- "You saw what we mean to Negan and Simon. Which might be a dumb thing to say, it doesn't make us much worth to your people either, but... those of us that stayed, stayed. We had plenty of chances to run."
- —Alden to Maggie[src]
Alden, also referred to as Al, is a main character and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He was a member of the Saviors before defecting to the Militia following the attack on the Hilltop. Following the defeat of the Saviors, Alden chooses to remain at the Hilltop to help build up the community.
Unlike most of his fellow Saviors who tend to have a rough and often volatile nature, Alden is level-headed and tends to avoid violence and bloodbaths if he can help it, shown when he immediately surrendered to the Militia and talked his fellow men into doing the same instead of starting more bloodshed. In the makeshift prison at Hilltop, he deliberately bumped Jared and told him to not cause any more trouble after already risking their lives twice with escape attempts. Alden appeared to take up a leadership role with the Savior prisoners, attempting to negotiate with Maggie on their behalf. In return, Maggie appeared to treat Alden as the leader of the prisoners and showed him a level of respect that many of the others didn't receive.
As he spends more time as a prisoner of the Militia, Alden becomes more and more disillusioned with the Saviors. After Simon shows no care for the prisoners, Alden cuts all ties with the Saviors and states that the Saviors aren't his people anymore when sent to bury the dead Saviors. Alden's disillusionment goes so far that he chooses to stay at the Hilltop willingly rather than return to the Saviors when given the chance despite knowing that the Saviors' lack of care towards the prisoners means that he no longer has any strategic value to the Militia.
Nothing is known about Alden's life prior to or as the outbreak began besides the fact that he had at least one brother. He appears to have an engineering or construction background as Alden was employed by the Saviors to determine what it would take to turn an abandoned bar into an outpost and to figure out a way to reinforce their defenses at the Satellite Outpost.
At an unknown point, Alden's brother was murdered. Alden took revenge on the killers, but it didn't make him feel better as he expected.
Alden eventually joined the Saviors as a worker. At some point, he was sent to check out an abandoned dive bar located between the Sanctuary and the Hilltop to determine what it would take to turn it into a Savior outpost. Alden apparently determined that it was impossible to turn the bar into an outpost as it was left abandoned by the Saviors.
Some time after the Satellite Outpost was ambushed by Rick and the Alexandrians, Alden was among the Saviors dispatched to the outpost to erect a fence surrounding the satellite station, to keep out zombies and any future invaders.
Alden is attempting to flee the Satellite Outpost with the remaining Saviors, but is forced to surrender to the Militia remarking that "living sounds good" after being surrounded. He encourages his fellow Saviors to surrender as well.
Alden is among the Saviors being transported to the Hilltop. When zombies approach the survivors and Saviors, Jared and his chained group seize an opportunity to flee into the woods. When Alden’s chained group attempt to do the same, he trips them, citing the Militia has guns and they do not. After Jared's group is recaptured, they are brought to the Hilltop.
Alden is first seen outside the wall with the other prisoners, he questions Jesus of what they are building inside, then later he asks, “why do they call you Jesus?”. The next morning, he joins the prisoners as they get escorted inside the Hilltop.
When all of the Saviors are inside, Dianne starts to lock the gate up but then Jared tries to run out but is smacked in the head with a sniper by Maggie he then says "Hey, thank you." to Maggie for not killing them all. When he sees Jared attempt to free himself with a piece of wood, he bumps into him because he does not want to get in trouble.
Alden and the other Saviors are shown locked in a cage when Maggie demands Dean to be let out. Knowing what she is about to do, Alden tries to stop her from killing Dean, but Dean shuts him up and gives a short, wise speech, before Maggie shoots him in the cheek, killing him. Maggie angrily asks Alden if he wants to die next, he says no.
Alden approaches Maggie, speaking up for the rest of the Saviors and attempting to come to an agreement, suggesting that the prisoners be allowed supervised freedom every once in a while for a few minutes each. Maggie refuses, and reveals that they are removing their rations for a few days, much to the shock of the Saviors and Alden.
Later, Maggie returns to the holding pen and agrees to Alden's deal, allowing a maximum of two Saviors at any given time out of the pen for work, exercise and, if the need arises, medical attention.
When the Saviors arrive at the Hilltop, Maggie brings out the Savior prisoners and threatens to kill each one if the Saviors don't leave, even allowing Alden to talk to Simon. However, Simon makes it clear that he doesn't care if the prisoners live or die, completely disillusioning Alden. During the attack, Alden tries to stay outside to help, but is sent back inside. The next morning, after the attack is repelled, Maggie allows Alden, guarded only by Kal, to bury the dead Saviors outside the Hilltop walls. Alden makes it clear to Maggie that he no longer considers the Saviors his people although thanks her for still considering them people and for allowing him to bury them.
That night, an armed Henry arrives to the pen, demanding to know which Savior killed his brother and threatening to kill everyone if the killer doesn't step forward. Alden attempts to talk Henry down, using his own experiences with his brother's killers as why revenge won't make him feel better. Suddenly an injured Savior reanimates and attacks the rest the of the prisoners, allowing Jared to push Henry and take his weapon, leading the other prisoners away.
Shortly afterwards, Siddiq checks on the prisoners and is left struggling with a walker when Alden unexpectedly kills the walker with a shovel and saves Siddiq's life. Maggie arrives and threatens Alden who explains what happened and that while some of the prisoners ran, the others didn't and are trying to close the gates against a walker herd that was drawn to the Hilltop by the earlier battle. As Dianne and several Militia members go to help, Alden tells Maggie that he doesn't know where the escapees went. Alden points out that Maggie heard how the prisoners mean nothing to Negan and Simon and that while this fact means that the prisoners don't mean much to Maggie's people either, "those of us that stayed, stayed. We had plenty of chances to run." Maggie appears to accept Alden's explanation.
Now a free man, Alden helps clean up the mess around the Saviors former prison. Alden is approached by Rick Grimes for information on where Jared and the escaped Savior prisoners may have gone. Alden states that they likely went to the Sanctuary, but informs Rick of a dive bar he'd scouted for the Saviors as a potential outpost between the Hilltop and the Sanctuary the escaped prisoners may have gone to. Before Rick leaves, Alden pleads with him only to kill who he must and to give the rest of the Savior prisoners the choice to come back to the Hilltop. Though Rick agrees, he obviously doesn't mean it.
That night, Alden is sitting around a campfire with Dianne when Rick and Morgan Jones return. Exchanging a look with Rick as he walks inside, Alden realizes that Rick killed all of the escaped Saviors.
At Alden's request, Maggie allows him and the other Savior defectors to draw away the walker herd that has been at the Hilltop since Simon's attack. Alden succeeds, but upon his return is accosted by Morgan who is suspicious of his activities until Maggie and Alden explain. When Alden tries to offer help to the departing members of the Militia, Maggie makes it clear that although the Savior defectors are allowed to stay at the Hilltop, they are not considered part of the Militia.
When the Saviors are seen approaching, Alden takes part in the evacuation and is surprised when Tara decides to stay behind to help. Alden chooses to stay as well and gets the other Savior defectors to do the same. Armed with guns supplied by Tara, the former Saviors prepare to defend the Hilltop, but Aaron arrives with the women of Oceanside who firebomb the attacking Saviors, preventing a battle.
After the defeat of the Saviors, Alden approaches Maggie and asks to remain at the Hilltop. Though the other defectors are returning to the Sanctuary, Alden has never felt like he belonged there. Having read Georgie's "A Key to the Future", Alden suggests that he can help make the things depicted in the book become a reality. After a moment's consideration, Maggie agrees to let Alden stay at the Hilltop and help build up the community.
Alden and the group go to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C, to search for a covered wagon and farming equipment. However, he stays outside as a lookout along with Tara, Aaron and Jesus.
Shortly after, the group leaves D.C. and prepare to head back to their own communities.
On the road, Alden talks to Ken and Marco about blacksmithing at the Hilltop.
Daryl and Rosita catch up with everyone to inform them that the main bridge is out due to a storm. Rick tells Tara, Gabriel, Aaron and Anne to head back to Alexandria and the rest will go to an alternate route and spend the night at the Sanctuary.
In the woods, the wagon gets caught in the mud as walkers appear from the bushes. It finally budges and everyone rushes to gather the supplies until the walkers overwhelm them and they’re forced to leave. Ken runs back to free his horses but is bitten in the arm by a walker and then kicked in the ribs by the horse.
Siddiq and Enid try to save him but Ken succumbs to blood loss and dies from his injuries. A saddened Maggie sobs by his side before putting him down.
At night, in Hilltop, Alden sings during Ken’s funeral. Later, as Maggie is being attacked by a hooded stranger, Alden and Cyndie grab the assailant and Maggie rips off his hood to reveal a drunken Earl.
The next day, at night, the residents, including Alden, gather around the gallows as Maggie explains to her people that the punishment fits the crime. She looks on at Gregory, who has a noose around his neck and is sitting on a horse. Gregory pleads for someone to stop this, but no one moves. A couple of kids show up and Michonne yells for Maggie to stop but it’s too late as Daryl smacks the horse and it rides off, leaving Gregory to hang to death to everyone's shock.
Maggie tells her people that she wants this to be the last time they do something like this and then orders Daryl to cut off the noose.
On the river, Alden arrives to inform that Rick that none of the deserter Saviors made it back to Sanctuary and their families are worried. When Rick says he won't give the Saviors guns because he will protect them, Alden reminds him that was Negan's way. Before he can answer, Tara radios to warn him that the second siren didn’t go off and the herd is coming.
When the herd arrive at the labor site and a commotion ensues, Alden arrives with Rick and the others to help.
At the camp, the Saviors are furious with the news of Justin’s death. Alden promises they’ll get to the bottom of it but is punched in the face by Jed, who claims he isn't one of them anymore. Carol steps in with her gun at her hip, stopping Jed.
Alden watches the crowd drawing their guns as the Saviors start accusing Daryl and Anne of being the culprits. They grab axes to retaliate when Rick rides in the middle of the group with his gun drawn and warns everyone to back off.
After they disperse, Alden asks Rick if some of the Saviors can receive guns but Rick says they need to figure out what happened first.
Although unseen, Alden is sent by Carol after the Saviors in an attempt to convince them to work on the bridge, however, the Saviors find out that the Oceansiders were the ones killing their people, and Jed somehow subdues Alden and takes his gun.
Alden will appear in this episode.
This list shows the victims Alden has killed:
- 1 unnamed Hilltop resident/refugee (Zombified)
- At least 1 unnamed survivor
- Numerous counts of zombies
- "You know, I... I can build things, I can make some of that stuff real, for this place, for these people. It's what I want to do with my life. And, no joke, you, uh... You gave me that life, so..."
- —Alden to Maggie, explaining why he wants to stay at Hilltop.[src]
In "Do Not Send Us Astray", when Saviors assaulted the Hilltop, Maggie changed her opinion on Alden, because he assisted in protecting the community, instead of running away. Afterwards, Maggie set Alden and the other prisoners free and allowed them to join the community though she refused to trust them completely as members of the Militia.
Alden has shown his loyalty to Hilltop after suggesting to Maggie about helping construct thing from the book "A Key to the Future" to help build up the community, using his skills for something good in a place he feels more at home than ever before. Maggie, now fully trusting Alden, agrees to allow him to stay and help.
- "I’ll talk to Rick about making everyone feel safer."
- —Alden telling the Saviors he’ll talk to Rick about giving them guns.[src]
During the events of All Out War, Rick is skeptical about Alden and does not trust him. A year and a half later, Alden has become the main voice of the Saviors, relaying their concerns to Rick and updating him on the progress of the bridge. He has enough confidence in his relationship with Rick that when Rick stated that they would protect the Saviors while they worked, he asked “they work for you and you protect them. What does that sound like to you?”, calling him out on the fact that he was taking a Savior mentality about the situation.
- "You already screwed up once. I'm not gonna let you get us all killed."
- —Alden to Jared.[src]
Before the end of the war, Jed and Alden presumably had a friendly relationship. However, after the events of All Out War, Jed no longer sees Alden as a Savior or any sort of friend, punching him when Alden tried to quiet the tension between the Saviors and the other communities while working on the bridge, telling him to “shovel that horseshit to whoever killed Justin”, and shaking his head at him when the situation was over.
- The casting call for this character used the name Dillon.
- Alden is described as "a sexy, blue-collar twenty-something whose survival skills include sarcasm."
- Alden's name was never revealed until dialogue in "How It's Gotta Be", while subtitles revealed his name in "The King, the Widow, and Rick".
- Alden is the second member of the Saviors to defect to the Militia, the first being Dwight. At least 12 unnamed Savior prisoners followed Alden's lead.
- He is the first new resident of Hilltop after the war.