An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living.
After being critically wounded in a shootout, police officer Rick Grimes wakes from a coma in a deserted hospital. He quickly learns that the world has been overrun by the reanimated dead (“walkers”). After making his way to his now-abandoned home in search of his wife Lori and son Carl, Rick is mistaken for a walker and knocked out by Duane Jones. Duane’s father Morgan helps Rick and tells him what little he knows about the mysterious outbreak.
Knowing that his wife has family in Atlanta Rick decides to leave Morgan and Duane and head out for the city in search of his family.
Not long after arriving in the city Rick is attacked by a horde of walkers. Rick is saved by a young man named Glenn, who takes Rick back to his camp, where Rick is reunited with Lori and Carl, as well as his former partner and friend, Shane.
There others back at the camp, among them: Dale, sisters Andrea and Amy, Carol, and Carol’s daughter Sophia.
Dale warns Rick that Shane could be a problem, as he has grown attached to Lori and Carl isn’t pleased that Rick is back. Rick and Shane argue about the group’s immediate future—Rick thinks they should move away from Atlanta to somewhere more remote and safer, Shane thinks they should stay put and wait for the military. Rick concedes but decides that the group needs more guns.
Rick and Glenn head back into the city, this time using blood and guts from downed walkers to mask their scent. The trick works and the two safely arrive at the gun store. As they leave, it starts raining, stripping the walker smell and exposing them. They manage to fight their way to safety.
Time moves on and Rick and Shane teach the group to shoot. Andrea reveals herself to be somewhat of a natural marksman, and despite Lori’s protests, Rick shoots 9 year-old Carl to shoot as well.
Soon after the group is attacked by a pack of walkers. Carl saves Lori by shooting one down. Amy is bitten in the neck and promptly dies from the wound. After the attack is over Andrea shoots her in the head to prevent her from coming back as a walker.
In the aftermath of the attack, Rick and Shane again argue about the group’s future. The fight gets physical and culminates with Shane pulling a gun on Rick, but before he can pull the trigger, he is shot and killed by Carl.
Via flashback we learn that Shane and Lori slept together in Rick’s absence.
In the present, the group buries Shane, packs the RV, and leaves. While attempting to move a car out of the road they meet Tyreese, his daughter Julie, and her boyfriend Chris. The three of them join Rick’s group as they look for a house to stay in. That night, Lori reveals to Rick that she’s pregnant.
Eventually the group finds a gated community called “Wiltshire Estates.” After clearing one of the houses they spend the night, not having seen a sign on the gate which reads “All Dead Do Not Enter.”
The next day, the group is attacked as they search the houses for supplies and survivors. Another member of the group is lost, but they manage to escape.
Low on food, Rick, Tyreese, and Carl go hunting. Carl is accidentally shot by a man named Otis, who works on a nearby farm. Luckily, the owner of the farm is a man named Hershel Greene, a veterinarian. They take Carl to the farm where Hershel is able to save them, and Rick’s group is allowed to stay at the farm until Carl heals.
Rick and Hershel have conflicting views about walkers, Hershel believing them to be living people who are simply infected and might one day be cured. To this end, he keeps all the walkers he finds in his barn. This proves fatal when the walkers break free, killing two of Hershel’s children.
After destroying all the remaining walkers, Rick and his group are asked to leave. Glenn chooses to stay, having gotten close with Hershel’s daughter Maggie.
After some time on the road, the group arrives somewhere they can settle in—a prison.
After clearing the yard and most the prison of walkers, the group enters the cafeteria and finds 4 former inmates sheltered there: Dexter, Andrew, Axel, and Thomas.
Further exploration of the prison yields a few vehicles, at which point Rick proposes going back to the farm to bring the remaining survivors to the prison. Dale and Rick return to the farm and everyone but Otis returns with them.
Not long after, Tyreese’s daughter, Julie, and her boyfriend, Chris, make a suicide pact, agreeing to shoot one another concurrently. However, only Chris pulls the trigger, killing Julie. Tyreese beats Chris to death after he shoots a reanimated Julie. This leads to the realization that a person doesn’t need to be bitten to turn into a walker.
Rick realizes this means that Shane must now be a walker and heads back to Atlanta to put him down. While he’s gone, Hershel goes looking for his twin daughters and finds their decapitated bodies in the barbershop.
Suspected of killing the twins, Dexter is locked up. But after Rick returns, Andrea is attacked by Thomas, who we learn is the real killer.
While awaiting capital punishment, Otis’ former girlfriend Patricia frees Thomas, who in turn attacks her. Maggie kills Thomas. The group decides to throw Thomas’ body to the walkers, but just after doing so, Dexter, Andrew, and Patricia turn on the group and tell them to leave the prison at gunpoint.
During the standoff between Rick’s group and Patricia, Dexter, and Andrew, walkers flood out of the prisoner, accidentally freed by Dexter. The survivors work together to take the walkers out. While they battle walkers on the inside of the prison, Otis arrives and is stuck on the outside. He’s quickly surrounded by walkers but a newcomer, Michonne, arrives and saves him.
The battle inside the prison gates winds down and Rick takes the opportunity to kill Dexter. Andrew runs off. Rick allows Michonne to join them in the prison provided she hand over her katana and dispatch the two armless, jawless walkers she keeps on leashes. She complies and joins the group.
While clearing more of the prison, one of the survivors, Allen, is bitten by a stray walker. In an attempt to save his life, Rick amputates Allen’s leg.
Carol, now in a relationship with Tyreese, sees Michonne pleasuring Tyreese. After asking Tyreese to move out of her cell, Carol is found with her wrists slit. Rick confronts Tyreese about Carol and the two come to blows. The fight ends when Rick is told that Allen has died. After putting a bullet in Allen’s head, Rick passes out.
When Rick comes to he learns that the group has decided that the stress of leading is too much for him. From now on they’ll lead by a committee made up of Rick, Dale, Hershel, and Tyreese.
After clearing the prison, Rick and Glenn don riot gear and head out to the parked cars to siphon gas. As they’re doing this, a helicopter flies overhead and unexpectedly crashes. Glenn, Michonne, and Rick take a car to look for survivors.
Arriving at the site the group finds only tracks leading away from the crash. They follow them to a town called Woodbury where their weapons are taken and they meet a man called The Governor. When Rick refuses to give any information regarding the whereabouts of their camp, The Governor cuts his hand off. Michonne attacks The Governor and is able to get a large chunk of his ear before being subdued. Rick is taken to a doctor while Glenn is locked up and Michonne is beaten and raped.
The Governor tells Rick that he released Glenn in order to trail him back to their camp, but it’s just a ruse to get Rick to confirm that they’re camped out at a prison.
After one of his gladiators is killed The Governor is forced to put Michonne in the ring, thinking she’ll be no match for his fighter. She proceeds to behead not only her opponent, but all of the walkers surrounding the ring before being subdued.
One of The Governor’s men, Martinez, comes to Rick and tells him they have to leave immediately. With Glenn in tow, they head to Michonne’s cell. They free her and are joined by the doctor and his assistant Alice as they make their escape. When they get to the wall surrounding the town, Michonne tells them that she’s going back to take care of The Governor. As the group climbs over the wall, the doctor is killed by a walker.
Michonne finds and mutilates The Governor, leaving him handless, eyeless, and close to death. She escapes Woodbury and joins up with Rick, Glenn, Martinez, and Alice. They return to the prison to find it overrun with walkers. After regaining control, Martinez takes off. Rick hunts him down and kills him before he can tell The Governor where the prison is.
Rick comes back to the prison and tells everyone that they need to prepare for the eventual arrival of The Governor.
There’s some down time after the escape from Woodbury. Lori nears her due date, Glenn and Maggie get married in the prison cafeteria, and the survivors take stock of their weapons and ammunition as they prepare for attack.
On the way back from a supply trip to the National Guard station, Maggie, Glenn, Andrea, Tyreese, Michonne, and Axel decide to stop at a Wal-Mart to check for supplies. While there, a group of The Governor’s men show up. The survivors manage to kill The Governor’s men but not without injury: Glenn is shot in the chest. Although wearing riot gear, he’s still hurt.
Back at the prison Lori goes into labor and gives birth to a baby girl whom they name Judith. While getting gas for the generator, Dale is bitten on the ankle by a lurker. The group that went for supplies arrives back at the prison and finds him outside. They rush him to the infirmary where Rick and Alice amputate his leg. Unlike Allen, Dale survives his amputation.
A few weeks pass in relative peace. Andrea takes a team out for target practice and brings a “live” walker back into the compound for Alice to study, Rick is reluctant but allows it. Carol speaks to Lori about taking care of Sophia if anything should happen to her. She then sleeps with Billy, walks out into the yard, tells the walker that everyone is judgmental and she has no friends, and lets the walker take a giant chunk out of her neck.
A shocked group runs to her as she dies. Andrea puts Carol down after reanimating and they hold a funeral for her.
Some more time goes by, Andrea and Tyreese make a peg leg for Dale, and just as things are seemingly settling down The Governor shows up with all his men in cars, trucks, and a tank.
After Michonne’s attack, The Governor was close to death, but he managed to survive. After being unconscious for days, he wakes up, ready to get revenge. As he recovers, they manage to find Martinez’s reanimated corpse. The Governor uses his head and the death of the doctor to convince the residents of Woodbury to attack the prison. A search party manages to find the prison and after The Governor waits for the survivors to let their guard down he attacks.
The Governor’s people open fire. Andrea gets to a tower and starts picking men off. The Governor uses a megaphone to tell the survivors that if they surrender their weapons and gear no one has to die. No one believes him and the battle continues. Andrea and Axel are shot but The Governor retreats so they can regroup. After they leave the group is taking account of their injuries when Rick comes out of the prison, bleeding from the stomach profusely.
Andrea and Axel are patched up without much difficulty but Rick requires a transfusion from Michonne. While he recovers, Andrea, Dale, Maggie, Glenn, Sophia, Ben, and Billy decide to leave the prison in the RV before The Governor returns. Michonne and Tyreese put on riot gear and head out to attack The Governor.
Rick wakes to find all of his best shooters gone. As he prepares the prison for attack, Michonne and Tyreese catch up to The Governor. They’re able to take out a few of The Governor’s men but it’s not long before Tyreese is caught. Gabe, one of The Governor’s men, tells The Governor that he killed Michonne and presents her katana as proof.
The Governor goes back to the prison and threatens to kill Tyreese if they don’t open the gates. When they do not, he uses Michonne’s katana to cut off Tyreese’s head and returns to their camp. Not long after arriving, Michonne is able to get the drop on him. Although she has a gun to his head, Gabe is able to shoot her. Her body armor protects her and she grabs her sword and escapes.
The Governor immediately returns to the prison to wipe them out. Although they put up a decent fight, and Andrea returns in the RV to help, Rick’s group can’t hold them off. The Governor crashes through the fences with his tank. Axel, Billy, Patricia, and Hershel are killed. As Rick and his family flee the prison, Lori and baby Judith are gunned down. Rick and Carl have to keep running.
As the prison is now being overrun, the woman who shot Lori and Judith turns on The Governor after she sees what she’s done. She shoots him through the head and feeds him to the walkers to slow them down.
Michonne returns to the prison and checks for survivors. Finding no one, she follows a set of footprints leading away from the prison.
Rick and Carl scavenge a store nearby, struggle with some walkers and hole up in a house nearby. Rick takes a large dose of antibiotics and passes out. He sleeps off and on for days, but recovers enough to start looking for food with Carl. As they step outside, Rick hears the phone ring, runs back inside, and speaks with a woman who says she’s with a group of survivors. Encouraged by the news, Rick and Carl start hunting and manage to find a car with supplies.
After a few calls with the woman, Rick asks her name. She says it’s Lori. Rick unplugs the phone and she continues talking. Rick continues talking, confessing his guilt. When Rick and Carl leave the house, Rick sneaks the phone with him.
On the road, Rick is teaching Carl to drive. When they take a break for gas, Carl is attacked by a walker. Michonne arrives out of nowhere and saves him. The three of them continue on their way. The next morning two riders appear on horseback. It turns out to be Glenn and Maggie. They’re staying back at Hershel’s farm with Dale, Andrea, and Sophia. The five of them head back to the farm.
The next day, three strangers arrive in a truck: Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene. Eugene tells them that he knows what caused the outbreak and that he can help cure if they can all get to Washington, DC together. Soon, a “herd” of walkers (a large group of walkers formed by smaller groups heading toward a loud sound) attacks the farm. Rick’s group decides to go to DC with Abraham.
As the group heads for Washington, DC, Maggie grapples with the loss of her family. Eventually she attempts to hang herself. Glenn and Abraham are able to cut her down, and she survives.
Rick wants to check in on Morgan and Duane, so he, Carl, and Abraham take the interstate to Cynthiana, leaving Michonne to protect the group. The first night on the road the group is help at knifepoint by three bandits. When one of them threatens to rape Carl, Rick bites into the neck of the man holding him back. As he bleeds out, Abraham is able to shoot the man restraining him. The third man tries to run off, only to be run down by Rick, who stabs him repeatedly.
After seeing Rick kill the bandit, Abraham decides it’s time he tell Rick what happened with his family, how his wife and daughter were raped, and how he killed the men responsible with his bare hands, terrifying his family and causing them to run off, resulting in their death. Rick says that only killers survive in their new reality.
They continue to Cynthiana where Rick finds Morgan living in the same house. Duane has been turned, and unable to kill his son, Morgan has him chained to the wall. Morgan agrees to leave with Rick and going back into his house, he shoots Duane’s chain and leaves.
On the way back to join the others, they run into a herd. Before they get completely overrun, they escape to a house, set up some toys to make noise to attract the herd, and slip out the back. They get back to the others with a couple thousand walkers in tow, and hit the road.
The morning after the group has stopped for sleep, Andrea goes into the woods to look for 5 year old twin brothers Ben and Billy, only to find that Ben has murdered Billy. The group understands that Ben might possibly harbor sociopathic tendencies but can’t agree on what they should do about it, the idea of killing him being discussed openly. As Morgan asks who amongst them would even be able to carry out executing a child, a priest shows up.
The priest, Gabriel, says he has a church nearby and has recently ran out of food. They allow him to stay the night with them. In the middle of the night, Carl sneaks out of bed and shoots Ben. Only Morgan sees Carl going back to his tent. They bury Ben next to Billy and head out for Gabriel’s church.
It’s taking longer than it should to get to the church and the group becomes wary of Gabriel. As they break for another night, some roamers rush the group. Dale yells but says he was just caught off guard and they missed him. Later that night, Dale goes for a walk in the woods, seemingly due depression over the death of Ben and Billy. Two strangers that have been following the group since they buried Ben knock Dale unconscious and drag him off.
The next morning Andrea screams when she realized Dale is missing. A day-long search turns up nothing. They decide to go to Gabriel’s church for the night and resume the search the next day. Andrea suspects Gabriel might be behind it and Rick agrees that the timing is suspicious. When Rick presses Gabriel for answers he confesses that after the outbreak he locked his church and refused shelter to everyone out of selfish fear, but he doesn’t have anything to do with Dale’s disappearance.
The group that has kidnapped Dale, The Hunters, discuss their plans as Dale comes to. When he asks what they want they reveal that they’ve already eaten his leg. Dale starts laughing hysterically and tells them that he’s been bitten and they’re eating tainted meat.
As the group settles into the church, they discover Dale’s body nearby. He’s still alive. Rick says that he’s being used as bait. They grab him and run to the church as The Hunters start shooting at them. Glenn is shot in the leg. Eugene patches Glenn up and says he will be fine before turning his attention to Dale. Dale tells Andrea that he’s been bitten and left the group to spare her the pain of watching him turn.
Rick uses Gabriel’s knowledge of the area to actively hunt The Hunters, as staying put would put them at a disadvantage. They find them and slaughter them.
Back at the church, Dale has a heart-to-heart with Rick and then dies later that night. Before moving on, the group buries Dale, and Carl tells Rick that he killed Ben.
The group is once again on the road, and running low on food. Rick and Eugene argue over the use of his radio and it crashes to the ground, splitting open. Eugene is forced to admit that he’s not a government scientist, just a high school science teacher. As Rick and Abraham discuss continuing to DC, a stranger shows up. He introduces himself as Aaron and says he’s been watching the group. Rick knocks him out.
When Aaron comes to, he tells Rick that he’s from a community of about 34 people and they’re looking for more people to join them. Some walkers attack and while fighting them off, Aaron starts to earn the trust of the group. The majority of them agree to meet with his community. Reluctantly, Rick does as well.
As they make their way to the community, dubbed the Alexandria Safe Zone, a flare goes up. Some of their scouts are in trouble. Aaron, Rick, and Abraham take a truck and rescue two scouts. Everyone then makes their way to the Alexandria Safe Zone.
Douglas Monroe, the leader of the Safe Zone, interviews each member of the group individually, and is satisfied with what he sees.
As they group settles in, most of them struggle with the seeming naïveté of the people living there. Rick says they could take over if they need to and Glenn surveys the weapons storage.
Abraham joins the work crew, and when they’re attacked by a walker, Abraham refuses to follow orders and saves another worker, Holly, from being killed. The work crew is another example of the Safe Zone’s lack of understanding when it comes to the real threat of walkers. The crew chief, Tobin, suggests to Douglas that Abraham take over for him.
When Rick shows Andrea the guns that he and Glenn have stolen from storage, she worries about Rick getting them kicked out of the community. Rick’s concern is protecting the town, and thinks that the current residents are incapable of doing so on their own.
Gabriel goes to Douglas and tells him that Rick and his group are bad people and should be expelled from the community. Douglas is understanding of what people had to do to survive and refuses.
Rick sees Pete, a man he has had confrontations with before, sleeping on his porch and suspects that Pete might be abusive toward his wife and son. Rick speaks with Pete’s wife and learns that he has become abusive. When Douglas urges Rick to let it ago due to Pete’s job as a doctor, Rick violently confronts Pete, eventually pulling a gun on him. Seeing Rick unstable and violent, Michonne knocks him unconscious.
Rick is detained by Douglas, but after a long talk, Douglas allows Rick to keep his gun and tells him that it’s ok to do what he thinks is best to keep everyone safe. Rick goes home and after a long sleep once again talks to Lori on the phone.
Not long after, Pete shows up at the burial of a scout and threatens to kill Rick. When Douglas’s wife gets in between Pete and Douglas, Pete slashes her throat. Rick pulls his gun on Pete and Douglas tells him to kill Pete. The gunshot is heard by bandits, who head toward the Safe Zone.
As a funeral is held for the recently deceased, the bandits arrive at the gates and demand to be let in. A shootout follows. The Safe Zone residents are victorious but the shooting has attracted hundreds of walkers.
Douglas confers leadership of the group on Rick, whom he sees as the person the group really needs.
The survivors regroup after the attack and Abraham leads a team to clear out the walkers that have amassed outside the walls. They quickly realize that there are many more walkers than they thought and have to retreat. A member of the group is killed as they escape back through the gate.
Rick passes new rules for the community: people can be armed, housing should be consolidated to conserve power, and the walls need to be checked and patrolled.
While Abraham and Rick deal with a weakness in the wall, Glenn offers to lead a group that will distract the herd long enough for them to get supplies to Andrea, who’s been stuck outside the walls at her tower for a day.
The weakened wall finally breaks loose and walkers start to get inside. By the time Rick reaches the walkers, one survivor has already been torn apart. Morgan tries to help Rick but gets bitten in the process. As others arrive to help fight the walkers, Michonne uses her sword to amputate Morgan’s infected arm.
They escape back to Rick’s house where Dr. Cloyd is able to stop the bleeding. The town is now swarming with walkers. The next morning Rick decides that just him and his small group will slip out of town, and come back for the others if they can. Michonne goes to say goodbye to Morgan and after a tearful confession, realizes that he has passed away.
Jessie, her son Ron, Rick, Carl, Dr. Cloyd, Michonne, Maggie, and Sophia are all in Rick’s house. Maggie and Sophia refuse to leave. The rest cover themselves in walker guts and start to leave. Michonne and Dr. Cloyd move ahead as Dr. Cloyd starts to panic. Then Ron starts to yell, causing the walkers to attack him.
Douglas witnesses this and starts shooting at the walkers. The walkers are now attacking Ron and heading for Douglas. Jessie refuses to leave her son but also won’t let go of Carl’s hand. As she is mauled by the walkers, Rick is forced to cut her hand off to free Carl.
In the ensuing confusion, Rick finds Carl lying on the ground, having been accidentally shot in the eye by Douglas.
While Dr. Cloyd works on Carl, Rick goes after the walkers. Before long, everyone has engaged the herd and they’re able to put them down when they work together.
Rick sits with his son while the group kills the remaining walkers. He tells an unconscious Carl that he feels optimistic that they can beat the walkers if they fight instead of running.
The group cleans up the Safe Zone, burning the bodies and then holding a funeral for the people they lost. After, Rick tells everyone that he was wrong to avoid large groups, and that the key to survival is to band together, and to fight the walkers intelligently. Eugene and Michonne suggest improvements to the walls, Abraham thinks everyone should be armed and trained to fight. Rick agrees. The group continues to suggest ways they can improve as a community.
With Carl still in a coma, Rick surveys the walls and finds Andrea teaching the residents how to shoot, using walkers as target practice. When she’s done they discuss the past, and Rick expresses remorse over the decisions he’s made, always putting Lori and Carl first. He thinks the Alexandria Safe Zone is the future.
Rick and Andrea have dinner together, then he visits Jessie and Ron’s graves, and then goes home and uses the phone to “talk” to Lori, who blames him for her death, Judith’s death, and Carl’s gunshot wound.
Olivia lets Rick know that they’re running low on food and they need to go out again. Maggie asks Rick to please not send Glenn and Rick agrees.
As Rick heads home, Dr. Cloyd rushes out and calls Rick in to Carl’s bedside where Carl is waking up. After asking for his dad, Carl asks where his mother is.
Rick and Dr. Cloyd discuss Carl’s amnesia. She thinks it will return in time and Rick decides to tell him the truth. When Rick tells Carl about his mom and Judith, Carl is not surprised.
Three of the Safe Zone group, Nicholas, Olivia, and Spencer, decide that Rick is a danger and that he has to be killed. Glenn happens upon the group right as they decide this. He pulls a gun on Nicholas, who in turn jumps Glenn and starts beating him. Glenn breaks free and runs to his house, telling Maggie to lock herself in the bathroom with Sophia. As Glenn confronts Nicholas outside his home, Rick, Michonne, Abraham, and Andrea arrive.
Nicholas is forced to put his gun down and Rick defuses the situation, then sends Nicholas home.
Rick visits with Carl and is able to bring him home. After getting Carl settled, Rick confesses to Andrea that he’s feels like he died a long time ago. Andrea then asks if it’s about time he came back to life. Then the two kiss.
While Glenn and a large group head out to search for supplies, Rick talks to the rest of the survivors about their low food supplies and possibly farming. After, Andrea tells Rick that she enjoys being with him. Rick rebuffs her and tells her that everyone he gets close to dies.
The scouting group returns, and Glenn tells Rick that finding food is almost impossible.
The next day, Michonne and Abraham are clearing the perimeter of roamers when a man shows up. Michonne and Abraham try to subdue him, but he gets the best of them. Holding Abraham hostage he forces Michonne to get their leader. When she returns with Rick, he stranger releases Abraham and introduces himself as Paul Monroe, nickname Jesus.
Paul tells them that he represents a community twenty miles away of about 200 people and they would like to trade, as they already do with two other communities.
Rick is shocked to learn of other communities nearby. He knocks Paul out and locks him up. He tells the community to prepare for attack. After Michonne, Abraham, and Rick are unable to find any signs of a larger group outside the walls, Rick is forced to admit that maybe Paul was telling the truth.
Rick informs Paul that he’ll go with him to his community, provided he remain tied up the entire time. Glenn, Andrea, Michonne, and Rick head out with Paul. Immediately after discovering Carl hidden away under some blankets, the group is attacked by walkers. Paul, with his hands still tied, is still able to help deal with them. Rick is impressed. Paul also helps clear a car out of the road. When Rick later finds that Paul has untied himself, Paul tells Rick that he was testing him, and he passed. They arrive at “The Hilltop.”
They’re introduced to the leader, Gregory. Before they can talk much, a member of their community, Ethan, returns from a trip where his partner was taken hostage by a man named Negan. He says he has a message to deliver and then stabs Gregory. Rick immediately tackles Ethan and when Ethan threatens to stab Rick, Rick uses Ethan’s knife to slash his throat.
Gregory is rushed inside for medical attention while Paul explains to Rick that most of the residents haven’t seen a lot of violence like that. After going inside Paul tells them who Negan is.
Negan is the leader of a group of bandits called “The Saviors.” The people of the Hilltop have to give Negan half of everything they find or make or else he’ll murder them. The Saviors are vicious and have a reputation for having killed thousands.
At Carl’s suggestion, a tentative agreement is made where Rick’s group will be given supplies in exchange for stopping Negan and his group.
The next morning Rick and his group are sent off with supplies as a good will gesture. When Michonne and Andrea learn that Rick is planning on standing up to Negan, they question his decision. He impresses on them that he sees The Hilltop as the key to a future where they can start to live again.
On the way back from the Hilltop, the group’s van is surrounded by men on motorcycles, demanding all their supplies as tribute to Negan. Rick refuses, believing this group to be the majority of Negan’s forces. A fight follows and all of Negan’s men are killed except one, who’s charged with bringing a message back to Negan: the Hilltop is under Rick’s protection now.
When they get back to the Safe Zone, Maggie tells Glenn that she’s pregnant, Rick makes his case to the community, laying out how they have nothing to offer the Hilltop aside from their protection, and Andrea and Rick discuss the possibility of a future together.
Early the next morning, without letting anyone in on their plan, Eugene and Abraham leave the Safe Zone to find equipment to make their own ammunition. As they talk about Rosita, Abraham is shot through the head with an arrow, killing him.
The Saviors, led by Dwight, take Eugene hostage and bring him to the gates of the Safe Zone, demanding to be let in. The Safe Zone residents open fire on them. When Dwight makes a run for it, Rick and Andrea give chase, only to be turned back by a pack of walkers. They take Abraham’s body back inside the gates and consider their next move.
Glenn and Maggie (who is now pregnant) decide to move to the Hilltop with Sophia thinking that it’s safer. Rick, Michonne, Heath, Glenn, Maggie, Carl, Sophia, and some others head out for the Hilltop. When they stop to camp overnight, Negan and a large group of Saviors show up. They force everyone onto their knees. Negan informs them that the Safe Zone is now theirs, and to reinforce this point, he’s going to execute one of them. After weighing his choices, he picks Glenn. The group is forced to watch as Negan beats Glenn to death with a barb wire-wrapped baseball bat named “Lucille.”
Negan tells the group he’ll be visiting them in one week to take half of everything they own.
After dropping Maggie and Sophia off at the Hilltop, Rick and his group return (with Paul) to the Safe Zone to find that the Saviors have attacked. The gates held and Andrea and the others were able to kill a dozen saviors before they bugged out. They also managed to capture Dwight.
Rick ultimately decides to let Dwight go. He wants to live in peace. He tells his people that Negan is too powerful to fight. Secretly, he sends Paul to trail Dwight back to Negan’s base.
Andrea, still upset about Rick freeing Dwight, questions Rick on his plan. He reassures her he’s intentionally acting frightened so the Saviors will attack. Soon after, Negan shows up at the gates and Rick lets him into Alexandria. He informs Rick he’ll take some of their supplies and mentions how vacant a lot of the houses are. Carl confronts Negan and threatens to not mess with them. Negan’s amused but tells him to head home.
Meanwhile, Denise holds a Savior at gunpoint for taking supplies but Negan reassures them it’s only half. Rick tells people Negan is in charge now and they need to be more prepared when he arrives next time. Carl sneaks onto the Saviors truck and rides with them back to their compound.
On his way back from Alexandria, Dwight is informed he’s been followed by Jesus since he left. The Saviors capture him alive for Negan but he manages to escape. They finally make it to the compound, which is surrounded by chained-up walkers. Carl suddenly appears, shoots a couple of Saviors, and is brought into the compound by an amused Negan.
Negan shows Carl his living area, which is full of women that he sleeps with. He convinces him to remove his eye bandage because it looks “more badass” that way. After making Carl sing to Lucille, Negan shows him what punishment is like in the compound: he claims “Rules keep us alive” and presses a hot iron to a man named Mark’s face (this explains what happened to Dwight’s face).
Jesus makes it back to Alexandria, where everyone’s looking for Carl. Spencer suggests him missing is an unnecessary distraction. Despite this, Jesus takes Rick, Andrea, and Michonne to the Saviors compound. They run into Negan on the way and Rick demands he tell him where Carl is. Negan teases him that he’s dead and Rick lashes out. Negan grabs him and tells him he was just trying to get a rise from him.
Rick believes Negan can be reasonable and takes on a new level of optimism. While Eugene locates a factory to manufacture ammunition, Jesus takes Rick to a place called The Kingdom where a man named Ezekiel rules. They also meet his tiger, Shiva. Dwight shows up and tells them he can help them take down Negan but judging by Rick punching him in the face, he’s skeptical.
After meeting Ezekiel, Gregory voices his concerns to Jesus about their new tiger-owning companion. Jesus assures him Ezekiel is pivotal to bringing down Negan. Meanwhile, Rick explains his plan to Andrea and tells Carl he’s grown enough to help fight. Rick also speaks with Olivia about going on a run to attain more weapons.
Jesus asks Earl the blacksmith to craft Maggie a knife and later follows him to Kal, where they meet a group of Saviors. Jesus threatens them that the Hilltop will offer less to them, prompting Savior leader Conner to punch him.
Michonne is introduced to Ezekiel, who she does not at first get along with. Rick, Andrea, Carl, Michonne, Ezekiel, and others hold a feast to celebrate the new alliance. Michonne later warms up to Ezekiel (and Shiva). Meanwhile, Jesus arrives at the Hilltop and demands Gregory give him 20 able fighters to battle the Saviors. Gregory resists and Jesus labels him a coward. Gregory reluctantly agrees and the group meet Rick and the gang at The Kingdom, where Andrea’s training people to shoot.
Negan arrives early to Alexandria and asks Olivia to show him the best house they have so he and his men can stay there. Spencer approaches him and suggests Negan kill Rick so Spencer can become the leader. Negan is offended by this ‘no guts’ proposition and slashes Spencer’s stomach, killing him.
Rick’s group returns to Alexandria where a distraught Denise catches them up on the action. Furious, Rick confronts Negan about their agreement. Negan reminds him that he didn’t kill Carl and Rick eventually backs down. As the Saviors begin loading the supplies Rick instructs Andrea to head to the watch tower. As they leave, Andrea takes out the truck driver.
Rick instructs the Saviors to not move and put down their guns but there are Saviors hidden around Alexandria who shoot the guns away from the Alexandrians. As Negan lines up Rick’s men Carl shoots at Negan and hits Lucille instead. This infuriates Negan and he threatens to kill Nicholas, Holly, and Holly if Rick doesn’t hand over Carl. Connor surprises Andrea in the watch tower and they brawl. Andrea eventually flips him out of the tower, letting Connor fall to his death.
Before Negan can kill the Alexandrians, Jesus shows up with Ezekiel, Shiva, and their fighters forcing them to retreat. Rick discovers Connor’s the one who fell out of the tower, not Andrea. Rick finds Andrea, takes her to Denise, and vow they need a new plan. Meanwhile, Negan tells the Saviors they’re going to war.
Alexandria is preparing for war with Negan and the Saviors. Ezekiel’s Kingdom fighters have shown up and Eugene’s ahead of schedule on ammo manufacturing. Rick calls a meeting to ensure the community’s ready and hatches a plan to go to the Savior’s compound.
Rick and his men make it to The Sanctuary and propose a last-ditch effort for the communities to make a truce (including the Saviors not receiving any more supplies). Gregory, who’s with Negan, declares the Hilltop is siding with The Saviors. This leads a few of Rick’s men to leave, but not enough to have the impact Negan wanted. Frustrated, Negan kicks Gregory off the roof. Suddenly, two of Rick’s men are taken out by snipers…forcing the group to take cover.
It quickly escalates into a shootout as Rick instructs his men to watch the windows. As the chained-up walkers become restless, Negan instructs Dwight to round up the Outpost Saviors to join the battle (but Dwight has other plans). Negan notices the snipers are in cover and Rick’s gang are just shooting the windows for no reason. Suddenly, walkers from all around surround the Sanctuary as Rick intended.
Most of Rick’s crew retreat to the buses but Rick and Holly stay behind. Negan witnesses the surrounding horde and tells Dwight to put his “shitting pants” on. Holly overpowers Rick, jumps in a truck, and rams it into the Saviors’ wall to help the walkers get in. The Survivors celebrate but Rick tells them it’s not over. Negan captures Holly and rambles on about the benefits of killing a man’s woman. Holly tells him he has the wrong woman, and after some arguing he tells his men to take her away.
As Rick and his gang camp out that night, they’re attacked by walkers. Shiva jumps into action and Ezekiel explains she’s not affected by their virus. Later, Rick lays out his plan: they’ll split into two groups to begin taking out the Savior outposts. Meanwhile, Negan and his men become swarmed with walkers and are forced to retreat into the Sanctuary. Negan demands his men figure out an escape plan.
Shortly after, David (one of the Saviors) checks on a tied-up Holly and tries to rape her. Negan barges in and lectures him on the immorality of his actions. A sucker for punishment, Negan sticks his knife into David’s neck and apologizes to Holly. Gregory and his men return to the Hilltop. He and Maggie argue over Gregory siding with Negan…Maggie punches him for calling Negan reasonable and then says “I believe in Rick Grimes.”
Michonne arrives back to Alexandria to update Carl on the battle. Meanwhile, Rick’s groups begin taking out the outposts. Unfortunately, Eric is lost in the firefight. Jesus and Ezekiel separately take care of the Saviors. Surrounded, Ezekiel is saved from walkers by Shiva, who is quickly consumed by the walkers. Later, a broken Ezekiel opens up to Michonne about the losses he’s suffered…leading Michonne to punch him and remind him he has people to lead.
Back in Alexandria, Michonne catches Rick up on what he missed. As Rick tries to prepare for a counter-attack Negan and his men throw grenades over the gates. Rick demands they give a hooded Holly back to them and Negan agrees. Denise takes off her hood revealing her to be a walker…Holly bites Denise and Negan yells for his men to attack. Heath runs over to help but has his leg blown off by a grenade. Denise tries to help as more grenades are thrown over the wall. Jesus throws one back, killing some of the Saviors.
As Alexandria burns, Maggie and the Hilltop Colony show up and start shooting at Negan and his men. Rick takes a hurt Carl to Denise, who confirms Heath will live. Rick collapses from exhaustion as Negan declares victory outside the wall.
After walkers overrun the ammo factory Negan shows up and questions Eugene what he’s doing there. Back in Alexandria Rick wakes up in the infirmary where Dr. Carson has been monitoring him. Denise is in the other room with a severe fever. Rick steps outside, assesses the damage and plans to move everyone to The Hilltop. Jesus informs him Eugene’s been taken but Rick figures there’s nothing they can do yet. Denise turns and attacks Heath…Michonne puts her out of her misery and they hold a small funeral.
Negan taunts a tied-up Eugene back at the Sanctuary. After he leaves to be with his wives Dwight comes in and informs him of his plan to break him out of there and overthrow Negan. Carson overhears and volunteers to join.