How The Walking Dead Changed That Huge Death From The Comics

sasha walking dead death

(Image credit: Photo courtesy of AMC)

Major spoilers are all over the place for fans who didn't watch The Walking Dead's season finale yet.

While The Walking Dead's production team worked their asses off to keep spoilers at a minimum for Season 7, especially the premiere and finale, the show was at a disadvantage as soon as actress Sonequa Martin-Green joined the cast of Star Trek: Discovery, as it almost necessarily meant Sasha's days were numbered. Her death did indeed occur tonight, and while it was a take on Holly's death from the comic books as predicted, I dare say it provided one of the series' most effective diversions from the source material by giving Sasha control of how things played out.

Sasha's possession of the suicide pills coincided nicely with Negan's big plan to put her in a coffin and use her as an ultimatum-ish threat to keep Rick in line as he asked for ALL THE POOL CUES back. After having convinced Negan to keep his body count to just one, knowing full well that she meant herself in that agreement, Sasha committed suicide with the intention of mauling Negan once her coffin was opened. And she would have gotten away with it, too, had it not been for that meddling reality and Walker Sasha's inability to actually aim for a specific victim.

Sasha, who didn't exist in the comics, entered into the Holly narrative track whenever she and Abraham became an item, and her eventual fate seemed to be set in stone whenever she ambushed The Sanctuary alone. And though the actual reveal of a thought-to-be-living character as a walker is intact with Sasha, Robert Kirkman delivered a much difference scenario with Holly in the comics, and not just because she had a hood on her head rather than being sealed inside a coffin.

walking dead comic walker holly twist

In the original story, Holly's attempt to kill of Negan took its shocking turn when she was returned to Alexandria in said hood after already having been murdered, so that her walker form was used as a weapon against Rick as the first move in his attack on Alexandria. And Holly managed to get an important victim, too, as this is where Denise was killed off in the comics, as opposed to the AMC drama giving TV Denise the death of Comic Abraham. (It's a complicated process.) Rather than just showing up to take a couple of bodies as revenge for the Saviors that were killed like TV Negan did, the comic villain was fully intent on blowing the safe haven to smithereens with grenades and more, which also make the endgame play out differently. And obviously Jadis and the Scavengers weren't there on the page, either.

Holly was shot down by Rick just after biting Denise, which wasn't the most efficient way of actually watching the character die (since we didn't see Negan actually killing her). Because Sasha was a more important character, the show gave her walker's death a more emotional exit by having Maggie watch Jesus take her down in the forest outside Alexandria, as her war-sponsored narration was heard. It was a rather strange way of taking things full circle, since we saw Sasha's memory of when she tried to talk Abraham out of going to Hilltop by saying that Maggie needed to care of herself. I'm not quite sure if that was supposed to say something about Maggie or not, but it was a nice touch.

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Time will tell how the aftermath of Sasha's death differs from Holly's, and we sadly, we have only The Walking Dead's monthly comic book series to look to for entertainment now that the TV series is on its spring and summer hiatus from AMC. What you can do is check out our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV guide to take note of everything that's premiering and returning to the small screen in the coming months.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.