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“The Walking Dead” Comics vs. TV: What They Showed and Didn’t Show

Walking Dead Comics vs TV
Walking Dead Comics vs TV
Walking Dead Comics vs TV

Posted January 3, 2013 by

While the story of the hit television series “The Walking Dead” is quite captivating and keeps us coming back for more, not all of the details from the comics are completely accurate – and some aren’t even included. Here’s a quick guide to the major differences between “The Walking Dead” show and the comics. For those who have yet to read the comics and who want to, be warned that this will contain spoilers to both the comics and the television show. You have been warned!


Shane never made it out of Atlanta.

Shane Walking Dead Comic vs TV

As season 2 dragged on, most viewers came to hate Shane for his cynical, dictatorial outlook on the apocalyptic world. For those unfamiliar with the comics, Shane never even made it out of Atlanta. Most of what happened on the show is how he died except for the timeframe. Rick approached Shane in the woods when the group was still camped outside of Atlanta and Carl ended up shooting him. After the group realizes that you come back as a walker no matter how you die, Rick made a special trip back to where he buried Shane and put his old friend to rest once and for all.


Andrea and Dale became a couple.

Walking Dead Andrea and Dave Comics vs TV

Tensions were high after Dale used guilt to make Andrea leave the CDC with him. After Andrea was basically forced to live longer, her and Dale’s relationship was never the same. The comic book depicted an actual relationship, filled with both love and sex. They were extremely close and looked after each other, up until Dale’s death. It’s hard to believe the show wouldn’t illustrate this but then again, maybe it’s just a little too gross seeing an older man make out with a younger woman.


Dale lost his leg, not Hershel.

Walking Dead Hershel Comics vs TV

Although Dale’s death in the show was quite graphic, in the comics Dale was the one who had his leg amputated, not Hershel. Dale is bitten and wonders off into the woods to die when a group of cannibals kidnap him. The group eats Dale’s infected leg but dies after Andrea mercy-kills him to save him from turning. Hershel’s fate is sealed at the prison, when the Governor’s troops attack. Distraught over his son Billy’s death, Hershel holds onto his body and declines escaping with Rick and the others. The Governor takes him out with a shot to the head after he cries out “Dear God, please kill me.”


Daryl and Merle Dixon were characters made up for the show.

Daryl Merle Dixon Walking Dead Comics vs TV

Love them or hate them, the Dixon brothers definitely bring a lot of action to the show. While Merle is more geared towards the evil side of things, Daryl seems to be on the road to redemption. After Sophia goes missing, he does everything he can to find her and even becomes injured. I think most viewers saw the correlation between Sophia and Daryl as a child after he talked about how he had a hard childhood. Merle working with the Governor wasn’t too far of a grab, as he’s very prone to the wrong side of the tracks. It was a very intense moment when Merle and Daryl were reunited in Woodsbury and has been my favorite moment of season 3 thus far. Even though these are made up characters, they definitely bring tons of action and pizzazz to the series.


Sophia never died at Hershel’s farm.

Walking Dead Sophia Comics vs TV

Sophia’s disappearance was a major plot line of the first half of season 2. As much as I like the series as a whole, I felt this plot line dragged on for too long. It felt that way because I read the comics and Sophia was just fine at the farm. Sure she went through a lot of grief but she managed stayed alive. In the show, she’s survived by her mother Carol. Her abusive father died when walkers invaded the camp. It was a sigh of relief when we saw Sophia emerge from the barn full of walkers, yet I was so angry that they spent all that time searching for her when she was right there!


The farm never becomes overrun.

Walking Dead Farm Comics vs TV

The finale of season 2 was showing the group trying to defend the farm, but it quickly becomes over-run. Hershel and his family are distraught that they have to leave the farm behind but that doesn’t even happen in the comics. Rick gets into an argument with Hershel about putting the walkers in the barn out of their misery and Hershel demands that Rick and the group leave his farm. Once the group settles into the prison, Rick personally visits Hershel and invites him to live in the prison with his family and he accepts. During this point in the show, Andrea becomes separated from the group, which is just another thing that didn’t happen in the comics.


Lori doesn’t die from child birth.

Walking Dead Lori Comics vs TV

Lori’s death was an unfortunate thing to see but it was inevitable. She died in both the comic and the show but the deaths were different. All of our heart strings were tugged on when Lori said her last goodbyes to Carl during the labor of baby Grimes. She eventually bled out and died moments after Judith was born. When the Governor launched an attack on the prison in the comics, Lori and Judith were alive up until this point. The birth went as smooth as it could but both their lives were ended when Lori was shot dead and her weight crushed Judith when she fell. As of right now, Judith is still alive on the TV series and the group does what they can to keep her alive, even running to town to get baby formula.

What do you think about “The Walking Dead” television show veering away from the original comics? Let us know in the comments below.



One Comment


    Awesome compare/contrast of the show and comic….enjoy all your posts! Keep up the good work!

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