donniefilmLast episode of The Walking Dead introduced many characters, but just one was from the comics (actually two, but the old woman, Molly, is only mentioned in the comicbooks, and never even shown). In The Same Boat, while most of the group attack what they believe to be The Saviors‘ headquarters, Carol and Maggie are left behind, but they’re soon reached by another small group of Saviors: the first one to appear (and to get shot by Carol) is Donnie, portrayed by Rus Blackwell; for the rest of the episode he keeps whining about his wound, and it turns out he’s the lover of the group’s leader, Paula. In the comics, he’s a secondary character as well, a definitely not memorable villain who anyway has his role to play in the war to come: let’s see together.

As for most of the survivors, not much is known about Donnie’s life prior to the Outbreak, apart from his full name, Donald. He probably lived in Virginia or in the State of Washington, a young man who spent most of his time in the streets, living of seldomly legal expedients. After a mysterious virus started making dead people come back from their graves to hunt for the flesh of the living, as everybody else Donnie went on the run, trying to survive the best he could. The new world was much simpler than the one he left, and Donnie felt it like his own environment: no rules, no law, just kill or be killed, be strong and survive. Only, the young man realised soon enough that he could be truly strong only if he joined a truly strong group, as nobody could survive alone, not even a sociopath like him. Eventually, Donnie found the right team to play for, a group of violent, powerful and organised people that ruled over a big area of what once was Virginia, forcing nearby communities to provide them with medics and supplies: The Saviors. These survivors followed a just as powerful and charismatic leader, Negan, a man who gained donniecomics1through fear and charm the respect and the blind loyalty of his followers: Donnie was thrilled by Negan and by the new world order he represented, and swore to him his allegiance. Under Negan’s service, Donnie got protection from the other groups and from the walkers, and as many food as he wanted; he had full access to women and weapons, as long as Negan allowed it, and his aggressiveness could be directed to the few groups who still refused to bow to The Saviors’ undisputed power (not that there were many left, actually).

Donnie’s brutality and sadism made him stand out even among the other Saviors, so much that many people in The Sanctuary were afraid of having him around. Negan, knowing far too well that he needed also psychopaths like Donnie, didn’t kill him, nor kicked him off the Saviors, but rather he found quite the perfect task for him. A natural stealth master, Donnie was most of the times used as a sentinel or a spy against hostile groups, observing them from a secure position, ready to intervene whenever Negan ordered an attack: this way, spending most of his time in the outposts, he was far enough from the others in the Sanctuary to make them feel safe, but he also had a task that made him useful for the entire group. When an alliance of three different settlements (Alexandria Safe-ZoneHilltop Colony and The Kingdom) moved war to The Saviors, Donnie was of course on first line to fight, and he was assigned to Hilltop, one of the two groups that had rebelled against Negan. While Negan led most of the Saviors in an all-out attack against the settlement, Donnie was stationed on a nearby roof with a long rifle, ready to shoot whoever tried to escape the Colony. Surprisingly enough, Donnie didn’t spot stragglers, but rather a van of survivors trying to get in the Colony, led by Eugene Porter and the Savior traitor Carson: the man saw them despite their efforts of going unnoticed, and shot their vehicle, making them crash and luring in a crowd of walkers. Donnie kept aiming at the van, waiting for Carson and the others to come out, but Eugene had devised a plan to come out of the trap unseen, and used a donniecomics2brick to block the horn, so that both Donnie and the walkers would have believed the survivors were still inside, while they had snuck out from the other side. Donnie realised this when it was too late, as Eugene was already behind him, and pushed him down the roof. Eugene noticed that, from the way he fell, Donnie would have died before the walkers reached him and ate him, quite a relief, considering that he felt guilty in taking a human life nevertheless…this until Carson told him Donnie was a real monster, something that made Eugene’s guilt disappear like snow under the sun.

Donnie is, simply put, a psychopath, a sadistic man who enjoys inflicting pain to others. Always an outsider with a borderline personality, he’s still an unbalanced and unreliable man after the apocalypse, all the more dangerous now that the world somehow justifies his natural tendencies. An expert marksman and a brutal fighter, despite his craziness Donnie is useful to Negan and his crusade: a man deranged enough to inspire fear even in other Saviors must be kept close…



  1. […] in the back of the van with Mark and Eugene’s men, Amber was scared when a Savior guard, Donnie, shot the vehicle, stopping it on the road to Hilltop Colony. Luckily, Eugene had a plan, and […]

  2. […] Shortly after their exit from The Sanctuary, however, the escapees were intercepted by a sentinel, Donnie, who shot the van and tried to stop it: Mark worried about the situation, fearing of losing even […]

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