Theresa

TheresaI promised you three new characters from The Walking Dead, and here we are with the third one (the image is pretty blurry, but she never appears clearly in the episode). At the end of Strangers, poor Bob Stookey wakes up to find Gareth blabbering about loss and vengeance and a bunch of people eating his severed legg: among these last ones there’s a single woman, Theresa, portrayed by April Billingsley. As for now, in the show she only appeared in a single sequence, and she’s introduced as one of the (few) survivors from Terminus, a happy community of cannibals luring people into their “haven” to rob and eat them. In the comics, her role is pretty secondary, but she’s there nevertheless. Let’s see together.

Almost nothing is known about Theresa’s past, and all the information we have on her come from the words of another guy, since she really seldomly spoke. Anyway, we know she lived in a small town near Atlanta, and lived a normal life, possibly with a husband and one child or more. Then, the outbreak occured, and for Theresa life became a living hell, as for everyone else in the world. She escaped with her family (if she had one), trying to avoid the walkers and the death they brought along. It was at this point that she lost her husband/mate (if she had one). She arrived with other survivors in an abandoned country house on the road to Washington D.C., an isolated place well defended because of a fence surrounding it. The survivors were organised and led by Chris, a man who appeared to be the only one who knew what he was doing, and Theresa learnt to trust him, doing everything he said…even when things became weird, to say the least. The house had some supplies inside, and every survivor brought theresacomics1something along, but eventually the food ran out. Some of the men in the group tried to hunt something, but they proved to be quite awful hunters, and nobody had any idea on how to cultivate. The only destiny for the group seemed to be starving to death, until Chris came up with a horrifying but pragmatic idea: the only way they could survive was eating the most unuseful members of the group, the weakest ones, just like bears who eat their cubs in time of famine. Some members of the group opposed to the idea, but some others trusted Chris enough to follow him also in this path: Theresa belonged to the last ones. She agreed to kill the children and to feed on them, finding justification in the need for survival. From that point, she would have followed Chris, no matter what.

Even the children inside the group, eventually, ran out, and the group faced hunger again. Once a cannibal, always a cannibal, and when Chris told his companions that they would have hunted other people to kill and eat them, the idea didn’t meet the strong opposition of the first times. Now calling themselves the Hunters, Chris, Theresa and the other four members of the (now) small group started preying on the people traveling the road between Atlanta and Washington, targeting the loners, chasing the small groups to attack the ones who remained behind, always avoiding the big groups, perfectly aware of the scarceness of their forces. Things went well for a while, but eventually they couldn’t find any small group passing by, even less loners. The perspective of hunger pushed Chris to change plans, and to order the theresacomics2Hunters to stalk also bigger groups: the first one they found was Rick Grimes‘ one, escaping from the prison, their last shelter that had been destroyed by The Governor and his men. While Greg and Charlie, the best trackers and shooters among the Hunters, followed Rick’s group, Theresa, Chris, Albert and David stayed at the house, preparing for the upcoming supplies. Greg and Charlie came back from their observation mission with an unexpected guest: Dale, an old man left behind by the group. The Hunters cut off one of his legs and cooked it, but when the old man woke up, he told them the meat they were eating was tainted, since he had been bitten by a zombie and he had been left behind on his own request. Theresa panicked, but David reassured her and the others by saying that the cooking had cleaned the meat. They however decided to eat the healthy ones, and used Dale as a bait, leaving him in front of the church the group had elected as their new shelter. When an Asian boy, Glenn, came out, the Hunters shot him down, hitting his leg. Glenn was saved by his companions, but the Hunters’ siege had begun. Hopefully, Theresa would have had other dinners, and this time of fresh meat.

Teresa appears to be a perfectly normal woman, in good relationship with her friends, still peaceful and balanced despite the spreading apocalypse. In reality, something inside Theresa broke, and her loyalty towards Chris led her to forget what it means to be truly human: now she only considers “people” the ones who share her everyday life, the other Hunters; all the others, are just food.

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