The Walking Dead: Gregory vs. Deanna as leaders

Tom Payne as Jesus and Xander Berkeley as Gregory - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Tom Payne as Jesus and Xander Berkeley as Gregory - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

The Hilltop and Alexandria are somewhat similar communities on The Walking Dead that sprang up after the outbreak. How do their leaders compare?


Deanna Monroe was the leader of the innocent group that inhabited the homes of the Alexandria community. Deanna was a planner. She looked to the future. She was a politician. She was about appearances, yet she didn’t want to have any secrets.

Deanna ran on a platform of transparency. She didn’t want her people to feel that anything was being kept from them. Yet the goal of the town itself was to maintain the façade of civilization in a world where civilization had ended. They forgot to survive the end of the world before trying to build a new world. Or at the very least they were pretending that the old world hadn’t ended.

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Deanna herself knew that the town needed some help. She didn’t put up any pretense of knowing everything or that the town had everything under control. She actively recruited people through Aaron and Eric. She was strong enough to exile and to make decisions, but she had the needs of the town in mind, not her own.

One case where Deanna took the needs of the town too far, would be Pete. She considered his skills as a doctor and how they benefitted the town over the abuse of a woman and two children.

The needs of the town were still in Deanna’s thoughts even as she was dying. She wanted to show Rick that the people of Alexandria were his people. He needed to care for all of them. To protect them. To train them. To lead them. She wanted Michonne to think about the future.


Gregory is new to us, but he revealed quite a bit in just one short meeting. Gregory wants to be seen as the leader. The people outside of that beautiful mansion were dressed for chores and for the environment.  Gregory was dressed for the velvet cushions.

Gregory had no interest in making his guests feel welcome. His offer for them to clean up had nothing to do with their comfort. Unlike Deanna’s offers for them to use the showers, which was appreciated after their journey, Gregory wanted them cleaned up for his comfort.

The house is difficult to keep clean. Gregory didn’t want to have a conversation with dirty people. He wanted them to know he was civilized. They were beneath him. He was the boss. He’s like the people from old money who have lost their fortunes but spend everything they have to maintain the appearance of wealth.

Gregory even thinks his appearances give him a swagger that is attractive to women and they will fall for his power. It’s hard to tell yet if Gregory believes his own hype or if it’s a big act to cover up for his fears. He’s obviously a coward in many ways, but he may believe he’s above the uncivilized nature of the walkers.


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Deanna’s people looked to her for guidance because they feared the world. Deanna didn’t just insulate them from the outside; Deanna gave them jobs and identities as they looked forward to building a new world. She was too naive about the walkers and was insulated herself.

Gregory insulates himself from his own people. He may not fight walkers, but I think he’s more aware of them than Deanna was. And Gregory is certainly more aware of the human threat in the world than Deanna ever was.

Gregory’s smartest move from what we’ve seen so far, is placing so much trust in Jesus. Jesus is a calm negotiator and great reader of people. He is the kind of person Aaron would love to have found on a recruiting trip. Jesus can finesse without losing dignity.

Where the Alexandrians respected and looked to Deanna, it doesn’t seem that Hilltop respects or looks to Gregory. He just lives in the big fancy house. The Hilltoppers responded to Jesus, but one Hilltop resident was willing to stab Gregory as a warning from Negan about the food shortage.

I wonder what would have happened if the message was for Jesus. Would the man have told Jesus what he was supposed to do rather than going through with it?

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So while Alexandria and Hilltop are similar, their leadership has been quite different. The similarity begins now because they both have been adopted by Rick Grimes and his crew. Let the craziness begin!