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Hypable

Editor’s note: The following is in response to this Hypable opinion piece by one of our writers.

I’d like to start out by saying that I am not a reader of Kirkman’s comic books, but I am an avid (and somewhat obsessive) fan of his TV show. The Walking Dead is an amazing show, and I like to believe that what makes the show addicting is that the characters are deep and three-dimensional. So why is it that viewers can accept all of Rick’s irrational flaws and mental instability, yet we cannot possibly understand Andrea’s current emotional state? We can blame Rick’s mental fall on Lori’s death, but the truth is that his collapse was a long time coming.

When our series began, Rick emerged as the ideal male figure; a strong protagonist with realistic emotional flaws that he was able to express while maintaining his image as the steadfast and strong leader. His downward spiral began as soon as he awoke in his hospital bed in the first episode. Rick struggled and survived and led the group as best he could and we viewers all accepted his choices (whether or not we agreed with them). Over the past few episodes we have seen Rick fall even deeper into insanity and depression. Even before Lori’s death, the “Rick-tatorship” had taken form.

Rick’s male character reacts to the zombie apocalypse and insane pressure by functioning in an overdrive of masculinity and power. He must take control in order to remain functioning. Is Andrea not the same? Her character flaws make her realistic. Do we want a perfect character?

Andrea’s spiral mirrors that of Rick’s. After an insane loss (that of her sister), she tried to control her fate and was thwarted by Dale in the CDC. She chose to take control and try to prove that she and the other women could do more than laundry and household chores, they could fight and hunt. She is not disillusioned by their makeshift home at the barn. When the walkers overrun Hershel’s and Andrea is separated from the group, she fights and fends for herself until exhaustion and lack of ammunition seems to seal her fate.

Michonne’s entrance provides Andrea with safety, comfort, friendship, and belonging, all things that women tend to desire in times of stress. When Andrea falls ill and is eventually brought to Woodbury, she sees all of the comforts that she has so missed, along with protection and a sense of purpose. Is it so wrong for her to want these things? Does is make her a weak character?

We could compare how Andrea views Woodbury to the way Lori saw Hershel’s farm, as a safe haven. But Andrea is not Lori. Andrea has not simply played the typical television female. She is not content washing dishes or being ignored. She still wants to fight and guard the border, and she is still our once beloved Andrea. She has simply lost her way, much like Rick. In order to function in this situation (nearly dying and losing her best friend), Andrea has been ignoring her instincts in the same way Rick has been ignoring his rationality and emotions.

Although Rick turned off his emotional switch (how often has he interacted with his newborn child? How often has he ignored the group’s interests in favor of violent zombie-slaying outbursts?), Andrea reacts to her new situation and to the apocalypse by trying to find comfort and hope in her surroundings. She wants to feel safe and protected, and wants to be a part of deciding her own fate.

The viewer sees the insanity of Woodbury, but Andrea can’t. Like Rick, she has blocked out what she can’t process. Can we really fault her for being human?

This article was written by a Hypable user! Learn more and write your own right here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.bagnall.7 Matthew Bagnall

    Yes… we can blame her. Being human doesnt mean you need to be an idiot for the sake of fans. She practically had a best friend who told her the truth and whom she spent months with and completely ignored for the sake of showing us woodbury. She is not human, she is a walking plot convienience. Heck, only reason she is in woodbury is to force us to care about what happens to her – as she will likely remain in woodbury up until the final battle of woodbury at the end of this series.

    • http://twitter.com/Dillon_Mays Dillon Mays

      The thing is, Michonne is a stranger when she first found Andrea, and came with very little. Woodsbury is a stranger, but it comes with a lot of safety and opportunity.

      • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.bagnall.7 Matthew Bagnall

        By the ‘tv continuity’ Andrea and Michonne were travelling together for atleast 6 months – which included an entire winter where Michonne protected and spoon fed Andrea…

        Andrea should not have just ignored her completely and shouted at her when she told Andrea to go.

    • http://www.persephonespath.com/ PersephoneK

      She asked Michonne to give her information but Michonne never did. It was frustrating to watch.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.bayles.58 John Bayles

        Agreeed^ best friends should know everything about each other, Andrea knew nothing about Michonne!

  • rsprague

    I think Andrea has all the evidence to see that the Governor is pretty terrible, and she’s choosing to ignore it, even when her supposed best friend tries to convince her of his evil. Maybe Andrea does like being taken care of by the Governor, but she’s too strong-willed to stay in that role for too long. I think she’ll eventually come around, but I do also agree that it’s a plot convenience to leave her in Woodbury for so long. Give the comics a shot – you might see what I’m talking about when I say that the potential for her character is so much greater than they’re letting her be in the show! She’s not the “new Lori” in terms of taking on conventional gender roles (which is something I love about Andrea), but she has taken Lori’s spot as the least likable character.

    I also don’t think Rick is insane; I think he is doing what he can to protect his loved ones in the best way he knows how. People keep thrusting him into the leadership role, so he has to make the best of it. He dealt with his depression in a way that might seem crazy to us, but it has helped him regain a sense of purpose.

    Great post! I really enjoyed reading a view in defense of Andrea.

  • Heyalltothenaw

    She complained about not having a gun, then grazed Daryl with a bullet to the face… She shacked up with Shane and supported his psycho ideas, She has yet to listen to reason from ANYONE, and she ditched Michonne for the Governer, shacked up with him, too, and then took him to the infirmary instead of slitting his throat after she found him and Richmond in his room with his tanks full of zombie heads and the cage and corpse that belonged to his zombie daughter… So, yes… I think that we really can blame her… I’ve hated her for as long as I can remember… I hate her more than I hated Lori…

    • heyalltothenaw

      found him and Michonne*** effing spell check

    • Rach

      I agree completely. I’m also bothered by the actress they picked, because I really think I MIGHT like her a little more if Laurie Holden didn’t always look like she was smirking/smiling. I know it’s just her face, but C’MON don’t look so happy at the end of the world!

    • Haley Ingram

      Let’s break this down:
      1) Daryl looked like a walker. He was moving like a walker. He was smeared with blood and dirt like a walker. Even the men thought that he was a walker until he spoke. Andrea didn’t hear him–she had no way of knowing. She did what she thought was right.
      2) She did sleep with Shane. Whoops, I guess consensual sex makes you a bad person! But towards the end of season two she was listening to Rick more often than she was to Shane–she knew what was happening to Shane.
      3) Michonne wasn’t being very “reasonable.” She didn’t offer Andrea any evidence or do anything to back her claims. The Governor seems genuinely kind and caring. He’s offering Andrea companionship and a safe place. He puts on a good face for her. She didn’t see his room full of crazy until later, remember. And then afterwards, Andrea didn’t know what to think. Her best friend had just tried to murder her boyfriend. She hasn’t had time to process.

      All of these are human mistakes. Sorry she’s not perfect. Maybe you should hop off the Governor’s dick for a second and try to understand her point of view.

      • Hate Her

        1) Four grown men racing towards him with a much better vantage point to see if he was a walker or not. she shot anyway.
        2) She has shit taste in men.
        3) M was the person she was with the longest. She gave that up for Xanadu aka Jonestown

        Can’t blame her for being human, can for being a dumb bitch.

  • http://twitter.com/akacj7 Caroline J.

    i feel you kmm145, in regards to the greater theme of who deserves to be called out for their poor decisions and who doesn’t, and if anyone deserves to at all. and who fans seem to think deserves the blame for those poor decisions more than others. it’s an interesting study in writing and film making – for character AND story arc. and i think this can broadly apply to the overwhelming disdain of fans toward lori’s character, which personally, i never really understood.

  • TWDfan77

    I still think she’ll end up with ricks group. You all think about the bad stuff she’s done but she cares about the people in ricks group. I’m more annoyed with michonne not telling her anything when she had the chance in the mid finale. You would think she would be going there to save andrea but not 1 word

  • And1

    Okay guys, as a completely heterosexual man I just have this to say. The Governor is one good looking dude and if I was Andrea I would not give two hoots how many severed heads he keeps in his aquarium. I mean dayum!!! He’s friggin English!!!! All of you are being to hard on the girl. Think about it, she’s been dragged along by some crazy samurai robot lady with no emotions and her two pet zombies (who probably make for better company and conversation) and then she gets to Woodbury where she meets the first decently attractive man in 8 months. Of course she’s going to drink the kool-aid!!! Because, as we all know, sex always follows kool-aid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anna.thomas.3914 Franki Thomas

    No, we can’t blame her. And honestly I love that she doesn’t have the schema of the typical t.v. woman. The reason everyone is turned off to her is because she doesn’t follow the intertextualty of previous television females at all. Most women who deviate from the previous ideas do it ever so slightly, not just going around kicking ass and being sexually in control. We liked Lori because she is a mother in the kitchen. We like Carol because she is a mother and stays on the sidelines. We love Maggie because she is the girl next door and monogamous. We can’t like Andrea because she doesn’t want to be in the kitchen, has had multiple partners, and has her own voice. I feel if this was anyone else in the show seeking this comfort and being human we would all be okay with it, but because of the gender binary our society has set up, our society needs to blame Andrea.

    • Shadezero

      I don’t see how you can think that society automatically devalues female characters who stray from their traditional gender roles. We’ve seen a long history of likeable badass females characters, from Sarah Connor to Arya Stark. I’m pretty sure viewers’ dislike of Andrea has little to do with her attempts to fill a traditionally “masculine” role and more with her forsaking of logic in favor of this role fulfillment. No hate, just my opinion.

    • spacie19

      Michonne is a generally liked atypical female and Shane was a generally hated typical alpha male. I would argue that we like the characters whose values we appreciate, like courage, strength, loyalty…not duplicity, selfishness, and ignorance. Andrea either posses a lot of those negative traits or manages to affix herself to men who do. That’s what I dislike about her.

  • http://twitter.com/Dillon_Mays Dillon Mays

    I never really had complaints about her character. People change when adrenaline kicks in and you’re surrounded by danger.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jorge-Castro-Salinas/639459044 Jorge Castro Salinas

    To bad the circumstances aren’t the same as they would be in the modern world. Andrea should know that what she wants (comfort, security, peace) is unlikely to be given in a Post-Apocalyptic setting. Of course she misses the old world, but she needs to adjust to the cruel reality and that Woodbury is not the perfect town that appears to be. The only comfort that she would find is with her original group by supporting all his beloved friends.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chandra-Jordan/100001020408736 Chandra Jordan

    What bugs me is that they’re trying to force feed her on us. She makes bad decision after bad decision, when last season no way in HELL would she have just jumped into Woodbury w/out question of why they were so welcoming….she ditches her friend, and yeah so they didn’t talk but she still saved Andrea’s ass so THAT should be trust enough…

    Can we blame Andrea for being human? no. But we can blame her for being an oblivious bitch b/c right now, that’s what she comes across as to me. I’m sorry Andrea, but you go in a room where you see your lover cradling his dead walker child (remember Sophia at all?), and there’s walker heads all over the floor….and even before that, he literally says that Woodbury isn’t the place for everyone…that place had Jonestown SCREAMING from every crevasse…Andrea’s smarter than that, to know that you’re not going to find Xanadu in the middle of the end of the world…she’s not deciding her own fate here, she’s putting on the wiorld’s BIGGEST pair of rose colored glasses ever. It just disappoints me b/c it’s not the character I loved from the GN and not the character I was growing to appreciate at the end of S2.

    Oh, and I get defense of her character, and I love that she sticks up for her b/c that shows guts…but I think the fans should be able to express themselves as well and I felt like we were being admonished somewhat for being critical.

    My opinion? Stronger writing for the females on the show.

  • http://twitter.com/Agonzo1 anthonybgonzalez

    Andrea survived an entire night alone running from walkers. It rivaled Tyrese’s feat in the comics. She’s the best marksperson in their world, and I see her doing a 180 when she sees Daryl alive.

  • Wasp

    The difference is Rick has always been a likeable character the viewer connects with- Andrea on the other hand is a snotty, wannabe badass who whines all the time and people don’t like her…

  • Moriah

    In my honest opinion, anyone that hates Andrea is an idiot that doesn’t understand her or her character at all, and if you use her sleeping with Shane and The Governor as a reason to hate her, you’re also a sexist asshole. But that’s just my opinion. :)

  • Haley Ingram

    Bless you and everything you’ve just written, Jesus Christ.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.bayles.58 John Bayles

    Am i the only one who actually loves Andrea?! Also how can you all give her shit for what she does when you dont know if you would do it any different. And dont bother saying “I wouldnt be that dum” because you dont know that because you dont live in a Zombie appcolypse.

  • ashley

    I think people need to remember that she is kind of stuck in the town right now. She is a lawyer. She is smart. She isn’t going to freak out and do something irrational when she sees the governor in the room with his dead zombie child and the heads. She realizes that she can’t really “leave” per say at that moment. And she didn’t know or see those things when Michonne was there and Michonne didn’t explain herself at all about anything else though out the episodes. I think now with the Daryl “terrorist” situation she needs to take time to actually think of a plan. She is way out gunned at this point. She knows she needs to be smart. And yes, she is the best shot on the show with a gun (thank you for not changing that aspect of her from the comics). We need to really understand that she doesn’t see the things that we see when we watch the show. Its all about perspective people. We shall see. That being said, I want the Andrea from the comics please.

  • xavier

    She’s written in a way that fans of the books can not go along with, (though I’d say that Rick, Lori and Shane were written melodramatic and had/have very unlikeable qualities as written characters (not acted, but written in actions and dialog). In their tragic and isolated world, I see more fault in their ‘leaders’ than the followers. As for the audience, we have a lot more info than the characters ever will know, especially since a number of characters keep their information guarded or lie, often the info that would ease tensions/not create melodrama. There’s no zombie google for them to get the scope. Audiences often react on knowledge they wouldn’t know if they were placed in these characters shoes. So I forgive a lot for the only zombie show on tv, except for when it drags too long or it really breaks logic.

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