This article contains descriptions/images of gratuitous violence, suicide, and gore.
After 12 years on the air, the 11th and final season of AMC's flagship TV show The Walking Dead finally comes to an end on November 20, 2022. As sad as it is to see such an iconic series draw to a close, those who've been watching since 2010 are sure to have immense gratitude for the way Robert Kirkman's graphic novels have been more or less faithfully adapted.
Yet, there are bound to be several fans who just can't over several memorable characters from the comics that were left out of the show for various reasons, many of which could have made the horrific drama much stronger.
10 Billy, Rachel & Susie
In the comics, Hershel has four additional children, including his youngest son Billy and twin sisters Rachel and Susie. Including these characters would have made the season 2 storyline on the farm much more harrowing. Not just for Hershel's own story arc, but for Glen and The Governor as well.
All three siblings survive long enough to make it to the Prison in the comics, where Billy becomes an excellent sharpshooter and directly pushes Hershel to keep going when his morale is low. It's a shame their complex father-son dynamic wasn't explored on screen, especially considering how Billy killed Charlie, Rudy, Daniel, Teddy, Bart, Don, and others before being shot down by the Governor's men right in front of Hershel. Meanwhile, after being decapitated in a barber shop, Rachel and Susie reanimate and stalk the land before Glen makes one of his first big stands and shoots them dead. For story arcs that occurred in the first 10 to 16 Issues, these early establishing characterizations could have paid dividends down the line on the show.
9 Julie & Chris
Tyreese's daughter, Julie, and her boyfriend, Chris, are also noticeably absent from the TV show, which was another missed opportunity for fans of the comics. Rather than accompanying his strong-willed and independent-minded sister Sasha on the show (who does not exist in the comics), Tyreese character arc would have been much more compelling if they included his attempts to protect the frail teens from harm.
While it's easy to understand why they nixed the Issue 7 storyline that ultimately results in Julie and Chris' mutual suicide pact, the terrifying twist that ensues would have made for great television. Just as Julie and Chris aim guns at each other, Chris shoots too fast and accidentally kills Julie. As Tyreese picks up her corpse, Julie reanimates and attacks her father, only for Chris to shoot her in the head. This too would have made Tyreese even more sympathetic and easy to root for.
Starring in a riveting arc from Issues 33-44, Jameson would have made a stellar addition to the all-time best zombie TV show, if for no other reason than to flesh out The Governor's role as well as alter Andrea Grime's storyline. In the comics, Jameson helps nurse the Governor back to health after Michonne cuts off his arm, cuts out his eye, and nails his genitals to the ground.
In addition to bolstering Andrea's character by showing her kill James in the Prison, Jameson's presence would have also given The Governor a greater alliance, making the conflict between him and Rick even more dramatic. Another badly missed opportunity to add some depth to the storylines of several main characters.
7 Douglas Monroe
While Deanna Monroe made for a fairer-minded substitute on the show, former Congressman Douglas Monroe's riveting arc in the comics beginning in Issue 70 would have been much more satisfying. The profound regret Douglas feels for mistreating his wife after her death directly leads to him appointing Rick as the leader of the Alexandria Safe-Zone.
The way Douglas completely deteriorates also results in him killing his best friend, Alexander, which further enables him to trust Rick as the new commander. Douglas' final stand where he accidentally shoots Carl in the face should have been included as a great way to punctuate what a tragic figure he was despite his best-laid intentions.
6 Scavenger Derek
Introduced in Issue 75, Derek was the barbarous leader of The Scavengers whose terrifying presence is on par with The Governor and Negan. The all-time great AMC show missed a great opportunity to show Derek's brazen attempt to kill Rick after planning to overtake Alexandria, which forces Andrea Grimes to shoot him dead. However, the gunshots prompt the D.C. herd to go to Alexandria (one of the biggest TWD storylines).
Continuing from Volumes 13-22, once Andrea kills Derek, Rick begins fortifying Alexandria and learns the group can defeat walkers using much easier alternative methods. The long-term story arc would have bolstered Rick and Andrea's character, which is probably why Derek was replaced with Jadis in the show.
5 Morton Rose
Introduced in Issue 135, Morton Rose was one of the most vicious Hilltop villains who added a lot to both Rick and Carl's storylines. When Carl catches Morton's son torturing another child, he gives him a dose of his own medicine, which prompts Morton's revenge campaign to put Carl in jail.
In the end, Rick goes full Walker and savagely rips Morton's jugular from his neck in one of the all-time great deaths in the comics. Why it wasn't included on the beloved horror TV show is flat-out maddening. Moreover, showing the Whisperers killing Morton's wife, Tammy, would have gone a long way in increasing the terror of the hostile survivors while also creating a modicum of sympathy for Morton.
4 Pete The Pirate
For some reason, AMC completely bastardized Kirkman's original Oceanside storyline by turning the population into an all-female community. This has left Pirate Pete off the show, despite being one of Michonne and Ezekiel's closest friends who help patch up their frayed romance. He's also Siddiq's first mate, eschewing valuable storylines from the comics from Issue 139 on.
Pete is also such a strong and unforgettable character that he's one of 10 who also appeared in Telltale's TWD video game. The fact that he's not included in the TV show is a downright travesty.
3 King William
With a substantial arc from Issues 157-182, William was the reluctant leader of The Kingdom whose ambivalence in his role would have made for far more dramatic television than having Richard and silly Jerry at the helm. Aside from slaying several Whispers, William is torn between assisting Rick and staying loyal to his men, which leads to more compelling storylines than seen on the show, including his bond with Maggie.
A moral leader much different from the ruthless figureheads on the show, the real reason producers made the mistake of leaving King William out is the unpredictable turn he makes on Zachary by siding with Rick's militia.
2 Sheriff Kapoor
The upstanding Sheriff of The Commonwealth, Kapoor is one of the final characters introduced in the comics. Despite his limited time beginning in Issue 193, his crucial role of keeping the law intact after Carl kills a Walker on private property would have been a great way to conclude Carl's tumultuous arc. Including an actor of Kapoor's Indian-American heritage would also be appreciated for representing marginalized cultures on TV.
A terrific story arc that brings Carl and Sophia together in a heartfelt manner of protecting Andrea, the fact Sheriff Kapoor has not been seen on the show was another missed opportunity to depict one of the more likable moral centers in the latter stages of the long-running TV show.
1 Jeffrey Grimes
The protagonist of TWD: The Alien comic, the biggest mistake the producers of the show made was failing to include Rick's little brother, Jeffrey Grimes. Prior to the outbreak, it was Jeff who introduced Rick to his eventual wife, Lori, who was Jeff's close friend in high school.
While Jeff technically dies saving his beloved Claudia from zombies in Spain prior to events on the show, the lack of a single heartfelt flashback is inexcusable for most TWD fans. Jeffrey is one of just nine protagonists in TWD media to be killed, the emotional impact of which really could have and should have been included to make Rick and Lori's story arcs even more touching.