the walking dead

The children in Robert Kirkman’s THE WALKING DEAD never seem to be able to cope with the new world overrun with zombies. As kids, they are developing an understanding of life as they grow and throwing flesh eating monsters into the mix doesn’t make things easier. Just look at the dangerous Lizzie Samuels and her delusional understanding of walkers. She develops incredibly poorly, so much so that she is executed by her beloved stand-in-mom Carol (LOOK AT THE FLOWERS!). Like Lizzie, Ron Anderson has his own issues dealing with the harsh nature of the new environment.

READ: Lizzie is one psychotic little girl in THE WALKING DEAD. Find out how!

In THE WALKING DEAD comic series, Ron is the only son of Jessie and Pete Anderson. Ron is first seen sporting a black eye when introduced to Rick Grimes. Rick becomes suspicious when Ron tells him he hit his eye by accident, prompting his mother to tell Rick that Ron is abusive to both Ron and herself. This creates tension between Rick and Pete and the eventual execution of Pete by Rick.


Ron’s character in THE WALKING DEAD TV series closely resembles the character in the comics with a few exceptions. He is written to be similar to Carl’s TV show age and Ron’s physical abuse is never explicitly presented as he doesn’t show up with a black eye. However, his mother, Jessie, does reference the abuse by asking Ron to raise his arm over his head, which he cannot do because of his father’s physical abuse. Ron’s story goes a bit further than his comic book counterpart. After Rick kills his father, Pete, Ron become vengeful and attempts to kill Carl.

the walking dead

Ron’s desire to seek revenge for his father is a curious decision, since Pete was distant and abusive to Ron, his brother Sam, and his mother Jessie. It would seem right that Ron would hold hatred for his father for all of the pain he has brought instead of the love he has for him. However, this behavior is not unheard of. Many children have a connection with their abusers in what is referred to as “trauma bonding.”

READ: Learn more on Pete Anderson’s abusive behavior in THE WALKING DEAD!

Ron has created a traumatic bond with his abusive father, who was not always aggressive according to Jessie. At an early stage, children build attachments to their parents as they learn from them and become dependent on them. Therefore, with Ron being a teenager, he has developed this kind of relationship with his father, and it remains even during the time of abuse. Ron exhibits emotional and behavioral signs that make it clear he has a traumatic bond with his father. He lies about his black eye in the comics to effectively protect his father from any punishment. In the TV show, he covers up his abuse from his mother, who has to figure it out herself. Furthermore, it seems like Ron feels indebted to his abuser since he despises his mother’s relationship with Rick, and he feels the need to get revenge on Rick on behalf of his father.

the walking dead

Before the death of his father, Ron seemed like a normal child. He has been shown to be social able, having a girlfriend in Enid, and going to school. For victims of child abuse, there are many symptoms that they have been known to exhibit. Ron may have had these, but they were not shown in the comic or TV series. His mental state may have been worse than first revealed, which could have attributed to his murderous thoughts.

the walking dead

Could Ron have received treatment or help? Not in this new world where psychologists and law enforcement are scarce. This is why Rick took it upon himself to enforce “justice” on Pete by executing him. Ron would have needed counseling to cope with his father and the abuse he suffered. Without any help, Ron’s traumatic bond led him to seek revenge for his father.


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