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|This article is about the TV Series character. You may be looking for his Comic Series, Assault or Road to Survival counterparts.|
- "I didn't know who I was talking to. I said I would do what I had to to earn my keep, but I didn't know you. But I know... I know who I am. I know what happened and what's going on. I know. You didn't show me shit. You, you're dead. Everything that you were is dead. And it's... it's not over. I forgave her because... it's not over. It's not over... It's-- it's not over. I didn't turn away. I kept listening to the news so I could do what I could to help! I'm not giving up. You hear me? I'm not giving up! People like me... people like me, they can live. Ain't nobody got to die today."
- —Tyreese to his hallucination of The Governor[src]
Tyreese Williams, nicknamed Ty by many of his companions is a main character and survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He is the older brother of Sasha and was also the leader of a small group of survivors. He became one of the first newcomers at the prison. During his time at the prison, he formed a relationship with fellow Woodbury survivor, Karen. After Karen's death and the downfall of the prison, he became the primary caretaker of Judith Grimes and also Lizzie and Mika Samuels temporarily. A strong, yet compassionate, protective and unselfish individual, Tyreese struggles with his own morality while still managing to protect his group, often trying to prevent any bloodshed.
Very little is known about Tyreese's life before or as the outbreak began besides that he had a younger sister named Sasha and an anarchist neighbor named Jerry. He lived somewhere in Jacksonville, Florida. According to actor Chad Coleman on Talking Dead, Tyreese was a former NFL player.
As the outbreak began, he and his younger sister Sasha stayed in a bunker in their neighbor Jerry's backyard for about 7 months until they ran out of supplies. After that, they met up with Allen, Donna, and Ben and joined a larger group, which had about 25 survivors at one point. The camp was eventually overrun, and many were killed. For about six weeks they wandered until they arrived at the West Georgia Correctional Facility. During this time Tyreese saved Donna and she became somewhat smitten with him.
Tyreese makes his debut appearance in this episode. He is seen with a group of survivors in the woods. One survivor from his group, Donna, is bitten on the arm by a walker, while escaping from a small herd. While they run away, Tyreese discovers a destroyed wall, which ends up being the back of the prison. Tyreese leads them through the broken part of the fence and into the facility. Tyreese's group is attacked by walkers again, this time, inside the boiler room. His sister, Sasha, screams as she and her friends are being attacked, and she is heard from the other side of the prison, where Rick Grimes's group is. Rick's son Carl heads to the room, and after helping Tyreese by killing some of the walkers, he takes the group safely into the other side of the Prison. Tyreese attempts to kill Donna with his hammer to avoid reanimation. He doesn't manage to do it because of distractions. At this point, Tyreese and Sasha view that Carl, Beth Greene, and her father Hershel have not allowed their entry to the cell block, as Carl locked them out. Sasha argues with Carl over locking them out and demands that he and Hershel let them inside, but Tyreese calms the situation down by telling his sister that they had never been in a better place for weeks, and she should leave Carl alone.
Tyreese is at the common room telling Hershel how he managed to survive through the past months. Later, when Tyreese and his group go outside to bury Donna, he starts arguing with Ben and Allen over them planning to take over the prison. Tyreese disagrees with them, stating that Rick's group are good people, and that they don't want any trouble, unaware there are more survivors that make up The Prison group. When Rick decides their fate, he has a vision of his deceased wife Lori, which causes him to lash out and order her to leave, which causes Tyreese's group to flee in fear (believing Rick was yelling at them).
Tyreese and his group run into Milton Mamet and Andrea during their journey from the prison. Milton and Andrea tell them about Woodbury, and Milton offers to take them there. He and the group arrive in Woodbury, where they are greeted by The Governor. Tyreese mentions the prison to Philip, and says that he can provide some details about the layout of the prison and offers to help defend Woodbury from the prison group.
Tyreese and Sasha are seen guarding the wall and Sasha makes fun of how a poor shot Tyreese when Andrea tries to lure them away to another part of the wall. When they refuse, she confesses that she's leaving Woodbury. "The Governor is not what he seems to be," she warns before fleeing. They inform The Governor about Andrea's escape and Tyreese asks "This isn't a prison camp, is it?" The Governor reassures them no and that he's merely concerned for Andrea's safety.
Back in Woodbury, Tyreese is yelled at by Allen for jeopardizing their standing with The Governor. Allen then blames Tyreese for a prior encounter where he saved Donna in front of his family, emasculating Allen (in his eyes) in front of his family. They are brought by Caesar Martinez to a walker pit and are asked for help rounding up the dead. Tyreese realizes that the Walkers will be used to tear the prison survivors apart and refuses to participate in the plan. He offers to leave Woodbury; Allen steps in and the two fight, nearly resulting in Tyreese dropping Allen into the walker pit, but he relents at the last second. Tyreese and Sasha confront the Governor about keeping captive biters, but the Governor tells Tyreese and Sasha that the pit walkers are just a scare tactic and were never intended to kill people. Not fully convinced, Tyreese nevertheless apologizes for being difficult.
Tyreese is seen being told to gear up and head out to the prison, but he and Sasha both decline, offering to guard the children and elderly. That night, they encounter Karen along with Rick's group and demand to know what's going on. Tyreese is told that The Governor went mad and killed the soldiers who were trying to retreat and is horrified when he sees the room where Andrea is held hostage in. Both he and Sasha commandeer a bus and use it to transport the other survivors from Woodbury to the prison and they formally join Rick's group.
Tyreese is seen paying Karen a visit and kisses her. He talks about the supply run with her and offers to help her kill the walkers so they could spend time together.
Sasha is seen readying a vehicle with Tyreese to go on a supply run to Big Spot. Bob Stookey asks her if he can go. She is initially reluctant to let him come along, saying he has only been with them a week. "You were out on your own when Daryl found you. I just want to make sure you know how to play on a team," she tells him, but ultimately decides to let him come.
At Big Spot, Sasha lays out the group's plan to get in and get out. Things go awry when Bob accidentally breaks a shelf, which lands on him. Walkers suddenly begin falling in from holes in the ceiling. Zach is bitten by one while saving Bob. A helicopter makes the roof cave in, crushing Zach and the walkers while Tyreese and the others escape.
Later that night, Tyreese and Karen are seen in their cell talking to one another before going to sleep. Karen tells him that she is not ready to start sleeping with him, since she knows that they would never want to stop once they start. She sends him back to his own cell to sleep.
Tyreese is seen with Karen. He starts singing to her until she leaves for her cell block. Later on, Tyreese saves Karen during the walker attack on Cell Block D. She then is seen coughing and being brought to Tyreese's cell. However, the Council decides to take her away from the healthy people as they discovered there is a disease that kills people. When Tyreese goes to visit her, he finds a blood trail that leads outside. He finds two burned corpses, one of them being Karen- he identifies her by her singed bracelet and the other being David.
Carol Peletier, Rick, and Daryl meet Tyreese in the courtyard. Tyreese explains that he came to see Karen, but instead found a blood trail leading to the sight of her and David murdered in cold blood. Tyreese then approaches Rick, demanding him to use his cop-skills to find out who did it. When Tyreese starts to become physical with Daryl, Rick tries to conciliate Tyreese, but he pummels Rick twice before Daryl grabs him. Rick fights back, and repeatedly pummels Tyreese in the face, both breaking his own hand and giving Tyreese a wounded eye. Daryl restrains Rick, preventing the latter from doing anymore harm. Tyreese is later seen digging two graves for Karen and David. Bob finds him doing this, and tries to convince him to get his eye looked at. Tyreese declines and says that he won't do so until the bodies are buried. Bob decides to lend a hand, and starts to help him dig a second grave.
Daryl later finds him and asks if he wants to help the group's supply team, whose aim is to retrieve medical supplies from a far off college. He, however, turns down the offer, but later joins them after seeing Sasha's condition. During the drive to the college with Daryl, Bob, and Michonne, a radio transmission can be heard. Daryl attempts to tune the radio in, however, he crashes into a walker and almost drives into a walker herd. The supply group is quickly surrounded by the herd and decide to make a run for it. After everyone abandoned the car, Tyreese just sat inside of it, glaring at the walkers outside. Everyone but Tyreese manages to make it out of herd's range. Tyreese gets converged by walkers when he exits the car. He starts to fight them off with his hammer. The group decides to leave him behind, believing that there is no way that he can survive. Moments later, however, when the supply group have managed to escape into a forest clearing, they hear the bushes behind them rustle. Two walkers burst out, however, Tyreese follows through seconds later and smashes one in the head. He falls to the ground, exhausted, and is helped up by Daryl before more walkers catch up.
Tyreese and his supply-group continue to walk to find another vehicle, as they were forced to ditch their former one, due to a massive herd. They find an auto-shop, and after clearing some ivy, find a minivan, which just needs a battery. A few walkers are inside and the group proceeds to clean them out. As the group chops away at the overgrowth, Tyreese, still unhappy with Karen's death, cuts too fast and pulls at a door, releasing the auto-shop's walkers. The group kills them after a struggle, but Tyreese refuses to let go of his walker, still trapped in the ivy. He eventually pulls it out and they struggle before the others kill it. While scavenging the veterinary college for medical supplies, Daryl and his supply-group are ambushed by walkers who have seemingly died from the same flu-like disease present in the Prison. Tyreese helps the group escape by throwing a fire extinguisher through the window and they all jump onto the roof of an outside walkway. Bob almost loses his bag but manages to retrieve it. Daryl finds there is nothing in his bag but a bottle of liquor, which he attempts to throw away. Bob puts his hand on his holster, pleading with Daryl to give him the bottle back. Daryl, un-intimidated, disarms Bob and grabs him until Tyreese breaks them up, saying that Bob has already made his choice. Daryl says that they should have never allowed Bob into the prison group, and that he will beat him into the ground if he drinks even a sip of liquor before the sick prisoners take the medicine.
Tyreese and the group arrive after Rick and Carl kill the horde. Tyreese asks Rick if Sasha is okay, which Rick replies he doesn't know. Later, Tyreese is shown with Sasha, comforting her.
When Tyreese is approached by Rick and Daryl, both of whom want to talk about the killings of Karen and David, he persuades Rick to see what he found: a tortured and mutilated rat. After stating that the one who killed Karen and David and fed the walkers through the fence with rats is the same person and a psychopath, Rick tells him that it is impossible. Before Rick gets the chance to tell him why, the Governor's tank shot a shell, blowing up a guard tower and making a lot of noise. Tyreese and the other able survivors rush outside of the prison to meet the armed force. After negotiation with The Governor failed and Hershel is killed, Tyreese is seen holding a M1 rifle and participated in the prison defense with other survivors. After The Governor broke down the fence with his men, Tyreese, who is known for his bad aptitude with a gun, was being pushed back while fighting Alisha and another unnamed soldier. After being pushed back behind flower pots, he is saved by Lizzie and Mika Samuels, the former of whom kills both Alisha and the unnamed soldier. After he tells them they need to leave, he yells at the two, telling them that they are going the wrong way. He follows them and finds an abandoned Judith, where he picks her up and runs with the other girls
Tyreese is seen walking through the woods with Mika and Lizzie, with baby Judith, whom they managed to take with them while fleeing the prison, strapped to his chest. Tyreese does his best to cope with a crying Judith, a grim, determined Lizzie, and a terrified Mika. When Mika becomes so frightened that she runs off further into the forest, Tyreese finds her and calms her down. During this encounter, Tyreese gets a scratch on his arm, which worries Lizzie.
Tyreese hears screams from the railroad tracks, and leaves Judith with the girls to try to see if it's someone from their group. Tyreese helps the group kill the various walkers who have attacked them, but is ultimately the only survivor of the conflict. As he prepares to go back to the girls, he turns around to see them standing near him, along with Carol, who is holding Judith. Tyreese, who knows nothing of the reason why Carol wasn't at the prison during the fall, greets her warmly.
Before turning, the last remaining survivor tells them of a safe haven known as Terminus. They decide to try to find it.
Tyreese is first seen with Carol, Lizzie, Mika, and Judith, sleeping on the railroad, while Carol and Lizzie are speaking. He is having nightmares and speaking in his sleep, repeating the word "no". While on the railroad tracks with Judith and Lizzie, Tyreese prepares to kill a walker which got stuck on the train tracks, but is stopped by Lizzie, who tells him she understands walkers have to be killed sometimes, but sometimes they don't. While they are boiling water, Tyreese looks out the window to find Lizzie scolding Carol about killing a walker. As Tyreese and Carol set out to scout the woods for deer, they come back to camp to find Mika's lifeless body and Lizzie holding her knife, her hand dripping with blood, in an attempt to show Carol and Tyreese that the walkers aren't different, and that she was preparing to kill Judith too. Tyreese tells Carol that Lizzie admitted to feeding mice to the walkers at the prison and also killing the dissected rabbit he found in the tombs the day of the Governor's attack. Tyreese also believes she killed Karen and David, but Carol counters that Lizzie would have allowed them to turn. After Carol executes Lizzie, the two bury the sisters next to each other, Tyreese carries the body of Lizzie and places her in the grave. As they are sitting in the darkened room, she slides her revolver across the table to Tyreese and admits that she killed Karen and David in an attempt to keep the flu from spreading to the other survivors, and that Tyreese can do what he has to do. Tyreese takes his hand off the revolver, telling Carol he forgives her but he will never forget what she did, and that it has now become a part of who Carol is. Tyreese and Carol are last seen departing the grove house as voiceovers of Lizzie, Mika and Carol are heard.
Tyreese only appears in flashbacks in this episode. He is seen walking with Carol.
Tyreese and Carol are seen walking on the railroad tracks when they hear gunshots coming from Terminus and a herd of walkers headed in that direction. After hiding, they come across a shack and a member of Terminus named Martin, who mentions Michonne and Carl as he communicates with Cynthia (another member of Terminus) while planting fireworks. Tyreese and Carol overhear this while they get the drop on Martin, binding his hands with a seat belt in the shack as she sets off to rescue the others. Martin tells Tyreese to take a car and Judith and get out of there alive. When Tyreese turns his back to Martin when a herd of walkers approach, Martin lunges towards Judith and puts his hands around her neck, threatening to break it and orders Tyreese to go outside and face the herd of walkers. Tyreese, however, kills them all and tackles Martin to the ground of the shack, punching him several times and saying that he is not going to kill him. When Rick and the others show up, Tyreese tells Carol that he killed the man because he was threatening to kill Judith.
Tyreese is seen traveling with the group. At some point, while Tyreese and Carol are refilling their water, he tells Carol she needs to tell the group about Karen and David and that they'd have to understand. He doesn't want her to talk about Lizzie and Mika, however, because he wants to forget about it. Later, Tyreese looks on as Bob and Sasha play a game called Bad out of the Good, which Sasha explains to him. He's present when the group rescues Father Gabriel Stokes and they go to his church. Tyreese volunteers to stay behind and look after Judith while the others go for supplies, for which Rick is grateful. Later that night, he is eating and celebrating with the group as Rick decides they're heading to Washington D.C.
Tyreese grabs Sasha in the woods when she is looking for Bob. He takes her back to the church for safety. He is seen listening to Gabriel's confessions. When Bob is brought in from outside Tyreese watches. Tyreese does not take part in the massacre of the cannibals, instead remaining inside the church with Judith, Carl, Eugene Porter, Rosita Espinosa, and Bob. Before they leave he tries to persuade Sasha to stay with Bob for when he wakes up. She hands him a knife in case he doesn't. He watches the massacre in shock when it happens. When Bob dies, Tyreese stops Sasha from preventing his reanimation, instead dealing with it himself. The next day he digs graves for the cannibals and Rick joins him. When Rick asks him how the journey to Terminus went he replies 'it killed me'. Rick tells him that it didn't. He stays behind with his sister when the group splits up, choosing to remain at the church.
Tyreese is seen in a flashback, digging graves with Carol after she killed Lizzie.
Tyreese is present with Rick, Daryl, Sasha, and Noah on a mission to rescue Beth and Carol from Grady Memorial Hospital. He forms a plan that is peaceful rather than violent to make sure that nobody dies. The group decide to go with his plan.
Tyreese is shown with the group after Rick kills Bob, the other officers agreed to lie about Bob being eaten by walkers. He is seen on the roof-top with Sasha as they watch over Rick, who is making himself known to the police officers at the hospital. Tyreese confesses to Sasha that he previously had the chance to kill Martin, the Terminant Sasha murdered, but didn't. Tyreese then asks what happened to them and wonders if they're still the same as they were as kids. Sasha dismisses this and tells him that he is still the same, which is a good thing, but she can't be anymore. The two then proceed to watch over Rick. Sasha shoots an incoming walker, revealing to the officers that Rick has people covering him.
Tyreese later accompanies Rick and the others as they meet with Dawn to exchange prisoners. It goes smoothly, and Carol and Beth are returned safely, but Dawn insists that Noah return to the hospital. Her insistence results in tension, but Noah agrees to prevent further bloodshed. Dawn makes a snide remark to Noah, which angers Beth, who attacks her with a pair of scissors. Dawn reacts instinctively and shoots Beth in the head, killing her instantly. Tyreese and the others witness this in shock and horror. Daryl, enraged, shoots Dawn in the head, killing her as well. Officer Shepherd defuses the situation and tells them that Dawn was always the problem. The group are invited to stay at the hospital, but Rick refuses and in return demands that anybody who wants to leave the hospital be allowed to do so with him. Only Noah agrees to leave.
The group depart the hospital just as Maggie, Abraham Ford, Glenn, Michonne, and the others arrive. Tyreese watches on in helplessness as Maggie sobs hysterically at the sight of Beth's body, which is being carried out of the hospital by a devastated Daryl.
After the loss of Beth, the group decide to head to Virginia and find the compound that Noah came from. Tyreese joins Noah and a group consisting of Rick, Michonne, and Glenn as they head into the estate to investigate while Carol and the others remain behind. On the journey, Noah tells Tyreese that he made the right call by suggesting the exchange at the hospital, but Tyreese isn't so sure. Tyreese then tells Noah and the others about his father, who used to tell him and Sasha to always watch and listen to the news so that they have their eyes open about the atrocities that take place in the world.
Upon discovering that the community is lost and everybody inside it dead, Noah breaks down and Tyreese remains behind to comfort him while Rick and the others decide to scavenge for supplies. Tyreese tells Noah about the time after Karen's death when he allowed a group of walkers to overwhelm him in the hope that he could take his anger out on all of them until they killed him, but that he continued fighting and decided to live and because he did, he was able to save Judith. Noah climbs to his feet and runs to his house, with Tyreese in pursuit.
Upon entering, they find Noah's mother dead. Tyreese wanders around while Noah sits by his mother's corpse. Whilst inspecting some family photos, Tyreese is bitten in the arm by Noah's zombified twin brother. Noah runs off to get help. Tyreese suffers severe blood loss and begins to hallucinate about news stories on the radio as well as visits by Martin, Bob, The Governor, Lizzie, Mika, and Beth, who discuss his actions throughout his time with the group. Tyreese struggles internally with his recent decisions and 'speaks' with his hallucinations. Bob, Beth and the girls try to comfort and reassure him that he did the right thing and that death is much better than being alive, but the Governor and Martin antagonize him for not being able to do what they feel needed to be done. A walker attacks him again, and in order to save himself, he feeds it his wounded arm in order to grab a weapon.
Shortly after, Michonne amputates Tyreese's bitten arm and she and the others suffer a grueling challenge in escaping the estate with a seriously wounded Tyreese. During the ride back, Tyreese is comforted by visions of Beth, Bob, and the girls. He tells "Bob" to turn off the radio, effectively deciding that he wants to let go. He passes away and is sadly put down by Michonne so that he doesn't reanimate. The rest of the survivors then attend his funeral which Gabriel presides over. A visibly traumatized Sasha is seen struggling about to just stand through the service.
Tyreese appears in a flashback sequence when Sasha has a panic attack.
- Zombies (Caused)
While observing pictures of Noah and his brothers, Noah's reanimated brother sneaks behind Tyreese and bites him in the arm before Noah puts the walker down. He is bitten again by another walker who he briefly hallucinated as the Governor.
- Michonne (Caused; Before Reanimation)
His arm is sliced off by Michonne in an attempt to prevent the infection from spreading, but he dies from blood loss. She also later stabs him in the head off-screen to prevent reanimation after Tyreese finally dies of blood loss on the car. He is then buried by Rick after everyone in the group, except Sasha, respectfully placed a shovel of dirt onto his body.
This list shows the victims Tyreese has killed:
- Donna (Before Reanimation)
- Bob Stookey (Before Reanimation)
- At least one unnamed member of The Governor's Militia
- Numerous counts of zombies
- His favorite weapon is a hammer.
- Next to Abraham, Tyreese is one of the physically strongest members of Rick's group, shown by his use of a hammer to kill Walkers, as well as the fact he was able to hold Daryl in place against a wall.
- In the list of action figures expected to be released, Tyreese's last name is mentioned to be "Williams". This is confirmed to be his actual last name in the show in the "Tyreese's Journey" bonus feature on the Season 5 DVD.
- Tyreese may be ambidextrous or left handed, as he is shown aiming with his left eye and left hand throughout the series, but wields his trademark hammer in his right hand.
- Alternatively, this could be the reason for his notoriously poor marksmanship.
- Tyreese is the first main character to die during a mid-season premiere.
- Tyreese is one of two main characters to be recognized with a relative "celebrity" status (as an Ex NFL Linebacker). The other is Deanna Monroe who was a congresswoman from Ohio.