How Does “The Walking Dead” Television Show Relate to the Comics?

The Walking Dead (2010) follows the same overall progression as the comics, but frequently deviates from the source material, adds original elements, and often uses comic scenes in substantially different points in the timeline.

Certain characters (Rick, Glenn, Maggie, Abraham, Eugene, Tyreese) are very similar between their television and comic representations in behavior, attitude, and personality. Other characters (Carol, Andrea) share a name and similar foundation with their comic self, but went in substantially different directions on the show. The amount of time certain characters last before their deaths is also often significally different from the books. Finally, many characters from the books never make it into the television show, and others (Daryl, Merle, Tara, T-Dog, Beth, Bob, Sasha) were created specifically for the show and never existed in comic form.

In terms of plot points, the show follows the comics in its major areas - the early days, the prison, the time at Woodbury, the journey to DC, the Alexandria safe zone. Certain parts of the story are scene-for-scene extractions from the comic. Other plot elements are expanded or subdued to fit with the characters on the program. (For example, Terminus doesn’t exist in the comics. The group does run into a band of cannibals, but in a more minor way.) Details like the trip to the CDC were completely fabricated for the show.