There have been many big deaths on AMC’s The Walking Dead, but franchise creator Robert Kirkman reveals that he most regrets killing off Chad Coleman’s Tyreese back in season 5.
Since starting the Image Comic series of the same name back in 2003, Kirkman has had no problem with killing off anyone and everyone on the page. Fans have seen most of these fan-favorite departures transferred into the TV show – and it has invented a few of its own – however, Kirkman is now looking back at what he would do differently.
Speaking at Walker Stalker Cruise 2018 (via NME), Kirkman discussed how he missed Tyreese’s pacifist nature and bromance with the likes of Rick and Hershel. If he could do it all over again, it sounds like Tyreese would have an extended stay on the show:
“I mean, I always loved Tyreese. I miss the character a lot in the comics, and it was great getting to write him again for the show, and you know, I thought he was a cool guy. I liked how gentle he was and how ill-equipped for the world he was and what a struggle it was for him to bash people’s heads in with that hammer.”
Tyreese of the comics was introduced alongside Sonequa Martin Green’s Sasha at the prison and fans watched as the sensible survivor became an integral part of the group. Tyreese was spectacularly decapitated by the Governor in Issue #46, which was a death that went to Scott Wilson’s equally loveable Hershel on the show. While Tyreese may have survived his proposed from the comics, he still bowed out relatively soon after in the season 5 midseason premiere. After becoming an even bigger part of the show, many expected Tyreese to keep on living, which made his screen death all the more shocking.
Given that Tyreese got a proper send-off and further story development in his death-centric episode ‘What Happened and What’s Going On,’ so it might be just as controversial to retcon that decision. However, even with Tyreese being Kirkman’s choice, the audiences had their own ideas as they shouted out answers like T-Dog or Glenn. Kirkman then confronted the elephant in the room to joke his other choice would be the soon-to-be-departing Carl Grimes (a decision he has recently defended):
“Yeah, either him, I don’t know, or Carl.”
It’s interesting that out of all the controversial deaths over the years, Tyreese would be the one who would bring back. Considering major characters like Andrea, The Governor, and even Carl could offer much more interesting storylines, a secondary character like Tyreese might seem like an odd choice to some. However, perhaps Kirkman feels like he gave the character two unsatisfactory deaths when there was more to the character? In the TV world particualry, Tyreese served as one of Rick’s loyal right-hand men and also shared that complex friendship with Melissa McBride’s Carol. Sadly, there isn’t a lot that Kirkman can do now. That being said, on a show known to bring back the ghosts of the past to haunt those still living, never say never for Coleman’s return on The Walking Dead.
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