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The Walking Dead character
Tyreese (Comics).jpg
Tyreese, as depicted in the comic book series. Art by Charlie Adlard.
First appearance Issue #7 (comics)
"Made to Suffer" (TV series)
Last appearance Issue #46 (Alive) (comics)
Issue #49 (Undead) (comics)
Issue #72 (Flashback) (comics)
Issue #75 (Bonus Ending) (comics)
Created by Robert Kirkman
Tony Moore
Charlie Adlard
Portrayed by Chad Coleman
Occupation NFL linebacker
Car salesman
Family Daughter: Julie (comic series)
Sister: Sasha (TV series)
Significant other(s) Carol Peletier (comics)
Michonne (comics)
Karen (TV series)

Tyreese is a fictional character from the comic book series The Walking Dead and is portrayed by Chad Coleman in the third season of American television series of the same name. In the comics, he is shown to be a devoted father as well as an able-bodied fighter and leadership figure to those around him. However, he is also a very flawed individual, suffering from emotional fragility.

Character background[edit]

In the comics, Tyreese is described as having failed his brief stint in the NFL as a linebacker. Throughout the following years he went through a variety of unsatisfying jobs, such as being a bouncer and (up until the outbreak) a car salesman. He was a divorcé with a teenage daughter named Julie, over whom he had always remained fiercely protective. His relationship with Julie, however, was often strained because of the tension between him and Julie's boyfriend Chris.

Tyrese's stance on humanity is: one should live life to the fullest and appreciate all they have. Ever since losing his ex-girlfriend in high school to suicide, he has remained disgusted at the concept of suicide and looks down upon those who commit it.

He has a severe difficulty in aiming a gun and struggles to hit even close-range targets. Due to this, he uses a hammer as his primary weapon.


Comic book series[edit]

Tyreese, Julie, and Chris meet up with Rick's group on the highway as winter begins to approach.[1] He quickly becomes an essential asset to the group, providing them with muscle, as well as leadership qualities, which earned Rick's trust in him. Within a matter of days, he and Carol engaged in a subtle romantic relationship, with him often acting as her emotional and physical protector. He continually struggled putting up with Julie and Chris's sexual antics, and failed with his attempt to establish ground rules for the two of them. Shortly following their arrival at Wiltshire Estates, his relationship with Carol escalated and resulted in the two of them having sex.

After fleeing Wiltshire and settling into an abandoned prison, Tyreese had the misfortune of discovering Chris and Julie's failed suicide pact, with Julie having been shot dead and Chris still alive. In a fit of hysterics, Tyreese strangled the boy to death and mutilated his corpse. Surprisingly, he got over what had transpired rather quickly, much to Rick's confusion and concern. The two continued to have a strong relationship, with Tyreese often giving Rick guidance and assisting him with various physical things.

Upon the arrival of Michonne, Tyreese found himself seduced by her in the gym, and initially attempted to keep it hidden from Carol, unbeknownst to the fact that Carol had witnessed the event happen first-hand. After a few woeful attempts to compete with Michonne, Carol ended their relationship and forced him to move to another cell block, where he continued to see Michonne, albeit in vain because of his regret over losing Carol. Carol ultimately attempted to commit suicide by slashing her wrists, which soon after led to a violent altercation between him and Rick. This event marked the point where their close friendship was severed.

When the rest of the group decided Rick was unfit to lead following the fight, Tyreese was later was made part of the decision committee, along with Hershel and Dale. His relationship with Rick continued to be strained; however, the two still managed to cooperate and work with each other at various times. Within the time Rick was gone from the prison with Glenn and Michonne, Tyreese and Carl developed a close bond, with Carl looking at Tyreese almost as a surrogate father. In return, Tyreese was extremely protective over him, often reassuring Carl when he doubted Rick's leadership.

As the group prepared for war against Woodbury, Tyreese led a handful of people to a nearby National Guard station where Woodbury retrieved many of its supplies. They were nearly ambushed by The Governor's men.

Tyreese was devastated upon witnessing Carol kill herself in front of the group;[2] however, his grief quickly turned to anger and pity because of how he saw suicide as a pathetic act. Nevertheless, her death drove him deeper into the arms of Michonne. During the attack on the prison, he and Michonne attempted guerilla warfare, only to be ambushed in their attempt and Tyreese captured and taken as a hostage. The Governor planned to use him as leverage so as to gain access into the prison, however when this fails, Tyreese is slowly and brutally decapitated in front of the group.[3] In the aftermath of the assault, Michonne kills his re-animated head.

His role as a strong defender of the group and generally righteous man had an lasting impression on the survivors of the assault. Michonne sadly refers back to Tyreese when confiding in Rick about her loneliness, signifying he had more a lasting emotional impact upon the detached Michonne than she had previously led her fellow survivors to believe. Glenn recalled the story of his miraculous survival in the prison gym to several Alexandria citizens at the group's welcome party.

Television series[edit]

Season 3[edit]

Tyreese is introduced as being from Jacksonville, Florida, along with his sister Sasha (who is exclusive to the show). He and Sasha hid in a neighbor's underground bunker as the outbreak occurred, and then for a few months after that. Upon leaving the bunker and heading out on their own, they came across another group of survivors. Their camp was eventually overrun and the group gradually became smaller until it narrowed down to him, Sasha, and a family of three (Allen, Donna, and their teenage son Ben) surviving out in the woods.

In the episode "Made to Suffer", Tyreese and his group discover the prison and proceed to sneak in, through the exposed back side of one of the buildings. They are no sooner locked in a cell block by Carl, while Rick and others are away at Woodbury. Donna, having been bit in the woods, succumbs to her infection and dies, and Tyreese takes it upon himself to prevent reanimation by destroying her skull with his hammer. In the episode "The Suicide King", while in the process of burying Donna outside, Allen proposes ambushing the group and taking over, however Tyreese refutes the idea, acknowledging that despite the circumstances, they're 'good' people. Once Rick arrives back, his mental instability forces Tyreese and his group to clear out.

They stay nearby the prison in the woods and are eventually discovered in the episode "I Ain't a Judas", by Andrea and Milton, the latter of whom takes them to Woodbury. The Governor welcomes them with open arms, once they agree to provide a layout of the prison. In the episode "Prey", they are shown to have settled into the town, all four of them taking on active roles within the community. Tyreese and Sasha serve as the community's primary wall-guards. While they are on watch, Andrea reveals to them that the Governor has done terrible things and is planning worse, before she escapes over the wall. Tyreese is later taken to the Biter Pits to help collect captive walkers, and gets into a fight with Allen. He later asks the Governor why he keeps the walkers, but the Governor assures him that they are used only as a scare tactic.

In the episode "Welcome to the Tombs", Allen is recruited as part of The Governor's army for the war against Rick's group. The Governor attempts to recruit Tyreese and Sasha as well, however they want no involvement in the bloodshed and opt to stay behind with the women and children while the rest of the able-bodied go off to fight. Allen, as well as most other Woodbury citizens who went off to fight, are gunned down by The Governor after their raid fails. The lone survivor of the massacre, Karen, guides Rick's group to Woodbury, where Tyreese is keeping watch. He lets them all in, guides them to a room where they find Andrea bitten, and stands vigil outside the door while Andrea shoots herself. Awakened to The Governor's maliciousness and concerned for everyone's well-being, he and Rick agree on moving everyone to the prison.

Season 4[edit]

In the season premiere "30 Days Without an Accident", Tyreese is shown to have adapted to life in the prison and begins a romantic relationship with Karen. He goes with others on a supply run that turns deadly for a young man named Zach; upon returning to the prison he spends the night with Karen. In the episode "Infected", a mysterious deadly illness spreads through the prison. When he learns that Karen is sick, she and another survivor named David are quarantined by the prison's council. While going to visit her, he finds the she and David have been murdered and burnt. In the episode "Isolation", when Rick and Daryl attempt to calm him, he attacks them out of anger asking them to find who killed Karen. He finds out his sister Sasha is also sick and goes with Daryl, Michonne and Bob to find medicine. In the episode "Indifference, they get the supplies and return to the prison to treat the surviving patients. In the mid-season finale "Too Far Gone", Tyrese discovers a dissected rabbit in the tombs and tells Rick and Daryl he thinks it was the same person who killed Karen, but when they try to tell Tyreese who really killed Karen, they are interrupted as The Governor attacks the prison. Tyreese takes part in the fight with The Governor's group and he is cornered by two of the Governor's soldiers, but both are killed by Lizzie and Mika. The children then run towards the prison, with Tyreese following them, telling them to go the other way.

In the episode "Inmates", following the attack on the prison, Tyreese is split into a group with Lizzie, Mika and Judith where they are soon joined by Carol, who doesn't mention anything about her exile from the group by Rick. They follow a set of train tracks where they discover a sign indicating that a place called Terminus promises sanctuary and community. In the episode "The Grove", the group takes a break from following the train tracks to Terminus, and find a house in the middle of a pecan grove. Carol and Tyreese later return from a hunting trip to find that Lizzie had killed Mika and was about to kill Judith, thinking that everyone would understand that Mika was just a changed person after reanimating as a walker. Viewing Lizzie as too dangerous to be around other people, Carol and Tyreese discuss Lizzie's fate, and Carol is forced to shoot Lizzie in the head. Afterward, Tyreese learns that Carol was responsible for killing both Karen and David. She slides a gun across the table, telling Tyreese to do what he has to do. Tyreese refuses to kill her, saying that he forgives her, but he can't forget what she's done because it has now become a part of who she is. Tyreese, Judith and Carol leave the pecan grove and resume following the train tracks.


Tyreese, a fan favorite in the comics, was adapted to appear in the third season of the TV series when it returned from its midseason break.[4] Chad Coleman was seen in Senoia on set by fans and supposedly autographed photos with his character's name. On November 20, 2012, his role as Tyreese was officially confirmed.[5][6][7] Coleman described the character - "With Tyreese, I really feel the sky's the limit", and that he is "a bona fide leader that can probably find his footing in any situation".[8] Zack Handlen, writing for The A.V. Club, noted that his introduction in the episode "Made to Suffer" happened to occur in the same episode that Oscar - another African-American character - was fatally shot;[9] Forbes magazine's Erik Kain also noted that he was worried for Tyreese because it seemed to him like "black guys in The Walking Dead do not have an easy time staying alive".[10]

Eric Goldman at IGN enjoyed the return of Tyreese in the episode "I Ain't a Judas".[11] Zack Handlen felt that it was hard to blame Tyreese and his group for declaring their allegiance to the Governor over Rick, who seemed insane.[12]

Eric Goldman enjoyed the fact that Tyreese was fleshed out more in the episode "Prey".[13] Zack Handlen felt that most of the storyline for Tyreese in this episode was "on the clunky side, forcing conflicts that will most likely pay off down the line with rough, ugly timing".[14] He felt that it made sense for Tyreese and Sasha to start questioning the Governor's motivations because "they're still good people at heart, far more in tune with what Rick and his group are aiming for than the Governor's burgeoning fascism", but felt that the conflict between Tyreese and Allen made less sense because Allen was mostly unfamiliar as yet.[14]

An interview with Dallas Roberts (Milton) revealed that in the original, unaired ending, only Tyreese and one other character were to have found Andrea at the end of third season finale, "Welcome to the Tombs".[15]


  1. ^ The Walking Dead #7 (2004)
  2. ^ The Walking Dead #42 (2008)
  3. ^ The Walking Dead #48 (2008)
  4. ^ "Walking Tall". Style Weekly. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (November 20, 2012). "'Walking Dead': 'Wire' Alum to Play Fan Favorite Tyreese". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  6. ^ Jon Lachonis The Walking Dead Spoilers - Who Returns, and Who Arrives TVOvermind (November 19, 2012)
  7. ^ The Walking Dead Casts Wire Alum as Spoiler! TV Line (November 20, 2012)
  8. ^ "Q&A - Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese)". blogs.amctv.com. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ Handlen, Zack (December 2, 2012). "'Made to Suffer'". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  10. ^ Kain, Erik (December 3, 2012). "'The Walking Dead' Midseason Finale Review: Made To Suffer". Forbes. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  11. ^ Goldman, Eric (February 24, 2013). "The Walking Dead: "I Ain't a Judas" Review". IGN. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ Handlen, Zack (February 24, 2013). "I Ain't A Judas". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  13. ^ Goldman, Eric (March 17, 2013). "The Walking Dead: "Prey" Review". IGN. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Handlen, Zack (March 17, 2013). "Prey". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  15. ^ Dalton Ross (April 1, 2013). "'Walking Dead': Dallas Roberts talks about Milton's big moment and the original scenes with Andrea we DIDN'T see". Entertainment Weekly.