"You've killed a lot of people." A case for Clem, the ultimate serial murderer/thief.
This quote from AJ really touched me. I wonder if those who tried to shame AJ felt a little bit of hypocrisy when he said that line?
Regardless of your Clem, she's killed plenty people. Clem regardless of your personal headcanon is a hardened survivor who's never settled in one place at a time. All canon. How people think Clem can survive all these years on the road WITHOUT being an instinctive killer is beyond me. It's one thing to be safeguarded in a community like the Ericson kids or places like Richmond; you don't really kill or steal from people part of your community too often. But what about strangers out in the wild?
In-game and on-screen the amount of notable characters we can see Clem kill personally are five (Stranger, Lee, Kenny, Eli, and Lingard. If there's more correct me). If you count randoms she kills PLENTY in ANF, often with a personal desire ( e.g. "we should kill these guys" during the junkyard shootout) and indiscriminately. Safe to say she's killed a dozen people from what we visually see just on-screen.
(And then there's the McCaroll Ranch which is being hinted quite heavily as being a total bloodbath, but which we haven't seen yet.)
Now I think what is the most interesting space of time for Clem's kill count is -- and what I'm really curious about -- os the time BETWEEN Season 2 and ANF, and the time after ANF and before S4.
These are long timeskips, too. And a lot of things can happen in a 2 months, let alone a year or four years. There is where I like to have an imagination.
We actually don't even know the bulk of Clem's life despite what we have gone through with her interactively. She's spent more time alone than she's had with us.
The timeskip between season 2 and ANF is 2 years. Going by the wiki timeline, it's atleast one year in where Clem is fending with AJ beside herself in the wild. If you played the alone ending (like I did), Clem spends the entire two years raising and defending AJ by herself. Regardless, this is Clem at her most vulnerable. A preteen going on 12 and 13 with a baby are absolute targets in the apocalyptic world.
Unless Clem is avoiding people for 2 years, she's HAD to have come across a situation at the very least in which both her and AJ's life are at such risk and that she has no choice but to kill. We see in the ANF flashbacks she has a gun and this is likely what's kept her and AJ from danger. People often say it's unrealistic that Clem could have survived with AJ alone out in the world. Well, a gun helps.
Now the biggest timeskip of all is the time between the end of ANF and the beginning of S4. This is roughly 4 or 5 years after which Clem rescues AJ and they get on the road. Only thing is I'm not sure how long Clem stayed at the ranch with AJ. Was it a couple months? A year?
But let's just go with them being on the road for 3-4 years. At this point AJ is growing and becoming more capable of providing his own safety. We see clearly in S4 that Clem has long ago taught AJ the essentials of survival and at at this point is merely reminding him the tips she's given to sharpen his memory.
I have a feeling Marlon is not AJ's first human kill. Clem didn't teach AJ monsters were just walkers, they're people too. AJ is not slow. He can distinguish between enemies like Marlon and regular survivors like Tenn or Louis.
We don't know how long they've had the car but it's implied they were lucky when they got it. Overall, walking and driving all over the southeastern United States over the course of 3-4 years again with no settling down whatsoever has to mean this was the peak of survival for the both of them. That's fucking hard living.
Constant scavenging and sheltering, and ultimately killing. For food and for protection. And maybe even killing out of gain. In ANF it's implied Clem has no problem robbing people and causing truck crashes. And we see upfront that Clem's number one priority is AJ and his well-being and not much else.
Weirdly this is an element of Clementine that is never mentioned. To be a harden survivor in the apocalypse, you have to not only merely defend yourself, you must also at times take; seize opportunities, cheat, steal. How does Clem care for a a baby unless she's able to scrounge stuff from places where things that would help the baby would exist? No way AJ lived off rabbit meat for the entire duration of his life. Clem would have to do whatever keep AJ a healthy child.
We see exactly in the beginning of S4 that Clem and AJ have mastered the art of casing a place out. Breaking in, entering, and escaping.
It's safe to say Clem in the near decade she's had to fend not only for her self but also a mere toddler -- that more likely than not she's robbed plenty of people of their possession and killed people, sometimes not under the guise of self-defense but instead opportunity. And she would be antisocial to the point where it wouldn't bother her mentality for more than two seconds.
Like pre-ANF Clem coming across a place that's stashed with milk. AJ needs it. But some random guy is in guard of the stuff. AJ needs it. Clem more than likely at this point is going stick up the guy and rob him of the milk, and killl him if need be.
Or post-ANF Clem and and AJ coming across a survivor who has car fuel and both of them need to drive where they have to. AJ and Clem would have no problem robbing them in order to get their car running. Or maybe the other way around happens and they both get sticked up by robbers and they retaliate by murdering them to get their stuff back. Or even just a random heated confrontation that ends up with AJ and Clem killing the other party.
Just an interesting headcanon I have. Am i off the mark? I can't think of any other realistic path in which a teenager would survive on the road in an apocalyptic world full of danger, both undead and alive.
I just find it funny for people to have this angelic, unrealistic perception of Clem forgetting she is just another member of the zombie apocalypse where the margins between life and death is very little. Life is not fun in TWD.
Lily and Abel even note how improbable Clementine has survived this long. And more than likely Clem hasn't achieved it so successfully purely through the goodness of her heart. You don't survive this long by luck.