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'The Walking Dead': 10 Characters Who Survived The TV Series, But Died In The Comics

Different lives.

By Kristy AndersonPublished about a year ago 10 min read
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier. Credit: AMC.

After eleven seasons and 177 episodes, beloved Zombie Apocalypse series The Walking Dead has come to an end. The series began as an adaptation of Robert Kirkman's comic book of the same name, and although it continued to use the Comic's major storylines as a rough template through it's long run, the series eventually became it's own beast, playing with certain plot elements to keep viewers on their toes, and mixing up who dies and when. While some characters avoided their comic book death only to die later, others managed to avoid the Grim Reaper entirely.

Here are some of the characters who died in The Walking Dead comic books, but survived the TV series.

1. Rick Grimes

Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, was The Walking Dead's main protagonist for eight and a half of it's eleven seasons. In the season nine episode 'What Comes After', Rick is seriously injured, first by being impaled, and later blowing up a bridge to save his fellow survivors from a herd of Walkers. Rick is believed killed in the explosion, but he was actually rescued by Anne, and taken away on a helicopter. Viewers were promised Rick's fate would be revealed in a trilogy of spin off films, later amended to a six-episode spin off.

Rick Grimes returns in the last few minutes of The Walking Dead's final episode. He is revealed to be in the custody of CRM, a powerful group who have served as an antagonistic force in the show's spin-offs.

Credit: Image Comics.

In The Walking Dead comics, Rick makes it through almost the entire series. He inspires the need for reform in the Commonwealth's class system, but is killed by Sebastian Milton, who hopes to stop the reforms. Instead, Rick's death makes him a martyr, and a permanent symbol of why the world needs to change.

2. Carol Peletier

Carol Peletier, played by the wonderful Melissa McBride, began the series as a meek, abused housewife. To many, she would have seemed like an expendable extra. Instead, Carol eventually developed into one of the most skilled survivors in the entire series, with many memorable scenes, perhaps the most iconic of which is when she becomes a One Woman Army to rescue her fellow survivors from Terminus. Carol is one of only two characters, the other being Daryl Dixon, to have starred in every season of The Walking Dead.

Credit: Image Comics.

Carol begins the comics as the same meek housewife as she was in the TV series early episodes, but as time went on, the character's mental state became increasingly fragile. After a failed relationship with fellow survivor Tyreese, Carol's mental state deteriorates rapidly. She eventually proposes the idea of a polygamous relationship to Rick and his wife, Lori, but they refuse, which proves to be the final straw for Carol's sanity. She commits suicide, allowing herself to be mauled by a Walker a fellow survivor had been keeping for research purposes.

While comic Carol existed to demonstrate how easily life in the Apocalypse could break more vulnerable people, comic writer Robert Kirkman has admitted to preferring the TV version of Carol, believing her tale of finding strength in the Apocalypse to be more interesting. However, a lot of that would be down to Melissa McBride's performance.

3. Judith Grimes

Judith Grimes, the daughter of Rick and Lori Grimes, arrived in dramatic circumstances in the show's third season. She was delivered via C-section by Maggie Rhee, then Greene, but her Mother, Lori, died in the process. Judith's care became a joint effort among the other survivors, who viewed her as hope for the future.

Following the season nine time jump, she has become a capable survivor in her own right, even taking the responsibility of teaching other children how to fight. Judith is shot in the series penultimate episode, but survives due to the brave efforts of her extended found family.

Credit: Image Comics

In the comics, Judith's life is tragically short. While Lori survives Judith's birth, both are killed while escaping The Governor's assault on the Prison. Lori is shot while carrying Judith, falling on the baby and crushing her to death. It was decided that this would be too gruesome for TV, so Judith was spared.

4. King Ezekiel

Ezekiel, known as King Ezekiel in his early appearances, was introduced in season seven as the leader of a new community, The Kingdom. While beloved among his people, and known for his penchant for inspiring speeches, Ezekiel suffers a few crisises of confidence throughout the series, first after the death of his tiger, Shiva, and later when he and his people are forced to abandon The Kingdom when it falls into disrepair.

However, after miraculously surviving a bout with Cancer thanks to the Commonwealth's Doctors, Ezekiel gets a new lease on life, and renewed sense of purpose. It therefore comes as little surprise when he ends the series as The Commonwealth's new Governor.

Credit: Image Comics.

Well, maybe comic readers were surprised. In The Walking Dead comics, Ezekiel is one of the characters killed by Alpha at the beginning of the Whisperer War, with his zombie-fied head among those placed on spikes to mark the edge of the Whisperer's territory. In the show, Ezekiel's adopted son, Henry, received this fate instead.

5. Father Gabriel Stokes

Father Gabriel Stokes is introduced early in season five. After being rescued by Rick and his group, he allows them to take shelter in his Church. It soon becomes clear that Gabriel is a coward, not at all equipped for life in the Apocalypse. In the early days of the Apocalypse, he sacrifices the members of his Church to Walkers by failing to unlock the doors and let them in, and later attempts to have the rest of the group ousted from Alexandria when he fears their actions may threaten his own safe space within its walls.

Eventually, however, Gabriel comes to understand and appreciate the group more, allowing himself to learn from them, and eventually becoming a capable survivor himself, and an asset to his new post-apocalypse family. In the final episode, Gabriel's story comes full circle, redeeming himself when he opens the gate to allow the lower-ranking Commonwealth residents to escape from an approaching horde of Variant Walkers. He ends the series as part of the leadership of Alexandria, raising Rosita's daughter, Coco, after her death.

Credit: Image Comics.

In the comics, Gabriel follows a similar story arc, until the Whisperer War. After spotting an approaching herd from Alexandria's watchtower, he tries to rush down to warn everyone, but falls, catching and breaking his leg, and left dangling upside down from the tower. He is discovered by the then head Whisperer, Beta, who slices Gabriel open, attracting the herd who then devour his remains. Gabriel's comic death was teased a few times throughout the TV series with references to towers, but in the end, he emerged from the series unscathed.

6. Morgan Jones

Morgan Jones was introduced in The Walking Dead's very first episode, with he and his son, Duane, becoming the first living souls Rick encounters after waking from his coma. This meeting results in the two men developing a special bond. Morgan is next seen in season three, having suffered a breakdown after the off-screen death of Duane.

He eventually recovers, reappearing at the end of season five after having tracked Rick to Alexandria. Morgan has developed a peaceful, 'All life is precious' mentality which sometimes put him at odds with the other survivors. He finds his beliefs challenged regularly, and after struggling with his role in the war against Negan, leaves the group, eventually becoming a lead character in the spin off series Fear The Walking Dead.

Credit: Image Comics.

In the comics, Morgan is bitten when Walkers swarm the Alexandria Safe-Zone. Michonne amputates his arm before the infection can spread, but he dies from blood loss soon after. This is somewhat similar to Tyreese's death in the TV series.

7. Dwight

Dwight is first introduced in season six, stealing Daryl's motorcycle and crossbow as he and his Wife, Sherry, attempt to flee from Negan and The Saviours. When we next see Dwight, he kills Denise with Daryl's crossbow, and it is revealed that, after having his face burned by Negan as punishment for his escape, he eventually rose up to become one of Negan's top enforcers. However, after Sherry flees Negan and the Sanctuary during the War, Dwight turns double-agent for Rick and the group, aiding in their eventual victory.

Daryl is unable to forgive Dwight for Denise's death, or his own cruel treatment at Dwight's hands during his captivity at The Sanctuary. However, rather than executing him as Dwight expected, Daryl simply banishes Dwight, allowing him the chance to search for Sherry. His quest eventually reunites him with Morgan on Fear The Walking Dead.

Credit: Image Comics.

In the comics, Dwight becomes the leader of The Sanctuary for a couple of years after Negan's defeat, then resigns and relocates to Alexandria to become the General of Rick's militia. For a while, he serves as Rick's right-hand man, and accompanies him to the Commonwealth to negotiate an alliance. However, disliking how the Commonwealth is run, Dwight begins plotting a coup, and Rick is forced to shoot Dwight dead to keep the peace after Dwight pulls a gun on Governor Pamela Milton. Dwight becomes Rick's final kill before his own untimely death a few issues later.

8. Sherry

Sherry is introduced alongside her Husband, Dwight, as both are fleeing from Negan. However, they are forced to return, and Sherry reluctantly agrees to become one of Negan's Wives so he will spare Dwight's life. Sherry eventually flees The Sanctuary, but in a brave off-screen moment, unlocks Daryl Dixon's cell before her departure, allowing him to escape. His debt to Sherry convinces Daryl to spare Dwight at the end of the War, banishing him instead so that he may go look for her. The couple eventually reunite in Fear The Walking Dead.

Credit: Image Comics.

In the comics, Sherry becomes the leader of the remaining Saviors after Dwight resigns. Displeased with their position in the network of communities, Sherry uses the chaos of the aftermath of the Whisperer War to attempt to stage a a coup. She almost strangles Rick, but is killed when he pushes her away in self defense, and she falls and breaks her neck on a table.

9. Socorro 'Coco' Espinosa

Socorro Espinosa, usually known as Coco, was born between seasons nine and ten of The Walking Dead. The result of a one-night stand between Rosita Espinosa and Sayid, Coco has a rather dramatic start to life, being born when our group is already in conflict with the Whisperers.

Rosita's main focus in The Walking Dead's final few episodes is locating Coco, as she and the group's other babies were being held by the Commonwealth in a different location to the older children. While Coco is successfully located and rescued, Rosita is bitten while protecting her after the two of them fall into a herd of Walkers. Following Rosita's death, Coco is raised in Alexandria by Father Gabriel.

Credit: Image Comics

Tragically, Coco never has the chance to be born in the comics. Rosita is killed while Pregnant, with her head placed on a spike by Alpha to mark the Whisperer's territory.

10. Max Mercer/'Stephanie'

During season 10 of The Walking Dead, Eugene Porter makes radio contact with a woman who calls herself 'Stephanie', eventually revealed to be from the Commonwealth. As they speak, the two begin to fall for each other, and Eugene arranges to attend a meeting with 'Stephanie's' people in the hope of securing help in the Whisperer War. Upon his eventual admittance to the Commonwealth, Eugene is introduced to who he thinks is 'Stephanie', but when she disappears, he discovers that the woman he had truly been speaking to over the radio was Max Mercer, assistant to Pamela Milton and brother of Lieutenant Michael Mercer.

Max had used the false name for safety purposes, but Lance Hornsby uses the ruse to plant a false 'Stephanie' to gather information on Eugene and his group. Eugene is upset by the deception at first, but soon realises that Max's feelings for him are genuine. Following the final time jump in the series finale, Eugene and Max appear to be married, with a baby daughter, Rosie, named in memory of Eugene's lost best friend, Rosita.

credit: Image comics.

The comics version of Stephanie's story is much more straight forward. She turns out to be exactly who she said she was, but is barred from speaking to Eugene on his initial arrival due to their unsanctioned radio conversations. When the two are allowed to meet, they eventually form a relationship.

Sadly, the comic's final time jump reveal that Stephanie died of an unspecified illness sometime after the Commonwealth's reforms were passed.

Both versions of The Walking Dead contain their fair share of tragedy, but it seems as though the comics may have had just a little more.

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About the Creator

Kristy Anderson

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  • Michele Hardy12 months ago

    Everybody loves Rick! No wonder they saved his neck

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