10. Rick’s reaction to Lori’s death
This scene is one of the most emotional moments in The Walking Dead and we never really got a moment like this in the comics.
That is not to say that Rick’s reaction to Lori’s death was not well done in the comics but, due to the chaotic nature of Issue 48, we never got to fully see Rick’s devastated reaction to his wife’s death play out.
However, in the final moments of Killer Within, we got this reaction with Rick breaking down completely when learning about Lori’s death.
Watching him just collapse into a ball of tears was devastating to watch.
Now to be clear, I am not referring to the imaginary phone conversations Rick has with Lori after her death as part of his reaction because I was disappointed with how the show handled that.
I am only referring to Rick’s initial reaction to Lori’s death, which was expanded on from the comics in this scene.
Rick’s learning of Lori’s death is one of the most impactful moments of the show and was a great change from the comics.
9. Hershel Greene
Hershel is the first of quite a few characters who were actually improved upon from the comics.
That is not to say that I disliked Hershel’s portrayal in the comics, but how he was done here was far superior to that.
While the Hershel of the comics was more of a strict religious man, the TV Show version is more merciful and, before Tyreese and Morgan, served as the moral compass of the show.
While, not being as memorable during his introduction in season two, in seasons three and four he was truly given room to shine.
In season three, he took the character of Allen’s place in losing his leg, however, unlike him, he survived.
Hershel’s character growth is especially apparent in the epidemic arc of the fourth season, which we will get to later.
During this arc Hershel was of vital importance, as can be seen with the fantastic episode Internment.
This made his death in the episode Too Far Gone, one of the best episodes of The Walking Dead, harder to watch.
It was a great death, which was handed to him from Tyreese in the comics, and was a great way for him to go out.
Hershel will only be the first of many characters I mention in this list who was improved upon from the comics.
8. Sophia’s Death
The way Sophia’s storyline was handled in the show generates a rare feeling for me because I love both this version and the comic’s version equally.
In the comic Sophia is still alive and actually outlived her mother Carol but in the show she dies in season two in a gut wrenching scene that, at the time, was the saddest death The Walking Dead had given us.
Watching her emerge from Hershel’s barn as a Walker and Carol having to be held back by Daryl as Rick is forced to put her down was very heartfelt.
Sophia’s death had pretty big implications for the show as well because it drove Carol to become the character that we all know and love today, don’t worry I will get to her later.
However, like I said, Sophia is still alive in the comics, which I found rather surprising when I started reading them.
In the comic Sophia is a likeable character but not one that is of great importance to the plot as she is basically a side character.
Her death in the show served a purpose to the story and was really sad to see but did not effect any major storylines going forward thankfully.
But, as I said, I like both her fates in the show and comic equally so her death in the show serves as a nice deviation.
7. Gabriel Stokes
Gabriel being higher on the list than Hershel is strange because I like show Hershel better than I like show Gabriel.
The reason for this is because, while I found Hershel to be likeable in the comic, I did not like Gabriel.
He started off interesting, just like he would in the show, as he was a priest who locked his flock outside the church to die when the outbreak started so he could survive.
After this, however, the Gabriel in the comic did not get much of a chance at redemption.
Yes, he did have a great moment where he was faced with the exact same situation as when he indirectly killed his parishioners, in the No Way Out story arc, only this time he did the right thing.
However, this was a small moment and Gabriel mostly faded into the background after this so this one scene did not really make up for all the terrible things he had done beforehand.
Gabriel in the show, on the other hand, not only redeemed himself but become a key member of Rick’s group.
He has helped the group of multiple occasions both through fighting to protect them and giving them moral advice.
His growth in the show is by far its best redemption arc and a definite improvement on the comic.
6. The Epidemic Story Arc
It has not just been characters and their fates that the show has improved upon but storylines as well.
The epidemic story arc is a prime example of this.
This arc was used in the show to bridge the gap between the Governor’s failed attack on the prison in the season three finale and his successful one in the season four mid-season finale.
However, rather than being filler, this was a compelling way for the fourth season to kick off and was a stroke of genius on the writers’ part.
How do you fight an epidemic in a zombie apocalypse?
This arc not only increased the level of tension in the show, from the fact that any character could get sick, but also advanced character devlopement.
Hershel was giving a leading role in this arc, making his future death all the more painful, and Carol was also given more advancement through her bond with Lizzie and Mika and her williness to do anything to make sure the prison community survives.
Overall, the epidemic story arc is one of the most inventive storylines the show has done so far.
It made me care for the characters more and made the show more intense.
Terminus is without a doubt the best change in a storyline The Walking Dead TV Show has ever made.
The show turned a small group of cannibals from the comic into a community of them, and implications of that were terrifying.
This change gave us some of the best episodes The Walking Dead has given us with A and No Sanctuary.
These episodes were absolutely fantastic with great action, gripping character moments and a fair share of gruesome moments.
Once again, this small story arc also gave more characters like Carol time to shine and introduced us to some of the most chilling villains the show has given us.
Gareth, the leader of Terminus, was charismatically disturbing and even gave the Governor a run for his money.
Terminus may have been a short moment in the story overall but it still gave us some terrifying and chilling moments, making it one of the best additions to the show.
4. Shane Walsh
Shane went from a slightly forgettable character who only lasted one volume in the comic to the best character in the first two seasons of the show.
He was the first character who realised the depths that people would have to go to in order to survive.
He was also a big redeeming factor of the filler filled season two, as I loved his character arc.
Watching his relationship with Rick slowly go downhill was rather tragic to watch, especially with how it ended.
This was a massive improvement on the comic because Shane trying to kill Rick there came a little out of left field.
In the show, however, Shane lived a season longer so his antagonism with Rick was given time to fully develop and we got to see him slowly fall into a form of madness, due to his obsession with making Lori and Carl his family.
The scene where Rick is forced to kill Shane is one of the best deaths in the series.
Overall, Shane was a vast improvement on his comic book counterpart.
3. Daryl and Merle Dixon
I know this may seem strange to have Daryl and Merle be on this list, considering I put Daryl at number ten on my top ten worst changes list.
However, like I said there, while Daryl has more than overstayed his welcome and takes away from important characters in the comic, he is still the best character created for the show in the first five seasons.
During this time, we got to see Daryl develop from an angry hothead into a well developed and caring character, despite his rough exterior.
His brother Merle was also a fantastically flawed character with a great role in season three.
Watching Merle have to decide between his bother and Woodbury was interesting to see and it was evidently clear how much both brothers had changed when they reunited again.
Their broken trust all culminated in the episode This Sorrowful Life, where Merle was killed by The Governor.
This led to another one of the saddest moments in The Walking Dead when Daryl discovers Merle as a Walker and has to put him down, taking out all of his grief and rage on him.
Daryl and Merle were two great characters for the show.
Merle served his purpose perfectly and departed when the time was right and, while I cannot say the same for Daryl, he was still the best character of the first five seasons.
2. Carol Peletier
I really have the applaud the shows’ treatment of Carol, who went from an unlikable character in the comic for me to the strong survivor we know and love.
The Carol in the comic was a weak character who fell into insanity after Tyreese cheated on her with Michonne.
This caused her to even go as far as to suggest a polygamous marriage with Rick and Lori, dying not long after this.
Robert Kirkman, the writer of The Walking Dead, was probably trying to show the depths that people could fall into in the apocalypse but there have been other characters Kirkman has done this with, with much more success in my opinion.
So it was absolutely refreshing to see the shows’ take on Carol, which was a complete reversal of what we got in the comic.
The Carol in the show has gone through phenomenal character development in her years on the show, going from an abused housewife to a tough as nails survivor.
She really grew into her own in season four and became one of my favourites in the season five premiere No Sanctuary.
Carol has only got better and better as the show has gone on, being a huge improvement on her comic book counterpart.
I even considered her for my number one choice but there was just one change done better.
1. Morgan Jones
It was a close call between Carol and Morgan but, at the end of the day, Morgan stands as the best change The Walking Dead TV Show has ever given us, for me.
The Morgan in the comic felt very useless.
Aside from helping Rick when he woke up from his coma, he had almost no purpose and it kind of felt like Kirkman did not know what to do with him.
After meeting up with Rick and the group after the fall of the prison, Morgan got in a relationship with Michonne… and that is about it really.
I am serious, he did basically nothing else of importance until he died in the No Way Out story arc.
In comparison, the way Morgan has been done in the show is miles better.
Upon his return he had a point, serving as the moral compass for the group.
Not long after came the origin of his moral compass in the episode Here’s Not Here, which is my favourite The Walking Dead episode.
Many fantastic episodes of the show have been Morgan centric, like Clear and Bury Me Here.
He is such a great character that the creators decided to send him over to the sister show Fear The Walking Dead, a decision I was wary of at first but am now glad about because he really fits in with the current story.
Morgan has gone from one of the weakest comic book characters to one of the greatest characters in the show and because of this he is the best change The Walking Dead has made from the show to the comic.