In 'The Walking Dead' Comics, Tyreese Is Very Different From His Character on the Show
The second half of The Walking Dead's fourth season has been very different from any other part of the series. Following the Governor's attack on the prison, Rick and the rest of the group we've been following have been split up, so we only get to see a few characters per episode. Based on the previews, it seems that this week's episode "The Grove" will bring us back to Tyreese, Carol, Lizzie, Mika and Judith. This new structure has allowed us to get to know the smaller characters better, so what can we expect for Tyreese in this episode and beyond? The Walking Dead comic series offers a few clues.
Even though they are both characters from the comic source material, Tyreese differs from Glenn, because his TV arc is already extremely distinct from his comic storylines. This also means that it's harder to use the comic to predict exactly what will come next, however there is still plenty of material for fans, and the show's writers, to mine from.
Tyreese's basic backstory was changed for his introduction to The Walking Dead TV series. While on the show he was with his sister Sasha and a few other people, in the comics he traveled with his daughter and her boyfriend, both of whom eventually die (in a very complicated storyline). Of course TV's Tyreese has still suffered a loss, as a woman from his group was bitten by a zombie when we first meet him and later Karen, who he had a romantic relationship with, is killed by Carol in an effort to stop a virus from spreading.
His relationships are also very different on the show compared to the comics, but that could change. In the comics, Tyreese and Rick become very close friends, and Tyreese is almost a second leader to the group, as well as an important figure for Carl. Currently, that role seems to be served more by Michonne, though if the group is eventually reunited at the mysterious Terminus, such roles could easily change.
As for romantic relationships, this is where the show is most likely to begin mirroring the comics, just later in the overall stroyline. Soon after Tyreese's introduction, while the group is still in the prison, he begins a relationship with Carol. Sure, on TV they're already out of the prison, but Tyreese and Carol have been thrown together on the road into a pseudo-family, caring for three children together. It wouldn't be surprising if by the end of the season, they became a couple.
Of course this is The Walking Dead and since the comics are even more gruesome than the show, Tyreese and Carol don't get a happy ending. First Tyreese cheats on Carol with Michonne, leading to their breakup and Tyreese's relationship with Michonne. Eventually, Carol commits suicide. If the groups do merge again, it is possible for the romantic drama to occur, though as of right now, it seems doubtful Carol will commit suicide. The comic Carol is very different from TV's version, who is a much stronger, more independent woman with a proven strong will to survive.
Then there's his death. Yes, Tyreese dies in the comics, but that actually doesn't mean fans should be worried for his fate on the TV series. Just before the Governor attacks the prison, he holds Tyreese hostage and when Rick doesn't give the prison up, he decapitates Tyreese in front of the group. Sound familiar?
On the show, that is exactly what happened to Hershel. In the comics, Hershel also dies during the attack on the prison, but in a different way.The fact that Hershel seemed to completely replace Tyreese in this story, right down to Michonne later finding his zombie head and killing him, means that Tyreese is probably safe—at least for a while. The show was able to deliver that same image with strong emotional impact (Hershel's daughters are watching, after all), while letting Tyreese survive. That certainly wasn't an accident.
The differences between comic and TV Tyreese suggest that his major storylines are just occurring later on. Give Tyreese a chance to date Carol and Michonne and buddy up to Rick. Once all that happens, then you should be concerned. He may have survived the prison, that doesn't mean he'll really survive The Walking Dead.