Amy (The Walking Dead)
|The Walking Dead character|
|First appearance||Issue #3 (comics)
"Days Gone Bye" (TV series)
|Last appearance||Issue #5 (comics)
"Vatos" (Alive) (TV series)
"Wildfire" (Undead) (TV series)
"Hounded" (Voice) (TV series)
|Portrayed by||Emma Bell|
|Occupation||Physical Education Student|
Comic book series
Amy was Andrea's youngest sister. She is a junior physical-education major, and was returning to college for the new school year. When the dead began to rise, Amy and Andrea joined the survivor group existing on the outer limits of the overrun city of Atlanta. Amy and her sister cared for the group's children, and Amy herself, adventurous and out-going, became a key member of the group by keeping morale up. One night, Amy was bitten on the neck by a zombie in the opening stages of a zombie swarm's attack on the exposed camp, and died of blood loss and trauma within minutes, with Andrea shooting her in the head to prevent reanimation. Amy was then buried in the woods.
Fictional character biography
Amy is Andrea's younger sister by 12 years. Amy was heading to college for the new school year with Andrea, when the outbreak occurred. When the dead begin to rise, Amy and Andrea join the survivor group existing on the outer limits of the overrun city of Atlanta. The two make their home in Dale's RV, with Amy helping to look out for the kids in the camp. Amy is twelve years younger than Andrea, which causes tension between them; primarily, Amy resents Andrea's leaving her behind at home and not coming back often enough to visit and be a part of her life. The experience of the apocalypse strengthens their bond enormously (though Amy, despite worshiping her sister and seeing her as a role model, still doesn’t appreciate being judged and ordered around by her). Amy first appears in the series premiere "Days Gone Bye", where she is shown in the camp of survivors outside Atlanta, hearing Rick's calls over the radio. She attempts to respond, but the transmission does not go through to his end. In the episode "Guts", Andrea thinks of Amy as still such a kid in some way, so Andrea gets her a Mermaid necklace from the shop in Atlanta. Amy's group received a distress call from Andrea's group, and Amy declares that they need to assist them, but Shane objects. In the episode "Tell It to the Frogs", Andrea's group returns to the camp, and the sisters reunite. Amy is later seen at the quarry doing laundry with Andrea, Jacqui, and Carol, until Carol's husband Ed comes along and picks a fight with Carol. Andrea tries to intervene, and Amy helps pull Carol away from Ed before Shane beats Ed senseless. In the episode "Vatos", Amy and Andrea go fishing on the lake and share their experiences about fishing with their father, comparing how he raised each of them differently. When they return to the camp, Dale explains how Jim has been digging strange holes on the hillside and they go to confront him. That night, the group enjoys dinner around the campfire, and when Amy excuses herself to go to the RV's bathroom, Amy is bitten by a walker in the opening stages of a walker swarm's attack on the exposed camp. Amy dies in Andrea's arms of blood loss and trauma after all the walkers have been killed. In the episode "Wildfire", Andrea cradles Amy's body and shoots her in the head after she reanimates. Amy is then buried on the hill, on her birthday.
In the episode "TS-19", Andrea is distraught after Amy's death and wants to stay in the CDC and die, as she thinks she has nothing else to live for, but Dale convinces Andrea not to. Amy is mentioned a few times in Season 2, e.g., in the episode "Bloodletting" when Carol's daughter Sophia disappears, Carol worries that "she won't turn out like Amy", and in the episode "Secrets" when Shane uses Amy's death to infuriate Andrea into getting her to practice shooting walkers. In the Season 3 episode, "Hounded", Amy's is the first voice to call Rick; she claims to be in a safe place and promises to call back soon. Throughout the series, Andrea mentions Amy in her conversations.
Development and reception
Variety reported that actress Emma Bell would have a recurring role The Walking Dead as "a college student who seeks safety with the remaining survivors after the zombie invasion". NJ.com described her character Amy as "a well-meaning girly-girl". The series premiere "Days Gone Bye" featured a guest appearance from Bell as Amy, Andrea's younger sister. Bell would later become part of the main cast as a recurring character.
The episode "Vatos" marked the last regular appearance of Emma Bell as Amy, whose character was killed off in the conclusion of the installment. Greg Nicotero, the show's production designer, enacted the walker who bites Amy. Bell stated that Nicotero placed a skin-colored prosthetic around her neck, which consisted of a layer of red viscous liquid and a hose. Once it was bitten into, the prosthetic exploded and resembled a severe flesh wound. Kirkman expressed that it was difficult for him to remove Bell from the cast but was thankful that she understood she would only be limited to a certain number of episodes; he stated:
It's something that's very difficult for me. Because it is lines on paper when I do it in the comic book series. It's like, 'Oh, okay, Charlie Adlard [...] doesn't have to draw that arrangement of lines anymore, that person is dead.' But it's very uncomfortable for me to be on set, because I see these actors that are there and, in the source material, I have killed all but two of them. I walk through the set and I'm like, 'Yep, killed that one, killed that one, killed that one.' And it is firing those people. I feel really bad for Emma Bell, just because she was great and I would have liked to have had her in the show. But, you know, this is The Walking Dead, characters have got to die. Thankfully, Emma was brought onto the show with the understanding that she was only going to be in a certain number of episodes and she knew that she was going to die from the very beginning. But it doesn't really make it any easier. When they were shooting those scenes, I had to fly to Comic-Con and so I wasn't actually there for when she died. But it was very emotional on set and I know that she was very upset about having to leave the crew and the actors. You kind of become a family when you're doing a TV show and it's a little upsetting to have to get rid of somebody.
Leonard Pierce of The A.V. Club commented in his review of "Vatos" that the episode "begins with a very likable scene between Andrea and Amy; what starts as a completely banal argument between sisters about what kind of knots their fathers taught them to tie turns into a peril-fraught discussion of what it means to outlive the people you love". James Poniewozik of TIME commented on the scene saying that the "I-am-going-to-die-in-this-episode" conversation "drew distinctions between Andrea and Amy as characters, in a show that—perhaps out of necessity in the compression of a six-episode season—introduced its characters in very broad strokes. By raising the painful subject of the sisters’ parents—left to an unknown fate in Florida—it reminds us that most or all of these characters are dealing with the knowledge, or suspicion, that most everyone they love is dead or zombiefied." Poniewozik added that the reminiscence in which they realize that their father taught Andrea to catch fish and Amy to throw them back "points up that the sisters are two very different people. And it suggests a hard truth about the kind of reality The Walking Dead is set in. It was largely a matter of bad luck that Amy was the one to be killed in this episode, but the implication still seems pretty clear: this is not a catch-and-release kind of world, and the odds are not good for the gentle". John Serba of The Grand Rapids Press asserted that Kirkman effectively set up Amy's death at the beginning of the episode, and added that it established a sisterly bond, while HitFix's Alan Sepinwall felt the scene was "quite lovely". Mark Schultz for Creative Loafing commented that the director "doesn’t cut us any slack during Amy’s death scene, drawing out the shots of Andrea wailing over her dying little sister as long as possible before pulling back to show the shock of the other survivors and, finally, the full extent of the carnage".
In "Wildfire", Andrea shoots her deceased sister Amy after she slowly resurrected into a walker. Greg Nicotero, the special effect director for The Walking Dead, made Bell wear contact lenses that were less harsh in appearance, as he wanted an emotional connection to resonate between the characters. Bell admitted that she was perplexed on how to approach the scene. "I laid down on the wood chips and just sort of stared at the sky and staring at my sister's face," explained Bell. "All of these thoughts and emotions started flooding in, so I was really lucky." Robert Kirkman commented on the sequence in which Andrea waited for Amy to return as a zombie: "It was honestly one of my favorite scenes of the show so far. Glen Mazzara, who wrote that episode, did an amazing job hyping the tension up. Laurie Holden did a great job and then Emma doing her zombie transformation — it was really cool." Leonard Pierce of The A.V. Club commented on the opening scene: "The scene where Amy reanimates slowly, with dead eyes and hands twitching purposelessly, with nothing left of her but hunger, is a real heartbreaker. Andrea deals with it the only way it can be dealt with, but it's an emotionally powerful moment, a tone-setter that reinforces how things might get better, but they don't get any easier."
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