The Walking Dead Post Mortem: [Spoiler] Reveals the Real 'Reason Why I'm Not Alive'

Tyreese Dies on The Walking Dead

Warning: The following Q&A contains major spoilers from Sunday’s The Walking Dead. 

After AMC’s The Walking Dead killed off Beth in its winter finale, you might have thought, “Whew! At least now the rest of the survivors are sure make it to the end of season!”

But if you did, you thought wrong.

In Sunday’s midseason premiere, one of Noah’s zombified brothers put the bite on Chad L. Coleman’s Tyreese, and rather than try to hang on post-amputation, the gentle giant decided that he was through paying “the high cost of living.”

Here, the actor defends what fans have often perceived as his character’s weakness, puts forth not one but two perfectly plausible explanations for why Karen wasn’t among her boyfriend’s hallucinations and clears up “the biggest lie on IMDb.”

TVLINE | Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, can I just say I am pissed that the show killed Tyreese. I really liked having a character in there that was truly just a good, decent, solid guy. But maybe that was his downfall — he was just too good for that world?
I don’t think so. It was just a cruel irony. No matter how virtuous you are, no one is immune [to the perils of that world]. Hopefully, what Tyreese stood for will carry on even after his death.

TVLINE | Did you know before Beth’s demise that Tyreese was next?
I found out about Beth at the same time I found out about myself. I knew three episodes prior that that was what was going to go down. I saw it coming at one point [when Tyreese lied about killing Martin], but I was told that the cost of him lying wasn’t going to be anything that grave.

TVLINE | Surprise!
I knew they had compromised the character. [Once you lie,] you’re inviting something on yourself. Bush and Cheney said, “Let’s go over there and say there’s weapons of mass destruction so we can do what we need to do.” There’s a cost for doing things like that. That’s why it was a little trippy for me [not because Tyreese spared Martin’s life]. You should always wrestle with whether to kill or not. You should be uncomfortable. I really don’t care if somebody thinks it’s soft. If you’re not in touch with your vulnerability, you’re not going to be an effective leader. You need a balance [and] to be in touch with your feminine side.

TVLINE | I love that you seem to have loved Tyreese as much as I did.
I think I represented the most super human being and a person — not a comic book cut-out, a real person. [But that said,] his level of consciousness and sensitivity was an Achilles’ heel. If you didn’t kill somebody and that person comes back to stalk everybody and — had it gone a different way — kills some folks, I’d have played a hand in that. So it’s tough to not say that that Achilles’ heel didn’t come back to bite Tyreese.

TVLINE | Martin suggested that it was literally why Tyreese died.
The reason why I’m not alive is everyone circles around Rick. My ideology and philosophy doesn’t fit. So I wouldn’t stay, anyway. I would have to tell my sister, if you feel like this is the way to do things, then I’m just going to go off on my own and find some like-minded people. But they weren’t going to go that route, because the show is focused on Rick. [Aside from that,] the creation of Daryl, more than anything else, is probably the reason why I’m not on the show. I was [Rick’s] right-hand man [in the comics].

TVLINE | Did it seem odd to you that so many significant people from Tyreese’s past appeared to him in visions before he died, but not his girlfriend, Karen?
[Melissa Ponzio] probably wasn’t available or said, “You’ve got to pay me this amount of money, or I’m not going to do it!” [Laughs] You know what, I think we had already exhausted the Karen thing. These are the people who were fresh in his mind. Like with Bob, I had to put that man down!

TVLINE | Was it hard to not get a goodbye scene with Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha)?
Absolutely, but the fact that she doesn’t get to say goodbye to me is going to have a profound effect on her. She’s still in the land of the living, so it’s far more interesting to watch her have to navigate the world knowing that her brother got taken out and she didn’t get to say goodbye. Tyreese would have done everything in his power to make her feel OK with it, because he was doing the same thing with Bob’s death. Now, you’re going to throw this on top of it [without the benefit of his counsel]? That’s more fuel for the fire.

TVLINE | Would Tyreese have loved that his friends stuck his trademark cap on his grave marker, or would he have been pissed that they didn’t bury him in it?
That’s a conversation we had, actually. But I’m dead, so I don’t know. I’m pretty sure that Sasha now owns that. Or I hope so. I know if that was my sister, and that was something that was near and dear to her, I’d want her to have it.

TVLINE | What will you take away as your favorite memory of your Walking Dead experience?
“The Grove.” I say that now, but I’m pretty sure that after [my swan song], it will be both that episode and this one.

TVLINE | What’s next for you? I read that you were doing a movie called Shoedog with Joe Manganiello…
That is the biggest lie on IMDb! [Laughs] I’d love to do it, but I’ve heard nothing about this movie from anyone since I think about ’07, ’08! It’s never moved forward. What I am doing is [Syfy’s] The Expanse; we’re finally going to get our Star Trek of this era. I’m also producing my first movie, When January Feels Like Summer. When I saw the play, I said, “This has to be a movie.” You never see Indians and African-Americans engaging each other in just a normal, human way. And I’d never seen a transgender Indian guy in a movie in Harlem. It’s like The Crying Game meets Slumdog Millionaire, but it’s a better movie than Slumdog Millionaire. Then, on August 7th, 8th and 9th, I’m working on a project for Ferguson called Laughter Is the Best Medicine. On Friday night, we’re going to give the community a free concert with A-list comedians. The second day, we’re going to have what’s called a reconciliation workshop… for anybody who wants to participate and move toward peaceable change. And then the third day will be a block party.

TVLINE | That all has to take away a little of the sting of being killed off.
You know, I didn’t really feel a sting. I felt like I would have argued to stay on the show if I could come up with something that could stay in their narrative path and yet keep the character in the mix. But I feel like I’ve done everything I could do on the show.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. A. D. says:

    Wow! Shocked! 2 shows in a row!

    • b. Mclane says:

      3. Bob dies early in morning ( clock). They drive to Atl. to save Beth. Next day, same show they make the trade. Beth dies. Its 17 days later but still the next episode, Tyresse has a mental moment looking at photos of a world now gone and forgets to clear the house before he let’s down his guard and gets bit. He wanted to go. Could not adapt to the messiness of staying alive.

  2. Andi says:

    Is it just me or do his comments make it seem like he wanted off the show and the writers let him get his wish?

    • relaxxx says:

      Well I hear AMC is very cheap so maybe there’s truth to him wanting to leave. A lot of the killed off characters have gone on to better projects. Look at Robin Lord Taylor he’s now playing the Penguin on Gotham. He played Sam on Twd. So much great talent has slipped through on this show. Robin is amazing as Penguin n Kirk is amazing as Ramsey. Good luck to Chad. His last episode will be one of my favorites.

      • Slade says:

        There are no “Better Projects” than the Walking Dead unless you are doing movie blockbusters. I have followed a couple people since their deaths on the show, and while they still go on to do other things The Walking Dead is one of the biggest brands in entertainment right now.

        • roedecker says:

          Playing a relevant, recognizable character on a show is a “Better Proyect” than playing a disposable character nobody cares about. I had to search who was Sam on TWD (I thought he was somebody of Season 2 or 3), whereas anybody who watches Gotham knows who The Penguin is.

        • Umm..Game of Thrones is a better project, a bigger project, with a much longer lifespan .

      • Kat says:

        Yes but that’s also a downside of Television..you’re “stuck” playing the same character for YEARS if it’s a good show, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the actor enjoys the part. Sometimes, though, it’s a good thing that you get a few seasons on a VERY popular show and then branch off to other other things. From what it sounded like from the interview, he enjoyed the show and would have enjoyed being part of it longer, but he wasn’t CRUSHED that it’s over…which I think is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong though, I was devistated by the end of this episode.

    • cg says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing after reading that!?

    • Jess Goodwin says:

      He was also cast in an upcoming SyFy series, so scheduling might have had something to do with it.

    • Harvey says:

      It seems like that to me, yep, only it seems like he wanted out because he wasn’t getting a bigger role, and instead of giving him that they took him out.

    • b. Mclane says:

      His part was never going to be huge each episode. This show is tough to do in the Ga. heat. He wanted a show with a bigger part and his WD character was developed. Tyresse could not bring himself to kill humans if he had another choice. No room for such luxuries now.

    • aph1976 says:

      Yeah i get it too that the actor knew his screen time would be limited on the Walking Dead in some ways.Plus he may have known no one is safe on TWD except a few actors.

    • Catina says:

      He was offered a lead role for another show..

  3. relaxxx says:

    Wow Chad is such a class act. I look forward to his new show on the Syfy channel. Kirk Acevedo/Mitch the tank driver has a show on the Syfy network also Twelve Monkeys so its always nice to see the actors still working.

  4. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    Damnmit! Chad L. Coleman awesome actor thanks for playing Ty the gentle giant wish they could’ve kept him much longer for Sasha’s SAKE!

  5. Freddie says:

    Did y’all watch talking dead and not remember that in real life she was pregnant?

  6. Justin Dobbs says:

    Wwwwwwhhhhhhhhhyyyyy. He was my favorite and so was beth and they both killed them back to back episodes

  7. Carrie says:

    I’m bummed about this. He was quite an asset to the show and it’s really depressing to have two major characters who were very likable killed off back to back.

    • Ari says:

      I have always felt like this show has killed off characters after they’ve exhausted their possible storylines. This is one that feels premature. I’m going to miss Tyreese. He brought so much to this group.

      • b. Mclane says:

        Watch episode again. Tyresse foreshadows his desire to go to Noah sitting on the ground. He would not stick his hand out to be bit, but was wanting it to happen. ” turn it off” was not a reference to the radio. He wanted out.

      • Jess says:

        You’d be wrong cause they exhausted Rick’s storylines back in season 3 when he started seeing dead people…

        • Linda garris says:

          I agree.im so hoping they keep maggie and glen tho.notice how gimple screwing w us with bats and glens close calls. Im soo hoping negan killls someone else.noah has a new project so maybe him

        • Linda garris says:

          Thats what im sayin.they changed the story a bit for Darryl. Ty didn’t have much longer anyway. Rick and carl cant die bc they are the walking dead comic.michonne too. I think Judith is safe.she may b taking Sophia role. I mean shes gotta start growing and walking. Lol i love this show.i think ts funny how upset we all get..more proof of a great story and greAt acting

  8. Jackson says:

    So sad just don’t kill Carl or rick or Carol

    • Justin says:

      Screw rick and Carl if carol dies I will riot

    • wrstlgirl says:

      I think Rick, Carl, Daryl, Michonne and maybe Judith are probably the safest characters left. Unfortunately I see the rest as expendable given the right circumstance. For me I think it’s time to stop killing the cast for a long while. It’s no longer a shock anymore.

      • Linda garris says:

        I agree.im so hoping they keep maggie and glen tho.notice how gimple screwing w us with bats and glens close calls. Im soo hoping negan killls someone else.noah has a new project so maybe him

  9. DJ says:

    if only Herschel was still alive things would have got more interesting

  10. cg says:

    That episode was awesome as always (besides Tyrese wahhhhhh) but it felt like a new director had taken over or something had changed. Just felt different…

    • agreed says:

      It did feel really different…creepier and more desperate than normal. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I wasn’t prepared for it.

  11. you're mom says:

    Eat your vegetables honey

  12. You don’t need Tyresse to be Rick’s right hand man when you have Darryl.

    • Linda garris says:

      Thats what im sayin.they changed the story a bit for Darryl. Ty didn’t have much longer anyway. Rick and carl cant die bc they are the walking dead comic.michonne too. I think Judith is safe.she may b taking Sophia role. I mean shes gotta start growing and walking. Lol i love this show.i think ts funny how upset we all get..more proof of a great story and greAt acting

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I am so sad right now, I just loved his character. I think it was a mistake to kill him off, he was an integral part of the groups dynamics.

  14. if another person dies in the next episode that is not Eugene ,father Gabriel ,or Rosita then I will get mad and stop watching the show

  15. Chad says:

    carol is now officially my favorite character since Herschel, Dale, t-dog., beth, and Tyrese all died sadly. They will not kill Carol or bad things will happen!

  16. animal says:

    I wish that never happened

  17. animal says:

    I wish he was still alive he was a good character It is going to be different without him

  18. Anna says:

    I love how realistic this show is. That said, I feel like the death of Tyreese was a little too random. And what an undeserving way to go! No hurrah, no goodbyes, nothing! I think it was anticlimactic and Tyreese was a very important character. But as long as they don’t kill of Rick, Carl, Carol, or Daryl, I’m still up for whatever’s next.

  19. Chad says:

    is tyrese never died I would not be wasting my time posting a lot of o m g comments

  20. Tae says:

    OMG! I cannot believe Tyreese is gone! But can’t say I didn’t see it coming..black men are dropping like flies on the show especially since Morgan seems to be reappearing. Poor Sasha

  21. Savannah says:

    Two deaths in a row I cried for both. I can’t wait for the new episodes of Sasha’s reaction and what happens next with Maggie!!

  22. Savannah says:

    Two deaths in a row. I can’t wait to see next episodes about Sasha and Maggie’s reactions.

  23. harley says:

    Why did he die that’s not fair at all love you tyreese

  24. Nancy Nana says:

    Why?????? Too soon after Beth and Tyrese was wonderful!!!!! Pleasant to look at too.

  25. Jimmy says:

    This episode was so emotionally stressful for me, I was so upset over Tyreese’s death. I was hoping so much that they could save him and really pulling for him, but as soon as those flashes in the car started and the sky went dark, I knew. And I was so sad. I love Tyreese, he was one of my favourites on this show. And I’m shocked they killed him so early after the break I figured it would be later on… which means we have another major death to deal with then…

    I was just shocked that out of all the characters they have that are expendable and wouldn’t hurt as much to kill off (Eugene, Tara, Sasha, Father Gabriel, NOAH) they chose this route. I just don’t know how to feel, this is probably THE saddest death so far. I don’t remember feeling this upset over a death since Dale.

    • bubbah says:

      this isn’t star trek where only the 5th string characters get killed. this is zombie apocalypse and if the characters you like always survive it will lose its edge. random dumb luck. i know it’s hot, but why they don’t wear more body armor is beyond me. totally preventable!

      • Jimmy says:

        My problem is, it just happened way too soon. People (including the group) are still reeling from Beth’s death (and Sasha is still upset over Bob’s) so for this to happen, it’s devastating. I know in the comics, he dies before the group even meets Abraham, but there have been man diversions from the comics in the TV show, I was hoping Tyreese’s death would be one of them, and they would be able to save him. It would have been nice to give the group (and us) some hope.

      • Sue says:

        I agree! I would be covering more of my exposed areas, neck and arms especially!

    • lovin it says:

      tyrees knew when he got the part he was gona die, they told him that and he was haPPy with it, because he had other things lined up any ways. and again, its just a show gezzzz

  26. Susy says:

    Extremely sad to see Tyrese cut from the show. I’ll miss the badass gentle giant…

  27. Gaither Morgan says:

    I’m So Sad to see Tyrese leave, too soon. Wish him Every Success! Love You Chad!

  28. Ryan says:

    I knew he was a goner the second he started staring down the picture of the brothers, but I didn’t realize how hard I was crying until they stopped the car. Then it got real ugly. Real ugly crying.

    I will miss Tyrese. Damn.

    • Leslie says:

      Me too! I was not happy at all. And I really felt it when seeing Sasha put the dirt on him and she dropped the shovel. Tyreese’s demise was just as heartfelt as Beth’s demise. I didn’t see that coming either.

  29. Joey Padron says:

    Good interview with Chad. Sad Tyreese died. Gonna miss him on the show. Glad Chad will be on TV again in a new show. He did great as guest on Talking Dead.

  30. James D says:

    Wow! very well done episode. Hate to see Tyresse go but it was predictable that he would be the odd man out when the writers where discussing who to kill off. Chad is great I wish him all the best. Being a huge fan of the books I’m stoked that he’s going to be on the Expanse one show I’m super excited for.

  31. star carlton says:

    when Herschel died, and became a zombie, did that make him Herschel Walker?

  32. Didn’t think I was going to get misty about Tyrese’s death, but yes, I did.

  33. fudge says:

    They killed off Bob and tyreese , I can only assume that we will now see the return of Morgan Jones….finally

  34. SRB says:

    Wow!….well sorry Tyreese……I will always love you on this show! But you did the right thing trying to stay on! I will remember you always watching the show….

  35. annoyed says:

    Anyway you could rewrite your headline on the Google search to something other than “Tyreese dies?” Saying spoiler alert after letting the cat out of the bag is really annoying. I am sure you ruined the episode for at least a few people tonight and I give you their regards.

    • Fez says:

      Yep, google searching walking dead and this article title was one of the first hits. At least they warned us… inside the article.

  36. aprildecker says:

    I feel just so betrayed by the show. This feels forced, and wrong, and so inconsiderate of the fans. Yes, killing off major characters happens, but not two in a row. I think this must have happened because of a contract dispute, rather than a well-considered storyline, because it is too random, too thoughtless of the fans, and too soon after Beth’s death. Very poorly done and unprofessional. Yes, they gave Tyreese a great send-off. However, they should not have sent him off when they did. It feels like a shotgun marraige, bad timing, bad show.

  37. mystery says:

    Noah is responsible for beth and tyrses death!

  38. gale says:

    I feel like I have been robbed .that first episode was really disturbing it sounds like everyone give up .I am not looking forward for the rest of the show I have a bad taste in my mouth .and why the heck the cast keep walking there is cars all over the place

    • Missy says:

      Maybe all the cars they see probably don’t start or has been siphoned of their gas. Remember Rick and his group use to siphon gas from a lot of cars to keep the cars they had running.

  39. Derrick says:

    He might have been Rick’s right hand in the comics, but he also got his head chopped off by the governor.

    The creation of Daryl is one of the few differences from the comics that is actually an improvement.

  40. Fez says:

    Well thanks for the spoiler warning. Renaming your article title might have been a good way to avoid spoiling it for people too. Just saying.

  41. Harvey says:

    They made it quite sad, I mean, I don’t like the character at all, don’t really care that he died, but still, it was sad. I actually loved the scene in Season 4 where he hits Rick and then gets beaten. Saved Judith, not remembering that he was supposed to save her from getting in the hands of that guy at the first place. Same for Beth actually, she was a useless character. Rick, Daryl and Carol are the heart of the show.
    He seems like a straight forward guy, good thing and a great reply to why Karen wasn’t there, lol.

  42. Harvey says:

    Really need to kill Noah though. I mean the guy’s the reason Beth got killed, and why Terrese got killed too, and is an idiot anyway. I mean, Rick asks if he can hold Ty up, says yeah, isn’t able to, lol.

  43. Quinten10 says:

    Great interview. I’m really going to miss tyreese and chad colemans take on him. Its kind of refreshing to hear one of the actors acknowledge that daryl being ricks sidekick is why he didnt have a longer run. I’m always thinking about how daryl seems to take over every storyline but I’ve never heard an actor acknowledge that.

    • sayde says:

      Yep. Thought same. Daryl’s role has been Good and bad. I need him killed. That will be a shocker, But worth the suprise.

  44. Carl says:

    Well, in the comic, Ty shows up a lot earlier and dies exactly how and when Hershel dies in the show. He had to die eventually.

    Carl and Rick won’t die any time soon, though both will probably experience some serious injuries very soon.

    Carol killed herself at the prison and was nothing at all like her TV personality, which is what Andrea is in the comics, so I don’t see her dying anytime soon either. They basically switched those two roles.

    Daryl is literally incapable of dying because he is the fan favorite and would kill half the viewership which makes him both a boring and predictable character.

    Sasha, like Daryl, has no real comic counterpart, so she could go either way.

    Ty died basically how Morgan dies in the comic, so I think Morgan will come in soon and last a while as the new token black guy, until another black guy comes around to replace him.

    Father Gabriel, Rosita and Eugene survive in the comics without even so much as a close call and kind of fade into the background, so I don’t see anything going particularly wrong with them. They might not be in the show much later on, but I doubt they’ll die.

    Abe dies, at this rate, probably in the first half of season 6, unless somebody else takes his place.

    Glenn is gonna bite it. They can’t skip that part of the comic. Maggie will survive, she is VERY important in the current comic arc.

    • I don’t think Glen is gonna bite it. If they do it, I think they would probably save it for the last season, or the finale before the final season, which would not really work with the timing of the Negan storyline. If he does (and I really really doubt they will do this), there’s no way they can make it as ugly, brutal, and drown-out as they did in the comic issue #100. That splash page still haunts me, for chrissake. After reading that, I had to take a break for a few months from the comic. Not out of spite, like “Screw you, Kirkman! Just for that I am done with this comic!” but more because I needed a breather, I was so upset, then when I got some distance I went back like I had planned.

      I can see Abraham taking his place, though. Or Eugene taking Abraham’s place. Who knows? I don’t think they are going to skip the setpiece where he keeps talking for a few sentences after he… you know. Might happen with a different character, but it is too haunting and shocking not to show happening to someone.

  45. wrstlgirl says:

    Okay, I’m not reading all 59 comments so sorry if this has already been discussed but his comment about how the show is focused on Rick and the creation of Daryl is why he’s no longer on the show came across as bitter to me. Sad to see Tyreese go.

  46. Whatevah says:

    Chad is more okay about this then I am :(

  47. TheTruth says:

    You guys know either Sasha or Ty had to go, Noah showed up. Look at what happened to T-Dog when Bob showed up. Put it together…was my one of my favorites. Still love the show.

    • Jimmy says:

      To be honest, I would have much rather it be Sasha. I loved Tyreese, he was one of my favourite characters. And Noah is so unimportant to the show, I really hope he’s gone soon. Now that he has no family alive anymore, what’s his purpose? I don’t think he caused Beth or Tyreese’s death by any means, but they both died trying to do things for him. Beth stood up for him against Dawn, and Ty agreed to take him to his house. I’m just so heartbroken over this.

  48. I have no idea how anyone can call this episode boring. THIS episode is one of if not the best. The heartbreak of Everybody Hates Chris getting to Richmond, only to discover what he thought to be was no more. Knowing his family was dead. Even though he is new to the show, because he is so well known as Everybody Hates Chris, it feels like he has been around forever. It was an emotional thrill ride through the mind of Tyreese. You did not know if he was going to live or die (unless you read comics) and if your like me you marked out when The Governor returned. And I was cheering for them to hurry and get back and chop of his arm. I know that sounds odd, but I wanted him to live. To me is character brought sanity and calmness to the group, and I just don’t think he had to die.

    The only thing that I think is NON believable about this is that they were in an old neighborhood, So they could have easily found an old Cast Iron Skillet. Also I know they have a lighter on them at all times and could have easily made a fire, heated up that cast iron and cauterized his wound. Whether he lived or died could have played out in the coming episodes. Other than that this was a beautiful tear jerking episode.

  49. J. says:

    Honestly I’m so sick of the media and everyone acting like this show is only about Daryl. Amazing characters even get killed of because of him.

  50. nope says:

    Watch as the Walking Dead is going Lost. This episode was a useless addition. Also why do the black men keep dying? Just out of curiosity. But yeah, the show subtly hinted Tyreese would but. Nonetheless I find it really peculiar that the black men keep dying. Maybe that’s just me, IDK.

    Oh, and btw, for the previews: You can live off of eating tree bark and drinking water from a hole in the forest. Oh, well.

    • A Normal Person says:

      Please, PLEASE record a video for us of you living off tree bark and drinking water from a hole in the forest while zombies hunt you down. Is the internet full of ignorant people or is everyone a troll? I’m sure the writers sat down and said, “Wait… wait wait wait. Tree bark. They could survive on tree bark. Everyone, back to the drawing board.” No. Please don’t ever share a comment like this in public until you’ve thought it over.

    • Linda garris says:

      Lol.calm down. But pick someone else cause idt Darryl will die anytime soon.wouldn’t bet my house on it but if they kill Darryl America cries and then riots.sus