Team Terzieff…self aware?

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.

I purposely started out with the characters I felt the most kinship for: the tormented former lawman Shane Walsh, the squirrel-tossing badass Daryl Dixon, and the elder statesman, Dale,

…before moving on to Glenn, Andrea, Rick Grimes, Merle Dixon and Theodore “T-Dog” Douglas, Carol Peletier, Hershel and Maggie Greene and finally Lori and Carl Grimes.

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.

Trait: Practicality.
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.

Trait: Loyalty.
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.

Trait: Responsibility.
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.

3 thoughts on “Team Terzieff…self aware?”

  1. I agree with the assessment by our favored Nee.. Having seen you in action at the conventions, having some discussions with you at other times, you embody more than one character from the series. Each has flaws, just as real people do, and whether or not they have analyzed and dealt with those personal issues, you certainly have and do on a regular basis. That is your major difference with any character on tv – you are not bound to some script of your life that you cannot learn and evolve from into a better person. The characters in The Walking Dead will surely face their personal demons, and how (or even if) they deal with them will yet again be a script. You, instead, are living and learning, writing the script as you go. As they say, “You Go, Girl!”

  2. Meep!
    Thanks Hugh — appreciate it!
    …and I can’t wait until TWD characters do have to face up to it all. Should make for riveting tv!

  3. Vive la différence

    I love a short story by Tellez called ‘Just Lather, That’s All’ where the protagonist has the opportunity to murder the leader of the opposing regime when he sits in the protagonist’s barber chair. So, will the protagonist be a rebel or be a barber? Which one is he really? Will he take the opportunity or let it fly by? In this story he is a barber. But, that says a lot about people and that ultimately they are allowed to choose which path to take.

    Can you really say that you wouldn’t ‘Otis’ someone? If it came down to it, would you really not? People do crazy things at crazy times. People won’t eat people under normal circumstances, but starve them long enough, and that taboo sometimes seems illogical.

    I’ve come to terms with myself. I’m not like anybody else, and nobody else is like me. We may be similar in shape, thoughts, motivation, dreams, aspirations, but we are all inherently different. I’ve stopped aspiring to be like other people, and have focused on being the best me I can. Sure, other people can help guide me, but ultimately I am the creator of my own reality and I will do whatever it is I feel like whenever I feel like.

    You Juliette, are fantastic as you are. The Walking Dead is a fascinating view of the world, but every character in the show, regardless of complexity, is still a simply a character. You are you, which is great. At the core, you will decipher what you feel is best, and choose in any given situation whether or not you want to be diplomatic, unabashed, rebellious, reserved, loyal, eccentric, etc. etc. All these combinations of emotions and choices are what makes us interesting multi-faceted individuals, and I, for one, am very grateful to have met an innovative and invigorating woman such as yourself. Don’t change a thing!

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