Shane Walsh is a fictional character from the comic book series The Walking Dead and the American television series of the same name. In the comic series, Shane is portrayed as a Cynthiana Sheriff's Deputy, as well as the longtime friend and fellow police officer of series protagonist Rick Grimes. After Rick is shot and put into a coma, and the zombie outbreak occurs, he rescues Rick's family and leads a group of survivors, becoming romantically involved with Rick's wife Lori. When Rick returns to his family alive, Shane grows increasingly jealous of their relationship, as well as Rick's increasing leadership over the group, resulting in him confronting Rick and is eventually killed by Rick's son Carl. After the group realizes that the dead can reanimate without being bitten or scratched, Rick returns weeks after, digs up Shane's burial site and kills Shane as a walker.
Shane is portrayed in the television series by Jon Bernthal as the primary deuteragonist of the show. Shane is initially shown as a secondary protagonist in the first season, assisting Rick in his decisions; however in the second season, he had developed into the show's primary antagonist, becoming more aggressive and unpredictable in his envy over Rick's leadership and relationship with Lori. Shane is later killed by Rick and Carl when he turns against Rick.
Shane was a small-town police officer and best friend of Rick. After Rick is shot and put into a coma, and the dead begin to rise, Shane accompanies Lori and Carl to where Lori's parents were living. They later formed a group of survivors living on the outskirts of Atlanta, with Shane repeatedly preaching the government would one day return to save them. Shane was initially overjoyed when Rick joined the group, but gradually became jealous of Rick and Lori getting back together. This was because, while on the way to Atlanta, Shane became closer to Lori, who had grown emotionally-upset and desperate after "abandoning" the comatose Rick at the hospital. Eventually, Lori was so desperate for closeness, she had a passionate night of sex with Shane on the highway to Atlanta, something Shane wanted for a long time. Eventually, Lori brushed off Shane's advances and said their romance had to stop. Sent into an emotional meltdown by Lori siding with Rick, Shane lured Rick into the nearby woods to shoot him dead, only to be shot by Carl, dying seconds later from choking on his own blood. Shane's body is then buried in a makeshift grave, marked by a cross of twigs. Rick later returns to the grave site and shoots the reanimated Shane in the head.
Shane is portrayed in the television series as a local sheriff's deputy in King County, Georgia, and is Rick’s partner, as well as his best friend since high school. Shane was wracked with grief of Rick being severely wounded in a firefight with escaped convicts, and took it upon himself to try and rescue him as the outbreak started, attempting to avoid military personnel who were shooting innocent people in the halls. He is tortured by his responsibility in leaving him in the hospital, but also knows he never would have been able to save Lori and Carl if he hadn't left Rick. Shane harbored feelings for Lori, and the two began a sexual relationship after Shane tells Lori (and Lori tells Carl) that Rick is dead. Among the group of survivors he formed on the outskirts of the city, Shane initially became the de facto leader, a position he enjoyed.
Shane was shocked when he found Rick alive and well among the returning scavenger group, and Lori, blaming Shane and feeling he lied to her about her husband’s supposed "death" in order to seduce and have sex with her, ends their affair. At the same time, Shane finds his leadership within the group challenged by Rick – this gradually pushes him over the edge, and he begins losing both his temper and control with increasing regularity, making him reckless, erratic and dangerous to everyone around him. This is demonstrated as Shane momentarily appeared poised to shoot Rick in the back (witnessed secretly by Dale), and later at the CDC, when he gets drunk and nearly rapes Lori, believing she secretly loves him.
In Season 2, Lori and Shane have a short discussion over what has happened, both at the CDC and before during the crisis. Shane reveals to Lori that he plans to leave the group, however opts not to once Carl gets shot by a man named Otis, who leads them to his employer's farm. Lori is later revealed to be pregnant, with what may be Shane's baby. Shane later learns of this from Rick, and later confronts Lori about it, believing the baby is his. Lori, ultimately, admits this is almost certainly true, but makes it clear that while the baby would biologically be his, it would be raised by her and Rick only.
Shane becomes the primary antagonist as of the middle of Season 2, and is highly unpredictable and short-tempered. Shane bears responsibility for the death of Otis, for he shot him on purpose and left him to die, and he shows life-threatening behavior towards Dale, and is focused on discrediting Rick during his manipulative interactions with Lori. He is hinting at back-stabbing Rick when the time is right, presumably with the hope of reigniting a relationship with Lori and to resume leadership over the group. Shane later plots to kill Rick, by separating him from the group. He releases their prisoner (Randall) and leads him into the woods, where he breaks Randall's neck and injures himself, to make it appear that Randall escaped.
Shane and Rick search for Randall in the woods, with Rick unaware that Shane intends to kill him. Rick later realizes he had fallen for Shane's trap and attempts to talk Shane out of shooting him. As Shane lets his guard down from Rick's heartfelt speech, Rick inches closer to Shane and stabs him in the heart. Carl, Rick's son, from afar, sees his father hovering over Shane's body. As Rick walks towards Carl attempting to give an explanation, Carl raises his gun. Shane then rises as a Walker and advances toward Rick from behind. Carl then shoots the reanimated Shane in the head and kills him. Shane was never bitten or scratched by a Walker before his death.
In the season finale it is revealed that Rick was not as oblivious as first thought. Rick - knowing early on Shane's intentions - played along with Shane's ploy; remorselessly claiming 'he wanted Shane dead.'