ByKatie Granger, writer at
MP Staff Writer, come to bargain.
Katie Granger

And finally, it has happened; the event fans of The Walking Dead comic books have been waiting for, as Jesus finally enters the stage to join our Survivors against the zombie apocalypse.

But no, sadly, it's not that Jesus. Rather The Walking Dead's newest character Paul "Jesus" Rovia was introduced in Sunday's episode "The Next World," and he made quite a splash along the way. Check out his entrance into the show below!

It was always going to take a lot to top the events of the prior episode "No Way Out," but the introduction of Jesus has been an event long awaited in the show, and the actor behind the name (and the beard), Tom Payne, didn't disappoint.

But between graphic novel and screen a lot of things get lost in translation or otherwise changed, and The Walking Dead is no exception; in fact, it's one of the best examples of such.

The show has never exactly been wholly faithful to its source material — rather, it engages in a brief flirtation with the text, taking plot points and stringing them along roughly in the same order, changing the story enough to make the two worth talking about as entirely separate texts.

This means characters that are still alive in the show are dead in the books (and vice versa), and other things are switched around. The books also include subplots that don't translate well into mainstream television (even something as envelope pushing as The Walking Dead) — such as the affair between Andrea and Dale and the brutalization of Michonne at the hands of The Governor, who also chops off Rick's hand when first they meet.

That's just rude.
That's just rude.

This is by no means a bad thing, though, in fact it means that fans have two slightly different stories to engage with (and it's why we're holding out hope that the big Glenn event won't take place in the show; we're still traumatized).

But it looked like Jesus was set to have a pretty faithful adaptation into the show, so there was something a little odd that fans of the comics (or just those who have been reading about Jesus in the run-up to his character being introduced) might have noticed.

It's a small thing for sure, but you may have thought it strange that Jesus's full name was changed for his entrance into the show. In the original comic he's called Paul Monroe, in the show he's Paul Rovia.

So why is this? Well, as it turns out the answer isn't really all that exciting.

When asked by how close his version of Jesus would be to the original, Payne responded that he "went close to the comic book" as well as the show script, though he does think that his version of Jesus is a little lighter and more colorful than that of the comics.

But the name change? Well, it seems that the AMC showrunners decided to change his surname in order to avoid any confusion with the (now-deceased) Deanna Monroe, as Payne clarified:

"I have no absolute answer on that but my understanding of that is it's purely for the people who don't read the comic books to not be confused. I think because you have Deanna and her family and I think it's just about, 'What do you mean? Are they related?'"
Jesus' ninja skills
Jesus' ninja skills

But, as he says, his surname isn't all that important, as we're probably not going to hear the name Paul Rovia again anyway.

In the words of Payne, the big thing to take away from this is that the name change is an arbitrary thing, and:

"At the end of the day, the most important name is Jesus!"

The next episode of The 'Walking Dead' — entitled 'Knots Untie' — is set to air February 28, 2016.


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