TFS The Other Side of the War
Since Suffer the Children post-mortemly released back in September, I've found myself critically considering of a number of things. There's one thing in particular that I've only seen one of other person (@IronWoodLover) consider in very recent memory: What are The Deltas fighting against?
I say "what" instead of "who" both to make my point focused and because the who is something that has been discussed and speculated on--perhaps overwhelmingly so. There have been threads and comments about who they are--ranging from the newly lead New Richmond to comic originating groups like the Whispers to even the hyperfocus on one being with the singular Christa--, but not on what this other side of this war is. "What" is arguably or even fittingly dehumanizing, I realize, since the opposing group is most likely comprised of human survivors, but it is an important question to ask in these [eventually?] coming episodes.
One recurring query I've seen in places like my Flaws thread for the recent episode concerned this: Why were The Deltas so concerned with drafting a bunch of teenagers, especially given the deal & loses that had to be cut to get what few they did? What is this other side capable of that it necessitated Abel and his partner Lily try to get ALL of the survivor students from Ericson's Boarding School for Troubled Youth?
These are actually very good questions in themselves. As you know, teenagers are essentially kids/adolescents in increasingly adult bodies; having them help in fighting a war along with or even instead of the much older adults is, in theory, not that bad a tactic biologically speaking. This, however, is not what one would call an exact science, particularly in some works of fiction. The Walking Dead Game in particular, with some exceptions like Ben Paul and his friend Travis, has a tendency to depict teenagers as relatively compact compared to their adult counterparts despite their age--with Sarah and Becca, for example, more resembling awkward twelve-year-olds than the high school attending fifteen. Even The Final Season, whose cast is primarily comprised of youths in their double-digits, doesn't fully escape this habit: Marlon, Louis, and especially Mitch are notably about as tall and even masculine as their likely ages would suggest, yet they still don't quite measure up to the likes of the adult Lily and Dorian especially.
It is also worth noting that a major feature of this story is the fact that among The Deltas' ranks are Lily, a veteran survivor who led the group Clementine was in during Season 1, and Tenn's twin older sisters Sophie & Minerva, who were secretly exchanged as part of a deal between Marlon and Abel so that the other students would be left be. These three female characters are obviously inclined to give the story some personal conflict & stakes due to their connections to the protagonist group and thus, there clearly has to be some easily more complicated storytelling in place to help give these aspects some room for development--storytelling that the next episode will inherently have to step up after the, um, Status Quo that was the first half of this four episode Season.
So what do you think of this other side? Do you think they're a threatening force to be reckoned and not trifled with? Are they in fact successfully trying to inhibit The Deltas' plans for survival? Is it far more complicated than merely either of those things?