‘The Walking Dead’: 7 Characters We Can Relate To
AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead is many things to many people. For those of us that haven’t soldiered through a zombie apocalypse, though, it’s not exactly one of the most true-to-life series out there these days. In any given episode, we’re treated to undead hordes and an ensemble of actors who manage to remain scarily attractive despite being covered in blood, sweat, and guts.
Still, despite the unrealistic premise of The Walking Dead, it’s managed to cull together some of the most relatable characters on network TV. They’re men and women that feel like they could be our best friends if we, too, were stuck in a terrifying alternate reality. They exemplify the human emotions and experiences that really give the show its heart and soul. Here are the seven characters from The Walking Dead that we relate to the most.
1. Glenn Rhee
From the moment we first met Glenn Rhee in the closing moments of The Walking Dead‘s premiere episode, he proved to be a source of both reason and comic relief. In the six seasons that followed, the former pizza delivery man has been a devoted friend and husband, and solidified his position as one of the most likable characters in the series’ history.
His approach to the apocalypse has proven to be unique — he’s not afraid to take up arms to defend himself or those he loves, but he’s managed to retain his humanity in spite of all the horror. He works hard to find a compromise and wants to see the best in people, even if they pretty much suck. Unfortunately, Glenn’s persistent commitment to being a decent human has put him close to death more than many other characters on the series. As one of the characters who meets a bloody end at the start of Season 7, his death was definitely one of the hardest to swallow.
2. Beth Greene
Being a teenager is hard. Being a teenager on the run from zombies is, like, way harder though. Throughout six seasons on The Walking Dead, there have been numerous characters that have had to balance the perils of adolescence and the fight for survival. None have been more relatable, though, than Beth Greene. A small-town farm girl, she was understandably traumatized when the world changed and she was left motherless.
But over time, Beth grew from a suicidal young girl to a strong young woman. Whether she was singing with her sister at the prison or flipping off the world with Daryl, she retained a wide-eyed energy that made her feel very much like a real teen.
3. Bob Stookey
It’s safe to say that when you’re constantly on the run for your life, some of your other, more deep-rooted demons, need to take a backseat for a while. Part of what made Bob Stookey so easy to relate to, though, was that he had some serious non-zombie related baggage to work through. We learned early on in his story that the former Army medic was a recovering alcoholic with a lot of regret.
After he joined up with the group at the prison, his outlook on life began to change. He looked forward to a more positive future, even in the face of imminent death. Bob’s gratitude for the smaller things in life — new friends, love, and the chance that the world will change for the better — is a quality any true optimist can relate to.
4. Tara Chambler
Most of us would like to believe that if we were faced with something as scary and life-changing as the characters in The Walking Dead, we’d choose to be on the side of good. Tara Chambler didn’t — but she still left The Governor’s side once she realized he was a total psycho. Since she first teamed up with Rick’s gang in Season 4, Tara has remained largely in the background.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing — after all, every group needs leaders and those that work loyally behind the scenes to help their friends. We’d all love to believe that we’d have the wherewithal to assemble a team of mighty zombie fighters, but truth be told, many of us are probably more like Tara than we are like Rick — and that’s totally okay, too.
5. Tyreese Williams
Some have argued that Tyreese’s reluctance to fight the living meant that he was doomed. But there’s something to be said for sticking to your principles — and that’s exactly what Tyreese has always done. He’s also a perfect example of the struggle to rise above grief and bitterness and find forgiveness, even in the most devastating situations.
Yes, Tyreese had the ability to completely annihilate anyone who crossed his path. As time wore on, he chose to use his strength with discretion — a difficult choice, but one he never failed to explain. Even if you didn’t agree with Tyreese, the immediacy of his grief over losing Karen is as easy to relate to as his desire to let the past go.
When we first met Michonne in the third season of The Walking Dead, she was as stoic as she was strong; an aloof figure that we respected for her ability with a katana, though not necessarily a woman we felt like we would ever get to know. Since then, she’s easily become one of the most nuanced characters on the series — and one that is often one of the easiest for many people to relate to. That’s because she tends to keep her feelings inside; she struggles to open up, due to the traumatic losses she’s faced.
None of this means she doesn’t care — it just means that she’s careful. Rarely prone to rash decisions, her pragmatic approach to the world makes her an excellent example for anyone that internalizes their experiences. And given the way her life has gone, it’s hard to argue with her choices.
7. Daryl Dixon
On the surface, it may sound suspect to say that Daryl Dixon is easily one of the most relatable characters on The Walking Dead. After all, most of us can’t claim to be a crossbow-wielding super-survivalist. But though his fighting prowess is a large part of what has made Daryl one of the most popular characters on the series, it isn’t what made fans fall in love.
Despite his awesome combat skills, Daryl still feels incredibly human. Whether you’re looking at his gritty and gruff demeanor, unprivileged upbringing, social awkwardness, or his fiercely independent streak, Daryl is a complicated man. Those layers to his personality make him feel real — especially for anyone who’s ever found it hard to fit in.
Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox.
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