9. On The Road
Few images from The Walking Dead capture the spirit of Rick’s group the way that this one does. The group is battered and beaten down from the quick successive losses of Beth and Tyreese. After losing Beth at Grady Memorial in Atlanta they took a chance and struck out for Virginia even after Eugene revealed his lie. But after they got to Virginia Tyreese was killed attempting to get Noah back to his home.
With no vehicle, no food, and no water the group continues on foot looking for a new home. They’re exhausted, hungry, thirsty and grieving. But together as one as they continue walking towards an unknown future. They’re ready to face whatever comes as long as they’re facing it together.
It’s while they are on this journey they first meet Aaron and find some hope in the form of the Alexandria Safe Zone. This image is a perfect summary of the journey that the survivors had been on until this point. And it represents a shift in the story that will eventually lead to the chance to find a sustainable community and a defensible home.
While their journey in season 5 was difficult it was the culmination of the first four seasons of the show and made it possible for both the characters and the story to enter a new chapter of survival. It also showed their tenacity in the face of terrible hardship and their commitment to each other. That commitment has been what has sustained them throughout the journey, no matter where they have ended up.