What I saw in The Walking Dead Season 7
The main premise of this season has nothing to do with cool zombie kills or trying to learn how to survive in a fallen civilization. This season is all about learning how to live in tribal communities. Season 6 ended on a cliffhanger that most people hated for obvious reasons. We were left wondering for months who got the kiss of death from Lucile. Then of course we learned it wasn’t just one person (Abraham) who got killed, but two people (Glenn! Q_Q).
In the days before we allowed ourselves to be domesticated, at least in Western society (there’s good and bad to being domesticated, but I’m just going to leave it there), people lived in separate tribes and fiercely looked after their own. Anyone considered an “other” could be left to rot so long as their own people were taken care of. And that’s exactly the mentality the Saviors have taken on.
To be fair, Rick and his group in Alexandria did the same thing when they pre-emptively attacked the Saviors last season. They believed they needed to do whatever it took to make sure their own people were provided for. Only now their small group of bad asses can only go so far against a much larger group of mediocre fighters. Numbers count for a lot, especially when it’s the ones you care about that are going to be the ones to die in the fight.
Negan learned early on that strong leadership will get most people to follow, so long as someone seems like they know what they are doing and their needs are met (the same could be said about the mayor of Hilltop). The other thing he learned is when absorbing another group, you need to break the leader, because if the other group’s strong leader goes down then the rest will follow. What Negan hasn’t figured out is Rick’s group is entirely made of leaders, with the rest of the people in Alexandria being the followers.
Even though Rick may have been broken down after losing two of his people and almost forced to cut off the hand to his son, Maggie and the others were willing to step up and take the fight to Negan. Like most dictators before the fall, Negan has enjoyed so much success that he isn’t aware that all his enemies are starting to pile up, and once they are unified are able to match the numbers of the Saviors.
We see this resistance movement start to build up through several different characters: Maggie at the Hilltop, Tara at Oceanside, Carol and Morgan at the Kingdom. Each community is under the thumb of the Saviors, and each of them are pissed off. Oceanside is made up of women since Negan went in and killed or captured all of the men, and the women ran to the coast to escape. However, if Tara found them, it is probably only a matter of time before Negan does. Overall, the lesson is people cannot remain broken forever, and no dictatorship lasts forever.
Many are frustrated with the show after the death of some beloved characters. But the best thing about the show is it’s reflection of how life was before domestication or how it could be if our Western society crumbled. I always emphasize Western society because let’s not forget there are still plenty of places in the world where you have to be tough to survive. And in a world like that, it includes loss of some key people in your group. I for one am still liking the show. I’m curious how long it will take for all the communities to partner up. What do you guys think of this season so far? Let me know in the comments!
This is a copy and paste from another place I post, but I thought I would give Medium a try since it looks an interesting online community. The whole concept that I have for this blog is to talk about some of the deeper lessons in the stories that are told through TV and videogames. I do include spoilers, so anyone who hasn’t seen the episodes I post on are hereby warned.