How did Duane Jones die in The Walking Dead?

Lennie James as Morgan Jones - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Lauren "Lo" Smith/AMC
Lennie James as Morgan Jones - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Lauren "Lo" Smith/AMC /

The Walking Dead series ended its run in November 2022. This was a bittersweet time within the fandom, but it didn’t feel like the end as many characters’ stories would continue with the spinoff series. One original character, Morgan Jones (Lennie James), crossed over to Fear the Walking Dead during that series’ fourth season. His story will now end with the final season of that series, and many viewers are trying to remember what became of his son Duane.

In the pilot episode of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) met with the father-son duo of Morgan (Lennie James) and Duane (Adrian Kali Turner) Jones. The Jones took Rick into their home to care for his wound sustained from being shot, a wound Morgan was initially suspicious of until he was certain Rick’s injury wasn’t from a walker bite.

This began a long relationship between Rick and Morgan, but sadly, Duane was killed early on.

Duane Jones, The Walking Dead

Morgan and Duane stay in King County for a few more days as Rick heads to Atlanta to look for his family. Morgan planned to join Rick in a few days; in the meantime, they would communicate via walkies. Morgan was supposed to return to his home and put his wife Jenny (Keisha Tillis) out of her undead misery but couldn’t bring himself to do it. Rick never saw Morgan again until season three.

In the episode “Clear” from season three, Rick, Carl (Chandler Riggs), and Michonne (Dania Gurira) are on a supply run when they encounter Morgan. He is a bit unhinged at this point due to all the trauma he has endured, but Rick can finally get through to him, and Morgan explains his son’s fate.

In the pilot episode, Morgan cannot shoot his reanimated wife, Jenny. Try as he might, he can’t gather the strength to kill his love. This will come back to haunt him.

Sometime after Rick heads to Atlanta, Morgan leaves his son to search the basement of a home. When he returns, he sees his son pointing a gun at the walker version of his mother, where he, too, cannot shoot her. Jenny comes at Duane, biting him; only then can Morgan shoot his wife, but it’s too late. Duane becomes infected and turns. It isn’t clear if Morgan let him roam or was able to put down his son.

Although we only saw a little bit of Duane in the series, he was essential to Rick’s story, and it was sad to hear that Morgan had to endure yet another loss. He has carried the burden of these losses into the current timeline.

The Fear the Walking Dead episode of season 8 “King County” will see Morgan return to Georgia. There is no indication that the reason Morgan returns has to do with his family but fans have speculated that Morgan didn’t have the heart to put his son down, just like he did with Jenny. It will be interesting to see what happens with Morgan when he returns to the location that brought him so much heartache.

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