Sure, The Walking Dead is about survival, but it could be argued the most recurrent theme is humanity. Almost every episode of The Walking Dead has posed a character with a choice to make in a tough situation. Rick’s group has often been confronted with choices time and time again. Rick has made decisions that benefit not just his survival, but the survival of his whole group.
The definition of humanity is not just about mankind, it means “the quality or condition of being human; human nature” or “the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence.” Rick and his group have shown the greatest humanity throughout The Walking Dead world regardless of what they have seen and experienced. In essence, The Walking Dead is about staying “human” in a world that has gone to hell, and taken most of humanity with it.
As devastating and seemingly hopeless it seems at times for The Walking Dead band of survivors, they still have their humanity. If they lose their humanity, then they lose all hope. Groups like the Governor’s Woodbury, or the Terminus group, or even the latest new threat, the Wolves, have only shed blood for their own selfish purposes. Rick’s group kills only in self-defense, not to eliminate the competition or to stake a claim over material possessions. However, in the fifth season, it seems Rick could change if the people of Alexandria tried to throw him or his family members out. It seems to be an act of self-preservation. Rick just wants to protect his family, or does he?
During Season 5, fans saw the characters being pushed to their limits. Rick took a walk back to “crazyland” and the season finale delivered a Rick not unlike the one who spoke to his dead wife. The finale also saw the return of Morgan, who seemed to have finally conquered his own craziness. His return posed a few questions. Will Rick and Morgan be in opposition or will they work together? Will The Walking Dead group continue to preserve their humanity in seasons to follow? Will the introduction of The Wolves test the limits to their humanity? The following sneak peek of The Walking Dead Season 6, offers a chilling preview.
Robert Kirkman, author of The Walking Dead comic books, spoke to fans on a WTF podcast about where the series is headed.
“People [are] getting their loved ones eaten and they’re having a horrible time. But I see the story from beginning to end, over many, many years, so I think it’s a very hopeful story about humanity overcoming this insurmountable, apocalyptic situation … it’s just gonna take them a long time to do it.”
Andrew Lincoln also shared his thoughts at San Diego Comic-Con.
What do you think? Is The Walking Dead about survival or humanity? Will you tune in to Season 6? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Photo courtesy of AMC via Twitter]