Back in 1995, David Fincher created the neo-noir crime thriller Seven, about two police officers (Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman) who track down a serial killer who uses the “seven deadly sins” as a method of choosing his victims. Likewise, AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 8 has also highlighted just how deadly these sins can be.
Most of the problems in Season 8 of The Walking Dead fall down to ego. But, through ego and vengeance, we also see examples of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. Among these seven deadly sins, most of them are expressed in the recent episode, “Do Not Send Us Astray.”
In the episode, the Saviors attack the Hilltop, Daryl and Tara argue over Dwight, Rick Grimes tries to work with Saddiq, and Henry accidentally lets some of the Saviors go. In the end, however, the real problems are all problems of virtue.
Lust On The Walking Dead
“Lust” can be described as an intense longing. Generally speaking, this refers to a sexual desire. Some argue its human nature while others will say it goes against the word of God. On The Walking Dead, however, it can relate to the same animal instinct expressed through the walkers.
In “Do Not Send Us Astray,” we see lust between various men and Carol. The relationship with Daryl Dixon seems brotherly, but then there’s King Ezekiel and the recently departed, Tobin. Simon decided to change up Negan’s plan, but many of the Hilltoppers (like Tobin) were still infected with zombie-blood-covered weapons.
In his final scene is a Hilltopper, Tobin spoke with Carol. “You had me worried,” said Carol, assuming his injury to be minor. “If I had known getting stabbed would get your attention, I would have done it a lot sooner.” Tobin laughed to himself as Carol apologized for leaving.
“I don’t need an apology. You don’t owe me anything. I guess I have been wondering why… Was any of it real?” asked Tobin. Carol then told Tobin something the viewers all know about her. She was “pretending.” She was “trying to live a lie.” Like she told Daryl, she could not keep fighting. She wanted it to be real, but she couldn’t.
“That might just be one of the nicest things anybody has ever said to me,” he said.
Gluttony On The Walking Dead
Among the sins, “Gluttony” refers to the overindulgence or overconsumption to a point of waste. Generally speaking, this refers to over-eating (just like in the movie, Seven). But, in terms of The Walking Dead, gluttony is going to refer to the walkers. Again, let’s take a look at Tobin.
After Tobin turned, he bit his helper. Sooner after, he bit another Hilltopper. Eventually, he wandered into the room where everyone was sleeping and took at it like a buffet. The reanimated version of Tobin even walked up the stairs and tried to kill a few more people before Carol finally put him down.
There’s no real reasoning behind the walker conscious, but it does seem like they would try to eat a full body instead of bites out of dozens of people. Perhaps it’s simply the virus trying to spread, but it’s somewhat like the mutated dinosaur in Jurassic World—it’s simply trying to kill rather than consume.
Greed On The Walking Dead
Like “Lust” or “Gluttony,” “Greed” is also a sin of desire. Generally speaking, to be greedy means that a person is in the pursuit of unnecessary material possessions. There are several examples throughout the show of Greed. Mainly, however, we see “Greed” constantly at work within the Saviors.
Back in Season 7, Michonne found a pile of burned mattresses by the side of the road that the Saviors had taken from Hilltop. The Saviors request half of everything in exchange for protection. In reality, however, their so-called protection is just a form of power of another tribe.
They take much more than they need and they are even fascinated with frivolous things like video games or pickles. The Heapsters, who are no longer with us, were also thieves, but they didn’t really take more than they needed. Compared to the Saviors, the Heapsters were almost humble.
The rest of the groups—the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and Alexandria—scavenge and try to grow crops, but nothing goes to waste. The Kingdom even fed walker guts to their pigs in an effort to fatten them up. If the Saviors were not so greedy, perhaps they could have found a way to work with the others.
Sloth On The Walking Dead
“Sloth” is one of the more interesting deadly sins. Many people simply think it means to be lazy, but it’s more precisely defined as a good person failing to act. This is where the term “Good Samaritan” comes from. Basically, almost every character other than Carl Grimes is slothful in one way or another.
For this example, let’s assume Rick Grimes is our sloth. On the show, he’s always “busy,” but that doesn’t mean he’s being productive. Rick’s greed caused him to chase after Negan alone and his need to feel busy is what is making him ignore the need to properly grieve over his son.
However, the overall sloth was expressed in Carl’s dying words to his father. He wanted to remind his dad that they need to go back to a state where they could start helping others again. In an example from The West Wing, if your neighbor’s house is burning down, you don’t haggle over the price of the water hose. You help out simply because you can help out.
When Rick and Carl first met Saddiq, the boy brought him food. Rick, on the other hand, had lost his trust in strangers. At one point, he would ask questions, but now he simply fires warning shots. Carl Grimes, on the other hand, brought the man food and even fought by his side, which later killed the boy.
Wrath On The Walking Dead
Among all of the seven deadly sins, “Wrath” is likely the most present on The Walking Dead. Wrath is defined as uncontrolled feelings of anger, hatred, or rage. On the show, it makes sense to be angry, but many of the characters are completely over-consumed by their anger.
There are several examples in the show, but Maggie, Morgan, and Rick are likely the best examples from Season 8. All of these characters have lost someone and they will literally do anything to get their revenge. When things get truly personal, even the best soldier can make major mistakes.
In the last episode, Rick Grimes should have signaled for the others, but he decided to go after Negan alone. Surprisingly, when he told Maggie this truth, she supported him because she too is only thinking of revenge. “He wasn’t here,” he said about Negan. “I saw him out there. I broke away and tried to kill him [and] I didn’t, but I tried.”
Maggie closed her eyes and said “Thank you.” Ironically, this rogue mentality is what screwed up most of their plans in the first place with the Saviors. But, both Maggie and Rick are too vengeful to see their mistake. If they had waited (specifically Rick), then they may have got a better shot at Negan.
As for Morgan, his head is so messed up he’s literally seeing a ghost version of Gavin. All of this is due to the death of Benjamin, but it could get him killed.
Envy On The Walking Dead
“Envy” can be characterized as an insatiable desire. It sounds a little like wrath, but it’s more about being covetous towards another person’s possessions. On The Walking Dead, this could best be defined as Henry. The little boy is angry, like Maggie or Rick, but he covets a gun and those who have got their revenge.
The boy makes a major mistake in the episode when he unlocks the gate in the prison for the Saviors. Even though Morgan told him he had already got his revenge, the boy wants more. He apparently didn’t believe Morgan and when he found the gun he coveted, he went out to get his revenge.
Earlier in the episode, King Ezekiel told Henry to hide with the others. But, the angry boy could not help himself. He found a gun, hid upstairs, and then waited until everyone else had fallen asleep. Clearly, his mental state and age meant he was not ready for the gun.
Another rogue action caused Maggie’s plans to come to an end. Half of the prisoners escaped and the boy may or may not have gotten himself killed. It looked like they left him there, but it’s possible he was bitten or kidnapped. Otherwise, he may have realized the importance of his mistake and went into hiding on his own behalf.
Pride On The Walking Dead
“Pride” is considered the most deadly of the seven deadly sins. It’s one thing to be proud, but it’s another thing to by overly prideful. Basically, pride means to be overly selfish, putting one’s needs or urges above everyone else. Most of the characters are somewhat prideful, but Gregory is the king of this deadly sin.
Again, when Henry awakens Gregory in the prison cell, we get to see the old man’s pride at work. “You’re Gregory, right?” asked the boy. The first thing Gregory said is “Let me out. I don’t know who your brother is. I don’t know any of these people [because] I’m not one of them.”
Gregory then told the boy, “That’s a very dangerous weapon you’ve got there, kiddo. I don’t want you to get hurt. I don’t want anyone to get hurt. Why don’t you give it to me and we can talk. I’m sorry about your brother.” The boy said killing them will make him feel better.
The real pride, of course, doesn’t happen until later. In Gregory’s example, pride is also a form of cowardice. Other than Eugene, Gregory is the greatest coward on the show at all times. In fact, when Jared rushes the boy, Gregory turns back for a second but then leaves the boy to die.
There are walkers in the pin and we later found out that Henry is missing. If Gregory had simply helped the boy get up, he could have somewhat redeemed himself with fans. However, there isn’t an ounce of bravery in Gregory. He is only concerned with his own urges, desires, and safety.
Hope For Those On The Walking Dead
The seven deadly sins mentioned above are always at play. Each has their own play on the morality of consciousness. There will always be lust because the characters need love. There will always be gluttony because the walkers have no inner conscious, but our heroes do.
As for greed, Rick Grimes and company are trying to take down the Saviors. If they can win the war (or fight for peace), then Carl Grimes’ utopian future could one day exist. Among the many worlds we’ve seen on the show, Carl’s vision is the only one that truly appears to be greed-free.
With sloth, newcomer Saddiq seems to be the best chance for those to start helping others. Not only does he physically represent Carl’s dying wish, but he seems to live by those virtues as well as the new doctor. In addition, Michonne and even Rosita seem to be living more of a sloth-free life.
Finally, there’s wrath, envy and pride. There will always be anger, or wrath, on the series as long as there is still war. There will always be envy, as long as the survivors are not helping one another, and there will always be pride as long as people are being selfish with what little they have.
In Carl Grimes’ utopia, none of these deadly sins were needed. He saw a way for everyone to live in peace. Even Negan could come and pick tomatoes as the new community tried to celebrate one another’s differences rather than be divided by them. But, for now, Carl’s utopian dreams still seems a long way off.
What did you think of the latest episode of The Walking Dead?