Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The biggest unanswered questions in The Walking Dead

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Two major series events — Rick’s season 9 departure and Eugene’s season 10 capture — set us up for two major new civilizations in the world of The Walking Dead in the Commonwealth and the Civic Republic. What does the existence of these groups mean for the future of the show, and what is their relationship to each other?

The Civic Republic, which will be shown in more detail in The Walking Dead: World Beyond and the Rick Grimes spinoff films, is an advanced authoritarian society and part of the Alliance of the Three, an allied network of fortified cities including Omaha, Nebraska; Portland, Oregon; and the Civic Republic itself, which is geographically around Pennsylvania. It boasts 200,000 citizens and stands as the largest civilization in the show world to date.

The Commonwealth is an Ohio-based network of communities with around 50,000 citizens and its own well-organized standing army. It’s a central civilization in the comics, and as such there’s much more available information on it. It’s a thoroughly hierarchical class system, running in practice like a feudal monarchy where people are locked into the jobs they had before the apocalypse.

While the two organizations are distinct and should have strong roles in the future of the show, we don’t know what their relationships to each other are. As two of the largest civilizations we’ve seen so far, each with strong hierarchies and large, technologically advanced militaries, they’re certain to know of each other and have likely interacted. At the same time, the Commonwealth of the comics isn’t a member of the Alliance of the Three, so they’re also surely not allied. The future of the show and its world may lie in the relationships between these societies — we just don’t know yet what they are.

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