Chances are that if you’ve played some of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series, you’ve shed a couple of tears along the way. This apocalyptic adventure never ceases to introduce audiences to emotionally compelling characters, each with his or her own struggles and hardships as humanity tries its best to cope with the zombie-invested reality that now befalls it. The following is a spoiler-heavy list of moments that have impacted fans the most, be it a critical death or a subtle scene of abandonment.
The Walking Dead‘s Most Emotional Moments: Lee’s Death
The scene in which players must choose whether to shot and kill Lee or leave him chained up to a wall to become a zombie, or “walker” likely made a huge impression on a lot of its players. By the time the conflict in the fourth episode of the series is resolved, it seems as though Lee, Clementine, and their ragtag group of survivors are poised to make it safely to sea. This all comes to a screeching halt in a matter of seconds, as Clementine mysteriously goes missing and Lee is bitten by a zombie hiding behind a pair of trash cans.
The fifth episode of the first season sees Lee try his hardest to combat his newfound deadly illness while tracking down Clementine’s kidnapper and bringing her back to the group safely. Unfortunately, most of Lee’s comrades either die or are lost in the horde of walking cadavers that stand between them and the crazed thief. Lee does eventually manage to rescue Clementine, though doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with her, as he requests her to kill him by the time the season’s last credits roll.
The Walking Dead‘s Most Emotional Moments: Meeting the Puppy
This moment in the second season of The Walking Dead was particularly hard to witness if you’re a big animal lover. After splitting up with a companion named Christa (who’s baby bump disappears without giving birth), Clementine is forced to fend for her own life, getting by with whatever food scraps she can find.
She comes across a cute dog in the forest who looks willing enough to join up with the girl in an effort to find some food for the both of them. Clementine does eventually find a can to share between the two of them, and opens it to give the dog a morsel.
To the viewer, it seems as though this is the moment that solidifies the dog’s friendship with the girl. When the puppy only gets a small bite to eat, however, it ravenously attacks Clementine, gnawing at her arm in an effort to get all the food for itself. The girl manages to kick the dog away before getting seriously injured, landing it straight into a pile of sharp objects and effectively killing it.
The Walking Dead‘s Most Emotional Moments: Mariana’s Fleeting Happiness
Mariana in the third season of The Walking Dead is similar to Lee in that when she finally feels happy, she’s ruthlessly murdered in cold blood. Though players only come to know her over the course of one episode, it’s heartbreaking to see someone so relieved to be reunited with her family again ruthlessly shot in the head as if she had no humanity in the first place.
Throughout the course of the third season, protagonist Javier sets out to find what remains of his family and bring them back to safety. Towards the end of the episode, it seems as though the conflict is resolved with a healthy resolution, as Mariana finds a pair of headphones to go along with Javier’s music player. In true series fashion, however, this impression couldn’t have strayed further from the constant calamity that is the world of The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead‘s Most Emotional Moments: Sarah’s Anguish
Sarah is an especially tough character to discuss in the second season of The Walking Dead. Though some may find her pretty annoying due to her constant whining and complaining, she does remind audiences that not everyone is emotionally equipped to deal with the tragedy of the zombie apocalypse. Witnessing her father literally get torn apart by a horde of walkers complete with bloodied attire, is almost as daunting for the viewer as it is for the daughter witnessing this.
It’s not hyperbole to say that if a zombie apocalypse happen in real life, a lot of us would follow in Sarah’s footsteps. What makes her story more gruesome and, admittedly, more relatable is that she’s unable to cope with the huge losses around her. In her final moments alive, she’s seen crying for her dead father in vain, or buried beneath rubble and devoured by walkers while she cries out in immense pain. Sarah in The Walking Dead is, in some ways, the personification of sadness itself.
The Walking Dead‘s Most Emotional Moments: Kenny, Duck, and Katjaa’s Tragedy
As the story begins, Lee and Clementine manage to convince a family to join them in their quest down south. Kenny, Katjaa, and their son Duck develop a relationship with Lee and Clementine, with the young boy and girl becoming good friends with one another and Kenny and Lee spending a bit of bro time together. This all rapidly switches gears in episode three as Duck is bitten by a walker. From here on, viewers witness the boy’s health slowly deteriorate in front of his parents as they both look on solemnly.
As it becomes clear that Duck must be murdered before he turns into a walker, the player is tasked with either killing the boy him or herself or allowing Kenny to do the deed. Once done, Katjaa decides it best to end her life too, as she doesn’t see a point in living in a world without her son. It goes without saying that this is a horror that many families today pray doesn’t befall them. It’s also very understandable to agree with Katjaa’s logic, making this moment simultaneously real and unforgettable.
The Walking Dead has given fans its fair share of tragedies to reflect upon since its inception in 2012. Now that it’s in its final season, there’s no telling what horrors lie in wait for Clementine and A.J., and if the girl’s journey through the zombie apocalypse will end in a similar way to how it began.