As part of the contemporary media series and fan fiction craze, Jennie Watson has reviewed the most recent episode of The Walking Dead series, against the comic book. Jennie has recently graduated in English and Drama and is currently studying an MA in English Studies.
If you have not watched season 6 of AMC’s The Walking Dead, step away from the computer and watch it before reading any further! There is nothing worse than finding out one of your favorite characters in your favorite TV series has been killed off, than in a 140 character status. The warning signs were there, as you casually scroll through your news feed ‘OMG THE WALKING DEAD!’ followed only minutes later by ‘NOOOO THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING’ leading to the penultimate status ‘NOT GLENN’. Whilst most TV series spoilers are few and far between, The Walking Dead loses main characters at a speed only matched by a walker’s ability to tear out somebody’s guts.
As a fan of the graphic novel series The Walking Dead I had an idea when they announced the television adaptation of who would be walker bait. Although the character relationships and means of death widely differ in some cases to the comics, what I like about the TV series is that they take the risks required to stay true to the comic book origins and kill off main characters. Not only by killing them but showing us their deaths in all of their bloody, gruesome, gut spilling glory. Don’t worry I am not one of those guys; you know the comic book super-fans who tear apart the TV series week by week.
Adapting any novel to the big screen requires a certain amount of change to cater to the mass market, especially when it is a series based production. The comics cater to a more niche market. AMC have handled this particular story with respect for the graphic novel whilst making changes that worked much better on screen than they would off. They opt for changes in deaths to add drama and suspense, an example would be Lori’s death in the TV series – people like a heroic death. They like a person righting wrongs in their last living moments and Lori does that. Whilst most women would sacrifice themselves for their child, Lori’s last speech to Carl is a touching moment. Carl then killing his mother to save her from becoming a walker feast again gives her a respectable death, she is eaten by the walkers post death, AMC are not that generous when it comes to characters avoiding some kind of gruesome end. But compared to the comics where she is unapologetically shot by Lilly on orders from the Governor, the death seems a more just end and leads for more suspense and drama between Carl and Rick.
This leads us to last week’s episode and Glenn’s underwhelming death. Whilst the internet is rife with theories that Glenn is still alive, in the comics his death was horrific, bloody and brutal leading to the question of, if Glenn is still alive, how many close calls will he see before his inevitable demise. In the comics Glenn is killed not by walkers but by villain Nagan. He lines up Glenn, Maggie, Michonne, Heath, Carl and Rick and insists one of them must die. Well we know where this is going…he of course picks Glenn and using his favourite weapon of choice (a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire… nice touch!) He beats Glenn to an unrecognizable pulp.
The gory details can be seen in Issue #100 of The Walking Dead. It is pretty graphic so be warned! So for Glenn to die being torn apart by walkers in such an underwhelming, overused format would be a disappointment. Not only because Glenn deserves a good walking dead death, but it would leave a question over the direction the show was going, in relation to the comic book storyline. Nagan and ‘The Saviours’ play a huge role as main protagonist in the comic book series, coupled with Maggie’s pregnancy. Therefore there is still a lot of Glenn and Maggie drama teamed with nasty villainy to get through before Glenn should leave the show. I believe, after the success of the governor the producers and writers of the show would be crazy to miss out on another opportunity to introduce a villain and not just any villain probably the most brutal of the whole walking dead series. The question for comic fans is if Glenn is really dead, will we see Nagan? And if so who will meet this brutal end? Let’s find out next week on AMC’S ‘The Walking Dead‘.