Andrea (The Walking Dead)
|The Walking Dead (comic book)
The Walking Dead (TV series) character
Andrea as portrayed by Laurie Holden in the television series (left) and in the comic book series (right).
"Issue #2" (2003)
"Guts" (1.02) (2010)
"Welcome to the Tombs" (episode 3.16) (2013)
|Created by||Robert Kirkman
|Portrayed by||Laurie Holden|
|Occupation||Law firm clerk (comics)
Civil rights attorney (TV series)
Ben and Billy (adoptive sons with Dale)
Carl Grimes (adoptive son with Rick)
Andrea is a fictional character from the comic book series The Walking Dead and is portrayed by Laurie Holden in the American television series of the same name. The character was created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore, and debuted in The Walking Dead #2 in 2003. In both mediums, she is among a group of survivors stationed near Atlanta, Georgia and has a younger sister, Amy.
In the comic book series, Andrea is a 26-year-old law firm clerk who develops from an insecure and inexperienced young woman into a mature and hardened warrior, having killed more than any other character in the comic book series. She forms a relationship and raises a short-lived family with moral compass, Dale as she becomes the group's primary sharpshooter and later becomes a main instigator in a war against the infamous tyrant, Negan. During this event, her grief brings her closer to group leader, Rick Grimes, who she becomes romantically involved with thereafter and becomes a surrogate mother to Carl who even begun referring to her as "mom". She is currently one of the comic book's longest living characters.
In the television series, Andrea is ten years older, and a former successful civil rights attorney who forms a good relationship with moral center, Dale Horvath. Her grief over her sister's loss causes her to attempt suicide. Robert Kirkman assured that this would initiate her transformation into the "fearless sharpshooter", mirroring her comic book counterpart, although the character's motivations shift after other significant changes advance the story. In the series' third season, the direction of the character drastically changes even further and her primary story arc involves the character being caught in the conflict between Rick Grimes and The Governor.
For her performance as Andrea, Holden received favorable reviews, although the character's story arc in the third season was not well-received. She was nominated for several awards including the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television in 2010. She would later win the award in 2013.
Comic book series
Andrea is introduced in issue two of The Walking Dead as a survivor of the zombie apocalypse. A former file clerk, Andrea is a head-strong and independent young woman beginning to find her place in the world. During the initial stages of the outbreak, she and her younger sister Amy are getting back from a road trip and heading towards Amy's college, when they are stranded and eventually picked up by fellow survivor Dale Horvath. They set up camp together on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, where they are soon joined by other survivors. The group members learn to handle guns, and Andrea discovers that she is an excellent marksman.[volume & issue needed] When zombies invade the camp, Amy is bitten. A distraught Andrea shoots her sister to ensure that she does not return as a zombie. The group moves on, first to a gated community where Andrea and Dale engage in sex and thus begin a relationship.[volume & issue needed] Following their desertion from the community, they end up at a farm, where they enjoy temporary peace.[volume & issue needed] While there, Andrea makes continued failed attempts at consoling Allen and is concerned for the well-being of his children.[volume & issue needed] No sooner after their arrival are they ousted from the farm by Hershel,[volume & issue needed] and soon afterward while on the road she and Dale discover a path leading to a prison facility.[volume & issue needed]
Andrea takes part in the clearing out of the prison, and when settling in, takes it upon herself to do others' laundry, among other household-like tasks. In addition to this, she discovers prison uniforms for the group to swap with their old clothes, and tests her sewing skills to make sure everyone has the appropriate length.[volume & issue needed] One of the surviving inmates attacks Andrea, intent on beheading her. She manages to escape, but her earlobe is partially severed and she receives a facial scar. Dale and Andrea discuss the possibility of leaving the group, but ultimately stay.[volume & issue needed] They become surrogate parents to twins Billy and Ben when their father Allen is bitten by a zombie and dies.
The prison's existence is discovered by the Governor – the leader of Woodbury, a nearby town of survivors. Andrea teaches other group members to shoot to prepare them to defend the prison, and joins an expedition led by fellow group member Tyreese to a nearby National Guard station, so as to increase their arsenal of weapons.[volume & issue needed] Upon their return, Andrea discovers that Dale has been bitten on the calf by a zombie. She hurries him to the infirmary, where Rick Grimes, the groups' leader, cuts off his leg to save his life. Dale becomes jealous when Andrea begins spending increased amounts of time with group member Tyreese, until she reveals that Tyreese was helping her make a wooden leg and crutches for Dale.
When the Governor launches an attack on the prison, Andrea serves as a sniper and kills many of their attackers, though she is grazed by a bullet and receives a second facial scar. The Woodbury group retreats, and Dale convinces Andrea to leave the prison with him and the twins.[volume & issue needed] When the prison is attacked for a second time, Andrea returns alone and again kills a number of the Woodbury group.
The prison survivors reunite back at the farm, where they meet a new group and decide to travel with them to Washington, D.C..[volume & issue needed] En route, Dale attempts to convince Andrea to again break from the group and start a new life with Billy and Ben in an abandoned farmhouse. Andrea displays reluctance, and the suggestion becomes moot with the arrival of a herd of zombies.[volume & issue needed] While on the road again, Ben murders Billy, seemingly unaware of the gravity of his actions.[volume & issue needed] The group discuss killing him, and Dale suggests that the three of them leave together, but that night, Rick's son Carl shoots Ben.[volume & issue needed] Andrea is distraught, even more so when Dale disappears. She admits to Rick that she fears Dale never knew of her genuine love for him.[volume & issue needed] Dale is later returned to the group missing his second leg, which has been eaten by cannibals.[volume & issue needed] He reveals that he is dying, as he had been bitten by a zombie and left during the night to spare Andrea the pain of his death.[volume & issue needed] She, Rick, Michonne and Abraham hunt down and murder the cannibals.[volume & issue needed] She tells Dale how much she loves him, and is with him when he dies. As with Amy, she shoots him to stop him from turning into a zombie.
On the outskirts of Washington, the group are recruited by a scout for a nearby safe zone, Alexandria. Andrea becomes the town's look-out. Although she is pessimistic as to how long their safety will last, she attempts to discourage Rick from challenging the safe zone's hierarchy. She rebuffs the romantic advances of the zone's leader, Douglas. While she later shares a series of flirtations with his son, Spencer, that culminates in their almost kissing, she terminates their fledgling relationship when he suggests they abandon the zone while the other inhabitants are under attack by zombies.[volume & issue needed]
Andrea gradually begins to develop feelings for Rick. They share a kiss, but he rebuffs her, with the explanation that everyone he cares about dies, and he does not want to lose her. She attempts to convince him that their shared experiences make them uniquely compatible, and insists on joining him in his journey to a neighboring safe zone, to demonstrate that he need not worry about her safety. The two eventually have sex and begin a romantic relationship.[volume & issue needed] When the hostile outside group they met while returning from the safe zone eventually locates them and tries to break into the community, taking Abraham's life in the process, Andrea and Rick find themselves within the situation, unsure of what their group's next move should be.[volume & issue needed] As Rick and others leave to get supplies from the Hilltop for the upcoming war, Andrea is left to manage the community's security.[volume & issue needed] The Saviors plan to attack the community in a matter of hours.[volume & issue needed]
The attack is rebuffed, with most of the opposing force being slain.[volume & issue needed] The Saviors, angry at this and other losses, ambush and subdue Rick's group. As 'punishment', Glenn is singled out and beaten to death by their leader, Negan. Rick seemingly surrenders to the Saviors, allowing them to enter and take half of his people's supplies.[volume & issue needed] Andrea is furious and wishes to leave. Rick convinces her he has a plan to secretly fight the Saviors and she stays.
After the two year time jump, Andrea is still living with Rick and Carl.[volume & issue needed] Carl even refers to her as 'mom' now.[volume & issue needed] She helps explain to Magna and the newcomers about what has happened to the group during the series.[volume & issue needed]
- Season 1
Andrea is twelve years older than her sister Amy (Emma Bell). On a supply run in Atlanta, she meets Rick (Andrew Lincoln) as they are trapped in a department store. The group are saved by Rick as well as Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and make it back to their camp where Andrea is reunited with her sister. However, the sisters' reunion is short lived when the camp is overrun with zombies and Amy is bitten. Andrea holds her dead sister for hours until she reanimates, then shoots her. The group leave the camp and take shelter at the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which is set to explode when the power runs out. A depressed Andrea elects to stay behind and die. Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) attempts to convince her to leave and resolves to stay with her when she refuses. Unwilling to be responsible for his death, Andrea changes her mind, and the two escape with moments to spare.
- Season 2
Andrea is angry with Dale for denying her the choice to die. This intensifies when he agrees with Rick and Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) that only those who have been trained should be allowed firearms and later confiscates her father's gun. She later approaches Shane and asks to go with him should he leave the group. She continues to search for the now missing Sophia Peletier. Dale returns Andrea's gun, but asks her not to give him cause to regret it. The group later sets up camp at Hershel's farm. While keeping watch, Andrea mistakes Daryl (Norman Reedus) for a walker and grazes him with a bullet. Later, Shane helps her improve her shooting skills. The two form a close bond and have sex on their way back from a successful scouting mission. Dale picks up on the implication of Andrea and Shane's sexual encounter and eventually expresses his distrust of Shane, to which Andrea insists that he has done more for the group than Rick. Shane breaks open the barn where Hershel was keeping walkers, and Andrea helps execute the zombies as they come out one by one. Dale later argues with Andrea and T-Dog about the appropriateness of Shane's actions. Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) confronts Andrea about her contributions to the group, suggesting that her time would be better spent cooking and doing laundry than taking watch. Further conflict arises when Andrea leaves alone Beth Greene (Emily Kinney), Hershel's suicidal daughter and gives her the chance to die should she wish to. Andrea, who was hoping that being left by herself would make Beth realize that she did not actually want to die, is pleased when she hears that Beth has only shallowly cut her wrist. Andrea however is then banned from the farmhouse by Beth's sister, Maggie (Lauren Cohan). When Dale tries to gain support to halt the execution of the newcomer Randall (Michael Zegen), Andrea is initially reluctant but eventually concedes that they should look for a different solution to keep the group safe. She sobs over Dale's body as he succumbs to a fatal walker-inflicted wound and is shot in the head by Daryl as a mercy kill. As walkers overrun the farm and Andrea is separated from the group, with them now believing her to be dead. She runs through the forest until morning, and confronts walkers with melee attacks. As one walker is about to attack her, she is saved by Michonne (Danai Gurira).
- Season 3
Andrea and Michonne are kidnapped by a group led by Merle from a nearby town called Woodbury, run by the Governor (David Morrissey). Andrea, having been severely ill after spending eight months on the road, embraces the town's sense of community which Michonne resists, suspicious of The Governor and his leadership. Andrea also tells Merle about Hershel's Farm. After Michonne ultimately decides to leave alone, Andrea becomes a close confidant of the Governor as they bond, and they begin a sexual relationship. She begins contributing as she assists Milton (Dallas Roberts) in a memory experiment with a man who dies and then becomes a walker. Soon, she finds herself interrupting Michonne who is about to kill the Governor. She holds her at gunpoint and forces her to flee. Later, Andrea watches in horror as the Governor forces Merle - who had lied to the Governor when he claimed he had killed Michonne - to fight his brother Daryl to the death. The Dixon brothers' fight is broken up when members of Rick's group attack Woodbury to rescue the brothers. Andrea realizes The Governor had kept knowledge of her friends' presence in the town a secret while sleeping with her. She asks the Governor to calm the townspeople, and when he refuses she instead gives an inspirational speech about rebuilding. The Governor compliments Andrea on her speech, but he secretly tells Milton to keep tabs on her. She later asks the Governor to allow her to negotiate for peace with the prison group but he refuses; he instead tells Milton to help her escape and find the prison. She receives an unwelcome visit inside the prison by Rick and his group after an assault on the compound, and learns of several group members' fates after she left. She refuses to help them sneak inside Woodbury for a sneak attack. Carol suggests that she assassinate the Governor; that night, after returning to Woodbury, Andrea stands over the sleeping Governor with a knife for a moment but cannot bring herself to kill him. Rick and the Governor meet to discuss terms, and when Andrea tries to join the discussion they both dismiss her. When impulsively deciding to leave Woodbury and return to the prison, she is chased and later kidnapped by The Governor, who locks her in a torture chamber. The Governor attempts to have Milton kill Andrea, but The Governor instead kills Milton when Milton tries to attack him. The Governor then locks the two in the room so that a zombified Milton can kill Andrea. She manages to get loose from her handcuffs by using pliers Milton dropped, and although managing to kill him, the zombie Milton still bites her on the neck. Andrea is later found by Daryl, Rick, Michonne, Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman), and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and she opts to kill herself. Rick hands her his gun as a tearful Michonne stays behind with her.
Andrea is portrayed by Laurie Holden (The X-Files, The Shield, Silent Hill), who was cast as part of the series in 2010. Prior to the show, Holden had been in two of Frank Darabont's films, The Majestic (2001) and The Mist (2007); in the latter she starred with three other Walking Dead cast members (Melissa McBride, Juan Gabriel Pareja and Jeffrey DeMunn). Soon after being cast, she read through the comics to analyze and get a definite understanding of Andrea's character. She acknowledged her enjoyment of having a much more physical role than on some of her other past projects, as well as her excitement towards having her character gradually become a warrior like in the comics.
Andrea, as she appears in the comic series, is described by The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd as "a key member of the survivor group who has a proficiency with a sniper rifle and falls for a man twice her age." In the television series, she attempts suicide at the end of the first season, but Dale talks her out of this. Comic creator Robert Kirkman explained that her ensuing desire to protect herself would begin her evolution into her comic counterpart, "the fearless sharpshooter". On television, Andrea's motivation shifts following Dale's death. Holden allowed the event to color her portrayal, and for the remainder of season two, before each scene she filmed, she thought "Andrea, you must honor Dale." She explained that "every move that Andrea makes from that point forward is about honoring Dale, and that means being a leader, having a stronger moral compass, being compassionate and really lending her hand more so than she would have before." Showrunner Glen Mazzara deemed Andrea the only character who could "hold [her] head up" after Dale's death, as she alone supported him against killing Randall and is "the one person who feels that she stood by him at the end."
In the comic series, Andrea has a physical relationship with Dale. Holden was surprised to discover this while researching her role, but in March 2011, stated her intention to "honor the relationship well". However, Mazzara and Kirkman decided not to incorporate the relationship into the television series, and Dale was killed much sooner in the television series than he was in the comics. Holden was dismayed by his departure; she commented that she "love[d] the Dale-Andrea dynamic and ... felt like [they] had so much more story to explore together". For Kirkman, the effect of Dale's death on the continuing plot was worth sacrificing their relationship. He expressed his approval of the differences between the series and its source material, and advised viewers interested in the relationship storyline to read the comics.
Also in the comics, Andrea and Rick eventually become romantically involved within their time at the Alexandria Safe-Zone community.[volume & issue needed] Their relationship, while genuine and affectionate, was initially shown to be strained, as Rick struggled to get over the deaths of his past lovers and Andrea found herself constantly at odds with some of Rick's decisions in life-threatening matters. Later, especially near the end of the war and two years later, Andrea and Rick's relationship is very intimate and close, as Carl looks to Andrea as a maternal figure, referring to her "mom".
Though Shane dies in the comics before the group reaches the farm, he remains alive longer in the television series. This resulted in alterations to the ensuing plot, including the creation of a relationship between Andrea and Shane. In season three, Andrea begins flirting with the Governor, the leader of a town she and Michonne are staying at, before she enters into a full-fledged romantic/sexual relationship with him.
Television series response
Holden's performance as Andrea was well-received, particularly in the first and second seasons. Her character's role in the third season, however, was often criticized by critics and fans alike. Many praised the sisterly bond between Andrea and her sister, Amy (Emma Bell), her relationship with Dale and Andrea's grieving process and transformation into a skilled fighter by the end of the second season. For her performance in the first season, in 2011, Holden received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress on Television for her portrayal of Andrea. Her portrayal as Andrea in "TS-19" was particularly well received by MTV's Josh Wigler, who said she "delivered great character work." Similarly, Alan Sepinwall of HitFix ultimately cited the performance of Laurie Holden as an episode highlight.
For her performance in the second season, she was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Scream Award. For the season 2 premiere "What Lies Ahead", Derek Boeckelmann of the Daily Nexus praised the performance of Holden, saying that she "continues to be the strongest of the show’s players, consistently putting forth exceptional performances as the grieving Andrea." Critics applauded the growing relationship between Andrea and Shane in the episode "Secrets". Despite describing them as an "unlikely pairing", Scott Meslow of The Atlantic asserted that it was superior to the storyline between Andrea and Dale. "There's something to be said for the occasional post-apocalyptic tryst, which allows two characters who've experienced almost nothing but misery to have, even for a moment, something that resembles joy," he articulated. Meslow retorted that it was wise to underplay the tryst between Shane and Andrea, which he predicted would not lead to anything serious. The character development of Andrea produced uniform praise among critics in the season 2 finale, "Beside the Dying Fire". Writing for Paste, Josh Jackson felt that it served as the episode's highlight, and further assessed that she emulated actress Linda Hamilton. "After a season of whining, there had to have been at least a few fans pulling for the walkers in her early scenes, but she quickly became Linda Hamilton-badass, braining zombies with her foot," he said. Likewise, Kine asserted that "the badass she has tried so hard to convince us all she is finally came across." Ryan thought that Andrea's struggle to survive was a strong way to build up the exodus of the group. She spoke of her scene with Michonne: "She'd fought so hard to live that I wanted Andrea to fend off that final batch of walkers successfully. When it appeared she might not live, I was, quite rightly, on the edge of my seat. And the appearance of the caped figure—towing two armless walkers, no less—was as dramatic as could be.".
Andrea's role in the third season is a significant departure from the comic book series. In comparison to previous seasons, her role was criticized and garnered generally negative critiques. Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly commented negatively on Andrea's actions and her relationship with The Governor, invented for the show, saying: "The characters on Walking Dead appear stuck in their tracks, reliving the same traumas over and over. Will Andrea fall for next season's villain, too?" Entertainment Weekly later included Andrea in their list of "21 Most Annoying TV Characters Ever". Zack Handlen, writing for The A.V. Club felt that the climax of "I Ain't a Judas" didn't strengthen the sense of who Andrea is, and called the character "problematic" and "a mess", which "only becomes more obvious when she’s asked to serve as the center of some kind of ongoing moral crisis." He then speculated whether "the horrible scripting" was responsible. Eric Goldman for IGN disliked the episode because it was Andrea-centric, a character he disliked particularly in the third season.
Andrea's death received a polarized reaction. For "Welcome to the Tombs", IGN writer Eric Goldman disliked that the finale rested its dramatic conclusion on Andrea's death. AV Club writer Zack Handlen said that Andrea would be "missed less" than Milton. Erik Kain of Forbes.com said that "Finally, Andrea is dead. I know this is something I’ve wished for all season, but it almost felt cheap at the end." Conversely, Josh Jackson, writing for Paste called the death "a heartbreaking end for the woman who tried to make piece [sic] between the two gangs of survivors." Despite the negative reception Andrea received for the third season, Holden was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work on The Walking Dead in 2013, and won.
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