|This article is about the Hilltop Colony in the TV Series. You may be looking for the Hilltop Colony in the Comic Series.|
The Hilltop Colony, or simply Hilltop, is a community that first appeared in "Knots Untie" of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is a farming community located in Virginia, formerly led by a selfish man named Gregory, until an election was later held and Maggie Rhee was selected as the new leader. Maggie was an ideal choice to replace Gregory, as she united the people of Hilltop to fight against the Saviors during All Out War. Several years after Rick Grimes' apparent death, Maggie has left the community to start a new journey. Being left without a leader, Paul "Jesus" Rovia became the de-facto leader until an official election. He was later killed by a member of the Whisperers. The community is then led by Tara Chambler until she was decapitated by Alpha.
The community is now led by a council which was formed after Tara's death and is located approximately twenty miles from the Alexandria Safe-Zone. It was one of the four joint communities of the Militia and later on, part of the Coalition, along with the Alexandria Safe-Zone, the Kingdom and Oceanside. During the war against the Saviors, it becomes a refugee camp for the remaining survivors of Alexandria and the Kingdom, whose settlements have been attacked or partially destroyed by the Saviors. Later on, it became the permanent home for the Kingdommers after the Kingdom fell.
Before the apocalypse, the Hilltop was only the mansion (known as Barrington House), a barn and a blacksmith's shop. The Barrington House was located deep in the woods on top of a hill in the Virginia area, just south of Alexandria, Virginia. In the 1930s, the family who owned the house gave it to the state and made it into a museum. For years since then, elementary schools around the state would make field trips to the house.
When the apocalypse began, the governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency and requested government assistance in handling the epidemic, bringing in FEMA. FEMA chose the Barrington House as one of its safe-zones, bringing trailers to the location as well as defense, security, and supplies. As survivors began to arrive to the now Hilltop Colony, they found themselves abandoned. Like every other government and military power across the United States, FEMA abandoned the Hilltop due to Operation Cobalt, leaving the survivors to fend for themselves. However, due to their location, the survivors of Hilltop saw promise. The terrain offered fertile land and crops, while the hill they presided on would offer them an advantage of oncoming survivors and the undead. At some point they used the lumber and tools from a nearby power mill to build a large wall around the colony's perimeter.
However, as soon as the walls went up, so did the arrival of a group calling themselves the Saviors. Gregory, the newly appointed leader, confronted them. The Saviors demanded that half of their resources will be given to their leader, Negan, for the price of not attacking and destroying Hilltop. Gregory made the deal, but the Saviors killed a teenage boy to make their motives perfectly clear. They also took Hilltop resident Dr. Emmett Carson and transported him to Negan's base due to his medical training, leaving his brother, Dr. Harlan Carson behind. Since then, Hilltop had been giving half of their supplies routinely to Negan and his Saviors. Paul Rovia, known to others as Jesus, became the Hilltop's scout and supply runner, and was tasked to find resources as their group started to dwindle supplies to provide for both themselves and the Saviors, fearing their days were numbered.
Treaty with the Alexandria Safe-Zone
As Jesus was out on a supply run, he spotted survivors Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon with a large truck of supplies. Jesus introduced himself, but did so to pickpocket the keys to the truck off of Rick. Jesus then took off with the truck, but not before the two caught up with him, resulting him in being knocked unconscious and taken back to their camp, although he had faked his injury in order to be aware of his surroundings.
Jesus was then put in the jail cell of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, an upscale community turned into a safe-zone established by the military, much like Hilltop. He managed to escape and notice the amount of supplies they had, including guns and ammo but a lack of food and crops. Jesus then approached Rick, his girlfriend Michonne, and their son Carl. Jesus had a meeting with Rick's group about how he wished to create a merger with his community, as well as the others his community trades with.
He then took Rick, Michonne, Glenn, Maggie, Daryl, and Abraham to his community, but not before rescuing members of his own, including the town doctor, Harlan Carson. As they arrived at the Hilltop, Jesus revealed the reason why he brought Rick's group; they need their weapons and ammo. Meanwhile Rick and his group needed Hilltop's food supply - that they are low on defenses and need assistance. He brought the group to Gregory, but due to his behavior Rick thought it were better suited that Maggie speak with him, considering how she was the protégé of the late leader of Alexandria, Deanna Monroe.
Maggie introduced herself and her group with their intentions, however, community member Ethan returned from trade for Negan, which resulted in Ethan attempting an assassination on Gregory for Negan. Ethan was then killed by Rick and Jesus defended his actions to the community. Jesus then revealed to the group who Negan was, considering that Daryl had a run-in with the Saviors a few months back. Rick and his group promised they would defeat the Saviors once and for all, and agree to the merger. Maggie then struck a deal with Gregory that they receive half of Hilltop's supplies for the price of protection, Gregory reluctantly agreed. Jesus then returned to the Safe-Zone with Rick's group to help deliver the news to the Alexandrians.
By majority rule, the Alexandrians vote to take immediate action, and a covert mission to take out the Saviors is planned. A few hours before sunrise, Hilltop residents Andy and Jesus participate in the attack on the Saviors' outpost. When the fighting begins, they return to the Hilltop with Craig. By sunrise, at least 21 Saviors are dead, and although Carol and Maggie are taken hostage by a small group of Saviors, they are able to overpower them and their reinforcements, killing them all. When a lone survivor declares himself to be Negan, Rick immediately executes him.
With no knowledge of any Savior presence beyond the Satellite station and their trade deal seemingly coming off without a hitch, both the Hilltop and Alexandria settle back into their regular routines. A week later, however, Daryl, Rosita, and Denise are ambushed by a dozen Saviors, led by a scarred Dwight, who have captured Eugene to serve as a hostage. Denise is killed mid-sentence and the others are barely able to escape with help from Abraham and a timely distraction by Eugene. After this incident and others like it, the citizens of Alexandria begin to realise that the Saviors have more people than they had assumed. When Maggie suffers complications with her pregnancy, Rick, Abraham, Carl, Aaron, Sasha and Eugene rush to get her to the Hilltop, but find that whatever route they take, the road is blocked by the Saviors. Each time, they encounter a larger group and increasingly sophisticated roadblocks, psychologically manipulating them at every turn and implying the true size of their forces. Eventually, they attempt to go on foot, but are herded in the woods and end up surrounded by a hundred Saviors, and are confronted face to face by Negan, who proceeds to viciously beat Abraham and Glenn to death with his baseball bat Lucille. The survivors are left devastated and traumatised. Sasha escorts Maggie to the Hilltop while the others return to Alexandria.
Life Under Negan
Three days after the events on the road, Maggie awakens at the Hilltop, and is informed by Harlan Carson that her medical conditions is relatively minor, and requires only a few days rest. She visits the graves of Glenn and Abraham alongside Sasha, and is reunited with Jesus, who offers his support. An angry and skittish Gregory confronts Maggie, who confirms that they severely miscalculated; the Satellite station was only an outpost, and the Saviors in fact have a lot more people, perhaps hundreds. Gregory insists that once she has recovered, she leaves along with Sasha, despite their protests and Jesus' disapproval.
That night, the Saviors kill some of the guards, open the gates, set fires and drive an armored car into the community, blaring loud music. As walkers begin to overrun the site and Gregory hides in the mansion, Maggie, Sasha and Jesus step up to deal with the problem. Sasha and Jesus get to work eliminating the zombies while Maggie takes charge, giving orders to the other residents before crushing the car with a tractor. In the morning, when a group of 30 Saviors led by Simon arrives at the Hilltop, Maggie and Sasha are forced to hide. Meanwhile, Gregory greets the Saviors and grovels at Simon, playing dumb when told about the attack on the outpost and the subsequent subjugation of Alexandria. He assures Simon that "they" understand the benefits of Savior rule, and gives his assurances of their full cooperation. He attempts to give up Maggie and Sasha, but they manage to change their hiding spot with help from Jesus, who secretly agrees with Sasha to follow the Saviors back to their base.
Outside the walls, Carl and Enid watch as the Saviors load up their trucks. After a tender farewell, Enid covertly enters the community while Carl hides in one of the trucks, determined to kill Negan. After the Saviors have left, Sasha and Maggie confront and criticize Gregory for his actions. He permits Maggie and Sasha to stay for now but continues to insist that working with the Saviors is the best option, even going so far as to call them reasonable. Maggie responds by punching him in the face and angrily chastising him for his continued disregard of her real name, which she defiantly proclaims to be Maggie Rhee.
In the days that follow, Enid integrates into the community, while Sasha, and Maggie, in particular, continue to build rapport with the residents of the Hilltop, who admire them for their actions. Rumors even begin to spread about the possibility of Maggie running for "president" of the Hilltop. Meanwhile, Gregory remains defiant and careless in his treatment of Maggie but is quickly shut down by Eduardo. A short time later, after spending time beside Glenn's grave, Maggie takes up a position on the wall's guard post and is delighted to see Rick, Michonne, Tara, Rosita and Carl outside. They reunite, and the group from Alexandria is reintroduced to Daryl, who had recently escaped from the Sanctuary with help from Jesus. Rick tells Maggie that after the deaths of Glenn and Abraham, he wasn't able to truly listen to her desire to fight back, but that he can now. With everyone freshly motivated, they stride towards the mansion with renewed purpose, determined to organize a resistance movement to fight and ultimately defeat the Saviors for good.
The March to War
Rick, along with the rest of the group, attempts to convince a stubborn Gregory to mobilize the Hilltop for war with the Saviors. Gregory constantly denies the group and sends them out, pretending not to know them. Upon stepping outside of the mansion, Rick is glad to see a group of Hilltop citizens volunteering to fight the Saviors. Rick states that more soldiers will be needed to take on the Saviors and their many outposts. Jesus tells Rick about the Kingdom, and that a possible alliance may be forged with them.
Maggie regards the bustling Hilltop community. She gives residents knife-throwing lessons, in preparation for the war against the Saviors. She and Jesus work on plans for the future of the community. Gradually, the people of Hilltop begin to look to her as their leader.
Forming the Militia
Maggie reviews Rick’s plan with Jesus and Enid as they watch over Judith. She considers their options and contemplates joining the fight at Alexandria. Jesus remarks that he's happy she is the one making the tough decisions. Enid places Glenn’s pocket watch in her hand as she leaves the room with Judith.
As Negan prepares to kill Carl, Shiva leaps onto and mauls a nearby Savior. Carol and Ezekiel arrive at the head of the Kingdom regiment in an attack, as Maggie arrives with the Hilltop fighters. A battle ensues as the Saviors and Scavengers are caught off guard. Rick and Carl join the fight. Negan orders a retreat as Shiva mauls another of his men to death. Before he escapes, Negan is surprised to see Maggie, alive and well, leading the Hilltop warriors. Negan and his men leave under a hail of bullets and gives his attackers the middle finger before escaping.
Maggie proudly tells Rick that she was not the one responsible for the events which saved Alexandria; it began right at the start, when Glenn made the decision to save Rick in the tank in Atlanta. It was that heroic choice that paved the way for everything to come.
Rick, Maggie and Ezekiel stand on a podium and address the crowd as the leaders of their respective communities: Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Kingdom, united.
The War Against the Saviors
In a field, members of the Hilltop gather with fellow militia from Alexandria and the Kingdom. The are inspired by the leaders as they listen to speeches during the rally. At the Sanctuary, the Hilltoppers and other militia fire their weapons in the air and shatter the windows of the Sanctuary to get the Saviors' attention. After fleeing the scene so the herd may swarm the Saviors' headquarters, Maggie and several Hilltoppers return home while the rest prepare to raid one of the Saviors' outposts with the help of Tara, Morgan, Dianne, and several other Kingdommers. The attack is a success as numerous Saviors are killed and dozens more captured. Nearly forty Saviors are rounded up and brought to the Hilltop to be held as prisoners of war. They are held in a makeshift prison built by the Hilltoppers and under 24 hour watch by the guards. After Simon executed Hilltop woodworker Neil, Maggie returned to the Hilltop and executed Dean, one of the troublesome Saviors captured from the outpost. After the revenge killing, Maggie orders the residents to bolster their defenses and prepare for refugees from the other communities as she realizes the Saviors have escaped the Sanctuary and are on the offensive.
With Alexandria destroyed and the Kingdom abandoned, the remaining survivors from there take refuge in the Hilltop which remains under the Militia's control.
The Milltia prepare for battle as Simon and the Saviors arrive. Daryl rides up on his motorcycle and opens fire with his machine gun. Simon's convoy follows Daryl through the gate. Hilltoppers block the convoy with a bus and fire at the Saviors. The battle begins in earnest. The Saviors start firing back, striking several people with mucked up arrows.
Hilltop goes silent and dark. Simon now wants to go inside and "do some proper slaughtering." He starts to whistle as they prepare to enter the Barrington House. As they ready their attack, a row of headlights turn on and blind the Saviors as the house's windows light up with gunfire directed at the Saviors. Angered that his plan is failing, Simon orders everyone to retreat as they race to their trucks and he and the remaining Saviors flee from the Hilltop.
Despite receiving heavy casualties from their assault, Simon and his men successfully infect many members of the Militia, unexpectedly causing them to reanimate and kill more people from within the Hilltop. In the ensuing chaos, Gregory, Jared and many of the Satellite Outpost prisoners escape from the Hilltop. Alden and several others choose to remain of their own free will, helping to put down the reanimated residents and prevent a herd from getting in.
Following the siege, Hilltop runs into a supply problem due to the number of people taking refuge and the conflict with the Saviors. The community makes contact with another group led by Georgie who they briefly take prisoner in order to take their supplies in Hilltop's desperate state. Maggie ultimately decides to release the group, but Georgie gives Hilltop a significant portion of her supplies anyway along with a book she has written called A Key to the Future describing how to use many farming techniques that have been long abandoned which could help the community to thrive and prosper once the war is over.
As the final battle with the Saviors approaches, Hilltop is evacuated in the face of an inevitable Savior attack. Tara chooses to remain behind to cover the residents' escape and is joined by Alden and the other former Savior prisoners. Tara and the prisoners prepare to attack, but suddenly, Cyndie, Aaron and the Oceansiders ambush the Saviors with Molotov cocktails, preventing a battle and killing the would-be attackers. After Rick defeats Negan, Maggie and the Hilltoppers return to the Hilltop. Alden chooses to join the Hilltop instead of returning to the Saviors to help build up the community using Georgie's book which Maggie accepts.
Building a New World
Eighteen months after the war with the Saviors, Hilltop has been built up under the leadership of Maggie and is now the most prosperous of all the communities. Following an election, Maggie was voted in as permanent leader over Gregory who was unhappy with the result. Following the death of Ken during a run into Washington, D.C. for supplies, Gregory attempts to have Maggie assassinated without success. As a result, Maggie has Gregory executed by hanging to prevent such a thing from happening again in the future.
Following Gregory's execution, Hilltop takes part in the bridge repair project alongside the other communities and the Saviors. Though Earl Sutton is initially imprisoned for his role in the attempted assassination of Maggie, she eventually releases him after talking with Earl and deciding to give him a second chance. Having retrieved a plow from the Smithsonian Museum which broke during the walker attack that killed Ken, Maggie has Earl repair it for Hilltop's use. However, problems arise when Saviors start disappearing along with the biofuel Hilltop was promised. Maggie and Daryl eventually discover Oceanside to be responsible as they are taking revenge for the massacre at their former community. The revenge killings cause a renewed conflict with Savior rebels led by Jed, ending with Rick Grimes apparently sacrificing himself to blow up the bridge and stop the advance of a massive herd that would've destroyed Hilltop if it had not been stopped.
Over the next six years, the communities become more isolated from each other after Jocelyn's group kidnaps Alexandria's children and the council decides to take on a more isolationist mentality to protect themselves. Maggie eventually leaves Hilltop to join Georgie's group while Tara, after helping deliver needed medical supplies to Jesus, decides to leave Alexandria for Hilltop. Following Maggie's departure, Jesus is left in charge of the community, winning at least one reelection because nobody bothers to run against him. As Jesus doesn't like the responsibilities, Tara acts as his second-in-command, helping out with the more day-to-day jobs of running the community.
The Whisperer War
Six years after Rick's apparent death, Michonne decides to bring Magna and her group to Hilltop after refusing to let them settle in Alexandria. At the same time, a new threat emerges in the form of the Whisperers, resulting in the disappearance of Eugene and Rosita being injured. Rosita is eventually found and rescued by men from Hilltop and a search is launched for Eugene. In the battle that follow, Jesus is killed and Tara becomes Hilltop's new leader. At the request of Michonne, Tara allows Magna's group to join the community while Henry moves to the Hilltop from the Kingdom to apprentice in blacksmithing. The Hilltop subsequently becomes the site of one of the first confrontations with the Whisperers when their leader Alpha demands the trade of Luke and Alden for her daughter Lydia who had been captured and taken to the community. Lydia eventually agrees to allow the trade to go through, but at the same time, a Whisperer is forced to abandon her baby when a herd approaches. The baby is rescued by the community and later adopted by Earl and Tammy Rose Sutton.
When the Coalition is formed, the Hilltop signs the charter and plans are made to form a mutual defense pact to protect the Hilltop in case the Whisperers retaliate for Lydia's defection.
Following the deaths of Jesus and Tara along with several other people brutally slaughtered by the Whisperers, the Hilltop falls under the leadership of a council instead of a single leader. Yumiko tells Michonne that the council is having trouble passing security resolutions, still reeling from the losses they have suffered. However, after the Kingdom falls and has to be abandoned, the Hilltop agrees to take in the survivors. With the help of people from both the Hilltop and Alexandria, the Kingdommers manage to all make the journey despite many dangers, including a massive blizzard. While the Kingdommers settle at the Hilltop, Carol decides to divorce Ezekiel and return to Alexandria and is joined by Daryl and Lydia.
Months later, Hilltop and the other communities form a new militia to prepare for the inevitable return of the Whisperers and their horde. The communities later fall under siege from the returned Whisperers who, under Alpha's direction, begin enacting a slower more long-term strategy. As part of this, the Whisperers topple a tree through Hilltop's fence, allowing a herd in. However, the residents successfully fight off the herd and begin repairs to their damaged defenses. At the same time, an escaped Negan tries to send a mother and son to Hilltop for safety within the community on the condition that they do not reveal that Negan was the one who sent them. However, the two are murdered by Brandon before they can make the journey.
Government and Society
The Hilltop seems to have a very loose system. Gregory seems to be the main authority figure acting as leader and negotiator and is most likely the primary authority to come up with or approve ideas brought on by community members. Gregory might also hold power over the small guard of the community, but this remains uncertain due to his tendency to negotiate and submit instead of aggression. Jesus seems to be the only other major figure of authority, but that may be more out of his skill as a fighter and the respect and likability he gains from the community. There is also the guard which seems to act as a police system to secure peace and stability inside the community.
The community, due to its closed off nature, is very social based. In terms of punishment none have been really applied. Most conflicts seem to be resolved almost entirely by conversation and it is unknown if any other punishments have been made. Philosophically, Hilltop residents believe in cremation as the way of body disposal. They also seem to hold the lives of other members in high regard and most likely oppose any form of capital punishment.
Agriculture seems to be the main resource for the communities supplies, but individual searches by Jesus seems to still make runs to get enough supplies to meet Savior demands.
Under Gregory's rule the community managed to preserve itself without major casualties and built a wall around itself. When the Saviors arrived and executed members of the community Gregory chose to agree to the Saviors supply tax to preserve the community. Peace was achieved and the community became a provider of the Saviors. This agreement lasted until an attempted assassination of Gregory took place. Gregory then made a treaty with the newly discovered community of Alexandria. Recently Gregory return to his old policies and reached another agreement with the Saviors with Simon acting as the new outpost commander.
After the war with the Saviors, Hilltop held an election to determine who would be the leader, Gregory or Maggie. By vote, Maggie became the leader of the community. Gregory was subsequently executed by hanging for an assassination attempt on Maggie. After Maggie leaves, Jesus becomes de facto leader and wins an election himself unanimously with no one running against him. When Jesus is killed, Tara is turned to as the new leader as she served as Jesus' second-in-command.
While the Hilltop didn't appear to have laws at first regarding punishment, Maggie established some following the betrayal of Gregory. As her first act under the new laws, Maggie hung Gregory for his treachery and attempted murder, but at some previous point also had Earl Sutton build a jail in the basement of the manor. Earl was imprisoned in the jail for his own attempted murder of Maggie, but eventually put on work release after he explained the story behind his alcoholism to Maggie and she needed his blacksmithing experience. Six years after Rick's apparent death, the Hilltop is shown to have firmer laws in place. The jail is used to hold Lydia following her capture. After Henry's drunken antics, Earl considers having him sent back to the Kingdom but eventually relents. Instead, under the Hilltop laws, Henry is sentenced to two days in jail for drunk and disorderly conduct. Daryl Dixon is briefly able to release Henry before his sentence is finished for some fresh air, but sends him back afterwards as per Earl's instructions.
Following the deaths of Gregory, Jesus, and Tara and the departure of Maggie, the Hilltop switches to being led by a council. Yumiko tells Michonne that the council is having trouble passing security resolutions due to the losses they are still reeling from. They have also attempted to contact Maggie, but have gotten no response from her yet.
- Yumiko (Councilmember)
- Earl Sutton (Head Blacksmith/Councilmember)
- Alden (Construction Foreman/Blacksmith/Councilmember)
- Ezekiel (Councilmember)
- Jerry (Councilmember)
- Eugene Porter (Engineer)
- Kal (Guard/Self-Defense Instructor)
- Eduardo (Guard)
- Oscar (Guard/Gardener/Hunter)
- Bertie (Teacher)
- Marco (Supply Runner)
- Alex (Medic)
- Magna (Guard)
- Kelly (Hunter)
- Adam Sutton
- Quan (Guard/Distiller)
- Ms. Maitlin (Cook)
- Henry (Blacksmith Apprentice)
- Tara Chambler (Former De-Facto Leader)
- Enid (Community Doctor)
- Adeline (Student)
- Rodney (Student)
- Tammy Rose Sutton (Head Gardener)
- Hilde (Jewlery Maker)
- Paul "Jesus" Rovia (Former Leader)
- Gregory (Former Leader)
- Kenneth Sutton (Former Supply Runner)
- Crystal (Food Exchanger)
- Craig (Cook/Food Exchanger)
- Wesley (Supply Runner)
- Neil (Woodworker)
- Freddie (Supply Runner)
- Andy (Food Exchanger)
- Ethan (Food Exchanger)
- Tim (Food Exchanger)
- Marsha (Food Exchanger)
- Numerous unnamed residents
- Maggie Rhee (Former Leader)
- Hershel Rhee
- Daryl Dixon
- Lydia (Former Prisoner)
- Gage (Former Student)
- Reilly (Former Prisoner)
- Jared (Former Prisoner)
- Evan (Former Prisoner)
- Katy (Former Prisoner)
- Harlan Carson (Former Community Physician)
- Dean (Prisoner)
- Sasha Williams
- Emmett Carson (Former Community Doctor)
- At least 33 unnamed Saviors (Former Prisoners)
- At least 7 unnamed Hilltop residents and refugees
- At least 30 unnamed Saviors
- From "Mercy" to "Do Not Send Us Astray", the Hilltoppers started wearing green armbands, representing their position in the Militia. The other communities: Alexandria Safe-Zone are represented by white armbands, and The Kingdom are represented by orange armbands.
- Hilltop Colony is the second longest lasting location, the first being Alexandria Safe-Zone, with Hilltop lasting for eight years.
- In "Adaptation", it is revealed that the Hilltop only suffered one casualty during the six year timeskip, seeing as that one additional gravestone has been added to the cemetery.
- With the death of both Jesus, and Tara, Hilltop is without an official leader.
- In "The Storm", it is revealed that following their deaths, Hilltop is now run by a council, similar to Alexandria.
- Hilltop Colony suffers the most casualties of leaders or former leaders in one season of any other established community (Gregory being hanged in "A New Beginning", Jesus being stabbed in "Evolution", and Tara being decapitated in "The Calm Before"). Caesar Martinez's Camp also serves as a contender with the deaths of Caesar Martinez, Pete Dolgen, and The Governor in Season 4.