A death that means something is important on The Walking Dead

Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha Williams, Michael Cudlitz as Sgt. Abraham Ford - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha Williams, Michael Cudlitz as Sgt. Abraham Ford - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Sasha got a warrior’s death in The Walking Dead season 7 finale. For both Sasha and Abe a death that meant something was important. In a world where death is everywhere a good death is as meaningful as a good life.

Sasha had the heart of a warrior and in the world of The Walking Dead she got to become one. It was easy to see why she was attracted to Bob, who was a former combat medic. And Abe, who was also a soldier. Like a true warrior she accepted the inevitably of death and chose to die on her own terms.

She knew that no matter what he said Negan would use her life to punish and probably kill someone she loved. After watching Negan kill Abe and Glenn and witnessing everything that he’s done since then she knew how he manipulates people. He threatens the loved ones of people he wants to break, like Rick, instead of directly threatening them.

It was sad to see Sasha die after she has come through so much pain and loss. But it was fitting for her character that she chose to fight until the very end. Even if the only way to fight was as a walker. She was determined to do whatever it took to take Negan out. And she came within inches of succeeding.

The Philosophy Of A Good Death

The Ancient Greek philosophers would agree with Sasha and Abe that a good death that had meaning was important. In Plato’s “Apology” he said that he would rather die sticking to his principles and morality than renounce them and live or live in a way that didn’t represent his ideals. Other Greek philosophers like Diogenes and Zeno agreed and also preferred death to violating their principles.

Throughout history the idea of a “good death” or a death based in upholding a certain set of principles, has been seen as something that everyone should strive for. Even though few people have been able to attain it the idea of a good death remains. People who risk death rather than abandoning their cherished moral principles are seen as noble and self-sacrificing.

Death In The Walking Dead World

In the real world death is an abstract concept for the majority of people. The process of death has been sanitized. Death is a part of life, but not a part that most people think about on a regular basis. In the world of The Walking Dead people come face to face with the horror of death every day. That exposure to death gives a sense of urgency to life. Making your death meaningful is the only legacy that people can have.

For the survivors on The Walking Dead a meaningful or good death is dying in a way that will protect the people that you care about. Lori died to give Judith life and that sacrifice redeemed her character and gave her a nobility in death that she didn’t have in life. Merle also chose to try and protect the survivors with his death.

For Sasha dying to save the members of Team Family from pain or loss or suffering was an easy choice. Any of the members of Team Family would die for each other, which is why they have managed to survive for so long. For any of the members of Team Family a good death means holding onto the loyalty and love and commitment to sacrifice for each other that defines them.

More from Undead Walking

Sasha’s death was a loss, but it was a good death. Any of the members of Team Family would choose to die for their principles, and for each other, rather than live betraying those ideals.