Ok I have to admit this didn’t turn out quite the way I planned it. I know, I know. Big surprise there. As Commander-in-Chief of the Zombie Survival Crew I’ve gotten very used to that. *grins*
When I started out my The Walking Dead mid-season break character profile series I didn’t figure that I would end up self-analyzing the entire way through. But it seemed every time I went to delve into the mind of a character from AMC’s hit television show (based off a series of graphic novels by Robert Kirkman), I found little pieces of myself along the way.
Well, not always.
Now I may not have stared down a horde of hungry zombies, but I have been through multiple war zones and natural disasters. I know how I react when being shot at, manhandled, detained by people whose language I do not speak or standing ankle deep in body parts.
(And yes, for the record, I will gag and sometimes actually throw up when I find myself in the latter situation.) I have seen with my own eyes the best, and worst, come out of people during periods of supreme stress and adrenaline rushes.
And I do know that I am part Shane Walsh—decisive, action oriented—and part Daryl Dixon—untamed, brave. But I’m also very much Dale, wanting to act in the most humane way possible while avoiding unnecessary conflict, and possessing a fair amount of knowledge about people, crowd dynamics and mob mentality. In fact, if we put aside Dale’s aversion to militant action he is probably the character I would say I am the closest to. I am also alone and just fine with it thank you very much (*waves at Daryl*) and, yes, occasionally will allow my better judgment to be clouded by emotion (*nods at Dale*). Would I “Otis” someone? I would argue I have it in me to do it, but I wouldn’t…and no, that has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that physically I’m probably more like Otis than any other The Walking Dead character.
With all the self-analytics I was doing the last few weeks I began to think I might have misplaced a few mental crossbow bolts here and there. So I asked for reinforcements.
Naturally I turned to my fellow Zombie Survival Crew commander RC Murphy—also known as the other half of my brain—to see what she thought. I didn’t exactly get the response I was expecting.
From the desk of R.C. Murphy:
I sat for days locked inside my office trying to figure out one question; which Walking Dead character is Juliette the most like? The question haunted me. I could not figure it out when I laid her personality traits side by side with any one character. Then it hit me… she’s not just ONE character. And that is what makes her the ZSC’s Fearless Leader.
A handful of the survivors possess the ability to see what needs to be done and simply do it with no preamble. Most notably, Shane Walsh. He puts his head down. Does his duty to protect his fellow man. Juliette is very much the same. If she says it needs to be done, it will be. At times she will be ruthless in how she does things. But whereas Shane cannot see past himself to make sure others are okay with where his schemes are heading, Juliette will at least make sure you don’t run off screaming for your mommy.
Two characters come to mind here, Glenn and Dale. Juliette possesses Glenn’s willingness to jump in the fray at the behest of others. But whereas Glenn gives blind loyalty to Rick, Dale will pause and question why. Often his conclusions end up falling into agreement with Rick’s position, but he still takes that moment to step back and assess things. Juliette is a master at this idea. She’ll stand by your side while making sure YOU know why you are there and if it is indeed wise to do it.
In this, Juliette is akin to Rick Grimes. At the end of the day, it is always Rick that makes the most difficult decisions. He is the one to step up, end the discussions and talk that leads the survivor group nowhere, and make a plan to get it done. Shane talks a big game. He puts things in motion that he cannot cope with, which is why he is not the leader. Juliette is our Rick. She’s the one assuming responsibility and pulling the metaphorical trigger when she has to.
Now R.C. chose to focus on my strengths but I have hinted at some of my weaknesses.
The truth is we all have both within us. The trick is to, unlike Shane, be able to recognize those weaknesses and make sure they don’t become our downfall. After weeks of analyzing The Walking Dead characters I’m not sure that any of them have really done that.