When Maggie showed up in “A Certain Doom,” she didn’t come alone, and in “Home Sweet Home,” we saw more of her new friends – some more briefly than others. With masked fighter Elijah, and her second-in-command Cole, Maggie introduced her new friends to her old and said they – along with others she had brought – were from a village.
As the episode unfolded, we learned that the village had fallen and that the remaining survivors had come with Maggie to find a new home in Hilltop. Exactly how the village fell, we don’t yet know though it clearly wasn’t as simple as a passing herd breaking their walls.
While in the woods looking for the rest of their people, the group stops for the night in some storage containers. There, Maggie tells Daryl a little of the journey she had to get back to her family. It’s clear that in the years she’s been apart from them, she’s suffered as much as they have with things going south in the group after group.
Although she was working with Georgie – helping new groups in new places -for much of the time she’s been gone, Maggie reveals that after a settlement went wrong, she decided to take Hershel to her family’s place by the ocean. She doesn’t indicate which ocean, but it’s clear she headed east (while Georgie traveled west), and thus likely Maggie is referring to the Atlantic.
In The Walking Dead 1018 we learn little about the village Maggie and Hershel were living in
After spending some quality time there with Hershel, she came across her current group. She explains that when they met this community, they “needed us as much as we needed them,” indicating that somehow this village she found was struggling, though we don’t know-how.
However, it seems as though whatever had caused the community’s need for a strong leader like Maggie, it wasn’t bad enough to put her off settling there with Hershel for the next couple of years. Only when the Reapers showed up did Maggie feel the need to flee.
It may be that the village that Cole, Elijah and the others resided in was something akin to the Atlantic-facing settlement we know about – Oceanside. Although they had fared somewhat successfully on their own, in the end, they knew forming together with Kingdom, Hilltop and Alexandria was the only way to survive.
Georgie’s tutelage for so many communities shows how many people needed guidance and help and the kind of leadership only someone like Maggie could provide. She had gone through so much, from losing the family farm to losing the prison and then her sister Beth, even before Negan murdered her husband Glenn while she was pregnant with Hershel.
All these trials Maggie went through made her an amazing leader at Hilltop and would make her appealing to any community looking for help. And that may be all that this community needed. They may have been existing comfortably but lacked guidance and direction, and Maggie would have been the ideal candidate to put them on the road to self-sufficiency and to thrive.
Yet all that help is for naught when another group decides to destroy what they have. And that seems – so far – to be what happened with Maggie’s village. When she confronted the assailant who was picking off her friends one-by-one, she said they had done nothing wrong, had never done anything to this mystery group who were after them. However, do we know that was absolutely the case?
With people like Cole and Elijah, it’s fair to say Maggie’s people included skilled fighters who don’t get that way without practice. She also told Daryl she wasn’t able to fully talk about all that had happened with her village, so is there more to the story than meets the eye? And is there a reason Hershel was the only child in the group?
Will we find out in future episodes why Pope’s people are so determined to wipe out the entire group that they would follow them across the country? That level of aggression seems unlikely to be down to an argument about supplies or territory.
Hopefully, over time we will hear more about this village, how it came to be, what happened when Maggie came, and how it fell, along with the individual stories of Maggie’s friend Elijah and Cole. Their stories may be vital in the future if the Reapers are planning to hang around – and from everything we’ve seen, it’s a solid guess they will be.
The Walking Dead will air a new episode, “Find Me,” on Sunday, March 7, on AMC.
AMC+ members can stream it Thursday, March 4.