Was Walter White a Cannibal?

Walter White
Walter White from 'Breaking Bad'Credit: AMC
Now is the perfect time for a Breaking Bad rewatch. 

One of the many things to do when stuck inside all this time is to watch the shows you missed, or revisit the ones you love. One that many people are rewatching is Breaking Bad, and one of my favorite recent discoveries within this show is the depths the cast and crew went into to craft Walter White. 

While we know Bryan Cranston's performance is one of the greatest ever captured, there's more than meets the eye within it. 

It seems that Walter White is actually a man of many colors and mannerisms. And some of them were cannibalistic...

Check out this video from iFilmThings, and let's talk after the jump. 

Was Walter White a Cannibal? 

So, how do you start with someone like Walter White and turn them into a cannibal? Showrunner Vince Gilligan said he came up with the main character because “white is the color of vanilla, of blandness.” He intentionally used alliteration so viewers would remember it.

All along Gilligan sought to turn Walt “from Mr. Chips into Scarface.”

He told GQ, “For instance in the pilot, it was intentional that Walt start off very beige and khaki-ish, very milquetoast, and he would progress through that one hour of television to green and thus show his process of evolution as a character.”

The more we went on, the more Walt cannibalized the evil he saw in the world. 

Look, I know some of you are mad because I am using the term "cannibal" in the non-literal sense. But hear me out. When we meet Water White, his wardrobe is subdued and sad. He wears light colors because he is a passive hero, and he gets pushed around a lot. 

The show uses Walter White's wardrobe and mannerisms to show who he is becoming. I mean, check out this website! It has a diagram of every single outfit Walter White ever wore on Breaking Bad. From the gas mask, white briefs and boots to the many head-to-toe hazmat suits. 

Credit: Walt's Wardrobe

Walter consumed the people he encountered and then took in what he thought was powerful... and changed himself. 

That's exactly what cannibals believe.

We meet him eating vegan bacon, and when we leave him in the final season, he's a carnivore again. 

'Breaking Bad'
'Breaking Bad'Credit: AMC
'Breaking Bad'
'Breaking Bad'Credit: AMC

Not enough of a cannibal leap? 

How about how he cannibalizes his wardrobe from others? 

He begins wearing light tones, but as he kills and kills again, he begins to adopt more dark colors and shades of grey (like his actions). The show's wardrobe introduces deeper and richer colors, the color shown on a lot of the dealers and enemies of Walter White... as he metaphorically eats them up. 

'Breaking Bad'
'Breaking Bad'Credit: AMC
'Breaking Bad'
'Breaking Bad'Credit: AMC

He wears green for greed, blue for royalty, and red when he's feeling rage. 

And it's not just the clothing. 

Walter cannibalizes the traits of the people he kills. Like cutting the crusts off his sandwiches as Crazy Eight does, or becoming aggressive and greedy like Tuco.

Or how about from Gus, a man Walter never thinks he'll ever be like? Once Gus is gone, Walter wears snazzier clothing and takes on his own intimidating persona. 

'Breaking Bad'
'Breaking Bad'Credit: AMC

In these ways, Walter White becomes a cannibal. A man who may have had evil inside him, but has to absorb the evil he sees in others in order to take his true form at the end of the show. 

Do you agree with this reading? Let me know what you think in the comments!      

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1 Comment

sigh, time to re-rewatch

November 10, 2020 at 8:37AM

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Jonn
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