Shane Walsh

Shane WalshSecond request, this time concerning The Walking Dead. In the mid-season finale Made to Suffer, the protagonist Rick Grimes allucinates and sees, instead of one of the Woodbury citizens, someone else, who we know quite well (and didn’t miss at all, in my case): Shane Walsh, his former partner and best friend, portrayed on screen by Jon Bernthal. Since someone, as SleepingDead made me notice, didn’t follow the first two seasons (an advice: watch them!) or read the comicbook series, we’re going to speak about Shane, to see who he was prior to be an allucination.

Shane Walsh was a sheriff’s deputy in the small town of CynthianaKentucky, a good man who did his duty to serve and protect. He was assigned to be Rick Grimes’ partner, and, as often happens in this cases, he became his best friend soon after. The two partners went along very well, and Shane was introduced to Rick’s wife, Lori, and son, Carl, becoming a very good friend for the woman too and some sort of uncle for the kid. In a day like any other before, Rick and Shane were called out to apprehend a convict who had escaped from prison. There was a car chase, and when the two sheriffs reached the escapee, a gun fight occured. During the shooting, Rick was hit, and fell right before Shane’s eyes. After taking care of the escaped inmate, Shane tried his best to help Rick, who seemed to be dead already. Rick survived the shot, but went into a coma, leaving Shane with a major sense of guilt and the firm decision of taking care of his friend’s family until the time (if that would have ever come) in which Rick would have woken up. It was during this time that the zombie apocalypse began: Lori, feeling unsafe at home, decided to shanewalshcomics1take Carl to her parents’ house in Atlanta, Georgia, and Shane, wanting to keep them safe, decided to escort them. Shane believed that Rick would have been safe inside the hospital, since it had already been locked up to prevent intrusions of “plagued people” (actually zombies). Once arrived at Atlanta, Shane found out that the city had been already shut down, since the outbreak had been much worse in big cities than in the smaller ones. Waiting outside Atlanta, Lori started to feel guilty about abandoning Rick back in Cynthiana, and so did Shane. The two of them comforted one another, and comforted each other so much that they ended up sleeping together. Lori would have rejected the implications of having sex with Shane the morning after, claiming that that was an act born out of despair, while Shane, who apparently agreed with her, in reality developed a deep affection towards the woman, an affection that would have evolved in possessiveness.

Shane, Lori and Carl renounced to the city the moment they realized that they had more possibilities of surviving outside of it. The trio met some other survivors, two sisters, Amy and Andrea, and an old man, Dale. Together, they set up a campsite in the city’s outskirts, a little peaceful island that drew many other survivors in. In no time, Shane became the de facto leader of the small group, dividing the tasks among the people in the camp and using his shanewalshcomics2natural authority and charisma to solve the small and big conflicts between them. During this time, he also tried to get closer to Lori, but she always refused him; even Carl, who he had always been nice to, started to dislike him, since he understood far too well what his intentions towards his mother were. Everything changed the day Glenn, the group’s scavenger, came back from Atlanta with Rick, alive and well, with him. Now that her husband had come back from the dead, Lori became even colder with Shane, and the man started to despise his own best buddy. Trying to overcome his instincts, Shane took again the “role” of  Rick’s best friend, and the two started go hunting together and share the leadership. Despite his efforts, his feeling towards Rick exploded soon after, when Rick proposed to move the camp, since it wasn’t safe in his opinion to stay near a big city crowded with zombies. Shane stubbornly refused, and started to publicly opposing to his friend’s decisions. He proved to be wrong the moment some zombies attacked the camp, and Amy got killed; despite feeling some responsibility for what happened, he made up his mind to blame Rick for everything happened, thus nurturing his hate towards him.

Shane Walsh used to be a good man and a loyal friend, but the stress coming from living in a world in which he has to think of surviving every moment transformed him. He has become an aggressive and resentful man, who sees the little power he had over the other survivors vanishing as Rick gets approval for his decisions. Seeing “his friends” (the survivors), “his woman” (Lori…) and his hopes of getting saved by the government disappear from the very moment Rick comes back to the land of the living, Shane becomes a dangerous and unpredictable threat for the group, a broken soul who only thinks of getting back what he mistakenly thinks was his from the beginning.



  1. […] When Shane Walsh, a (former) policeman took the lead of the group, everyone among the survivors received a task, and, considering Amy’s skills, she was entrusted with the children’s care. She became some sort of older sister for the four children present at the campsite: Carl Grimes, son of Lori and of her missing husband Rick, Sophia, daughter of Carol Peletier and her deceased husband, and Ben and Billy, the twin sons of Donna and Allen. In the time spent in Atlanta’s outskirts, everyone slept where they could find place, and most of the survivors had a tent or something; Amy and Andrea began to be very nice with Dale, thus convincing him to let them sleep with him in his RV. This “immoral” behavior scandalized Donna, who was a fervent Christian, thus putting an enmity between her, the sisters and Dale; this feeling diminished the moment Dale saved the woman from a zombie who had managed to reach the campsite, but, despite this, Donna never approved Amy’s and Andrea’s way of acting (the fact that, in that days, Andrea and Dale developed a close romantic relationship only worsened everything). Anyway, apart from Donna, Amy was well-liked by everyone, and her kindness and her good character helped her to become friends with almost everyone in the group, while for the quiet and reserved Andrea it was much harder to integrate. She also managed to gain Donna’s respect and affection when, following her incident, the girl took care of Ben and Billy waiting for her recovery. One night, anyway, a group of zombies arrived at the camp, unseen: Amy, who had gone in the wood for a pee, was attacked the moment she came back, and bitten to the neck. She died for the blood loss in no time. Andrea, stating that her sister didn’t want to come back as a monster, shot her corpse’s head, thus preventing her to come back; during Amy’s funeral, everyone remarked their sorrow for her death. […]

  2. […] attacked by a zombie and saved by chance by Dale, the group’s leaders, Rick Grimes and Shane Walsh, decided they needed more guns. Jim was able to point them to a gun store in Atlanta, thus […]

  3. […] morale, since, tall and muscular, he gave everyone a sense of safety, despite everything. After Shane‘s death, Rick trusted him to the point of making him his “right hand man”, and […]

  4. […] doubtful fatherhood: in the time Rick was in a coma, Lori had a brief affair with his best friend, Shane Walsh, thus leaving a doubt on which one, between Rick and Shane, was the natural father of young Judith. […]

  5. […] started spreading all over the city, and the dead rose from their graves to hunt for the living. Shane Walsh, Rick’s partner, took both Lori and Carl with him, willing to protect them in memory of his […]

  6. […] already infested with living dead. Luckily for them, on their way to Atlanta, Carol and Sophia met Shane Walsh and the other survivors, who welcome them in their group. Along with her daughter, she settled down […]

  7. […] had a son, Carl, the boy became the center of Lori’s life. Lori also became close friend of Shane Walsh, Rick’s partner on work, who became some sort of uncle for Carl. Life was perfect: Lori had […]

  8. […] counting Allen and his family, Glenn, Jim, Carol and her daughter Sophia, the police officer Shane alongside Lori and Carl, wife and son of his (believed) dead partner. Andrea, along with Amy, […]

  9. […] child, Carl, and Rick’s career in police was promising. Rick also became friends with Shane Walsh, the partner he was assigned to, and the two of them started a strong friendship. Life, for Rick […]

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