The Walking Dead episode 1011 “Morning Star” was full of references and moments acknowledging many of the brave heroes we’ve lost throughout the show’s ten-year run.
With the fateful battle at Hilltop fast approaching on The Walking Dead, many of the survivors found themselves reflecting on the past in their own ways. This gave both fans and characters alike a feeling of worry over the fight ahead. If the survivors fall against the Whisperers, would all the sacrifices and losses in the past be for nothing?
One of the primary reflections on the past involves Daryl. As the fight draws near, Daryl takes a moment by himself to stand over the graveyard area at Hilltop, looking over the resting place of many of his friends. This ominous moment shows just how much Daryl’s leadership role is weighing down on him. He knows that he’s already lost so much and that he will likely lose even more in the upcoming battle.
Carol, the other remaining survivor from season 1, takes a similar approach to preparation for the battle. As we know from previous seasons, the main building at Hilltop is home to paintings featuring fallen members of Team Family, most notably Glenn. Just like Daryl, Carol has lost a lot of loved ones in the apocalypse, including numerous children in addition to many of her close friends. When we see Carol looking at some of her fallen family members, you know that she has a lot going on in her head. Henry is the biggest loss on her mind right now, but this fight is about more than that – it’s about all the people she has lost along the way.
There are also some small moments within the episode that show that not all wounds heal quickly when it comes to losing loved ones in the apocalypse. When Alden is arguing to keep Mary away from Adam, the rescued Whisperer baby, he is not able to bring himself to say Enid’s name. The pain of the loss of his girlfriend is too much for him, and the reference to her is sure to make fans feel sad too. Also, while we haven’t lost Michonne quite yet, it was also really tough to see Judith not be able to get in contact with her mother – a reminder that the katana-wielding badass will be moving on from the show sooner rather than later.
The emotional scenes that hit me the hardest, though, involved Lydia and Henry. During the episode, we see Lydia tearfully curl up next to a post at the Hilltop. She runs her fingers over an engraving of a heart with “H+L” etched inside. With Carol selfishly breaking her trust and many community members hating her because of her mother, it’s clear that Lydia feels more lonely than ever without Henry. Later in the episode, Ezekiel comes up to Lydia and gives her Henry’s armor that he used at the Kingdom. Equipped with both Henry’s armor and his signature bo staff, it is bittersweet to see Lydia honor and carry on the legacy of the person who rescued her from a life of abuse.
This episode left me with a lot of questioning about what could’ve been. How would Rick, Glenn, or Abraham handle the Whisperer War? If Enid was spared by Alpha, would Alden still hold so much disdain for Mary? Would Henry still being alive make Lydia feel more at home in the communities? These questions will sadly never be answered, but they are definitely interesting to consider.
Did you catch any other moments honoring past characters in “Morning Star”? Let us know by leaving a comment or tweeting @labrosse_joe!