Dear The Walking Dead, Please Stop Killing Off Great New Spinoff Characters

While The Walking Dead continues to bring in new, interesting characters, the franchise has a massive problem with killing them off too soon.

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The Walking Dead has had no shortage of fresh, interesting characters in recent years, but the franchise has continued to kill them off way too quickly. Although The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live mainly focuses on Rick and Michonne, it still introduced a plethora of exciting supporting characters, but none made it out of the series alive. This has continued a trend that has hurt the latest spinoffs, as these great additions are frequently killed off before they reach their full potential, and The Ones Who Live season 1’s ending made this problem abundantly clear.

Killing characters does maintain a sense of jeopardy which The Walking Dead needs, but the latest spinoffs have really struggled to keep new characters around, which has hurt the overall product. Jadis’ Walking Dead death made a massive impact in The Ones Who Live, but despite this shocking moment, the finale continued to sacrifice its most exciting personalities. Given both Jadis and Major General Beale were killed in the last two episodes, Rick and Michonne’s spinoff didn’t need any more deaths to make an impression, but the finale’s last departure showed the biggest problem of The Walking Dead‘s new format.

The Ones Who Live Season 1’s Finale Completely Wastes Thorne

Thorne Being Killed Off Was A Huge Waste Of The Character’s Potential

Pearl Thorne was one of the most complex characters in The Ones Who Live, but the finale completely wasted her potential. Having started the series as an ally to Rick, she is clearly loyal to the CRM come the end of the spinoff and even tries to kill the protagonists. Although Thorne was defiant about the CRM in the beginning, she fully embraced the group after the Echelon Briefing, making her a potential threat. This put her on a completely different path from Rick, who continued to reject the CRM, and he became invested in taking them down.

Rick and Thorne’s friendship helped elevate her character, as Rick used her trust to get Michonne into the CRM. Although she believed Rick was on the same page as her, Thorne tried to kill Michonne in The Ones Who Live after she interfered with the CRM’s mission. Thorne’s commitment to the CRM mixed with her respect for Rick made her role in the finale unpredictable, but killing her was definitely a waste. Considering she had a change of heart in her dying moments, it was a missed opportunity to not give her a shot at redemption.

Thorne’s Walking Dead Ending Is Disappointing After Nat

Nat’s Early Death Makes Thorne’s Exit In The Finale Even More Disheartening

Nat’s early Walking Dead exit made Thorne’s death even more disappointing. While Okafor being killed off in episode 1 was a huge blow, it made sense to the story. His death helped motivate Rick’s desire to change the CRM since there was no one left to stop this seemingly unstoppable force. Nat’s death served a similar purpose for Michonne, but it felt like his demise could have been avoided. He was a refreshing new character who really stood out in the spinoff but barely lasted longer than Michonne’s other allies, with all three characters dying in episode 2.

Aiden and Bailey’s deaths were enough to make Michonne resent the CRM and become more ruthless in her pursuit of Rick, but Nat’s death was overkill. He could have been a fun ally to have for the entire show, especially as the ending required his explosive expertise, and keeping him around until the final episode with Nat potentially sacrificing himself could have been a much more interesting ending for the character. Nat’s death already continued the Walking Dead‘s spinoff trope, but killing Thorne as well meant no important new characters survived The Ones Who Live, which continues the franchise’s latest problem.

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The New Spinoffs Have Struggled Keeping New Characters Alive

The Ones Who Live continued The Walking Dead spinoffs’ ongoing character death problem. Since the main show ended in 2022, the franchise has resumed through spinoffs and all three have been of a high standard; unfortunately, they have featured too many deaths, which has become a problem. The Ones Who Live‘s issues are obvious, with no substantial new characters surviving the show, and Dead City has a similar problem, albeit not as severe. While the Croat and the Dama both survived, that is simply down to them being the main villains who are necessary for season 2.

Dead City‘s newer allies like Tomasso and Amaia were both killed to add some drama to the show, meaning Ginny and Perile Armstrong were the only notable new characters to survive the first season outside the villains. Daryl Dixon manages this problem better by keeping many of its key characters around, but substantial additions like Quinn and Azlan were killed off, showing it is not immune from the problem. The nature of these spinoffs suggests exactly where the problem stems from, as many of these new characters serve little purpose outside the protagonists’ story.

Maggie, Negan, Rick, and Michonne are all the stars of their shows, meaning when these new characters stop being useful to them, they are simply discarded. The easiest way to do this is by killing them to add some drama, highlighting the struggle the spinoffs have had with new additions. Daryl Dixon suffers far less from this problem, as new additions are key to building his story, meaning the likes of Laurent and Isabelle have become central characters who help advance the plot. Unfortunately, The Ones Who Live reignited this trend which The Walking Dead must overcome.

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