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Nightmare Fuel / The Walking Dead

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For the TV show, see here.

For the video game, see here.


The comic

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/massacre.png
"We did have to do this. I know that. We don't have to like that we did it."
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  • The worst part in the Apocalypse shown in these comics is this horrible fact: almost everyone will eventually become a walker. The bite isn’t needed, though it certainly helps move things along. If you die, you turn, that’s all. Imagine living with this fear of becoming one of these creatures. Or watching your loved ones dying and coming back as monsters. The only way out is to get killed twice. You’ll see many characters shooting their dead friends or family to save them from this fate. This simple idea is not only heartbreaking, it’s sickening.
  • Some of the walkers can be particularly creepy. Special mention to Shane's zombie and the zombie Glenn stabbed when testing his strategy for removing walkers from the prison fence.
  • Though a minor character, Lacey Greene's death was quite disturbing. She quickly falls prey to a horde of walkers, and as she is the most rotund member of the Greene family, we get a lovely shot of her being pinned down by the walkers feasting on her large belly after tearing it open.
  • While being eaten by zombies is never a cup of tea, they’re nothing compared to the human antagonists. In this hellish world where humans have descended into savages as a result, the idea that Humans Are the Real Monsters has never been so true.
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    • The Governor. He feeds humans to the walkers, keeps his zombified daughter as a pet (implying pedophilic interactions between the two), enjoys rape and torture, and rules a city with these principles! The worst part is, unlike most villains, his actions are not justified at all. He’s simply a sadistic murderous psychopath. By himself, he killed more than a third of the protagonists, raped Michonne, and amputated Rick's hand.
      • Michonne torturing the Governor is described in depth in the novel The Fall of the Governor: Part One: She drilled into his shoulder, stuck a spoon in his anus before using it to scoop his eye out, and nailed his penis to the floor before cutting it off at the base. Granted that her actions may be justified, but just imagining how it must FEEL to be the Governor during this part is VERY unsettling and hurts if you think about it.
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    • Thomas Richards. He is in a freaking zombie world, and what does he do to pass time? Decapitating children!
    • The Hunters. They casually eat human flesh, even in front of their victims. They went as far to eat their own children! They feel guilty about this, but ignore the guilt. Also, if you think about it, they are realistic villains. In a Post-Apocalyptic world, where food becomes scarce, some people will be weak enough to resort to cannibalism. Yes, they eat humans, in a world where dead monsters eat humans. This makes the Hunters worse than the walkers, because they choose to be this way.
      • Their massacre by Rick's group, pictured above, is simply horrifying. It doesn't even show the full slaughtering. Instead, it opts for a Nothing Is Scarier approach, showing weapons, bloodied hands, blood on walls, as well as a fire. This moment further cements the fact that Rick's group will opt for straight-up murder if that is what they need to keep living.
    • The marauder who tried to rape Carl. Even in the apocalypse, there are child molesters and rapists. And then you see Rick biting into someone's throat, and he's not even a walker!
  • At the end of volume 10, Rick, Morgan, Abraham, and Carl hide in a house. Morgan goes upstairs to find the remains of the former residents. The kids were poisoned and then had their heads drilled through, and then the parents shot themselves.
  • Rick's nightmare shortly after the fall of the prison. The world is like it was before the apocalypse and Rick saves Carl from walking out in front of a car only to go inside and start making out with Lori. Things then turn gruesome as Lori turns into a walkeer and begins taunting him over the fact that he couldn't save her, all while eating him alive. What makes it really horrible is how Rick doesn't fight back and just agrees with her.
    "It's okay... I deserve this. This is what I deserve. This is what's right. I deserve-"
  • Douglas Monroe tells Rick about a story he heard about, which involved a boy's eyes sucked out by his father, who was on drugs. It's even more unsettling if you realise that this particular incident actually happened in real life.
  • At one point, a group including Rick and Carl have to make it through a horde of walkers. They hold onto each other's hands and walk through in a straight chain. It goes well at first, then the other child of the group makes too much noise out of fear, and is grabbed by the walkers, who chow down on him while he screams for his mother the entire time. The mother tries to pull him out, but only gets set on herself. She is still holding onto Carl and begs Rick not to leave them, but Carl is about to be grabbed next, so Rick has to cut off her hand at the wrist with a hatchet. As Rick and Carl run, we can see the jutting stump of her arm still sticking out of the mass of zombies tearing her and her son to shreds. It doesn't help that the woman happened to be someone who Rick was starting a relationship with. Not only that, when they clean up the bodies in the aftermath, they come across her remains, which prompts Abraham to tell the workers to get rid of the body before Rick sees it. In a series full of gore, this scene stands as a shining example of how it doesn't discriminate with who dies and to what degree of painful a death.
  • Glenn's death. Being beaten to death with a baseball bat while the rest of the group is forced to watch. The art does not help, especially a shot where his fucking eye gets knocked out.
    • The brutality of it gets even worse when you realize that he died after the first couple of blows, but for no reason, Negan just keeps beating his head in until it's nothing but mush.
  • Abraham's death. It's one thing to see someone get shot in the head with an arrow, but when you see a panel where said victim is still speaking WITH THE ARROW IN HIS HEAD, that's just super creepy.
  • "There were whispers and I was afraid. It was the dead. They were speaking."
    • The reality, that it's a group of survivors who are wearing the walkers' flesh as disguises, is not much better.
  • The wrap-around cover to Issue 100 has Rick standing over a field of corpses consisting of dead characters from the comics. The most disturbing part is that Judith's hand can be seen.
  • The end of issue 143 where Alpha reveals her trump card to Rick: an absolutely massive army of walkers that could easily overrun one of the group's settlements in a heartbeat if given the chance. Suddenly, all of those threats about destroying everything Rick cares about don't seem so empty...
    • Even worse, this undead army gets released by Whisperers after several battles with Rick's group.
  • The ENTIRE second half of issue 144, where we get to see just what Alpha did in the previous issue. After sneaking into the fair completely undetected, she was able to capture about a dozen people from each of the three communities, take them out into the middle of a field and decapitate them with her machete. After that she had their heads impaled on posts to mark "her territory" with and warn against Rick's group bothering them again. The presence of Josh and Rosita (who was pregnant) shows that she had no problem killing children to make a point, just because Carl followed Lydia back home. Oh, and Alpha is happy to confirm that what Lydia told Carl about her letting the men in her group rape her is indeed the truth and that she sees absolutely nothing wrong with it. Freaking NEGAN looks like a saint in comparison to this woman, which is truly horrifying.
  • Rick's death in issues 191 and 192, not just because it was sudden and shocking but for what it represents. After surviving countless wars, disasters and close calls Rick meets his end not fighting off some great threat or saving his people from certain destruction, but from simply being shot a few times in the chest while laying in bed. It's horrifying in how needless and preventable it was, in how even though this is the death of the main protagonist we're talking about, Rick's death was ultimately mundane. No final words with his son Carl, no tearful goodbyes to all of his friends and loved ones, no big grandiose exit... just another cold-blooded murder in a world full of them. At it's core this event serves as a grim reminder... the book you are reading is still The Walking Dead and no amount of progress, hope or change will ever make it anything else.

The novels

Rise Of The Governor

  • When the group arrives in downtown Atlanta, they come across a truly massive horde that stretches into the distance as far as the eye can see. You know that horde mentioned above in issue 143? The way the book describes it this horde is even bigger than that. Even worse, Philip is so dead set on getting the group to safety that he actually DRIVES STRAIGHT INTO IT! It's honestly a minor miracle that nobody died even with all of the close calls they had and if not for April the whole group might have perished there.

Road To Woodbury

  • Lilly's group finding a wrecked school bus on the side of the road, along with a horde of walkers eating the remains of the children who were inside it.
  • Josh revealing what happened to his mother to Lilly. When he got home from work he found a SWAT and hazmat team investigating and quarantining his apartment. He immediately rushes up stairs to find the room, in his own words, "painted with blood" along with his mothers remains scattered about over the table. What makes it worse is that she let the walkers in, thinking they were raggedy homeless people only to have them devour her alive. Josh is understandably reduced to tears.

Fall Of The Governor

  • Lilly's gunshot did not instantly kill the Governor. In fact, the latter was still screaming in his mind that he was still alive while being devoured by the walkers. Sure, his death was karmic, but damn, that was a very unpleasant way to die...


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