Please do not read any further if you are not up to the mid season finale of The Walking Dead’s fifth season.
There’s no denying that Beth Greene was quite the wallflower when she was introduced to us in the second season of The Walking Dead. The blue eyed farmer’s daughter was treated as an extra body at best and unmemorable at worst in her first few appearances. There was no way of knowing back then the journey a modern young girl would take into becoming an able bodied survivor at the end of the world. As time wore on viewers found Beth serenading her way into their hearts like the little song bird she was. These are the three reasons that you should miss Beth Greene.
Her Optimism – While Beth had made an argument in season four that she wasn’t as strong as her sister Maggie, friend Carol, or the sword wielding Michonne, she was stronger in a radically different way. Beth was a positive ray of sunshine even in the days after watching her father get decapitated at the hands of The Governor. Whether it was her religious fate or family background, Beth Greene believed and she believed strongly. Believed in what you ask? Whatever was necessary to carry herself through. After being faced with the gruesome reality of just how cruel people could be in the new world Beth was still willing to leave a note in an abandoned building thanking whoever may be coming home for sharing their rations.
She was relatable – We all like to think that we’ll be a Michonne or Daryl at the end of the world. If we’re being honest with ourselves, many of us will be lucky if we last long enough to be a Eugene. At the closure of her story arc, Beth was a character that many people could find themselves identifying with. Someone who looked every bit like she was an easy target and used that to her advantage when left on her own. She didn’t start off dealing with the apocalypse well though she adapted and grew into the person she needed to be. Being so young at the start of things, Beth didn’t have a trade skill that benefited the group. Instead she adopted a mission based mentality and used her love of the arts to kept morale high. Beth could quite easily be any one of us, man, woman, or child. A gentle soul by nature who is forced to shelf that tendency when called upon. All in the name of getting the job done.
Strong female character -The most compelling part of Beth’s journey is that she stayed true to her core values and demanded that others open themselves up to doing the same. She wasn’t the obvious bet to make it any further than that over run farm, but she surprised everyone by becoming an in-expendable asset at varied points. It’s been argued in online forums that she was little more than a baby sitter during the group’s time at the prison. However, anyone who’s had to watch an infant for a day can tell you that she by no means had the easiest job! Beth persevered through the deaths of loved ones, separation from her home, and being stuck in a shack with a drunk Daryl Dixon pissing on the walls. She learned how to track and defend herself because she didn’t want to settle with being a burden. More importantly Beth was unrelenting in her quest to not become a victim of circumstance.
Beth Greene’s demise was a loss for the show and its fan base. Somewhere along the line she had become the ever ill-fated morale compass of the group. A role that has long since been deemed the kiss of death among seasoned viewers. However, for those that may have not been sold on Beth’s charming personality before she exited consider giving last season up until now a re-watch with these points in mind.
I’d like to take this moment to tip my hat at Emily Kinney for doing such an amazing job portraying her character. I look forward to seeing what long lasting ripple effects Beth leaves within The Walking Dead lore.