The Walking Dead season 11 will mark the end of AMC’s flagship zombie drama. Could it also be the end of the line for Alexandria?
It’s no secret that the settlement that first made its debut in season 5 has gone through some serious shit over the past few seasons. Not only has it survived walker invasions but also assaults by the Wolves, Negan and the Saviors, and most recently the Whisperers, who drove a massive horde of the undead through the settlement, tearing down many of its walls and laying waste to buildings. The place has withstood more than any other setting in the show’s 10-season history.
In fact, Alexandria has outlived most of the other settlements, including the Kingdom and the Hilltop, but according to the official season 11 synopsis, the place Rick called home for the second half of the series may be on its way out too. The cause of death? Too many mouths too feed.
According to the synopsis, “Alexandria is severely compromised, left a former shell of the home it once was from the carnage and devastation left behind by the Whisperers. Now all who live in Alexandria struggle to refortify it and feed its increasing number of residents, which include the survivors from the fall of the Kingdom and the burning of Hilltop; along with Maggie and her new group, the Wardens. Alexandria has more people than it can manage to feed and protect. Their situation is dire as tensions heat up over past events and self-preservation rises to the surface within the ravaged walls.”
For those who need a refresher, the homeless denizens of both the Kingdom and the Hilltop converged on Alexandria during the conflict with the Whisperers. But all three groups had to evacuate the remaining settlement when Beta attacked with his walker horde. The survivors were forced to hide in an abandoned hospital while Beta destroyed their homes.
After the final battle with the Whisperers, the Alexandrians — both new and old — all returned to the settlement to rebuild. But even new walls can’t fix the food shortage plaguing them.
“They must secure more food while they attempt to restore Alexandria before it collapses like countless other communities they have come across throughout the years. But where and how? More haggard and hungrier than ever before, they must dig deeper to find the effort and strength to safeguard the lives of their children, even if it means losing their own,” the synopsis continues.
Where and how, indeed. The answer seems obvious: the Commonwealth, the new, technologically advanced faction introduced at the end of season 10. This group not only presides over the train yard where Eugene, Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Princess are being held captive. As comic book fans already know, those Commonwealth soldiers actually hail from a massive city-state where society has already rebuilt itself and returned to business as usual (for better and worse). The Commonwealth has an abundance of food, supplies, and an army to protect its people from walkers as well as human enemies. This faction may very well hold the key to Alexandria’s survival — or at least the survival of its citizens.
The first photographs from season 11 (including the picture above) tease that many of the show’s main cast members will go on what looks like an expedition through a subway line. Earlier promos have also teased a working subway line, presumably one found within the walls of the Commonwealth. Could this mission lead Daryl, Maggie, Gabriel, Negan, and the rest of their expedition to the much bigger settlement?
And when they do find the Commonwealth, would it be easier to leave a failing Alexandria behind for this new society? It would certainly be a departure from the final arc of the comics, where Alexandria still stood strong and had its own militia, even though it was eclipsed by the more advanced settlement.
Either way, bringing an end to the story of Alexandria would make some sense for the TV series, especially as a way to set up the upcoming Daryl and Carol spinoff, which will see our favorite duo of zombie killers “going to see who’s left in the world,” according to Norman Reedus.
In an interview with Den of Geek last year, Reedus teased that the show will see Daryl and Carol encounter new groups and characters as they travel from place to place. “It’s an opportunity for us to get really good actors and really good writers who don’t have to sign a seven-year contract. They come in for an episode or two. I think for a lot of actors, that’s an exciting possibility, exciting circumstance. I’m curious to have a revolving group of people.”
Taking Alexandria off the board completely would go a long way to explain why Daryl and Carol have left the settlement and their friends behind. And these are also the two characters, along with Negan, who seem the least likely to reintegrate with society after all they’ve done and been through. So while the other Alexandrians may choose to join the Commonwealth, it would make a bit of sense for these characters to decide to continue to live beyond its walls.
Whatever happens, there’s still plenty of story left to tell before we say our final goodbye to Alexandria and the people who live there. The Walking Dead season 11 will begin its 24-episode run on Aug. 22 on AMC.