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Clemetine-PTSD and Nightmares.

posted by Qipoi on - Viewed by 5.6K users

I'm surprised we haven't seen any nightmare sequences like walker Clem in season 1, or at least references to nightmares, like Telltale showing us the audio of Lee's nightmare where he killed the senator.

Before I slap you with this wall of text, I'll pose the question: don't you think Clementine would be afflicted with some pretty bad post traumatic stress or at least nightmares considering everything she has seen and been through? It would certainly be an interesting theme for Telltale to explore given the extremely personal viewpoint we get in TWD game. Plus that, I think some more awareness needs to be spread about post traumatic stress.

It's not something that I want Clem to have to live with, but it only seems reasonable that she would be affected by her experiences in that manner given everything she has been through. I'm surprised she can get even a single nights worth of peaceful sleep given the huge cavalcade of horrors she had to go through all at once in episode 5 of season 1, not to mention the ones implied in season 2, and the other traumas inflicted on her throughout season 1.

I'll make a list:
1.Gets kidnapped by a maniac which she may then have to kill
2.gets smeared with intestines so she can sneak with Lee through the nightmarish walker herd. Man I would never forget that fear if I had to sneak through a horde of corpses. But then I'm not as tough as Clementine.
3.Sees her parents Ed and Diana as walkers, not really something you can unsee;
4.then she has to either kill out of mercy or leave Lee behind in the saddest scene of season 1.

The remainder of her possible mental trauma was not in a single day, but here's an unorganized list to give you an idea:

5.She also witnesses (to an unknown extent) Christa's baby dying
6. She witnessed Omid die in front of her, and in her mind it was her fault.
7. Speaking of guilt, she feels responsible for the deaths of Lee, Kenny, and Ben due to her running away.
8. In Season 1, she saw one of her friends, either Carley or Doug get shot in the face right in front of her,
9. One of her closest friends, Duck, dies, which she semi-witnesses, then she hears Katjaa kill herself
10. She see's Lee's friend Mark crawling down the stairs with no legs, and she then has to climb through the horror show of cutting tools the St Johns use to save Lee, Kenny and Lilly.

TL:DR she's seen more shit than the average Vietnam war veteran. I'm honestly surprised that she doesn't get recurring nightmares over the shit she has seen. Maybe she does, and Telltale are waiting until later to hit us with this, like with Lee. It would be interesting if due to her traumas, nightmares became a discomforting, recurring and unshakable aspect of Clementine's story, much like these kind of nightmares become an unshakable part of life for people who have to suffer them in real life.

Anyway, I'll just end this conversation starter with this other conversation starter:

  • It seems to be a much more devastating and interesting (story wise) affliction for a character to have to live with than any physical injury, to me at least.

  • The only way she wouldn't have some sort of trauma is if she was a sociopath like Nate.

    A guy like Nate would love the apocalypse. For a kid like Clem to have everything she knew torn from her, then to be given hope in the form of Lee, to lose that as well, and all the other shit she's been through, yeah she could be pretty close to the edge.

    People deal with situations like that in different ways. Some dissociate, think Allen from the comics. Some end up like Joel, totally repressing any emotion and focusing on pure survival as the only thing that matters. Some go bat shit crazy, like Brian Blake.
    Clem's a nice person, I can't see her going bad, and she's obviously tough.

    Oddly, sometimes younger children have an easier time adapting than adults. This sort of world would be pretty darwinian, anyone with the propensity to "cease to function" wouldn't last long unless protected by others.

    I think Clem's shown she's strong enough, but she's still a little kid. I worry that in order to survive a world like this, she's gonna have to do and see a lot worse.
    It would be great if the issues you mentioned were explored further.

    • Thanks for your opinion. It just seemed like a waste of potential story material to put Clementine through all of that, but then not explore her mental state as a key issue, especially considering the audiences personal connection to the character.

      • They'd probably have some sort of 'waking dream' scene. Like they did with Lee on the train, where he sees Clem as a zombie who attacks him.

        • Lee was in the RV when it happened though.But still agree.

          • You're right. RV. My bad :) Still think it would be a cool idea. Like maybe her seeing Omid after he's shot and Christa yelling that she got him killed (even if Christa didnt say that). Or flashback to where she had to leave Lee (or shoot him).

            Or all the members of the first group coming back as zombies and surrounding her and they're going to tear her to shreds when she wakes up with a start.

            Or maybe the opposite - something where she's having a GOOD dream about happy times with Lee, like when he's pushing her on the swing, then wakes up to see a Walker grabbing at her and it goes from good dream to bad nightmare real world.

  • It always annoys me when people hear this song and say something like "FUCK YEAH AUSSIE PRIDE MATE!"

    To me it feels like they are completely missing the point of the song; that war is horrible, and you should feel horrible if you are responsible for sending men and women off to to be broken and killed without a damn good reason.

    If it makes sense, I think the message of the song is that it is wrong to glorify war: we should solemnly remember the sacrifices of those men and women, but not act as if it is anything for us personally to be proud of, and be very wary when someone suggests war as a feasible course of action.

    I guess it's easier to thump your chest and cheer, than to actually think about and remember all the horrible shit that has happened to people in the past, and still affects many people in the present, and try to apply that knowledge to avoiding the same mistakes in the future.

  • I'm sure we'll be seeing at least one nightmare over the course of season 2.

    She has a lot of pain and guilt inside her, and no one to talk to about it.

    "I ran away. I was stupid. He died trying to get me back..."

    "Sometimes people end up dying because of me..."

  • Back to talking about the walking dead:

    I know that Telltale can do dream sequences well both directly (actual scenes that you see) and indirectly (scenes that are only implied or heard).

    I do hope we get a mix of both this season, inspired by the events of last season, this season, and the 16 month gap.

  • I hope they do that. That would be cool if Clem had flashbacks kinda like Lee did in s1e1.

  • I would hope for her Trauma to be addressed in future episodes, nightmares, or flashbacks especially to the 16 month gap between seasons. But it does not only have to come in the form of just nightmares. PTSD causes people to react very differently. Clem could become very withdrawn, easily angered, even overtly hyper. I would hope to continue to have some say in the ways her PTSD manifests.

  • The walking dead game never played out that way, it's about reality, choice and consequences, and not dreams, since what you do in dreams stays in dreams and doesn't have a huge influence in your real life...

    I guess you will know what happened in the 16 months like you found out about Lee's past, through conversation.

    • ptsd affects reality, choice, and consequences

      • Yes, I know they do, taht's not what I meant. In real life when you have a dream or ptsd it will affect your judgment and decisions, but in the game, Clementine can have dreams and allucinations and you (as the player) don't bother what they say, that's just what I ment.

        I jsut don't see Telltale writers doing that since they never made it in other episodes ;)

        • I think all of it comes down to player choice. You as the player can choose to make Clem who you want her to be irregardless of where the story goes or you can allow the story to not only shape Clem but shape how you perceive Clem. If Clem has a dream where she is back in the room with Lee about to shoot him, you as the player can allow that dream to affect how you interact with people in reality. I think it could make for an interesting sub arc to the stories main plot.

  • Clem cannot possibly get post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Because in TWD, the trauma never ends.

  • If I am correct PTSD usualy occures after vets have returned home. You could make the argument that she could not have it because she hasn't had the proper time to let these events affect her, since there are constant new ordeals popping up pushing past events further and further down.

    The nightmares could make for interesting story. Perhaps instead of reaccuring nightmares she mentions she used to have nightmares, but she doesn't get them anymore (becoming more detached, less able to undertsnad her feelings (meaning even her unconscious mind cannot visualize such traumatic things)). I'm not sure how this idea could play a major role in the story (like the OP idea could) but it could leave some heavy underlying discomfort and/or sadness? Just an idea.

    • True, but some people can break down in the field completely. There's some really old footage of soldiers in the first world war that had been subjected to shelling for days and they can hardly walk.

      PTSD usually doesn't occur while adrenaline is high and there's immediate danger, but even a sense of momentary safety can bring on sudden symptoms. All depends how long you've been in the shit, so to speak, and how deep in it you've been.

      That and basic psychological makeup. A small percentage (according to Col. Dave Grossmans book on the subject, about 2%) are immune to the sort of psychological trauma most people experience after really fucked up events.

      Unfortunately, these people tend to be like Nate.

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