The writers of The Walking Dead may have underestimated the impact that the death of Beth Greene in the mid-season finale of the show, Coda, would have on fans. The show has never shied away from killing off main characters, even beloved characters. Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman and other writers and producers on the show have said repeatedly that any of the show’s characters might find themselves on the chopping block at any point. Scott Gimple has said that the writers are committed to telling the story of this group of survivors, and they will do whatever it takes to tell the whole story even when popular major characters find their part of the story coming to a close. The cast members have said they rush through each script when they get it and read to the end to find out if they make it through the episode and rejoice when they do. But as the seasons go on and more beloved characters die the fans are getting more upset.
Why No Outcry for Early Character Losses?
The show has been killing off major characters since Season 1, and fans didn’t threaten to riot or start petitions to bring characters back. But as the show goes on season after season the fans become emotionally invested in the storyline of each character. Since the show is now in Season 5 many of the characters that are main cast members have been around since Season 1 or Season 2 and the fans are very attached to them. When Hershel Greene was killed in Season 4 fans were devastated, and yet even then there wasn’t as much outcry as there has been over the loss of Beth Greene.
Beth’s Pointless Death
One of the reasons for the outrage about Beth’s demise is that fans see her death as pointless and done in a casual and offhand way. Some are angry that the writers brought Beth back in Season 5, after she was kidnapped in Season 4, only to kill her off after the group rescues her from the hospital. But some of the fans are missing the point about the manner of Beth’s death. It was reckless, it was reactionary, and it may even have been accidental. The look on Dawn’s face when she realizes what she has done and realizes she is about to die for it is a look of panic and fear. Her shooting of Beth was purely reactionary after she was stabbed in the shoulder. But it could be argued that the writers, in killing Beth this way, were trying to show the precarious nature of life in the post-apocalypse world.
Bethyl Shippers Outraged
Most of the outrage over Beth’s death comes from the “Bethyl” shippers or fans who wanted to see Daryl and Beth fall in love. After Beth and Daryl grew close last season they desperately hoped that a relationship between Daryl and Beth would be in the script for this season but Beth’s death closes the door on that possibility. Fans were also angry that Beth was ripped away from Maggie before Maggie was even able to see her sister again or talk to her. Maggie and Beth were never reunited after the prison was attacked by the Governor in Season 4.
The angry Bethyl shippers took to the Internet to express their displeasure over the murder of Beth. In addition to a lot of angry Tweets sent to Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman, and other cast and crew members on The Walking Dead a petition was created to bring Beth back to the show. Despite the fact that the character is dead and the second half of the season has already been filmed more than 35,000 fans signed a petition on Change.org that was created demanding that Beth be brought back to the show.
Harder Losses are Coming
Despite the anger of Beth Greene fans Beth will not be coming back to the show. And fans better steel themselves for the losses that are coming because as more and more major characters are killed off in order to tell the story fans are going to be left devastated over and over again. The only thing certain in the Walking Dead universe is that sooner or later everyone will die.