Currently the petition that was started by fans of Beth Green on The Walking Dead to bring the character back after she was killed in the mid-season finale has gotten more than 54,000 signatures and a good bit of press. Fans are adamant that if they keep pushing the petition AMC will have no choice but to bring back Beth Greene but they are only setting themselves up for disappointment. Beth Greene won’t be returning.
It’s a little surprising that Beth, a minor character who never even got much screen time until the second half of Season 4 when she had a few episodes with fan favorite Daryl Dixon, has gotten so much fan support. Longtime fans of the show didn’t start any petitions to bring back major and beloved characters like Hershel, Andrea, or even The Governor. So why have so many fans rallied around Beth Greene?
Anger at the Way Beth Died
One of the major reasons why fans seem so upset about Beth’s death is that they think Beth’s death was without meaning. When other major characters on the show have died they were killed in ways that advanced the story or were the result of actions beyond their control. Hershel was beheaded by The Governor. Andrea committed suicide after being taken prisoner by The Governor, chained to a chair, and having to fight a zombie Milton who was killed by The Governor and left in a room with Andrea to turn and kill her. Merle Dixon was killed by The Governor when he tried to redeem himself by killing The Governor. Dale, one of the original cast, was killed by a walker. But Beth was shot by Dawn as a reaction after she stabbed Dawn in the shoulder with a pair of scissors. Fans see her death as senseless and they are angry that she was brought back after disappearing in Season 4 only to be killed in Season 5.
Why The Petition Won’t Work
While it’s got to be heartwarming for Emily Kinney to know that more than 54,000 fans wish her well and would love for her to come back on the show it’s not going to happen. One of the biggest reasons why Beth Greene isn’t coming back on the show is that the second half of Season 5 is already shot and ready to screen this spring. In order to bring the character back the cast and crew would have to totally reshoot the last half of Season 5 to incorporate Beth into an already existing storyline. There’s no way that AMC or Raleigh Studios would ok the expense of reshooting an entire half season just to bring back a character. There’s also the fact that reshooting would change the entire storyline that the writers have worked out for Season 6, which starts production in May.
Another reason why it’s not possible to bring Beth back is that even though 54,000 fans would love to see Beth come back millions more would abandon the show if AMC caved in to fan demands and brought Beth back. 54,000 is an impressive number, but compared to the more than 12 million fans who watch the show every week it’s a drop in the bucket. There’s no way the show would risk alienating a massive percentage of the show’s fanbase by creating some crazy dream scenario to explain Beth’s death and then bringing back the character.
No One is Safe
The most compelling reason why the petition to bring Beth back won’t work is that it would compromise the integrity of the show. From the very beginning Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, Greg Nicotero and the other writers and producers have been very clear that no character is safe from being killed off at any point. Beth’s death was a tragic event triggered by a petty and stupid act but that is how life is sometimes. Sometimes people die because they did something stupid. Even though the characters live in a post-zombie apocalypse world that doesn’t mean they are immune to tragic accidents or that every death has to have meaning. All of the beloved characters on the show could be killed at any point. Fans will have to accept that just being a fan favorite isn’t enough to protect the characters they love and once they are gone, they are gone.