The Walking Dead Theory: Did Randall’s Group Attack Terminus?

Andrew J. West as Gareth, Owen Harn as The Crazy Man, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Andrew J. West as Gareth, Owen Harn as The Crazy Man, The Walking Dead -- AMC /

Was Randall’s Group the people who attacked Terminus?

Were they the ones who set Terminus on the path of evil?

Here, I intend to prove it.

In the first episode of Season 5 of The Walking Dead, we saw the absolute depravity people could stoop to in the zombie apocalypse, depths that even made The Governor look decent by comparison: Using people as food. But, in the same episode, we see what was the genesis of their evil: They themselves had been attacked (Apparently relatively early) in the apocalypse by a violent gang of marauders. This attack, and the subsequent occupation of the community, seemed to send Gareth, as well as the rest of the Termites, into a downward spiral of violence and callousness, perfectly encapsulated by Gareth’s new philosophy: “You’re either The Butcher…or The Cattle.

…But, who are these maniacs who made them this way, and what, exactly, makes you think they’re Randall’s group?” You might ask? Well, that’s the point of this whole thing, isn’t it? We are going to examine what we know of both Randall’s Group and Terminus’ attackers and see just how one parallels the other. While there’s any number of places we could start, since I’ve been on this kick about villains Rick’s Group has met through the show, I think we should start with Randall’s Group.

Michael Raymond-James as Dave, Aaron Munoz as Tony, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Michael Raymond-James as Dave, Aaron Munoz as Tony, The Walking Dead — AMC /

Randall’s Group

We first meet Randall’s Group (Specifically, Dave and Tony) in episode 208, “Nebraska”, when Rick and Glenn go to retrieve a depressed and mildly drunken Hershel from the local bar. As Rick attempts to help Hershel come to grips with the reality of a situation he’d long been in denial of, Dave and Tony stroll into the bar and begin having one of the most tense and awkward meetings in the entire series. For a few minutes, Dave attempts to have a casual conversation with Rick, Hershel, and Glenn; discussing where they’ve been (Philadelphia), theories they’ve heard about what’s safe (DC, the coast, and Nebraska), and where Rick, Hershel, and Glenn are from.

That is where things begin to get interesting. For a few tense minutes, Dave begins to carefully probe Rick, Hershel, and Glenn, attempting to trick them into giving away vital information about how many people they have, whether or not they have a base, what they might have there, and, most importantly where their hypothetical base is. His cop instincts kicking in, Rick attempts to lie and brush off the pair as best as he can before taking the initiative and eliminating the two, before getting into a standoff with their compatriots outside, resulting in one of their seconds, Sean, getting shot (And quickly eaten) for his trouble, another, Randall, getting his leg impaled on a iron fencepost and their driver, Nate, driving away before the walkers catch up to him, leaving the others to die. But, these “gentlemen” aren’t the only objects of this investigation, we also have Terminus’ attackers, hereafter to be referred to as “The Crazy Man’s Group”.

Owen Harn as The Crazy Guy, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Owen Harn as The Crazy Man, The Walking Dead — AMC /

The Crazy Man’s Group

There is very little we know of The Crazy Man’s Group (At least at this point), but, what we do know is that, at some point before Rick’s Group made their way to Terminus, he and his group arrived. Finding the Termites benevolent and, frankly, rather naive, it seems he and his underlings quickly returned their hospitality with violence, apparently killing a fairly large number of Terminus’ original inhabitants and imprisoning the rest in one of the many boxcars on the grounds and taking over the community. After an indeterminate amount of time, the Termites, presumably led by Gareth, found an opening and mounted a rather violent reclamation of their community, killing at least several of The Crazy Man’s cohorts before imprisoning the rest and, presumably, using them as the beginning of their new food source, i.e., eating them.

On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be a lot in common between these two groups (Outside from the fact that they were roaming around the same general area) but, if you look a little closely, you might begin to see why I think these two groups are one and the same…

Aaron Munoz as Tony, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Aaron Munoz as Tony, The Walking Dead — AMC /


One thing we can definitely say both Randall’s Group and The Crazy Man’s Group have in common is their propensity for violence. When Rick is attempting to shut down his conversation with Dave and Tony, it doesn’t take too long for any lingering doubts about the nature of the two to be swept away, as Tony, unable to contain his temper, blurts out “I’ll shoot you three a$$holes in the head and take your damned farm!” only to quiet down with some encouragement from Dave, attempting to diffuse the situation. What this shows us is that their group are certainly not ones to shy away from violence to get what they want, in fact, it’s fairly obvious that the only reason why they didn’t from the outset was Dave’s apparently cautious and shrewd nature, aiming to use finesse when possible, but resorting to Tony’s brute force when necessary.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne, The Walking Dead — AMC /

Similarly, The Crazy Man’s Group also has an affinity for using force to get what they want. When Rick, Carl, Michonne, and Daryl first arrive in Terminus and are being corralled to the boxcars, they stumble upon a memorial room filled with candles, each one, marked by a name of a (Presumably) fallen member of the community. Considering the fact that the room also has the message “NEVER AGAIN. NEVER TRUST. WE FIRST ALWAYS.” painted on the walls serves as pretty convincing circumstantial evidence that The Crazy Man and company killed most of those who are memorialized in the room, the fact The Crazy Man seemed to take so much glee in punching Gareth for daring to comfort his mother also highlights his (And presumably his group’s) willingness to resort to violence. Of course, this isn’t the only thing that The Crazy Man’s Group and Randall’s have in common…

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead — AMC /

“Our boys will be dead…and our women, they’ll wish they were.”

This one statement from Daryl serves as his assessment of Randall’s Group, and the threat they pose to everyone at the farm. This stems from Randall revealing to him that, at some point, he and his group stumbled upon a father and his two teenage daughters, raping the girls and forcing the father to watch before leaving them in the dust. Now, while it serves as a sort of synopsis of Randall’s Group and their behavior, it also reminds me of something else we’ve seen in The Walking Dead; a behavior pattern, but, where else have we seen it? …Oh yeah, The Crazy Man’s Group.

Anissa Matlock as Terminus Woman, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Anissa Matlock as Terminus Woman, The Walking Dead — AMC /

What little we learn of the The Crazy Man’s Group we learn from a pair of flashbacks bookending the first episode of Season 5, “No Sanctuary”, and what do we learn? Well, we learn that their primary MO is to rape any women they happen upon, also, we learn they seem to get enjoyment out of making any men with those women know that they can’t do anything about what’s happening to their wives/girlfriends/mothers/sisters/daughters/whoever, evidenced specifically by The Crazy Man happily countermanding Gareth’s attempt to comfort his mother (by telling her it’d be alright), telling them “No, it won’t.” with a smile, before punching Gareth and leaving with one of his fellow Termites. If that doesn’t seem reminiscent of Randall’s Group making the father watch while they raped his daughters, you may need to take a second look.

Am I reaching? Maybe, but, as Merle said to Andrea “This old world gets a little smaller at the end”.  Both groups are excessively violent, both groups have a propensity for rape, and both groups seem to take cruel pleasure in letting any men with any women they rape know that they are powerless to do anything to stop them. What is the likelihood that there would be two groups with the same MO that close to one another? A violent group that likes to rape people? Okay? But two, with the same love of rubbing their actions in peoples’ faces? That close to one another? While you obviously know my stance, I leave the question to use guys: Do YOU think Randall’s Group were the ones who attacked Terminus?

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The Walking Dead

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