The Walking Dead: Why Shane Really Died In Season 2 – News Today

The Walking Dead: Why Shane Really Died In Season 2

Shane from The Walking Dead may have died early in the show, but his death remains one of the most memorable. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) killed Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) before The Walking Dead season 2 finale, and the decision was rooted in the long-term plan for Rick. Despite only being on the AMC series for two seasons, Shane remains one of the most memorable characters in AMC’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s comic book series. Despite Shane dying so early on, he is still considered an iconic Walking Dead villain and one of the best in the show’s history.

The Walking Dead: Why Shane Really Died In Season 2 - IMDb

Shane’s death was divisive among TWD viewers at first. He proved himself to be a complex and formidable Walking Dead villain in the first two seasons, sometimes a friend and other times a foe. So, it brought up a question about why Shane from The Walking Dead died. Truthfully, Shane’s death is partially why the character became so popular post-mortem. His arc ended on an intriguing note, firmly solidifying Rick’s place as the leader. While many still wonder why Shane was killed so early in The Walking Dead, there are several reasons the decision ws justified.

Shane’s death in The Walking Dead came in season 2, episode 12, “Better Angels”. He is stabbed by Rick after challenging him to a shootout on Hershel’s farm when the tension that had been brewing between them — both over leadership of the group and Rick’s wife Lori — came to a head.

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Shane Dies In The Comics Too (But Much Sooner)

Shane’s Death Doesn’t Exactly Mirror The Walking Dead Comics

A montage of Rick shooting Shane on The Walking Dead.

Even though Shane died in The Walking Dead early in the series, he would have died sooner if the show followed TWD comics. Shane may have met his death early in the eyes of viewers during season 2, but how Shane dies in The Walking Dead comics was also different. Like the TV series, Shane was Rick’s partner at a local sheriff’s department. When Rick was left in a coma amid the zombie apocalypse, Shane looked after Rick’s wife, Lori, and the pair’s son, Carl.

Shane started to have romantic feelings for Lori, but this ended when Rick awoke and found the group, reuniting with his family. Shane’s jealousy started to take over and Shane attempted to murder Rick. During the sixth issue, Rick’s son Carl found the men fighting and ended up shooting Shane in the neck, killing him. Shane later turned into a walker, forcing Rick to kill his friend a second time. Shane’s arc was expanded in the AMC series, but the tension between him and Rick was still a major focus.

While staying at Hershel Greene’s farm, the two began arguing over how to lead the survivors. There was also an underlying conflict regarding Lori and the fact she was pregnant. Shane had plans to kill Rick in The Walking Dead season 2 episode “Better Angels.” Rick was aware of the plan and countered by stabbing Shane in the chest. Carl then appeared, shooting Shane in the head after he reanimated.

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Rick Had To Take Over As Leader For The Future Of The Series

Shane’s Death Was A Pivotal Moment In Rick’s Character Arc

Rick kills Shane in The Walking Dead.

According to showrunner Glen Mazzara in 2012 (via MTV), it wasn’t always the plan to kill off Shane from The Walking Dead, but it made sense for the story direction. Mazzara claimed that Shane’s Walking Dead death was “necessary” based on the bigger picture. Shane emerged as a threat to the group and Rick realized something needed to be done. To effectively lead the survivors, Shane needed to be removed. Rick could only assume the leadership role if Shane was no longer around.

“At one point, we considered not killing Shane. But what’s important about this season is, Rick has to step forward. He has to assume leadership of the group and he has to confront Shane. Rick has to be the one to kill Shane. He needs to take control of the group.”

The idea to kill Shane was rooted in the plans for Rick to become the group’s main leader before they headed to the prison and came into contact with the Governor. Furthermore, if Shane was still around, he would hinder their chances of survival based on his unhinged behavior. It was also important for Rick to be the one to kill Shane, as Mazzara wanted Rick to feel a sense of loss considering Shane was his friend.

Instead of using a gun, Rick used a knife, thereby making it a more personal kill. The trauma transformed Rick, changing his demeanor from that point onward — evidenced by how he treated the group after the farm burned down. Though Shane was a compelling character in The Walking Dead, he was always just an element of Rick’s story and a problem that needed to be fixed.

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Shane’s Death Kick-Started Jon Bernthal’s Career

Shane Dying Was Integral For The Walking Dead Actor’s Success

Shane Walsh holding and aiming a gun in The Walking Dead

The character of Shane from The Walking Dead and his demise helped launch Jon Bernthal’s career. As a character, Shane became so beloved that his death remains discussed and debated by TWD fans to this day. Bernthal’s portrayal of Shane Walsh didn’t go unnoticed by executives in Hollywood, as Bernthal has gone on to have an illustrious career since leaving The Walking DeadShane’s death may have been a gift to the actor, as his short stint on the show allowed him to pursue other projects.

Since appearing on TWD, Jon Bernthal played the titular role in Marvel and Netflix’s The Punisher, star in The Wolf of Wall Street, and play Rick Macci in King Richard. Other characters, such as Norman Reedus’ Daryl, have also been immensely popular. However, because they’ve been attached to The Walking Dead over the years, they haven’t been able to fully explore their acting careers for the most part. Even though Shane Walsh died early in TWD, it did wonders both for the show and Jon Bernthal’s career.

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Could Shane Return In The Walking Dead Spinoffs?

Shane Could Only Realistically Return Through Flashbacks, Dream Sequences, Or Hallucinations

While some fans want to see Shane from The Walking Dead return for one of the spin-offs, it is unlikely. One of the upcoming spin-offs, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live features Rick Grimes and Michonne, and will possibly lead Rick back to his daughter unless it follows the comic book storyline. This is the likliest spinoff to feature a return from Jon Bernthal, though it won’t mean Shane is back.

The only way Shane could return to The Walking Dead is through flashback scenes or hallucinations by Rick. This is a possibility and has been done before, though it’s not guaranteed. However, if Tales of the Walking Dead returns for a second season, there is a chance Shane could get a standalone episode.

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