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Fanfic Recs / The Walking Dead

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Proof that the remaining 10% is worth dying and getting reanimated for here:

These are recommendations made by troper for fics based on the comic, show, and game of The Walking Dead, all of which have been signed. After a few samples, you will be able to judge whether you might be interested in the 'fic, based on who recommended it. No-name recommendations will be zapped. Nobody would back up the rec. Discussion of the recommendation is welcome on the discussion page. As such discussion is important, do remember to add the discussion page to the watchlist, if need be. Remember the rules for posting fan works.

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     The TV show 

Stories focused on the family and the friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. Pretty much anything that isn't focused on romance.

The Blood Done Signed My Name by Praxid
  • Recommended by pistachioinfernal
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: As the apocalypse crashes down around them, Daryl and Merle only have each other in the flight from their childhood home. The struggle to survive brings out the anger, resentment, and love that forever tie them together.
  • Tags: violence, zombies, racial slurs, attempted sexual assault.
  • Comments: It was a shame that the show didn't have time to explore the love and contempt that the Dixon brothers have for each other. So it's nice to see that troubled relationship get explored more. Read if you're a Dixon fan.

Once Bitten Twice Died by Cider Sky

  • Recommended by pistachioinfernal
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Daryl stood, glancing down at the bite wound, angry and swollen and gushing precious blood. A death sentence. Except, he wakes up three days later, alive as the rest of them.
  • Tags: violence, zombies, gore.
  • Comments: While it's unlikely that we'll see someone only become partially a zombie on the show, here's hoping that if they do, they do it as well as Cider Sky's done.

Stories focused on the romantic relationships between the cast.

so rhett says to scarlett, by Book_Wyrm
  • Recommended by Mililap
  • Status: Incomplete
  • Synopsis: "Shane leaves after killing Otis. Over a year later, his return has unexpected consequences for the group—and for Rick."
  • Pairings: Rick Grimes/Shane Walsh
  • Tags: Alternate universe, M/M, violence
  • Comments: A novel length fix-it fic that reads like an actual novel. Somehow it makes this ship actually make sense. The author captures the voices of the characters so well that it feels like an extension of canon. As of writing this the fic is incomplete.

This Old Death by handful_ofdust

  • Recommended by pistachioinfernal
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Rick doesn't go into Atlanta because he meets the Governor coming out of it. Things change.
  • Pairings: Rick/Governor
  • Tags: violence, zombies, male/male, alternate season three.
  • Comments: Author takes what should be a crack!paring, and makes it work. Wonderfully in character fic, which is not only complete, but has a sequel (Complete). WARNING: This could be considered a Dark Universe fic. Rick has an influence on the Governor, but the reverse is also true.

Loginquitas by jemlou

  • Recommended by pistachioinfernal
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: What if Sophia was found by a stranger, another survivor? Takes place during season two.
  • Pairings: Daryl/OFC
  • Tags: violence, cannibalism, zombies
  • Comments: OFC's are usually sickeningly sweet damsels, which makes this one a welcome breath of fresh air. Ruby has flaws, fears, and a wonderful backstory. It's also an interesting AU of season two as well.
    • foxkindle: It's a nice fic, but if you have a problem with grammatical issues, words that are not used in the right context and generally not-the-best writing, this fic is not for you. If you can get over it, give it a read.

Conditioned Behaviour by thelongcon

  • Recommended by pistachioinfernal
  • Status: Dormant
  • Synopsis: He knows whom he wants to stand by. Rick – and whatever home the Sheriff claims as his own – is worth dying for.
  • Parings: Rick/Daryl
  • Tags: spoilers from season 4 ep. 16, violence, hurt/comfort, mentions of child abuse.
  • Comments: Portraying a believably tender and poignant romantic relationship between Darly and Ric.

Something To Tell You by ColtAndKatana

  • Recommended by pistachioinfernal
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Rick and Michonne decide to tell Carl about their relationship.
  • Parings: Rick/Michonne
  • Comments: Cute little one shot about Rick/Michonne.

Down In The Willow Garden by Praxid

  • Recommended by pistachioinfernal
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: When the group spends the winter in Daryl's hometown, Carol finds herself joining him in a dangerous journey through his past.
  • Parings: Daryl/Carol
  • Comments: Not just a romance, but also a mystery, as Carol tries to uncover why and how Daryl's mother disappeared so many years ago. Not cannon compliant with season three, but Praxid paints a vivid and compelling tale. It's at times touching, horrific, beautiful, terrifying, and sad.

I'll Be Yours For a Song by dynamicsymmetry

  • Recommended by foxkindle
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: In a small town in which he doesn't expect to stay long, Daryl Dixon comes upon a girl walking by the side of the road at two in the morning, soaked to the skin. He could offer to drive her home. But he very much wants to not seem like a creep. He also doesn’t want to just leave her there.
    He has no idea what he's getting into.
  • Pairings: Daryl/Beth. Wait, don't go — hear me out...
  • Tags: Alternate Universe - No Zombies, Romance, Developing Relationship, Sexual Tension, Friends to Lovers, Slow Burn, Past Child Abuse, Angst, Self-Harm, Implied/Referenced Domestic Violence, Gratuitous Poetry, Depression, Smut, Gratuitous Song Lyrics, Coming of Age
  • Comments: I swear, even if you don't ship Bethyl AT ALL, once you get over the fact that it's Beth and Daryl it's an amazing piece of fiction. One of the best quality well-written fics in probably the whole of the fandom. It's exceptional. It's extremely long at 384,258 words (holy crap) and it's complete. The author of this fic is a published sci-fi author and they're pretty darn great. Seriously, I don't even like Bethyl and this fic is amazing. It has a great balance between romance and personal developement — the character of Daryl goes through amazing personal growth and everyone is incredibly in-character. It'll make you cry, it'll make you smile and it'll make you think about life, love and getting over past trauma. It's a love story between two people, but it's also a story about learning to love yourself.

How These Days Grow Long by Never_Says_Die

  • Recommended by foxkindle
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Rick & Co. are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with Daryl's outbursts, his racist remarks, and easily-ignitable temper. They are in fact, considering just cutting their losses and telling him he has to leave when they come across another group of of whom is very, very special to Daryl.
    AU in which Glenn and Daryl have been in a relationship for a few years before the ZA, and were separated when Atlanta was overrun. Each think the other is dead, and Glenn ended up with a different group of survivors while Daryl ended up in the quarry camp. Story also assumes Merle would've turned his back on Daryl for getting involved with Glenn, so they parted ways long ago.
  • Pairings: Daryl/Glenn.
  • Tags: Angst, Established Relationship. Alternate Universe
  • Comments: This is a lovely story. In addition to the main plot we get little vignettes from Daryl and Glenn's life together before the apocalypse, and we get to explore their inner monologues in this interesting scenario. Very in-character, great read even for non-Gleryl shippers.

Fanfiction that combines elements, characters, etc. from two or more different franchises.

Feeling Alive by Marium

  • Recommended by Alex_Usu
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: Supernatural
  • Synopsis: One of the reasons Negan had been able to become who he'd become was that he never thought any of the people he had cared about in his life would ever be there to see him afterwards. Now, though? Now his son was in front of him and the fact that they were family definitely didn't make him blind.
  • Comments: A very good story where Negan and John Winchester are one and the same, and the reactions of his children at finding out.
  • It has a translation in Spanish: Sintiéndose Vivo.

     The video game 
Stories focused on the family and the friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. Pretty much anything that isn't focused on romance.

The Walking Dead: Real Monsters by Visambros
  • Recommended by Angel 4 Mii
  • Status: Dormant
  • Synopsis: Written as if you were playing the game, it follows the story of Nate as he tries to survive the apocalypse. Takes place before you see him in the 400 Days DLC. Very well written, emotionally engaging, and in character.
  • Tags: Character death, Violence, Tear Jerker, Mentions of sex

Out on A Limb by kiichu

  • Recommended by LibraryDrone
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: When faced with a different bite victim in the herd, Clementine makes a split-second decision that ultimately changes so much down the line.
  • Tags: Character death, Violence, Canon Divergence

Young and Young at Heart by J-Gray-Dingler

  • Recommended by Fluffiet
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: A rewrite of S2 for anyone who wanted rewrites. Features a nine-year-old Clem and pregnant Christa interacting with select characters from S2 as well as an original cast, along with a focus on Clem and Sarah working together to overcome the horrors of the cruel and grotesque world they're trapped in.
  • Tags: Character death, language, violence.

No Going Back? by ZombieGuy96

  • Recommended by WooftheWolfie
  • Trope Page
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: A Peggy Sue fanfic where Clem goes back in time to episode 3 of season 2. This rewind power is a one-time use, so she still has to be careful at everything she does as she rewrites history for the better.
  • Tags: Death, violence, sexual themes

Old Scars by WalkingDeadRox

  • Recommended by Termin8r
  • Status: Dormant; last updated March 2019
  • Synopsis: A retelling of S2 where Clementine is discovered by Luke and Tavia and accepted into the Howe's Hardware Settlement and adopted by Rebecca and Alvin. Features an Original Main Character: Ezekiel "Zeke" Bowman; a mysterious archer whose life has been nothing trial-after-trial. Also has a romance between Zeke and Sarah.
  • Tags: Violence, Death, Canon Divergence, Language.

The Walking Dead: Tables Turned by BehindTheCorner

  • Recommended by HarmoniousCoati
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: An Alternate Universe that avoids Lee dying at the end of No Time Left, rather having Clementine dying instead. Follows a rewrite of Season 2 with few people from the original cast, including some returns of Season 1 characters, and all showing how Lee is trying to carry on after losing the one thing good left in an apocalypse. Overall the cast are in character, the plot is interesting so far and the story itself is fairly well-written.
  • Tags: Death, Violence, Language, Canon Divergence.

Days for the Lost by Superemopowerz

  • Recommended by TheBloodAngel
  • Status: Dead; last updated May 2019
  • Synopsis: Basically what would happen if they took a Spartan-II to the walking dead universe. Though the Spartan doesn't have his typical armor and inturns replaced with something else.
  • Tags: Death, Violence, Language, Canon Divergence.

Walking Alone by SeleneDucky123

  • Recommended by: Aleena Jean
  • Status: Dormant; last updated October 2020
  • Synopsis: Follow Clementine as she struggles to survive the Dead and protecting her loved ones. Starting from her life with Jane, Clementine is forced to make fateful choices.