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The Walking Dead and Stephanie: What the series did differently

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The Walking Dead recently concluded the three-season mystery of who Stephanie is, taking a longer and more convoluted route than that of the comic book series.

Overview

The Walking Dead is currently airing its eleventh and final season. As a result, the story is working on concluding the storylines of its beloved characters with just under eight episodes left until the series concludes its over 10-year run

Most recently, the series finally revealed the true identity of Eugene Porter’s love interest from season nine to 11, Stephanie. A plot twist that the television series took liberties telling compared to the straightforward way that the comic book series played out the love story of the two.

What Is The Walking Dead?

The Walking Dead first premiered in 2010 as part of the new programming from AMC Networks airing on FOX.

Much like other fantasy series, The Walking Dead was inspired by an already existing collection of work, and in this case, Robert Kirkman’s series of comic books released between 2003 and 2019.

The post-apocalyptic drama series is the brainchild of show creator, Frank Darabont. The premise of the series is, “Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma to learn the world is in ruins and must lead a group of survivors to stay alive.”

However, Andrew Lincoln left his role as Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes in 2019, season nine, to spend more time with his family.

The Walking Dead And Stephanie: What The Series Did Differently

In March 2022, The Walking Dead finally put the storyline of Eugene and his post-apocalyptic long-distance relationship with Stephanie to rest.

The storyline started in 2019 during season nine’s final episode titled The Storm. Fans of the series can still remember when Stephanie’s voice first echoed from Eugene’s homemade radio system.

It took two seasons for the two to decide to meet as representatives of Alexandria and the Commonwealth, respectively.

Stephanie did not make the initial meeting, but they would meet eventually, with fans already suspecting that this was not the real “Stephanie.”

A fact that Eugene only discovered during season 11’s Rogue Element. This is since Eugene was part of an investigation about the mysterious disappearance of Stephanie.

An investigation that not only revealed Stephanie’s identity, but was considered anti-climactic by fans of the comic book series due to the long-winded liberties taken by the series.

Who Is The Real Stephanie In The Walking Dead?

When Eugene was investigating Stephanie’s disappearance in Rogue Element, one of the suspects was plumber, Roman Calhoun.

He and Princess broke into his apartment, but were subsequently arrested. The two were able to escape persecution through an ultimatum by Deputy Governor Lance Hornsby.

However, after another apartment break-in, Calhoun was discovered with the deputy governor, and “Stephanie” was revealed as an undercover agent. At this point, Eugene realised that there was no Stephanie.

But in the episode The Lucky Ones, the assistant of the Commonwealth’s governor, Max, reveals that she is actually the Stephanie that Eugene has been talking to all along, finally ending the mystery on who Stephanie is.

Who Is Stephanie In The Walking Dead Comics?

In the comic books, Stephanie and Eugene’s initial long-distance relationship started during issue #151, when Stephanie responded to Eugene’s call: “This is Eugene Porter calling out live on the open air. Is anyone out there?”

By issue #176, the two had met briefly for the first time as they worked to try to bring Alexandria and the Commonwealth together.

Their relationship blossomed in subsequent issues, only coming to an end in the second last issue, #192, since in issue #193, a 25-year jump forward took place and Stephanie had died due to unknown reasons.

Fans Question The Necessity Of Stephanie’s Storyline

The biggest critique from the Eugene and Stephanie storyline was whether it was necessary for the series to take liberties and stretch the story, since fans of the series were already aware of the plot twist from the comic books.

Moreover, the twist only caused viewers to question the holes in the story after the reveal.

Questions like, “How did Max get access to the radio?” or “Is Stephanie her real name or not, as she is known as Max by the deputy governor and everybody else?” were asked. Fans also wanted to know what her motive was with reaching out and using the radio illegally.

These questions will seemingly never be answered as the story has been put to rest and is forging ahead towards the series finale later this year.

Final Thoughts

The Walking Dead season finale is just over the eight-episode mark, as gears up to conclude its 12-year run on our screens.

As a result, the series is working on concluding the story arcs of its main cast, like revealing the true identity of Eugene’s love interest, Stephanie, to be Max, the Commonwealth Governor, Pam Milton’s assistant.

A story arc that took liberties from the original comic series long-distance love story of the two. Seemingly, the series did so to push the story forward in light of positioning Deputy Governor Lance Hornsby as the title protagonist of the last episodes of the series finale.

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