|This article is about the Comic Series character. You may be looking for his TV Series counterpart.|
Julie - Daughter (Deceased)
Carol - Girlfriend (Deceased)
Michonne - Girlfriend
|First Appearance||Issue 7|
|Last Appearance||Issue 46 (Alive)|
Issue 49 (Zombified)
Issue 72 (Flashback)
Issue 75 (Bonus Ending)
|Death Issue||Issue 46|
Issue 49 (Zombified)
|Cause of Death||Decapitated by The Governor.|
|Series lifespan||#7 to #46|
#75 (Bonus Ending)
|The Governor decapitates Tyreese.|
Chad Coleman Gallery
Tyreese is a character first encountered in Issue 7 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. He is a prominent member of the survivors, and is additionally a central character within the series. Following the death of Shane, he fills the role of Rick's right-hand man. He is portrayed as a strong and charismatic survivor who often acts as a leader. When the group decides that the pressure of leading was too much for Rick alone, Tyreese became a member of the new committee along with Rick, Hershel and Dale and later a strong ally and good friend to Rick.
Tyreese was introduced early on in the series when he, his teenage daughter, Julie, and her boyfriend, Chris, joined Rick's group shortly after the latter began their journey away from Atlanta. The two groups had met while on the perilous road after Tyreese and the two teenagers left their previous shelter when they ran out of food and other supplies. Tyreese was a tall and muscular man, and his already apparent and impressive physique quickly proved essential for the demoralized Atlanta survivor group. He helped the group greatly in moving obstacles and clearing zombies on the road which would have normally have been a strain for the demoralized survivors. The group's wariness of a new member was quelled by his generally friendly, helpful and charismatic nature as well as his participation in whatever needed doing. A significant moment in his integration was saving a downed Rick in Wiltshire Estates; this swift act quickly gained Tyreese the trust of the group's burdened leader. These events also resulted in Tyreese taking up an evident leadership position alongside Rick, and the two would form a strong friendship that would last for the majority of his time in the series.
On The Road and Hershel's FarmEdit
Revealing himself to be a one-time NFL pro football player in the late 1990's (notably the Atlanta Falcons in 1998) (their only Superbowl appearance), Tyreese was much like Rick in many ways: strong (both physically and mentally), a devastatingly effective melee fighter (managing to kill more than ten zombies by himself), a stern but loving father, and a generally sensible person. He opened up to Rick and told him of the ordeals he had to go through while searching for supplies with Julie and Chris when the apocalypse had begun, and confided in his fear of how the world and its surviving people have changed, after the store owner of a shop he used to frequent before the apocalypse had attempted to rape Julie while they searched for supplies, and he was forced to kill him. Rick reassured him he did what had to be done, and their shared mentality of making the hard choices for the better proved to strengthen their shared friendship and leadership.
Despite Tyreese's many strengths, he did have his weaknesses. While travelling on the road he was revealed as a terrible marksman with any sort of firearm, and he was recognized for it despite several attempts from the other survivors to train him. Thus, his duties in relation to stopping zombie threats was regulated to up-close skirmishes, with his signature weapon being a hammer. It wasn't long until he established an interest and eventual relationship with Carol, who he had spent time alone with while staying at Wiltshire Estates and Hershel's Farm. In between their time on the road and at Hershel's Farm, Tyreese was shown to be wary of his daughter and her boyfriend's relationship after catching them in an intimate moment before escaping Wiltshire Estates and trying to be alone several times around the farm. He showed an extremely protective nature over Julie, but he ultimately only gained growing resentment from the reserved couple.
Tyreese was clearly established as an important and strong member of the survivors, and largely remained one of the least negatively affected up until their arrival at The Prison. He proved essential in clearing the majority of the zombies inside, along with Rick and Andrea, as well as in keeping the survivors safe and gathering supplies. He and Rick were responsible for finding the four convicts locked inside the cafeteria, and from there the group established a shared shelter with the four.
Tyreese's importance to the group was nearly compromised when Julie and Chris committed a double-pact suicide soon after settling in the Prison. Chris shot Julie too early, and Julie ended up reanimating as an undead zombie. Tyreese stumbled upon the scene and ended up in a rage after Chris shot the re-animated Julie in his arms; this ended in the brutal murder of Chris right in front of a shocked Rick, who had arrived to the scene only seconds earlier. This incident also was the first instance the group discovered the undead came back no matter what the cause of death, be it a bite or any mortal wound. Tyreese ended up mutilating Chris's body once Rick left, and burned the remains before anyone knew the next morning.
Even with Rick's support, Tyreese's capabilities were further hindered in a series of reckless bouts of rage against the undead. He volunteered to clear the Prison's gym with Andrea, Glenn, and Billy but ended up nearly being overrun by the zombie occupants after wading in carelessly. He was later found in the midst of corpses he mutilated in fury when Rick came back expecting to find his body. Tyreese later seemed to slowly recover with the support of mainly Rick and Carol, but the introduction of Michonne to the group would bring back his weaknesses, and caused the first major schism of the survivors. Due to his grieving of Julie and trauma of Allen's death, Tyreese was in a vulnerable position, and a mixture of emotional distress and sexual tension allowed him to be sexually seduced by Michonne, which Carol witnessed. Although he told Michonne that it was wrong for her to seduce him away from Carol, he did not object to her advances and did not tell Carol of his unfaithfulness. After she revealed she knew and they broke up, Rick and his friendship was tested to the brink when Rick forcibly had to step in the conflict when hearing of Carol's subsequent bodily abuse. Distraught and extremely overwhelmed by the entire situation, Tyreese brushed off his attempts to intervene and criticized Rick for hiding his intention and eventual execution of the accidental death of Dexter from the rest of the group. When Rick brought up Julie's death in anger, the physically imposing Tyreese ended up brutally beating him up to the point where Rick fell several floors down the Prison block, unconscious.
The collapse of their friendship proved significantly costly for the rest of the survivors, as their joint co-operation was awkward initially. However, as months passed and the group settled into the Prison, Tyreese still acted for the group as actively as he did previously. He eventually continued a sexual relationship with Michonne. Their feelings developed into genuine mutual affection, but when Tyreese pressed a discussion about how much he needed her while having sex, Michonne aggressively told him to keep their relationship focused on the sexual elements.
Much later on when the helicopter crashed, the three-day disappearance of Rick, Glenn, and Michonne caused Tyreese to act as the remaining survivor's leader. He worried about the missing trio, and ended up donning the riot equipment and attempted to go out and find them himself, to no avail. This accidentally led a large group of zombies to overrun the Prison when the panicked survivors rushed to let Tyreese back in. Once Rick and company managed to get back to the Prison and find the rest of them, Tyreese ordered Rick to remain within the safety of the Prison walls, leading the rest to clear the zombies. This act showed he still cared for Rick as a leader and a friend, and re-established their previously long-running strained friendship.
Tyreese and Rick's newly recovered friendship was unfortunately never able to fully heal. Although the cooperation between them resurfaced, the conflict with Woodbury kept them too busy to re-coordinate their strategies and relationship. He and Andrea unofficially lead a small group of survivors to find the National Guard station the Woodbury survivors had been using to fuel their vehicles and ammo supplies. After they arrived back with the needed supplies, Tyreese was active on the frontline of fighting back the Woodbury Army in their initial assault. He and Michonne later faced the consequences of trying to strike back first. When the pair followed the recovering Woodbury Army in the surrounding forest, the encounter was too close and Tyreese was unfortunately captured and beaten badly by Gabe and his men. The Governor later attempted to use him as leverage against the remaining members within the Prison's walls to gain access, but Rick established the hard choice of leaving him to die so the rest of them could live. Tyreese remained vigilant to the end and did not give in to The Governor's attempted exchange, and he yelled desperately to the survivors not to negotiate. Eventually, The Governor, in rage, executed him in front of the survivors by beheading him grotesquely with Michonne's katana, much to the survivors' horror.
His decapitated head later reanimated, but he was eventually put to peace by a sorrowful Michonne.
Robert Kirkman wrote in the issue that Tyreese is decapitated:
- "Tyreese has been one of my favorite characters in the book for a long time. I'm just as sorry to see him go as, I'm sure, a lot of you reading this are...While some deaths in this series are very spur of the moment actions that I try not to think through (because it makes things more spontaneous, like real life) Tyreese's death has been planned almost since his introduction. It's always been something I've known about and have been working toward. It will have great impact on the series and well, frankly...nobody lives forever in this book."
- "So these things will continue to happen for the duration of the series. Characters have to die...that's just how the book works. So while I will miss Tyreese, I have the luxury of knowing what's ahead for the rest of the crew in this book, and so I know things will be okay."
- "So, uh...don't flip out."
This list shows the victims Tyreese has killed:
- Chris (Alive & Zombified)
- Jim Bridges
- Numerous counts of zombies and at least one unnamed man.
Characteristics and RoleEdit
Tyreese was a central figure within the survivor group. Shortly after his introduction, it was clear his traits and skills were on par with Rick. He was a physically strong, able-bodied man, able to hold his own against any zombie threats that the group encountered. His strength with his hammer and his stamina was recognized, and Rick often specifically requested his assistance in clearing out the undead. He was also a friendly, approachable man, genuinely caring about the well-being of the entire group, and he actively volunteered to help and defend them. He was shown as a stern but loving father, caring deeply for Julie's safety and wary of Chris's irresponsibility.
Although his weaknesses weren't as exposed as other characters, they were highlighted. While travelling on the road he was revealed as a terrible shot with any firearm, which Andrea often mocked him for. He focused instead on being primarily a melee fighter. He also had trouble controlling his emotions, such as when he killed Chris after he killed the undead Julie despite Chris's actions clearly saving Tyreese's life. Another instance was when Rick later confronted him about Carol and he engaged in a bloody brawl with the former. He showed the most emotional vulnerability when tempted with the sexual advances of Michonne; this resulted in the first major conflict against Rick that affected the entire survivor group and their opinions.
His tragic death clearly had a significant impact on the survivors; not just emotionally, but practically. As Tyreese often took the initiative as a secondary leader and was one of the more physically strong defenders, the remaining members of the group who survived the attack of The Governor had more difficulty adapting to the dangers and obstacles when back on the road. It was only with the introduction of Abraham Ford that someone filled the power void Tyreese's death created.
His role as a strong defender of the group and generally righteous man has had an lasting impression. Glenn is seen much later in the Alexandria Safe-Zone re-telling the story of Tyreese's miraculous survival in The Prison gym to the community locals, and admiration and respect is evident in his reminiscing.
Much later after the destruction of The Prison, 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.
| This relationship section needs a lot of work. |
You can help the Walking Dead Wiki by expanding it.
Tyreese and Rick formed a close friendship on the road almost immediately. Being physically adept, he saved Rick many a time from the constant zombie threats they encountered, and always helped the group to the best of his ability. A significant point was when he saved a downed Rick in Wiltshire Estates, which helped him gain Rick and the rest of the group's trust. Tyreese also shared many traits and interests with Rick, such as football, and the two were regularly seen conversing. Tyreese's characteristics and reliability quickly solidified Rick's respect and trust in him. This also resulted in an unstated, but obvious leadership position alongside Rick. Tyreese was actively involved and regularly sought for opinion on the next course of action by much of the survivor group, and was evidently trusted with unofficial leadership of the group that traveled to the Army station for supplies. Even though they had a major turning point with the incident involving Carol and Dexter respectively, Tyreese and Rick regained respect for each other before the former's untimely death.
Tyreese took care of Carl multiple times during Rick's absence or when Rick was busy, such as when Rick chased down Caesar Martinez after Martinez fled from the Prison. Being a father himself, Tyreese often assured the distraught and confused young boy that Rick frequently left Carl and Lori not because he did not love them, but because he was a great leader and loved them immensely, and wanted to keep everyone safe as his main priority. His kindness is remembered fondly by Carl, whom specifically names Tyreese when he speaks about people he misses when awaking from his later coma.
Being his daughter, Julie was naturally one of the most important people to Tyreese. Not much was shown of their relationship as she was mostly with Chris or in the R.V. while he dealt with the issues the group had to face. However, he showed he was extremely protective of her and cared for her greatly. Julie's death severely overwhelmed Tyreese, and tested his emotional stability. Although he claimed that he was fine; later on he lost control and attacked a large group of zombies. He later tells Rick that he is somewhat happy that she is gone, because she doesn't have to deal with the 'bullshit' that they do.
The pair established a romantic relationship after Tyreese's introduction to the group. He often acted as an emotional protector as well as a physical one for the more vulnerable Carol, before their abrupt and costly break-up. After Carol was bitten, Tyreese was shown to still have some lingering feelings towards her as he was the first to reach her and cried as she lay on the ground dying.
Donna really appreciated Tyreese's contributions to the group and complimented Tyreese on the behavior of his daughter, Julie.
- "Tyreese, shut up. Don't fuck up whatever it is we have between us by talking about it."
- —Michonne to Tyreese.[src]
Tyreese and Michonne eventually formed a romantic/sexual relationship on the basis of mutual need despite the beginning of their relationship being rife with controversy and trouble. Tyreese needed Michonne more for emotional comfort and Michonne needed him to just have someone. Despite this, genuine mutual affection was established, though they never got to develop upon it. The pair had worked closely together in the fight against zombies and Woodbury up until their failed retaliation attempt in the forest surrounding the Prison. Tyreese's death left Michonne deeply saddened.
The two weren't shown to interact much until half-way through their time at The Prison. Their mutual leadership skills, fitness, and interest in sport, as well as their generally sociable nature allowed the pair to be close friends. A strong trust between the two was displayed, such as when Andrea requested Tyreese help make the crutch gifts for the wounded (and wrongly jealous) Dale. Andrea also regularly teased Tyreese about his inability to accurately fire a gun. The two worked closely together on several occasions, such as the initial clearing of zombies within the Prison and their joint unofficial leadership of the supply-run on Woodbury's Military center.
The pair formed a close-working relationship and were on friendly terms, evident by their frequent co-operation in the zombie clearings and their private talks while guarding the Prison at night. Tyreese considered Axel enough of a friend to confide in him about his fears for Michonne when she returned from Woodbury, and his regret in ruining his relationship with Carol.
Tyreese seemed friendly towards Chris but was always wary of what Chris and Julie were up too. Tyreese walked in on Julie and Chris about to have sex several times, furiously asking them if they wanted to be in the same situation that Rick and Lori were in. At the prison, Julie and Chris had sex late one night and had planned to shoot each other immediately afterward in a suicide pact but Chris pulled the trigger too fast and accidentally killed Julie. Tyreese heard the gunshot and ran in and held Julie in his arms weeping; he immediately roared at Chris asking him what has he done. When Julie came back as a walker, Tyreese tried talking to it, seeing it as a way for his daughter to come back since she wasn't bitten but Chris knew it would not work and shot her to put her out off her misery. Tyreese saw it as Chris killing his daughter twice. Immediately Tyreese attacked and strangled Chris, and when Chris came back Tyreese told Rick he killed Chris again but slower and he enjoyed every second of it which again shows that Tyreese hated him for killing his daughter.
- Tyreese's group is the only group where all of its members reanimated as zombies at some point.
- Tyreese is one of the many amputees in The Walking Dead. For other victims, see Amputated Victims.
- Tyreese managed to have his head decapitated by Brian Blake.
- Tyreese is afraid of the dark, suffering from Achluophobia. 
- Tyreese is one of the few main Comic Series characters, along with Andrea, Glenn, and Michonne, that have not revealed their last name.
- In the list of action figures expected to be released, Tyreese's last name is mentioned to be "Williams".
- Tyreese is featured in the Tyreese Special, which reveals the origin of his hammer.
- Tyreese is one of the few characters Robert Kirkman misses and regrets killing.
- Tyreese revealed that he was a fan of the Minnesota Vikings football team.
- Glenn's death is very similar to Tyreese's as being executed in front of fellow survivors by a major antagonist.
- Also, they're the only two characters of the Comic Series to get executed.
- However, Tyreese was able to reanimate, while Glenn suffered massive trauma to the head.
- Tyreese's introduction was a sudden decision unlike most events in the Comic Series, stated by Kirkman in the Letter Hacks.
- Tyreese is the first member of Rick's group to be killed by The Governor.
- Tyreese's death is similar to Hershel's death in the TV Series. Both were decapitated by The Governor with Michonne's sword in front of the prison after Rick refused to surrender the prison to the Governor and his group.