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Everything you need to know about fan-favorite The Walking Dead character Clementine

Popverse's guide to The Walking Dead character Clementine

Want to know more about Clementine? The Walking Dead originated as a comic series almost two decades ago, but Clementine debuted much later. In 2012, Clementine entered the Walking Dead universe in Telltale's The Walking Dead, the first of a series of video games in which players influence the adventure by making decisions that lead down different branches. Now, a decade later, Clementine is making her way to the comics in a new series by Tillie Walden. This series will comprise three graphic novels that will detail Clementine’s journey after the final season, the first of which is set to launch in July 2022.

If you're excited for new The Walking Dead comics and want to know more about Clementine, we've got you covered. Below, we'll explain everything you need to know about Clementine, including what happened in the Telltale games, the weapons and skills she has, important characters in her story, and how she fits into the wider The Walking Dead universe.

Who is Clementine?

Clementine, created by lead writer Sean Vanaman and voiced by Melissa Hutchison, is a young girl who we first meet living in the suburbs of Atlanta. We don’t learn her full name, but many characters refer to her as ‘Clem’ or ‘Sweet Pea’ throughout the early seasons. Clementine’s ethnicity is never explicitly mentioned during the game, but Melissa Hutchison states in episode 247 of The Walking Dead ‘Cast that Clementine is black and asian.

Her first appearance is in the first episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series, titled ‘A New Day’. In this episode, the player controls the protagonist, Lee Everett, as he stumbles into Clementine’s garden while trying to escape from a group of zombies. Clementine is home alone, as her parents left for vacation shortly before the apocalypse began. This prompts Lee and Clementine to team up and travel together throughout the first season, during which the pair bond and form a father-daughter relationship.

Since she is very young when the series begins, Clementine is rather naive and innocent. Her main goal in the first season is to find her parents, despite the likelihood that they died during the start of the apocalypse. However, she is also brave and headstrong, able to help Lee with various puzzles and dangerous situations. When Lee is bitten towards the end of the first season, Clementine must choose to either kill him or allow him to turn into a walker. The player then controls Clementine as the main protagonist in future seasons.

Season 2 picks up a few months later, as Clementine travels with some old friends. However, the season quickly separates Clem from the others and jumps forward by over a year, at which point she finds a new group. She travels North with these throughout Season 2, but grows independent and is cautious to rely on the group.

After reuniting with Kenny, a fellow survivor who disappeared during Season 1, Clementine initially becomes more relaxed. However, Kenny does not protect her from the horrors of the apocalypse, instead showing Clementine a harsher side to the world that forces her to make tough decisions and ultimately leave her innocent childhood behind.

As Season 2 draws to a close, Clementine becomes the guardian of AJ, a baby whose mother died and reanimated during birth. There are various endings for Season 2, but they all lead to Clementine becoming the sole carer for AJ in Season 3. Throughout the third Season, set a few years later, she acts as AJ’s parent, much as Lee and Kenny did for her previously. This season deals with Clementine trying to cure AJ of an illness while she navigates the tensions amidst a group known as the New Frontier.

Season 4 jumps ahead a few years again, with Clementine and AJ quickly encountering and joining a group who live in a boarding school. Most of the season focuses on Clementine protecting the group from an old foe, Lilly, who either abandoned or was left behind by Clem, Lee, and the rest of their original group years ago during Season 1 depending on the choices you made. After mounting an attack on Lilly’s group and saving some children, Clem is wounded and ultimately bitten by a walker. She then tells AJ to shoot her or leave her to reanimate, mirroring the finale of Season 1. However, Clem ultimately survives as AJ amputates her leg. The game ends with the pair choosing to live in the boarding school.

The new Clementine comic series picks up a few weeks after the final season. In a short prelude released in July 2021, named ‘Skybound X: Clementine Lives’, Clementine decides to leave AJ and the boarding school behind. She begins to travel North alone, which is where the Tillie Walden Clementine graphic novels will begin.

How old is Clementine?

During Season 1, Clementine is 8 years old, making her much younger than most of the other survivors in her group. She celebrates her 9th birthday in Season 1 episode 3, ‘Long Road Ahead’.

Season 2 jumps ahead a few years at the start, leaving us uncertain of Clementine’s age in the first episode. However, Clementine reveals that she is 11 while talking to Bonnie during the second episode of Season 2.

As mentioned above, Season 3 has another time skip. However, we learn Clementine’s rough age fairly early in the season, with Ava assuming that she is around 13 in episode 2. While Clementine doesn’t confirm her age at this point, it’s safe to assume that she is around 13 judging by the timeline.

Season 4 jumps ahead again by a few years, but Clementine’s age is never revealed in the final season. However, Melissa Hutchison confirms in this video that Clementine is 16 during Season 4.

Who are Clementine’s parents?

When Telltale’s The Walking Dead begins, Clementine’s parents aren’t around to care for her. This is because they went on a trip to Savannah shortly before the apocalypse started. However, we do learn that their names are Ed and Diana during a voicemail message that plays early in the first episode. Lee learns from this message that Ed was attacked by a crazy man, suggesting that he was infected by a walker. We later see her parents in the final episode of Season 1, when Clementine finds them zombified among a horde in Savannah.

What are Clementine’s skills?

Clementine begins as an innocent, naive child, but she is shown to be brave and clever for her age. She helps Lee with various challenges in the first season and slowly picks up some invaluable survival skills, including how to shoot a gun and mask her scent from walkers.

Throughout the future seasons, Clementine is shown to be adept with a range of weapons. She is also a proficient survivor, able to stitch her own wound with makeshift medical supplies, protect others from harm, and ultimately raise a child.

She is able to survive in a group, but eventually realises that she is happier alone. This independence leads to her leaving AJ and the boarding school group for her own adventure, which is where the Clementine book series will begin.

The origin of Clementine

In a Game Informer feature from 2012, lead writer Sean Vanaman states that ‘Clementine was literally the first idea’ for Telltale's The Walking Dead. The article goes on to state that the final choice of season 1, in which Clementine must choose whether to shoot Lee (the main player character and her custodian throughout the series) or leave him to turn into a walker, was the first scenario that they wrote for the game. Everything else would then lead to this moment, with Clementine acting as the moral compass for Lee and the player throughout.

In the same interview, Vanaman states that the team were initially reluctant to make a child the core of such a brutal, hostile universe. However, Vanaman found that the team's reservations quickly passed, and Clementine eventually became the crux of the entire project. Fortunately, fans warmed to Clementine in the same way, but there was fear that this wouldn't be the case.

According to Eurogamer, fellow Telltale writer Jake Rodkin spoke about Clementine at a Game Developers Conference panel in 2013, where he expressed the team's doubts over Clem while speaking about writing characters with whom the player would want to travel. "Why would you not leave this group of assholes?", stated Rodkin. "If you don't care about that child then we're doubly screwed, because you'd be frustrated by this group and you'd be shackled to this little kid you don't care about. Was there talk about leaving Clementine out of the game a week before voice recording? Yes. Yes there was."

How does Clementine fit within The Walking Dead universe?

The Walking Dead is currently split into two sides: the comics universe and the live action universe. Clementine has never appeared in the TV universe, with the Telltale series and her upcoming comics both part of the comic universe. Throughout her adventures, she has met various characters who appear in the mainline comics, such as Jesus and Glenn. With the ‘Clementine Lives’ prelude and upcoming ‘Clementine’ series, she is finally coming full circle and entering into the comics herself.

The only thing that remains to be seen, then, is whether Clementine could enter into the live action side of the Walking Dead universe in a tv show or movie. While there are no official plans to introduce Clementine, the live-action Walking Dead universe is currently expanding massively. The flagship series is coming to an end in 2022, but there are many spinoff shows and movies currently in the works. With these spinoffs set to focus on popular characters, such as Rick Grimes, Maggie, Negan, Daryl, and Carol, it’s certainly possible that we may also see a Clementine project in the near future.

That wraps up everything you need to know about Clementine. The first book in Tillie Walden’s Clementine series is set to release in July 2022, but you can catch Clementine’s first comic appearance in Skybound X: Clementine Lives.

Interested in reaading more about Tillie walden and her work on the Clementie comics? Check out Popverse's interview with Walden.

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