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The end of The Walking Dead is rapidly approaching. The 11th and final season is well underway and is set to air its finale on November 20th. So with a bow neatly tied around the story of The Walking Dead as a show, we can finally ask: How close was it to the comics? The answer is not much. The show began taking liberties from its source material fairly early on. Since then it’s seen varying levels of inspiration from the comics and completely new stories and characters. Let’s look at some of the biggest changes.
Judith has been a major part of The Walking Dead storyline from the beginning. Quite literally since the moment of the character’s conception. Her story in the comics is much briefer, however, and comes to a rather abrupt ending as many characters do in this franchise. In the comics, Judith actually dies in the prison attack. Yes, the prison attack from way back in Season 3 of the show. Judith is just a newborn at this time and her death is an inadvertent consequence of The Governor shooting Lori Grimes with a shotgun. Lori collapses dead on the ground and Judith smothers underneath her.
A tragically dark ending for Rick’s wife and newborn child. The Walking Dead show is dark, but it clearly didn’t want to get that dark. In fact, the fates of everyone in the Grimes family are different in the TV show from the comics. Carl, Rick, Lori, and Judith all see drastic changes in their stories. For many fans, this may be for the best, as Judith has become a fan favorite among TV viewers.
Daryl & Merle
The Dixon brothers are respectively two of the most beloved and most hated characters in the show’s history. It may surprise many TV fans to know that they’re also entirely original additions to the show. There is no source material whatsoever for the southern brothers. There are actually three original characters among the group that saves Rick in Atlanta all the way back in Season 1. Alongside Daryl and Merle, the other completely original character is T-Dog.
All characters that never made appearances in the comics. Writers for the show have stated that these characters were original with the intention of being quickly killed off. This would allow for a lot of the show’s signature gory deaths while simultaneously not taking out anyone too important to the story. But the immediate popularity of Daryl resulted in him sticking around for the long run. Plus, he’s still in the show to this day. Outlasting many of the show’s characters with long comics source material like Tyrese.
The End Of The Walking Dead
A whole book could be written about the number of differences between The Walking Dead show and the comics. This list doesn’t even delve into the early and tragic death of Carol, or Rick and Andrea’s steamy comic relationship. But, at the end of the day, the best thing would be to read it for yourself. Both the show and the comics contain fantastic stories that are more than worth your time.