Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Once-Beloved Walking Dead Character Fans Love To Hate Now

One of the very first characters viewers meet in the first episode of AMC's apocalypse epic The Walking Dead is Morgan Jones (Lennie James). Series protagonist Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) stumbles across Morgan and his son (Adrian Kali Turner) after he wakes up from a coma into the hellscape that is the world overrun by zombies. Despite only appearing for a portion of the first episode, Morgan's warm heart and determination to protect his son garnered the character lots of fans who were eager to see him appear again in the series.

Morgan stans got their wish. After a handful of appearances in seasons 3 and 5, Morgan became a series regular in the show's sixth season. He joined Rick's band of survivors in the Alexandria Safe-Zone, but the Morgan that viewers met way back in episode 1 was a far cry from the one that developed as he became a central character on both The Walking Dead and spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead. Since his introduction, Morgan had lost his son, in addition to his wife, and the deaths clearly had an immense effect on his overall well-being. As the seasons wore on, Morgan flip-flopped haphazardly between pacifism that sometimes bordered on absurd, and an appetite for murder that saw him killing walkers and human survivors without discretion.

While The Walking Dead is known for its daring storytelling and complex characterizations, Morgan's transformation throughout the years hasn't sat right with many fans of the show, or of Morgan himself. They've taken to Reddit to discuss exactly what they think went wrong with what used to be one of their favorite characters on the franchise.

Many fans don't like the direction The Walking Dead took Morgan in

On a Reddit thread that began with a meme about the hypocrisy of Morgan's pacifist and deranged killer personas, multiple fans chimed in with their feelings about the direction the character has taken. Many took issue with Morgan's scattershot characterization. User Guesswho195 wrote in, "Morgan, a once enjoyed character ruined by stupid writing. First he's crazy, then he's a pacifist, then he's crazy again, then he went back to pacifist." That opinion was shared by throwd444444, who said, "Morgan is frustrating to watch and impossible to like."

In a separate thread titled "Morgan stopped being interesting," HeroesUnite yearned for a simpler time, when they relished every Morgan appearance on the show. They wrote, "I used to LOVE Morgan. I sat there, every episode, HOPING Morgan would come back. I was really excited to see him in Season 3 and I was even more excited to see his cameos in season 5 as post-credit scenes." However, in their opinion, that changed after Scott M. Gimple took over as showrunner for The Walking Dead for seasons 4 through 8: "Gimple thought that Making Morgan switch back and forth between 'CLEAR!' and 'All Life Is Precious' was somehow... Character development?"

In yet another thread titled "I feel so bad for Lennie James", user jaymeleed echoed those sentiments: "Remember that post credit scene when he appeared on the way to Terminus? I've never been so hyped for a character return. Whats happened to him (and both shows tbh) is really sad." Speaking of James, you won't find too many fans who think the problem with Morgan is the actor who plays him. Despite not loving the character anymore, fans still have a lot of respect for James and his performance.

Lennie James gives the Morgan role his all

Morgan may no longer be every The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead fan's cup of tea, but that doesn't mean they've lost respect for the actor who brings him to life. Quite to the contrary, even as they were expressing their problems with the character, many fans took the time to speak about their admiration for James.

In the Reddit thread titled "All life is precious," user LeRonGuard cited James as one of the reasons he started watching The Walking Dead in the first place: "I haven't watched the show in awhile but Lennie James performance in season 1 was one of the things that hooked me on this show in the beginning. It's a shame his character seemed to go off the rails." Overmars47 agreed, stating, "I have an eternal respect for Morgan, ruined by bad writing but I still love him. Lennie James great actor."

In the thread "I feel so bad for Lennie James," heyyoowhatsupb*tches described James by saying, "Great guy, great actor." They went on to say, "I despise his character so much, but I feel so bad for Lennie. He really deserves better than this sh*t tier character they have him play."

It's a shame that such a beloved character turned sour for so many The Walking Dead viewers, but, they'll always have that killer first episode to remember Morgan by.