doesn’t want to have to kill anymore makes her useless. Morgan is annoying because he’s trying to maintain his sanity by clinging to a philosophy that all life is precious.

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People seem to crave the violence, blood and gore and zombie kills, yet the bat they knew was coming is too much. I don’t know how to interpret this. Do they just want to inflict it with no impunity?

As usual with my exploration articles, my purpose is not to persuade. I’m never interested in doing that. I just like to express my thoughts and if they make you think about things in a different way or perhaps give you ideas to help me think in a different way, that’s interesting to me.

Next: Imagery from the season 7 premiere

I won’t go into all the other examples of violence on The Walking Dead to prove to you that it was always violent; if it has crossed a line for you, then that is valid. I will continue to watch because I love the story telling and I trust the show. I go into it knowing it’s part of a genre that includes blood and gore and I have accepted that.

I will continue to experience the beauty of the stories, the imagery, the symbolism and the family that has hypnotized me for the last 6 seasons in a way I never could have predicted or anticipated when I first pressed play on Netflix and saw a cop with a gas can on an abandoned road and wondered what the heck this zombie thing was that my friend was making me watch.