10 Key Changes Made To The Walking Dead TV Series That Were Very Different In The Books

**WARNING: Contains Spoilers!**

The Walking Dead has hit even non-zombie fans by storm. People have been going zombie crazy since AMC released the first season back in 2010. For comic book stores, the love for The Walking Dead has prompted sales of Robert Kirkman’s large collection of The Walking Dead graphic novels. For hard core fans of the series, just like with any film adaptations based around books, there is often let-downs when it comes alterations made to the story. But sometimes these changes work for the better.

Here are 10 differences between AMC’s The Walking Dead television series in comparison to Robert Kirckman’s The Walking Dead graphic novels:


1. Rick Keeps Both Of His Hands

A scene that we haven’t seen in the TV series, which was quit memorable in the graphic novels, is when Rick has a run-in with the Governor, he hacks Rick’s hand off with a machete in a gruesome attempt to get him to reveal the location of the prison in which Rick’s clan was presently occupying.

So far, Rick continues to possess both of his hands, despite many injuries to them. This does not mean that he won’t lose it in the future from a different cause. If we compare these two versions of the story to the Walking Dead video game, Lee, who is the main character, loses his hand by cutting it off himself after getting bitten by a walker.

Sourcce: Wikimedia

Sourcce: Wikimedia

2. Denise’s Romance With Tara

A small change that really doesn’t make any difference to the story, is how the AMC writers changed Denise’s romance from Heath in the graphic novels to Tara in the television series. It’s a small detail but it’s one that is done purely to represent how AMC and the people involved with The Walking Dead support the LGBT community.

3. Morgan Survives (As Far As We Know)

In the comic books, Morgan is killed off by a walker bite and amputation by Michonne’s katana sword. His death was a result of blood loss, rather than the infection. Keeping Morgan alive allows the AMC writers to further explore his peaceful perspective on the world regardless of the apocalyptic zombie invasion world that the people of The Walking Dead realistically live in.


Source: Unreality TV

4. The Governor’s Appearance And Personality

The Governor character in the comic books were rather cartoonish and would have been difficult to replicate without him looking like a character out of one of Robert Rodriguez’s Machete films. The guys at AMC cleverly removed The Governor’s moustache and long hair, and toned down his aggression so that he appeared friendly to begin with. The writers also lengthened his backstory so that viewers could empathize with the character.

5. Douglas Monroe Becomes Deanna Monroe

Casting a character as the opposite sex generally doesn’t have a negative effect on the story. Casting Douglas as a woman made for a more diverse ensemble and a much more interesting story.

One of the few differences between the characters is that Deanna eventually achieves redemption, eventually siding with Rick, and dying on her own terms. Douglas dies in his home, trying to kill himself.


Source: AMC

6. Andrea Dies

Not having Andrea dead in the comic books made her an extremely valuable character. She was a valuable asset in the war against Negan, she became a prominent leader in Alexandria and she eventually became a romantic partner with Rick. As the story is currently panning out, it appears that a lot of these roles will be handed over to Michonne in the show. There is no denying that Andreas death makes a huge difference to the telling of the story.

7. Sophia Dies

The death of Sophia, unlike the death of Andrea, makes a positive contribution to the story in the TV show. Sophia’s death represented to viewers that no one is safe, and anyone can die, and in a zombie-ridden world, hard decisions have to be made. Sophia’s death also plays an important role in shaping Carol as a character. Along with having to deal with a marriage filled with domestic violence in the pre-apocalyptic world, having to cope with the disappearance, reappearance as the dead and then loss again of her daughter eventually shapes Carol as a badass.

Sophia alive in the comic books is an important element of the story. In the end she, Carl, Rick and Andrea end up being some of the last remaining survivors from Atlanta. However, this detail is not detrimental to the overall story. The role she plays as dead Sophia in Carol’s character development and  the messages she conveys to the viewer, is a far more important contribution to the story.


Source: AMC

8. Daryl And Merle Dixon

As all readers of the comic book series would have definitely noticed, the television series of The Walking Dead has added more characters to the story than was originally planned. Some of these characters make no contribution to the story and viewers don’t tend to feel any emotion towards their departures. Others have gone on to be some of the most important and loved characters out of the entire series. An obvious example of this is Daryl Dixon. No one in the series appears to have a superficial relationship with Daryl, but he has captivated many fans of The Walking Dead Series.

His brother, Merle, is also a character added for film adaptation. Even though the character tended to be disliked by viewers and most of us were pleased that he left us, the writers attempted to bring him back and capture the hearts of the viewers for him. Unfortunately, Merle was absent for the series so long that many of our hearts still couldn’t bear to reach out to that racist, misogynist redneck.

The Dixon brothers are an excellent example of how it can be both rewarding and a let-down to add characters in an already established storyline.


Source: E!

9. Judith Survives (For Now)

The horrific explosion of the death of baby Judith in her mother’s arms was a heartfelt shocker for readers of the comic books. It was unfortunately an effective an necessary evil to shape Rick’s character.

There is a big difference to seeing an exploding baby in a still-frame picture as opposed to a high definition film. Even if it was handled with subtlety, there are some images that people do not want playing over and over in their minds again. A scene of an exploding baby is not something that many people will respond to well in full picture. It was probably a wise decision made by AMC to remove it.

The development of Ricks character was not hindered in any way because the writers managed to still captivate his mental descent following the death of his wife, Lori. Keeping Judith alive has now given something else for Rick to fight for, adding to his character. She has become a tiny beacon of hope that prevents Rick from completely losing his senses and becoming too dangerous of a person.

10. Carol Survives (For Now)

TV Carol is awesome. She has overcome so many hard challenges and emotional hurdles throughout the last six seasons and has turned out to one exceptional character and an extremely valuable asset to the group. Carol has had to make some awful decisions and do terrible things, but in the end, all she wants is a simple life where she can bake cookies and teach children how to use weapons. Ah, the white picket fence dream in a zombie apocalypse world.

In the comic books, Carol is an unstable, weak and desperate person. Eager for love and companionship, her short fling with Tyres ends after he cheats on her with Michonne, and even asks Rick and Lori if they would be interested in adding a third party to their relationship! Shortly after, she feels her yearn for love will never be fulfilled, and kills herself.

While feelings of being unhinged and disconnected with humanity would be normal feelings for a post-apocalyptic world, following the route of conquering and survival after hardship and more hardship hardship was the best adaptation this TV series made.


Source: AMC

What do you think about these differences? Have they made the television series more enjoyable? More suspenseful?


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Featured image via Flickr

h/t Comicbook Resources

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