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Walter White & Mike Ehrmantraut: How Are They Different In Breaking Bad?

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Apart from being one of the greatest shows ever made, Breaking Bad also has one of the most iconic characters that ever appeared on television. Two of them are Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, and Mike Ehrmantraut, played by Johnathan Banks. Both of them are often compared with each other, considering their motivations for living a life of crime.

But, fans recently have spotted a huge difference between these two characters. And it’s interesting to see. This is because many fans expected the two to have similar paths. However, their paths varied massively, with Mike turning out to be a saint compared to Walt.

Mike Ehrmantraut was more “human” than Walter White

Walter White & Mike Ehrmantraut: How Are They Different In Breaking Bad?
AMC ©

Interestingly enough, both Mike and Walt got into the Meth business for similar reasons – to provide for their families. Moreover, they both knew they didn’t have long to live. That is why they wanted to leave enough behind for them. Fans noted this on Quora too. Walt was inevitably going to die from cancer. And on the other hand, Mike’s life was shattered after his son’s death. He had practically lost all meaning in life, but he wanted to leave enough for his daughter in law and granddaughter before he died.

However, there is one significant way with which these two characters differed. Mike had a heart, whereas Walt did not. Mike Ehrmantraut was known for his generosity before venturing into a life of crime. He had some compassion and rules in the game. It was extremely evident in Better Call Saul too, where he was strictly against killing civilians. Walter White, on the other hand, was not so generous.

Power corrupted Walt

Even though Mike was in the criminal world for decades longer than Walt, he had some compassion in him. Despite his composure and the power he wielded in his profession, he had some humanity left in him. But, Walter White, on the other hand, was not as human and in fact, power corrupted him. Heisenberg corrupted him.

In the beginning, Walt had a sense of right and wrong. Despite creating Meth, he knew his limits and what he should and shouldn’t do. But, as the show progressed and he began to kill more and more people who came in his way, his humanity started to fade away.

The perfect way to describe this is how *spoilers* Walt killed Mike. He needlessly killed him, and thus gave Mike a noble death in some regard. Now, Mike was no angel by any means. He was a cold and ruthless killer. However, when you put Mike Ehrmantraut and Walter White in the same lineup, anyone would take Mike over Walt in a heartbeat.

Which one of the two had serial killer tendencies?

One close analysis of Walter White’s personality shows that he may have the tendency to become a serial killer. Usually, serial killers keep trophies from their murders. The trophies that Walt kept from his murders were their unique personality traits. It is as if all of them lived on as Walt himself.

If this theory is to be believed, it is the biggest difference between Mike Ehrmantraut and Walter White. As big of a killer as Mike was, he did not kill for joy or keep trophies with himself. He only murdered out of necessity, which is still pretty bad but hey, we gotta deal with what Breaking Bad gave us. When you put this into context, it just goes to show how different Walt was from Mike, and how cunning he was. And fans and critics will keep on deciphering this for years, or even decades, from now.

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