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So, I have seen a lot of posts lately responding to comments about people's general dislike for Andrea. Mostly, the anonymous comments are claiming that we have no reason to dislike Andrea. In the end, a reason isn't really needed to dislike a character. Sometimes they just rub us the wrong way. But in this instance, I feel like we are definitely justified.
This article is purely the author's opinion and is, in no way, meant to be taken as fact.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead.
ANDREA'S PRIDEFUL ATTITUDEGetting in the way of Andrea possibly being a great character is definitely her pride. This is number one issue as it is often her pride that makes her make stupid decisions.
We first see this pride come into play in episode 1x02 when she first meets Rick. So angered by the idea that she might be about to die, she decides to take it out on the guy who had NO idea that there were innocent people nearby. Fine, we'll say that's understandable. Until we find out that she actually has no idea how to use that gun of hers.
What if Rick had been secretly a mass murderer ready to kill all of them? He could have taken that gun from her so fast and flipped off the safety. What if the gun had a hairpin trigger? She could have shot him accidentally before she even realized what was happening. Her need to assert an alpha female role could have put everybody's life in danger.
The next time we see this pride get in the way of her judgment is in 1x05 after her sister's death. Now, to be fair, nobody really thinks clearly after they lose a loved one. This is just a fact of life, and we all have to be willing to give characters (and people, while we're at it) a little breathing room after they just face something traumatic. That doesn't mean that we can't criticize their actions, and Andrea's actions here are just downright selfish.So lost in her grief, Andrea sits with her dead sister, waiting for Amy to turn. Everybody wants to put Amy out before she can make the transition, but Andrea will not leave her sister's side. This is a stupid decision, because every walker turns differently. Amy could have woken and immediately had the strength to overcome Andrea, which would weaken the group more than it already was, send everybody in a panic, and may have gotten more people injured or killed. And when Rick tries to approach her about this, she once again pulls her gun on him.
Andrea spends most of the rest of season 1 in a depressed state, and at the end of 1x06, she makes the decision to kill herself. Dale, who cares for her, decides that either she lives or he will die with her. Essentially, he made the same decision that she did, but when we return to the group at the beginning of season 2 in 2x01, we find that Andrea blames Dale for "taking away her chance."Andrea made a choice, and Dale didn't approve. He made a choice, and Andrea didn't approve. Her prideful nature stops her from seeing how hypocrticial she's being in punishing Dale for making almost the exact same decision she did. If she couldn't be with Amy... And if he couldn't be with Andrea... Same decision, but they both decided to try to save one another. This does not make her (or him) a martyr. They're just the same. But Andrea refuses to see this.
This leads Andrea to nearly making one of the biggest dumb decisions thanks to her pride. Believing that she deserved to hold onto her gun despite her suicidal tendencies, she gets Shane to make the executive decision. He offers to help teach her how to clean it, but instead of waiting for him to do just that, she decides to take her gun apart herself. And thank god she did. Can you imagine what would have happened had that gun not been taken apart? Catastrophe, that's what.
We see Andrea fumbling to put the gun back together once she sees the walkers. If she had managed to put the gun back in working order, she would have used it on the walker in the RV. (Why else would she try to put it together if she didn't intend to use it?) The noise would have attracted every single walker on that highway, and everybody could have been killed thanks to her. Luckily, this is an instance where her pride saved her from making a really dumb decision.
However, just a day later, she's arguing about the fact that she's not allowed to carry. Again.In episode 2x03, Andrea and Daryl go out to search for Sophia even though it's dark out. While on their hike, they come across a walker who had hung himself after he had been bit. Disturbed by the image, Andrea wants Daryl to shoot him, but Daryl knows that he won't be able to retrieve his arrow if he does that. Andrea's prideful "morals" override this logical judgment and cons him into wasting an arrow. In return, he doesn't even get the answer he was really searching for either. And then her pride really takes a hold of her when she gets to Greene farm. Feeling like she's too good for dishes, she refuses to help out with washing clothes or dishes. She wants to be a gunsmith. Before I have anyone jump down my throat, I think the men should be kicked to do just as much washing as the women. I don't think anybody should be exempt, good shot or not. And in this case, Andrea makes it pretty obvious that she thinks she's too good for that sort of thing. And so she begins her Annie Oakley routine...
...and leads her into one of the nearly biggest devastating mistakes she made thanks to that pride of hers. As Daryl was returning from looking for Sophia, hurt, but very much unbitten and alive, she refuses to listen to Shane who tells her to stand down. Thinking that she's better than the boys give her credit for, she ignores the fact that gunshots attract walkers, the fact that Hershel didn't want them dealing with walkers to begin with, and the warnings that the boys give her. She shoots and just barely escapes murdering Daryl.
We next see Andrea perfecting her sharp shooter skills (because next time she needs to actually kill Daryl, obviously) with Shane's help in 2x06. While we don't see her necessarily making any stupid decisions - unless you count trusting Shane, which I do - this scene is obviously meant to make us like her character more as she goes from whimpering mass to badass in 2.5 seconds, but it doesn't quite work for me. But again, that's not necessarily Andrea's fault, so we'll save this for another section...In 2x07, Andrea is approached by Dale who is concerned by her relationship with Shane. She takes this to mean that he's just being overprotective, and she lets her pride get the better of her when she decides that she knows better than him. In 2x08, she once against puts someone's life in danger when she decides to use a scythe to kill Annette Greene. Glenn was holding her after she nearly attacked Beth, and Andrea foolishly swings a gigantic scythe to kill her. Had the walker moved or had her aim been off, Glenn would have been impaled and probably would have died. 2x10 is where her pride really gets the best of her. She decides she knows what is best for someone else's family, and that is definitely not okay. When Beth Greene is depressed and considering suicide, Andrea decides to step in to let Beth attempt suicide. She could have just as easily been wrong as she was right. And to top that off, she claims that suicide is a personal decision. It is not. It affects every single person who has ever been touched by you, and particularly in this situation when the group becomes significantly weaker with every death, she was ready to let Beth off herself.
Note: If you know anyone who is suicidal, please step in. Letting them "figure it out" on their own is not the way to go, and Andrea was so wrong to believe that this was the way to handle Beth's situation. But once again, her pride got the better of her, as she believed that she knew best because she had been through it.
For a while, Andrea becomes somewhat bearable until we see her again in season 3. This is when previous fans of her starts to run away and those who already hated her decided she couldn't be redeemed. I believe they may be right. Season 3 is just riddled with Andrea making dumb decision after dumb decision, almost all of it tying back to her pride. Whether she's refusing to listen to her best friend who is saying that somethig doesn't feel right here or she's letting her fantasy run away with her instead of coming back down to reality, Andrea just has not been very good this season.Michonne has taken care of Andrea for the past eight months. We learn that Michonne didn't share a whole lot with Andrea during this time, which can definitely cause some frustration. However, there is no question that Michonne's instincts have kept them alive. So, why would Andrea turn around and doubt them at this point? Her pride gets the better of her. In this instance, she believes that her instincts are the ones that are on the right track and that Michonne is just being paranoid. And maybe it's not even Andrea's instincts, maybe it's just her desire or hope for her to be right. Either way, this makes it impossible for Andrea to listen to Michonne's warnings. And so they part ways. Yes, Michonne was partially at fault here, but she did nothing new than act like her usual self. After eight months, Andrea should have expected this reaction from Michonne, but maybe they weren't as good of friends as they claimed. Either way, this leads to Andrea staying with the Governor who she then develops a relationship with. This is just as bad of a decision as her relationship with Shane. Maybe even moreso since it seems as though Andrea was actually putting her heart (and not just her body) on the line this time.
When she's introduced to the walker fights in 3x05, her first instinct is to be disgusted, but the Governor manages to talk her down. He presents the fights to her in a way that feed her greatest weakness: her pride. She likes the idea of taking control back from the walkers and humiliating them, and even though she seems to know it's wrong, she ends up enjoying watching them suffering. Her pride is starting to make her cross that line that Dale was always talking about.
In 3x06, she has a blatant display of prideful behavior when she feels the need to show up the young Woodbury citizen, Haley. Though not at all talented with a bow as she claims, she is trying to show Andrea how she kills walkers when Andrea decides to show her how it's done. Without the walker actually being any sort of immediate threat, this was simply an act of showing one woman up to prove that she was superior for no reason, especially since the girl she was showing up was much younger and obviously far less experienced than her.Though she has already made the mistake of shooting without being able to identify her target nearly a year before, Andrea repeats this action in 3x08 when she starts shooting at the rescue group because she believes herself "capable." When she runs to meet with the Governor, she is confronted with her old best friend again. She immediately starts the confrontation with an accusation - "What have you done?" - and then goes to the Governor's side while keeping her gun leveled on Michonne. Perhaps it was her affection for the Governor or her hurt over Michonne leaving her or her own belief that Michonne had to be wrong all along that did not have her chase after her friend. Who knows?
She is then immediately faced with the Dixon Brother deathmatch that is supposed to take place in front of her. Though she does try to get the Governor to stop, he ignores her, and when Rick and the team show up to rescue Daryl, she again does not follow. This could have been explained as mere shock except that the very next day she is seen feeding her pride by giving a political-esque speech to the citizens of Woodbury before going to the Governor and pleading with him not to "shut her out." This could only mean that her affections - though possibly wavering - were still very much present. Her pride was refusing to let her see what was right in front of her. Even the Governor catches sight of this weakness as he attempts to give leadership to her, believing that this will work to blind her once again, but it doesn't. Good for her. (Finally.)Andrea finally reunites with her old group in 3x11 after the Governor has shot them up. She acts surprised at their reaction despite the fact that she knows that a) they were just in a fire fight with her boyfriend, and b) she treated Rick the exact same way when she first met him. (Remember the very first point I made?) Her shock has to come from her prideful belief that she would be different. That surely, surely, the group would love to see her again, no matter what just happened, right? And she was right. They were. But they were also very much on edge for a very obvious reason. And when Michonne tells her that the Governor sent Merle to kill her, she is beyond shocked because her pride had never allowed her to even consider the possibility that Michonne was right all along.
And that's when Andrea has a chance to end it all. She can just get in there, kill the Governor, and everything would be over with. Right? Wrong. Though she does start to go through with Carol's sex-then-kill plan, she chickens out. It's quite possible that it's because she doesn't like the idea of killing a defenseless person, but more than likely, it's because Andrea's pride is telling her that she can fix this somehow still. That she can somehow make this all end without bloodshed. This is only further proven by the meeting that she sets up between Rick and the Governor in 3x13 that goes bad very quickly. And her surprise at getting thrown out of the meeting room? She didn't see it coming because she still refuses to admit that she's wrong.Until she can't anymore after returning with the Governor (for the umpteenth time) and finding his torture chamber. It's then, and only then, does she finally realize that she was wrong and that there is no peaceful way out of this. And what does that get her? Strapped to a chair in the torture chamber she had tried - and failed - to warn the prison people about. Lovely.
IS IT THE WRITERS' FAULT?
Seems like a simple question. Of course it's the writers' fault! They're the ones who wrote her! So, right. They wrote her. But did they intend for her to come off so stupid? They write the Governor as a really terrible man, but we don't go around blaming the writers for that, because that's exactly what they intend. They want you to hate him. So, the real question becomes...
Are we supposed to hate Andrea?
Now, considering there is an alarming amount of people out there who love her to death - even despite all of this stuff that I find quite inexcusable - I have to assume that this is not the case. They don't want us to hate her. Maybe they just want us to tilt our heads in confusion at some of her choices. Maybe, as time goes on, she'll become more humble and willing to take criticisms. And then, maybe, she'll become a lot more likable. It's possible that this is all part of some grand scheme character arc plan.
The problem is that most of us just don't care anymore. She has been annoying for far too long. All of her great character moments were - okay, I'm going to say it - written badly. Am I supposed to be impressed with her sharp shooting skills? Because I'm not. That was a corny scene and one of my least favorite. All I kept thinking was, "Ugh. Cliche. Can't a woman ever just be good and become great in a typical way without it being miraculous~" I mean, I get that she's supposed to be a strong woman, but they're going about it all wrong. Strong women don't need to constantly remind that they're strong. They just are.
So, I guess the answer is, yes. It is partially the writers' fault.
WHAT ABOUT LAURIE HOLDEN?
Laurie Holden is the actress that plays Andrea, for those of you not aware. She loves Andrea. This is great. An actor should love the character that they play. But the problem is that she loves Andrea, and she thinks she's perfect. The only flaws Laurie ever admits to Andrea having is her taste in men. That's it. And I just can't help but think... Flaws are what make humans beautiful. If you write a character with a ton of flaws, that's amazing.
I mean, look at Daryl Dixon. He is one of the most flawed characters on the series, but his character growth has been amazing because of it! And Norman Reedus constantly is quoted as embracing these flaws. Steven Yeun has recently been able to do the exact same thing with Glenn thanks to the most recent character arc, and he finds Glenn's failure to know what to do amazing. That's great! And then you have Andrew Lincoln who gushes over Rick's instability. He knows Rick isn't perfect, and he loves it.
So, where is Laurie going wrong?
If an actor cannot see where their character is going wrong, then they cannot deliver a line in a way that is believable and really translates well to the audience. If they don't know how a character is failing, they don't know how to make them win again. In the end, yes, Andrea is super annoying... But could Laurie have made her less so by being more aware of where her character was going wrong?
Yes. She couldn't have worked miracles, but I believe that Andrea would not be as hated if there had been a few key acting changes made to her character. Beyond just the obvious fact that the actors get to consult with the writers on where they would like their characters to go, line delivery goes a long way. One of the scenes that annoys me the most dealing with Andrea is in 2x11, just before Dale's death. Dale is pleading with everybody to side with him, and Andrea looks at him and goes, "Yeah, alright. Let's find another way." (Paraphrased.) Instead of sounding sincere, Laurie delivered the line as if she was like, "Fiiiiiine. If you're going to keep whining about it, jeeeeez." She seemed to be patronizing him by giving him her vote. She didn't sound at all like she had seen the light of his words.
A scene that was supposed to be sweet and touching came off very strange. I found myself just rolling my eyes at her again. She could have won some major points with me there - I was on Dale's side from the second Randall showed up - but she didn't. Other scenes exist where things like this happened, and I feel like they could have been avoided had Laurie been more aware of where Andrea's head was at during that time.
Am I being too hard on her?
I don't think so. Laurie Holden was asked on the Talking Dead if she believed that Andrea told the Governor about Shane and Lori. Her answer? No. It was probably Tyrese. Ha... what? (For the record: Tyrese never met Lori or Shane, so how would he know? Hence, it's a stupid answer.) She then went on to try to amend her statement saying that it's possible that she said something before she realized the Governor was evil... But then it wasn't Tyrese, it was Andrea! Just own up to your girl's poor judgment. We all have these moments. It's what makes us human.
It's answers like this that really make me believe that she doesn't understand what's going on in the show at all.
I'm beyond frustrated with Andrea, as I think is pretty obvious from this blog post. I don't think she's redeemable for me at this point, and I hope her character is killed off. She can have a heroic death if she must, but I'm just ready to stop being so frustrated with her.
+ I do not hate Andrea because she's a woman. I freaking love Maggie.
+ I do not hate Andrea because she's a strong woman. I freaking love Michonne.
+ I do not hate Andrea because she's a blonde woman. I freaking love Beth.
I hate her because I hate what she does. Simple fact. I want her character to be killed off so that it can make way for a character that is more likable. I prefer liking the characters I watch on my television. I like them flawed, and I like them diverse. But I do not like them annoying or stupid. So, I hope she goes, and I hope her replacement is fabulous.
Anybody else have any other thoughts? And if you agree or disagree, feel free to sound off in the comments. Did I miss any epic fail moments? Do you love her? Do you hope she becomes walker bait? Do you care about her fate after last night's episode?