As one of the most popular shows on TV, The Walking Dead has a fanbase that is usually far more rabid and opinionated than those of other popular shows like CBS procedurals and Shonda Rhimes’ Thursday night dramas. As such, there are several aspects of the show and its characters that get debated by fans (and haters) on a daily basis all across the Internet, without an easy solution in sight. Here are 8 of the biggest arguments that The Walking Dead has been inspiring in viewers over the past five years and will presumably continue to do so. And I fully expect the comments to fill up, readers, so don’t disappoint me. (Warning: Spoilers ahead.)
How Closely Should the Show Mirror the Comics?It’s the same back-and-forth discussion that people have when their favorite books are turned into movies, with the caveat that The Walking Dead is still going, with new stories and plot points always being added. Some live by the fact that the TV show should stick to the comics as much as possible, since that’s how creator Robert Kirkman originally envisioned this post-apocalyptic tale. On the flip side, watching Kirkman retell the exact same story for television wouldn’t be that fun for him, particularly if he has specific regrets, and there’s the argument that if one wants to experience everything in the comics, they should just read the comics. Showrunner Scott Gimple and Kirkman try to find a good middle ground by remixing characters and stories to keep things fresh and familiar at the same time. Still, that will likely never make everyone happy.
Which is Better: Constant Zombie Action or Methodical Character Development?The Walking Dead centers on a relatively large cast surviving in a world full of walkers that have little motivation other than to chow down on whatever is smarter than them. Some people are really into the zombie action, which is made all the more enjoyable by stellar special effects work from Greg Nicotero and his team, and they feel that the show gets too far away from it at times. (Particularly in Season 2.) Meanwhile, others are far happier when the gory sequences are passed over for plotlines that develop the core survivor group, as well as the coming and going outliers. After all, if we’re going to see some of these guys get killed in vicious ways before too long, they would hopefully make an emotional impact before they go.
Is Anyone Too Important to Kill Off?Speaking of people dying, fans will often talk about which characters The Walking Dead obviously won’t or can’t kill off because they’re deemed too important. But is that even really the case? The argument for Rick’s chance of dying is admittedly smaller than others, because he’s at the core of the show and the comics, but what about other supposedly unkillable characters like Daryl, Carol and Michonne? Even though Daryl’s a clear fan favorite, he wasn’t even in the comics, and Carol was dead long before now, and there’s just no telling what the show will do with Michonne, Glenn, Carl and the rest of the mainstays. After all, many probably thought Shane and Lori would be around a lot longer than they were, as well as Beth and Tyreese. Is anyone really safe forever?
Should Daryl Ever Fall in Love?In the scheme of things, watching Daryl make out with someone and/or get busy with them wouldn’t change the game of The Walking Dead, but some fans will seemingly not rest until the rugged outsider is locked into a solid relationship. There were years of wondering whether he was gay or not, and the rest of the time was spent waiting on him and Carol to reveal that they’d been hooking up for ages. And arguably just as many people wanted to see Daryl and Beth take their friendship to the next level. Now that the group is in Alexandria, where Daryl is mostly settled into a routine and has a house to take someone back to, we expect people will spend Season 6 being even more adamant about this.
Should Rick and Michonne Get Together?While we’re on the subject of relationships, there are two other characters on The Walking Dead that fans would love to see hooking up on the regular: Rick and Michonne – or Richonne, if you’re into that whole brevity thing. It’s easy to see why some people would want them to connect, as they’re two of the strongest alpha characters and have been through some major losses, both together and apart. But then there are just as many reasons for them to keep things platonic, as romance could potentially ruin their partnership if anything went wrong. Plus, Rick is obviously trying to get into Jessie’s pants, and Michonne is just barely starting to open up to the people around her. Maybe one day, though, after a night of Alexandria-made hooch.
Should We Find Out What Caused the Outbreak?This is one of those arguments that only has one actual solution, at least as far as the show’s creative team goes, because Robert Kirkman has made it clear for years that he has no real interest in delivering a firm answer as to what caused the walker outbreak and why everyone in the world is infected. Still, it continues to be worth harping on from a fan standpoint, because The Walking Dead is one of the few pieces of zombie fiction that doesn’t explain in full exactly what created Patient Zero and how things spread from there. As it’s initially a prequel story, Fear the Walking Dead seemed like it might go more into the infection’s origin story, but the show sidestepped that to focus on the family drama. Finding out how things began wouldn’t change anything about the show in its current form, but it’s a detail that remains intriguing regardless.
How Important is Carl?When it comes to which Walking Dead characters add something to every scene they’re in, Carl’s name is the one that regularly straddles the line between beloved and abhorred. On the one hand, he’s Rick’s kid, he went through some major mental damage when he killed his mom, and he gives viewers a look at a tween turning into an adult during the most tumultuous time in human history. On the other hand, he’s kind of a whiny brat who often disregards good advice and gets his fellow survivors into serious trouble. (Stay in the house, Carl!) The split between fans and denouncers seems to be more related to age than anything else, and there’s a good chance that Carl could find narrative salvation in the future if Kirkman and Gimple decide to “go there.”
Will Negan Kill Glenn?Ever since comic readers first met Glenn in the world of the Walking Dead TV show, they’ve wondered just how far into the story he would get. With Negan definitely coming to the end of Season 6 and beyond, the debate over whether or not the sociopath will give Glenn his comic fate has become even more prevalent. It was such an iconic moment in the original series, and its reverberations were felt for a long time afterward, so it seems likely that they’d stick to it, especially with Lauren Cohan saying that Maggie will become more of a leader this season. On the opposite side, enough people know about this event by now that it wouldn’t be much of a shocker if and when it happened, especially since Kirkman himself blurted the specifics of Glenn’s death on an episode of @midnight, so it would make sense to put a different character’s brains on the end of Negan’s bat. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.
Head to the next page to let us know which of these arguments you’ve had the most.
Which Walking Dead Argument Do You Have The Most?