Can the communities live together in peace on The Walking Dead?

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Carl had a pretty clear of vision of how he wanted things to be after All Out War but is that idyllic life even possible in The Walking Dead world?

As All Out War hurtles towards one last stand on The Walking Dead, it’s hard to imagine what will come after the war is over. Whichever side wins will have to deal with the problem of the survivors from the losing faction.

Keeping prisoners isn’t a very realistic scenario in The Walking Dead world. Prisoners are a waste of resources. Especially if those prisoners are going to be looking for an opportunity to either kill their captors or escape from them. And it’s hard to imagine the survivors on either side of this war not taking any opportunity to do both of those things.

But people are also a resource that can’t be wasted. And All Out War has already claimed a lot of people. The Saviors ranks have been decimated by the killing force that is Rick, Carol, Morgan and the others in the community alliance. While The Saviors still have the advantage when it comes to numbers at the moment that might not be the case by the time the war is over.

So if keeping prisoners isn’t a very good option, but neither is killing them, what will the winning side do with the survivors of the war? Is it possible to blend the communities into the kind of peaceful and cooperative society that Carl envisioned before he died?

If Rick’s Alliance Wins

If the alliance of communities wins the war Rick may convince the other community leaders to spare The Saviors in an effort to make Carl’s vision come true. But they would have to somehow be sure that The Saviors wouldn’t try to escape or otherwise cause trouble. In order to be sure of that Rick will have to break Negan. If Negan remains free or not in captivity The Saviors that are still loyal to him could try to overthrow the alliance and reinstate Negan’s rule.

It’s not likely now that Rick will end up killing Negan because of his promise to Carl that he would try to go back to how he was before. But he will have to come pretty close to killing Negan in order to get him to give up his stranglehold on the communities and tell The Saviors to stand down from attacking the other communities. If Rick can take Negan down he may be able to eventually make Carl’s dream a reality by getting all the communities to agree to live under a set of laws that will benefit everyone.

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If Negan Wins

If Negan wins then the society Carl wanted to see happen definitely won’t happen. But it’s unlikely that Negan would kill all of the community survivors because he knows that people are a valuable resource. And at this point, he’s lost a lot of people. It’s more likely that Negan, if he wins, will force the survivors to work at The Hilltop or at The Sanctuary supporting The Saviors. Negan would probably kill Maggie and Ezekiel as punishment for the rebellion of the communities. But it wouldn’t be out of character for him to keep Rick alive as a prisoner.

Just like there would be an advantage for Rick to keep Negan alive because The Saviors that don’t die in battle would listen to him afterward there is an advantage in Negan keeping Rick alive. And while Negan loves to put on a show he’s very clever and a good strategist and he’s not going to give up any advantage unnecessarily.

Possible, But Likely?

If the community alliance wins All Out War it is possible for the thriving society that Carl wanted to come to pass, although it would take time. Rick is a man of his word and he will do whatever it takes to keep his promise to his son. But the decision to live in peace may not be Rick’s decision to make.

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As fans know in The Walking Dead world there is always another threat looming on the horizon. So when All Out War is over the survivors may not get a chance to try to forge peace before the next threat appears. But if that next threat is The Whisperers like in The Walking Dead comic everyone that survivors the war will have to work together to defeat them.