Kenny Is What Made Telltale’s ‘The Walking Dead’ Epic

This is true for me anyway.

I think the relationship the player has with Kenny really affects how the story plays out. I guess for some it might not be quite the same. Some players might agree with him all along, and be best buddies, while others will always be opposed to him, and have a constant adversary in the group.

For me though, the friendship with Kenny was a roller-coaster. WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT!

We first met at the Greene’s farm. Hershel casually mentioned another family staying with them. So I went to say hello.

At first it was a small talk kind of ‘hey, need a hand’ type thing, with minimal actual interest in getting to know this guy. When he politely refused, I figured that would be the extent of it.

But then, trouble hits. Walkers strike, and both Kenny’s and Hershel’s sons are in danger. In retrospect it seems foolish that we both helped Duck and neither tried to save Shawn, but that’s how it was, and it formed a bond between the two of us.

Hershel banished us from the farm, and Kenny offered Clem and I space in his truck. I figured we’d go as far as he was willing to take us and part ways.

We reach Macon, where there are more walkers. Rescued by strangers and shuffled into the drugstore, a new argument breaks out when an angry old man, who looks dangerous despite his age, starts threatening Kenny’s boy, who he thinks has been bitten.

I stay loyal to Kenny, and our bond is strengthened. Now, it’s official. We’re a team, we have each other’s backs.

But as things progress, Kenny’s argumentative side shows up more and more often. Never directed at me, but I’m always diplomat in the middle. “Calm down Kenny, we can figure this out, let’s keep the group together.”

Meanwhile, I’m still helping him look out for his family. Duck’s only a little kid, so when food is scarce, he’s top of my list to be fed along with Clem.
kenny convo
The arguments are fairly small fry, and peace tends to be restored for short periods until the incident at the St John’s farm. We didn’t know for sure if Larry was in danger of death, but Kenny went straight in and crushed his skull.

I told him straight. I thought that would be it for the group. He murdered Lilly’s father and she would never forgive him.

Then, later when Duck was actually bitten, and it was certain that he would die, Kenny became defensive, insistent that a cure could be found. I don’t think he saw the irony of the situation compared to that with Larry.

Of course, that situation ended horribly. Kenny lost his son and his wife, and although he was handling things pretty badly, it was a fair time to cut him some slack.
kenny angry
Kenny seemed obsessed with getting a boat, even though it wasn’t a great plan. I stuck with him and when arguments flared up with other survivors, I was back to being the peacekeeper. I told Ben not to say anything to Kenny about his deal with the bandits, because I didn’t want to deal with Kenny’s response. It came out later anyway, but I still tried to keep things calm.

It came to a head though when Clem disappeared. Now I needed him. I needed help to save that little girl. When I asked for it, he was wishy washy, trying to tell me I hadn’t been there for him. I could have reasoned with him, I could have reminded him that I’d always help Duck, I could have said Clem was like my family. But with the ups and downs, his killing Larry, his hypocritical attitude when it came to the bitten Duck, the way he held grudges, I had had enough and rarely has a game given such a moment of satisfaction as when I yelled “Fuck you, Kenny!”.
I went on alone, and on returning found the group trapped in a shed. I let them out and we went on together. I’d lost faith in pretty much every member of the group along the way, and just wanted to find Clem and get away from them.

But then Ben got in trouble. It seemed like suicide, but Kenny went to help him. Kenny went to rescue the boy who he thought had killed his family. When we found that Ben couldn’t be saved, Kenny gave him a mercy kill and fought back the walkers. It looked like he was dead. We thought he was dead, but in his last moments he had completely redeemed himself.
kenny season 2
Flash forward, Lee’s dead, Clem’s almost two years older and she’s with a new group. To her surprise she meets Kenny again, who had somehow survived and is making a new life with his partner Sarita.

It’s like two old friends getting back together again. They catch up, share a meal, and Clem almost adopts him as the new Lee.

But then it all starts again. Kenny is arguing with people. He’s making rifts when the group needs to keep it together. But he’s there for Clem. He wants to be the protective father again.

That seems to come to an end when Clem attempts to save Sarita’s life by amputating her arm, but loses her to walkers anyway. Again Kenny needs to blame someone, and Clem who had put an axe through Sarita’s head is the prime target.

Later, Kenny cools down, and realises that Clem had done what she had to do. It’s tense, but he wants to move on. He wants to ditch the rest of the group and go it alone with her.

Kenny proves his mettle once more as he faces a horde of walkers alone giving the rest a chance to escape, but is this bravery, or is this madness?

Things finally come to a head when Jane tests Kenny’s character in an attempt to prove to Clem that he is not the good person she wants him to be. Jane and Kenny fight and it looks like only one will make it out alive. It comes to a point where Kenny has Jane pinned to the ground, and all he needs to do is impale her neck with his combat knife.

She’s beaten, but he won’t let go. Clem sits by, an impossible choice in front of her. Shoot Kenny and save Jane, or let Kenny finish her.
Fresh in Clem’s mind is the reconciliation they had, but in front of her is a madman with a knife intent on murder. But he believes Jane has murdered a baby, so maybe he is justified. But Jane told Clem that there was nothing to worry about, and had not been given a chance to explain herself fully. Maybe the baby was ok? Maybe this really was a test for Kenny. Then Clem’s mind goes through all the times she’s seen Kenny lose his temper, right back to when she was travelling with Lee, including the time she saw him drop an salt lick on a man’s head while he was having a heart attack. He’s unstable, he’s not completely trustworthy, he may have done a good thing with Ben, but since then he’s slipped back to his old ways. Clem pulls the trigger, tears streaming from her eyes.

She crawls over to him, and in his moments of peace, he tells her she did the right thing, perhaps realising that he really was out of control.

She had to kill him, but she really really did not want to.

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