How/Where could [insert character] be improved and why?
edited April 2019 in The Walking Dead
Many people feel certain characters are some degree of underdeveloped, insufficiently fleshed out, irrelevant, weak, or just a little flat for different reasons. In terms of actual proclamation, this is generally limited to why they don't like the character and how they feel they fall a short. So the point of this thread is to encourage people to more probatively consider a character, pinpoint some key areas where they needed work, and suggest how they might have been polished, ideally without [completely] losing the core part(s) of what defined the character(s).
EDIT 12/1/18 : As addendum, what are some character types you don't particularly enjoy, why, and how have/can they be done better?
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Okay, now that I've gotten around to defining the general terms, I'm trying to think of an example to potentially start on should anyone else not just do one. Hm...
mark needed an introduction story, his death, however powerful, felt cheap.
It would have been more intersting if the person who died was Kenny or Carley/Doug and Mark got more of a spotlight then died by the Save Lots bandits since they didn’t kill anyone.
He does actually, at some point: Lee and apparently Lily searched a nearby air base for supplies and came to his rescue in the process, welcoming him into the group in part because he allowed them to use the food he had stockpiled.
He was added to the cast specifically to help imply a passage of time and also acted as more of a more unbiased sidekick for Lee in the wake of Kenny's characterization marching on to become...Kenny.
He was actually supposed to be killed by them if you ended up leaving Mr. Parker in the woods and Travis got himself shot.
The reason this was cut is actually quite simple in it's logic: there wasn't much of a correlation for why he dies in one instance, but is only considerably wounded in the other.
Oh boy I really want to do this but forgot to write down my ideas a few months ago and now I've got a lot of work to do. Sorry boss!
Ah shit, ain't that the way sometimes?
As far as greater scope'd potential goes: Christa, Rebecca, Sarah, Kate, and Gabe.
Honorable Mentions: Lilly, Tavia, Michelle, Luke, Carlos, Alvin, Mike/"Ralph," Arvo and the Russian Group, Edith, Eleanor, Max, Ava, and Joan.
I kind of waned Ben and Sarah to stay a little longer so that they can redeem/improve themselves.
Gonna add this to the description since this thread is still (heh)underdeveloped:
What are some character types you don't particularly enjoy and how have/can they be better?
One archetype I'd grown quite intolerant with in the games after a while is the hotheaded, stubborn pro-action types.
I've assessed a few times that this game series had a serious over-reliance/emphasis on them to the point of having them drive [too] much of the plot progression and frequently setting aside time to give them scenes, moments, and David's case, gratuitous background details that are flypaper for trying to make sure you aren't too frustrated with them by making sure you like how "deep, complex, and truly heroic" they are. Which granted, doesn't have to be a bad thing in itself--you want to make sure your less than agreeable characters are at least sympathetic and/or not just one-note dicks--, but a major issue with that mindset was that they were often the ONLY characters who would get that level of character focus and backstory and story .
So they kinda devolved by my observation into an easy gimmick to make showstealing characters that people will say are inherently great, what with the oh so charming modus operandi, "It's my way or the highway cause it's time to kick ass and chew tobacca. And Levi Garrett sure as hell ain't in MUH whiskey, shitbird!" That people will venerate these characters as the highlight of the game(when that's not really what the term means) because or maybe even in spite of how comparatively underwritten and neglected most everything else "had" to be for that exact reaction. Overall, the fact that THESE were evidently the indulgent pride and joy of the storytellers probably led to the decline in quality and breadth that the series/ cast had after the first.
Now, just to febreeze things own, I don't really want to say the very character type is inherently any bad. Indeed, there are some characters outside of or even within these games that sorta fall into the category with me not minding or even actually liking them; though part of that may also be how comparatively downplayed or subverted some of them are. It's just that, in my opinion, many of these characters just aren't ones that I found any more interesting, with the loudest displays coming across as outright problematic.
I think one of the ["real"] reasons The Final Season had a relatively comfortable launch and a[n admittedly somewhat overly] lax midpoint was because it nearly cleaned the slate on the character roster of them, with the select few arguable exceptions being more geared toward a different sort of character most of the time.
Giving this another lease on life since the question I wanna ask suits it:
What are some areas/aspects of a character that you think could've used more elaboration/extension and in turn, may have improved the character and/or story?
You remind me of Eugene from the show
I mean I do love me some Eugene tho
What is your problem?
Have her not be a total bitch all the time. If she had been a bit kinder to Clem and explained how she made it for so long; that would've been cool also.
Explain his reason for coming to Ericson before he turned five and how he got his burns. I'm just going to assume it was related to half the school burning down by the graveyard.
I thought he was well done. Maybe a bit more Carver. If he had quoted him about how the strong must cull the weak - that would've been badass. But I like his balance. He's kinda like Walter White. Kills when he has to; not when he wants to.
I thought her transformation from introvert to openly expressing her feelings was very well done. Love her hard-ass attitude mixed with softness. Would've liked to have seen her kill a raider though. Or if she was the one to kill Minerva - that would've been badass.
Aasim & Omar
A bit more background for their characters would've been nice. After episode 2 - I thought we'd get to leave more about them at the end of episode 3. Since ep.1 was a bit of Marlon/Brody/Violet/Louis. I thought we'd learn about Tenn/Willy for the first half of ep.3 and Aasim/Omar at the end.
My favorite version of her. S2 was great, but I like her a bit more in S4. She's finally able to take people down barehanded. Her fight with Abel was awesome. Fucking loved how she fought him in the office and the interrogation was great. I can understand her nightmares pretty well too. Sure, McCarroll wasn't the scariest thing she's ever done, but that shootout stacked on top of all the bad shit she's had to go through, the friends she's lost and the fuck ton of people she's killed would give anybody nightmares - if not, some pretty heavy PTSD. Would've loved to see Clem go absolute beast mode like The Governor. Just cut fucking heads off, mow people down, and rip out a few throats. Would've been so fucking badass if she had a Rick moment with Joe. Let's say the Raiders had Clem, AJ, Vi, and Lou at gunpoint. Clem is slowly losing it - growling and Lilly to let them go. Scuffle happens and Clem bites Lilly's throat out.
Nothing, nothing ? I just can’t understand a single thing you say sometimes and it deeply satisfies me somehow when I’m not the one who has to read it.
Lilly The first encounter with Lilly is fine, but following that everything goes into a realm of beyond reason. We needed to see who she was fighting to understand the situation better, or have clues that once assembled could justify how sacrificing able-bodied, loyal, skilled individuals for hostile kids that just might use whatever weapons they're given to fight your enemies on your allies for.
Now no one likes exposition, but heck I would've forgiven it here. Have her tell a story of loses they'd suffered, or gruesome things they'd witnessed, or what exactly makes this other camp worse. Perhaps the next time Lilly engages the kids, she's already injured. She's lost at least one man to the other unit's scout party, and she insists they're nearby. Perhaps change her mindset from cartoon villain to ' you don't understand that you're better off dead if you're not with us. Because of her past with Clementine she can't stomach what will happen to her if they take her therefore it's mercy in her mind to kidnap or murder them. '
Not necessarily a character I find weak or have any real problem with--and in fact, one that I generally like--, but I think Willy can be used here.
His overall characterization is clear enough: he is an odd, yet eager boy who acts as the main lookout and is close friends with Mitch. And his character does arc: at the beginning of the story, he comes off as weird &simpleminded and thus proves to be a bit rambunctious & easy to hurt; at the end, he is a more thoughtful person who contributes a major gadget in the plan to rescue the others who were captured by the Delta. Add in a few other little things like his shyness around Clementeen, his defensiveness of both Marlon & Brody, and his favoring of archery, and it is clear that there's enough pieces for him to be a solid, even well rounded character.
The problem--or rather catch--here is that there's not too much of a framework or alternatively, for lack of a better word, exhibit to tie his characterization together in a significant way. Perhaps an example where the basis of the character is alright, in addition to the other stuff, I think Willy is a character that could've used a little more fleshing out around his interrelated background and plot relevance.
Yeah I feel like we missed a beat with the horse/supplies part, like we would have seen other characters step up in those tasks but Clementine wasn’t with them so we didn’t get to see it play out. I wonder if there was ever a plan for us to be more involved in those parts.
I [almost] completely overlooked that, to be honest. Though Broken Toys is admittedly the point where Willy just becomes okay after being funny in the first episode and a bit of a woobie in the second.
Anyway, I seem to remember him mentioning that Ruby has experiences with horses and thus the one who should drive the getaway carriage. There's IS a choice where you decided what happens with the horses and supplies at some point, which we see happen during the infiltration.
That’s right. The choice doesn’t seem to amount to much in terms of our experience of the events but I guess it would for those characters which is why I found myself wondering if there was a time when we were supposed to be with one of them. But yeah, what it means is that we miss Willy’s time to shine as we’re busy covering ourselves in walker guts and making our way to the boat.
Isn’t it weird that covering ourself in walker guts is probably the most consistent beat in the games? We do it every single season and, in each one, never tackle the issue of how our clothes get clean. They missed a trick not including a clothes-washing minigame.
I do love the little duck he does if you told him to steal the supplies on a raft, though.
Ch'yeah, but not really. It's a fairly iconic technique within the series and thus it's somewhat inevitable that it'd get utilized at some point.
Also, fun fact: at least in the context of Season 2, Rebecca does indeed retain some faint stains on her clothes after the opening of Amid the Ruins. And I think Javier still a bit covered for his fight with David for obvious reasons.
Yeah, you’re right that it’s an iconic technique. Actually it was way more surprising to me that it wasn’t used more in the comics. They did it in one of the very earliest issues and then didn’t seem to do it for years afterwards. Using that and also not using armour which is something they did I think when they got to the prison are two things that seemed to be really handy that I thought they should be doing all the time.
Oh wow, really? That's weird!
I wished more characters had acutally survived season 1 (I mean, don't we all?). Still have Lee die but have a couple of the characters stay with Clem for the entire series so that they can actaully form a long term friendship(s).
Eh, not quite the place for this, but whatever.
But yeah, I can agree for the series overall.
What could've been done to make Sarita more interesting and/or characterized?
In all honesty, I’d say the answer to this is: remove a chunk of the other characters. She gets introduced pretty much when the combined group is at its largest point. I didn’t even feel like I knew the cabin group well enough yet. And Kenny’s return overshadowed everything so nobody else was given much focus.
But I’m not sure she warranted much more, or at least at the expense of anyone else. As far as I can see, Sarita was essentially a symbol that Kenny had left his season 1 tragedies behind and moved on... until he meets Clementine again and they all come back. She serves a purpose but I don’t think being an interesting character is one of them, which is unfortunate.
I feel like Nick really got shafted in S2 after episode 2, he was a really interesting character that just got no development after he became determinant.
Nick is weird to begin with considering he had practically nothing to do with the Carver story arc and yet ended up being the most developed character of the Season.
What happened to him at the halfway was essentially that catching up with him in addition to being determinant.