The Walking Dead will come to an end after nearly twelve years of being on TV. Though the original will be coming to a close, there are several spinoffs, such as Fear the Walking Dead, that will continue to represent this post-apocalyptic world.
The first season has some of the highest ratings throughout the eleven seasons. However, a lot has changed over the years. Between cast changes, world-altering developments, and new villains, the changes have completely altered how the audience experiences the show. Many aspects of the first season are unrecognizable compared to recent seasons.
Walkers As Villains
In the first season, the walkers were the main villain in the series. The main characters were concerned with avoiding the undead that caused the apocalypse in the first place.
However, as time went on, people began to be as much of an obstacle as the dead were. At first, it started out with Merle and Shane, but in later seasons the group would have to face off with villainous groups like The Governor’s Militia, the Terminus cannibals, and Negan’s Saviors. While the walkers are still an obstacle, they aren’t perceived as much of a threat as they were in the beginning.
While there are a few things the original group did that were cringeworthy, the audience had a clear attachment to certain characters that played a part in them living longer. However, as time went on the deaths of the main characters made room to develop a new cast.
Certain characters like Carl, Daryl, Rick, Michonne, and Glenn were some fan-favorite characters, but the deaths or absence of these characters has changed the focal points of the series. After Glenn died, Maggie became a leader of Hilltop. Rick’s disappearance eventually led to Michonne’s departure. The events made it possible to focus on new characters like Gabriel, Rosita, and Negan.
Daryl has always been an exceptional fighter in the group, but he wasn’t always a significant player in the series. In the beginning, he was far less concerned about the safety of his group and more concerned about his and his brother’s survival.
Though there are some slight similarities between Daryl in season one and Daryl later on, he has gone through some significant changes. He is no longer as distant as he once was, though he still likes to be away from the group every once in a while. The original Daryl tried to make it seem like he didn’t care, but in recent seasons he doesn’t hide how much those closest to him mean to him.
Though Daryl has changed significantly, Carol’s character is entirely unrecognizable compared to the first season. Carol could have as easily been a villain rather than a hero. In the beginning, Carol was a quiet, cowering woman beneath the shadow of her abusive husband.
When Ed died in the first season, Carol did begin to open up a bit, but was still far from the person she is now. As the seasons went on, Carol learned many skills that transformed her into one of the most badass characters in the series. These two versions of Carol are day and night.
Right And Wrong
In the first season, the group very much still had a moral compass. They didn’t think it was right to kill people. This is the reason why Rick agrees to journey back into Atlanta with Daryl and a few others to rescue Merle from the rooftop.
However, as time goes on and the real villain turns from the walkers to people, the group has to blur the lines between right and wrong. After Rick was forced to kill Shane to protect himself, he learns that they can’t always give people the benefit of the doubt. As the seasons go on, though the group tries to give certain people a chance, they often don’t hesitate to kill anyone that appears to be a threat.
Less Intimidating Walkers
In the first season, the walkers seemed to have a slightly higher level of intelligence than the simple need to feed. Now, they are only seen as slow monsters that will take a chance to bite someone who crosses their path.
In the beginning, there were a few signs they were more intelligent. When Rick is in hiding with Morgan and Dwayne, Morgan’s undead wife walks up to the door and turns the knob. Later in Atlanta, some undead use rocks and debris to break a glass door. In more recent seasons, the walkers and their herds seem more animalistic.
When season 1 began, the apocalypse was still new to the world and the main group was located in a small camp in the hills. Even in the second season, the farm wasn’t much more secure than the original location of the survivors.
It wasn’t until the prison that the group had a secure location, changing the way in which the show operated the group lived. As the seasons went on, and the group ended up in Alexandria, the location from the first season was nearly unrecognizable compared to these well-established communities.
In season 1, most of the people in the apocalypse weren’t part of a distinct, organized group. Many of them happened upon each other, starting camps like the main group in the hills where Rick found his wife and son.
Even in season 2, the group at the farm was a ragtag team of survivors finding sanctuary at a place that happened to be relatively safe. It wasn’t until the prison and beyond that the show started introducing more organized groups like Woodbury, Alexandria, and Hilltop. This change not only affected the groups’ safety but opened them up to a more established group with more allies and enemies.
Killing Main Characters
A few main characters from the first season, like Andrea’s sister Amy, died within that season. However, most of the main group that held any significance and had multiple lines survived the attack on the camp.
After the first season, there were a couple of characters fans expected to stick around, such as Carl and Glenn. After Carl’s near death in season 2, it seemed the boy was lucky enough to survive the new world. While some fans can’t forgive Daryl for enticing Negan to kill Glenn, it definitely turned the tables in the plot. As the show went on it had to raise the stakes, killing off main characters to up the ante.
In season 1, the world dynamic was far different and with far less hope. The world was a wreck with more dead than living in sight. Even when the group began evolving and established a settlement, the world was still far from civilized and organized.
After many years, the world began to get much bigger. There weren’t just groups, but trade agreements for different communities to help each other out. The communities began establishing rules and governing bodies to keep order. When trucks and tools went into disrepair, they used horses and carriages and constructed different tools to keep their communities going. These signs of advancement have changed the world dynamic in which the groups live.
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