This Walking Dead article has major spoilers for the show and also the comics. 

The Walking Dead is just one of the most successful reflects of all time for one reason: zombies. It’s also a periodically decent, periodically great show bereason it knows specifically just how to use shelp creatures. In any kind of good zombie franchise, the zombies don’t act as villains. They’re a force of nature—simply lumbering, amoral scenery. Trying to develop a story where zombies are the negative men would certainly be prefer trying to make a six-seaboy tv display wbelow the only antagonist was an avalanche or a mudslide week after week. Both of these hazards permit for some good life-or-death scenarios, but you can’t depend on them to be the antagonists that carry along the story week after week.

You are watching: The philosophy of the walking dead

Give or take a Moby Dick, humans normally make for the ideal villains because they can match wits through their hero countercomponents. And at the extremely least, the viewer will be able to relate to their humanity. Or lack thereof. The Walking Dead, for all its faults (and also periodically they are many), understands that the best point for its story is a solid revolving door of antagonists to define its merry team of protagonists.


Granted, it did take awhile to gain to the huguy villains. It wasn’t till halfmeans through the second seaboy that The Walking Dead even presented any human risks to complete through, and even then, Rick Grimes made brief occupational of Michael Raymond-James and his band also of Nebraska-seeking douchebags. Still, the result was instantly electrifying. Once various other antagonistic humans were presented right into the sea of shambling corpses, it was clear that The Walking Dead could never go back: it should always have some type of huguy team oppose the Rick Grimes clan to produce amazing entertainment. Due to the fact that the start of seachild 3, with the arrival of the Governor, it mostly has actually.


What’s particularly amazing is that these rotating teams of antagonists tend to come in bunches, and also are never simply one male or womale. The Governor was Rick Grimes’ first true antagonistic foil after Shane, yet he would certainly not have actually been a legitimate threat without the town of Woodbury behind him. In the post-apocalyptic world, no one have the right to make it on their own. Everyone demands a neighborhood. And as those areas spring up, they all tend to have actually various worths, mores, and rules. The Rick Grimes group primarily seems to run under the dominion of “Just Survive Somehow” and also amass all of the strongest friends who additionally seem to have actually at least a slight vested interemainder in returning the civilization to the normal state of legislation and order.

Other groups…not so a lot.

Thstormy salso seasons, Rick’s crew has actually grappled via at leastern 6 various other distinct foe groups by our count. They are: The Governor and Woodbury, Joe and also the Claimers, Terminus, Grady Memorial Hospital, the Wolves, Negan and also the Saviors, and also Jadis and the Heapsters. Each has had their own viewpoint that collection itself apart from Rick’s team, and ultimately made it a cumulative antagonist.


Each team additionally has an intriguing actual people analog, whether it be a comparable group from background or at least influenced by a real thoughtful institution of reasoning. Let’s take the time to give each group its due by studying which genuine human being events, human being, and concepts they a lot of closely resemble.Here are the antagonists in chronological order.

Buy all your Walking Dead boxsets, comics, and also merch here!

*

The Governor and Woodbury

Philip Blake, aka The Governor, possesses an natural skill that provides him a truly formidable devil. He have the right to develop family members out of thin air. Something around the Governor’s charisma, speech pattern, je ne se quois, whatever before, gets people to not just follow him however trust him. With some walls and sort words, he produced a completely functioning culture shockingly early on in the zombie apocalypse.

Then later, after he loses that society, The Walking Dead lets him begin from scratch so we can view just just how adept he is at acquiring world on his side. He impacts the Chambers household into coming to be his very own, and also then quickly gathers a new army to make a move on the prison yet again. The Governor, with all his skill in winning friends and also influencing people, is not unchoose a cult leader, and also Woodbury is prefer his Jonestown.


Woodbury, via its white-picket fences and smiling next-door neighbors, could not seem choose a cult. But adhering to a charismatic perchild who only goes by the honorific “The Governor” is a pretty tell-tale sign, as is the predilection to watch live prisoners duke it out in a pit of zombies as punishment. That doesn’t precisely follow the ascendancy of regulation that most cultures ascribe to.


Realistically, a human being in which the dead literally roam the Planet is bound to be just lousy through cults. So it’s no surpincrease that the initially antagonist team presented in The Walking Dead resembles one. The genuine world doesn’t have actually rotting corpses wandering around however deserve to still be a confmaking use of sufficient place that civilization are all too happy to pledge their stays to whoever before can promise them salvation.

Jim Jones’ cult was officially titled the Peoples Temple Agrisocial Project and started in Indianapolis before relocating onto Los Angeles and also San Francisco, ultimately producing the unofficially titled “Jonestown” settlement in Guyana. 909 cult-members committed self-destruction through cyanide-laced Kool-Aid, at the instruction of Jones, after the cult murdered five human being, consisting of a UNITED STATE Congressguy that had concerned investigate the cult.

Come to think of it, the Governor couldn’t also acquire his hand-schosen soldiers to continue an assault on the Priboy. Because of this, actual life stays far even more hardcore than fiction.

*

Joe and also the Claimers

Daryl is the initially to enrespond to “The Claimers” after the damage of the priboy in seachild 4. They are essentially a loose band also of brigands, led by their imposing leader in a motorcycle jacket, Joe. Their viewpoint appears to be “travel about and take and do whatever before you desire.” Their just preeminence is that as long as you “claim” a uncovered item, it belongs to you.

There’s a phrase from the Quran, of all locations, that’s a pretty succinct distillation of whatever that Joe and also his group of “Claimers” represent: “highwayguys who menace the road.” Apparently, amorphous teams of bandits wandering about trade paths and looking to take stuff by pressure were historically a large sufficient problem to be addressed in religious texts. For what it’s worth, Allah says the punishment for this is “execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hand and feet from oppowebsite sides, or exile from the land also that is chief disgrace in this human being, and also heavy punishment is theirs in the hereafter.”


Since the zombie apocalypse is type of a tough reboot of human being history, technically The Walking Dead exists in a kind of new biblical time. And wouldn’t you know it, highwayguys who menace the road are indeed a difficulty again. There isn’t any kind of considerable historical group or philosophical principle behind the Claimers aside from the oldest human one: just carry out what you desire until someone pressures you otherwise. They’re basically pre-history scavengers with an included wrinkle of having one rule: somepoint have to be declared. In that way, they also resemble some parts of the Piprice Code. Piprice Codes were adopted by a group of seafarers who had gone piprice and can govern all sorts of behavior. Chief among them, however, was usually rules for the department of items after a theft.

*

Terminus

Ok, the Terminans are really anywhere the location. Gareth and also his cannibal friends did not last lengthy on the display, however via the depth of their villainy in regards to cultural influences, they may reexisting the many exciting team of antagonists to ever before appear on The Walking Dead.

These cannibals occupy an abandoned train station that they’ve referred to as “Terminus.” The etymological ramifications of that phrase alone are incredibly amazing. A “terminus” have the right to be a railway or bus station that represents the finish of that specific route. So Terminus literally indicates “finish of the line” for any kind of of the poor souls that make it tbelow. Terminus was also the original name of the city of Atlanta, which originates from the Roman God of boundaries, Terminus.

This is among those rare instances, wright here the name of somepoint in the present is much cooler than it’s catalyst from the comics. The Terminans closest analogue in the comics are the Hunters, a team of cannibals that befriend and then eat humans bereason they are ironically terrible at searching pets.

So let’s obtain the cannibal portion out of the means now. Yes, cannibalism is a thing that occurs in the real people via alarming frequency. Alarmingly constant in the sense that it ever before occurs at all. The reasons that humans commit cannibalism are myriad, varying from needing to eat people to endure in an extreme instance, favor the Donner Party, to eating world because you’re mentally ill. For our functions, we’re trying to find a team that commits social cannibalism, and while they exist, it’s normally in primitive society’s that carry out so for superstitious objectives. That’s not necessarily a perfect fit for Terminus. If anything, Terminus veers even more in the direction of the “cannibalism to survive” spectrum, yet they have some included determinants that make them even even more distinctive.

One is their area itself. They’ve turned their abandoned train station right into a kind of murder-maze to more easily trap and also kill their human prey. And as weird as it may sound, “murder mazes” are not extraordinary in the genuine civilization. One of America’s first serial killers, H.H. Holmes, developed a “Murder Castle” in an apartment in downtvery own Chicago via many various windowmuch less rooms dedicated exclusively to killing humans.


Then tright here is additionally the reality that the Terminans actually started as victims. Their message of “Sanctuary for all” was initially legitimate prior to violent guys took them up on their market, and then began raping and also murdering them for their troubles. At some point, they were able to take ago regulate of Terminus and either imprichild or kill all of their captors. Terminus was revived under a brand-new philosophy: “You’re the butcher or you’re the livestock.” In that method, they’re prefer many prolific serial killers throughout the years. Especially say someone favor Aileen Wuornos, that was abused by the males in her life for many years prior to snapping and killing seven of them.

See more: Why Is Ipsec Considered To Be A Transparent Security Protocol? ?

Terminus is equal parts cannibalism for survival, H.H. Holmes, and also Aileen Wuornos. That’s just how you create a fascinating group of antagonists.

*

Grady Memorial Hospital

There’s a phrase from an additional good science fiction TV show that applies well to the events at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta. (Which is actually a genuine hospital in Atlanta. Surprisingly few of the Google reviews point out being struck by the walking dead.) Commander William Adama in Battlestar Galactica once shelp, “There’s a reason you separate armed forces and also the police. One fights the opponents of the state, the various other serves and protects the people. When the army becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the world.”

Well, at Grady Memorial Hospital, the police are the military…and they’re the guards, the senators, the judges, the poccupants, the insurance adjustors, the whatever. Grady Memorial Hospital is able to maintain some semblance of order in downtvery own Atlanta, also as everything around them has gone to hell. They actually have actually working electricity, some medical professionals, and also some medical supplies. Unfortunately, all patients and guests should submit completely to the police in charge to “pay off their debts.” 

Grady Memorial Hospital could recurrent one of 2 things, depending upon how frisky and political The Walking Dead wants to obtain. On one hand also, it can be commenting on the “prison-industrial complex” in the USA, wright here privatizing the priboy system implies that prisoners = profit. Therefore, even more detainees = more profit. The folks at Grady Memorial Hospital realize that “rescuing” civilization about the hospital indicates an inexhaustible supply of free labor. 

On the various other hand, Grady Memorial Hospital is just a textbook example of a culture under martial regulation. Martial legislation is, of course, as soon as the army (or whoever before has guns and also badges), takes over as head of government, replacing all previous executive, legislative, and judicial branches of power. Generally, this is done by force, yet in the case of Grady Memorial Hospital, the force is the zombie apocalypse that properly finished the civilized world. And in this new early on society, drafting a constitution and stuff should have seemed like a actual pain. So they simply deferred to whoever before had the weapons.