As The Walking Dead returns, I’m reminded of Carl’s death, and I’m wondering…why do the good people always die?
I’ve been watching The Walking Dead since its inception. I can name almost everyone Rick’s group has lost since Season One and almost list what order they died in. Yet, as we approach the second half of Season Eight, I find myself mildly annoyed with the show.
Why? Well, because, I’m seeing a pattern in some of the characters The Walking Dead kills off. Dale, Hershel, Tyreese, and most recently Carl (Hell, you might even want to add Bob, Denise, and Glenn to this list, too). What do they all have in common? They all tried to serve as some sort of “moral compass” for the group, and, they all died relatively soon thereafter.
Now, I know that, sometimes, there are other reasons why characters are killed beyond simply killing the moral compasses. Sometimes, characters have to take another characters’ death to match the comics (Denise and Bob certainly fit into this), or the actor simply wants off the show. I also know that, obviously, you can’t have every character live forever because that would be unrealistic and boring. All of that said, I still feel like the moral compasses have a tendency to die…a lot. In fact, this has happened often enough that Chris Hardwick has made of fun of this very phenomenon on Talking Dead, so, I’m clearly not the only person who’s noticed this.
Of course, now that we’ve addressed the issue, there’s still the question of why. I get that, sometimes, to get Rick to move forward ideologically, he needs to lose someone precious first, so that he can attempt to live up to their ideal, but, why do the moral compass characters seem to die so frequently, to the point of predictability?
Sadly, I’m not sure there is a good answer to this. I honestly feel that any answers I could give, would just be me letting my cynicism shine through. While that would be my honest opinion, I can’t say it would be an accurate one.
So…where does that leave us?
I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that, this pattern needs to be changed up soon. If things continue down this path, it may get to the point where fans can simply call who’ll die because they expressed some moral or hopeful opinion at some point earlier in the season!
I don’t want to reach a point where any suspense is drained from the show because the writers’ choice of who’ll die has become formulaic…assuming we haven’t already. I want the deaths to genuinely surprise me, but, not seem like a surprise simply for the sake of it. Hopefully, we’ll see that in Season Nine.
But, what do you guys think? Do you think the deaths in The Walking Dead have become formulaic? Are you afraid that any character who provides The Group a moral compass is doomed? Let me know in the comments!
And, if you just want have fun thinking about how to survive a zombie apocalypse, why not pick up a copy of my book, The Rules: A Guide To Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse! You can get it on Kindle here and on iTunes here!