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- "The real question is how could I not? What would happen without your fertilizer, Clint? Or your pills, Paul? Do you think our community would survive? I did what I had to, to ensure that we would. It wasn’t easy... I took the hard decisions on myself. You all remember the winter — how much we lost. Friends. Lovers. Children. I made a promise — I would never let that happen again. The raids were just to keep up us going, ‘til Richmond reached sustainability. We’re so close. So close to our dream. Do we really want to risk it all by fighting amongst ourselves? We should be all on the same side of this, David. On Richmond’s side. Surely you can see that?"
- —Joan about the raids. (Determinant)[src]
Joan is a main character and an antagonist who first appears in Telltale Games' The Walking Dead: Season Three. She is one of four leaders of the New Frontier alongside David García, Clinton Barnes, and Paul Lingard, and acts as the group's head of diplomacy. In reality, she is also the mastermind behind the New Frontier's raids on other settlements, her motivation spurred from their loss of people and supplies from the past winter. Despite not appearing until "Above The Law", she served as the secret antagonist of the first half of Season 3 since she's the one pulling Badger, Max, and Lonnie's strings in the first two episodes, and the primary antagonist of the second half of Season 3.
Joan was a divorced single mother, a driven child of immigrants, who worked her way up to COO of her furniture manufacturing company, running the factory as both den mother and disciplinarian. She knew every employee’s name, but also everyone’s weak spots.
Joan is first shown in the Richmond church when David takes Javier to meet her and the other leaders of Richmond; Paul and Clint. Joan is with Clint arguing about his spinach and Joan's gateau, to which Javi can say which he prefers. Clint then starts questioning Javier with Joan.
Max is brought into the church meeting by Clint's orders to bring up his experience with Javier with the leaders to inform them of what he has Seen Javier doing outside of Richmond. Max is hesitant with his words, knowing that David is Javier's brother and trying to show no disrespect to David. Max reveals that he caught Javier "stealing" gas from them, despite Javier's claims, Max stands his ground trying to sound justified. Max then reveals more information about Javier's situation with Rufus: either he killed him or he Clementine ran him of the road to free Javier.
Javier can also tell the leaders of Mariana's death and how she was brutally killed by members of the New Frontier. The leaders don't take it too well, and Javier and his group are kicked out.
Joan is shown later with David confronting her about the raids. The ending depends on what you did with Max.
If Max was spared: If Javier decide to keep Max alive, he will then tell everyone how he, Lonnie and Badger were raiding towns on Joan's orders. As everyone appears shocked, Joan explains how Richmond lost people in the winter, and says she was gonna keep the raids going until Richmond develops. Joan manages to convince the council that her reason for ordering the raids is justified, because of this, the council decides to side with her and has Javier and David locked away.
If Max was killed: If Max was killed however, David and Javier's defense are broken as Lonnie is now the only witness to the whole thing, framing David to be behind the raids in order to protect Joan. Lonnie's defense begins to sound more credible by blaming David for Badger and Max's deaths. Joan, successfully covered, scolds David for his "raids" and then has him and Javier arrested to answer for their "crimes". Lonnie then mocks David for killing their "family", which causes David to snap, attack Lonnie and incite a shootout, killing Lonnie.
Joan appears in the New Frontier's jail cell where David and Javier are trapped in. She demands to talk to David about some problems and issues, then she takes David away. She leaves Javier locked in, but he later breaks out.
Joan begins her speech, and sentences David to death by hanging for his actions. After David accuses her of lying, Joan reveals one (Badger), two (Badger and Dr. Lingard), three (Badger, Max, and Lonnie) or four (Badger, Max, Lonnie, and Dr. Lingard) corpses of people Javier and David killed as evidence.
Joan notices Javier, and invites him to speak publicly in front of the crowd. She reveals that she has had a conversation with Eleanor, with her revealing the group's plan - which she has either done intentionally or accidentally, depending if you killed Conrad or not back in "Ties That Bind - Part 2", and knows Javier's plan to take her out/rally the people against her, and commands two of the guards to bring out Ava and Tripp, which have been both captured.
She places an ultimatum on Javier, choose one of them to spare. Clint is reluctant, but stays silent after Joan defends her actions. After either choosing to spare Ava or Tripp, Joan betrays Javi's choice, and shoots the person you chose. Either Ava dies by being shot in the head, or Tripp dies by being shot in the neck.
Clint, after witnessing Tripp/Ava's death, attempts to resolve the conflict and urges to strike a deal with Javier - take David and the rest of his group out of there, and do not come back. Joan disagrees, but Clint forces her to cooperate. David, enraged, tells Javier to shoot Joan. At this point, the player is presented with a choice, negotiate and accept the deal, or shoot Joan dead.
If Javier Shoots Joan (Dead): Javier rejects Clint's deal and immediately shoots Joan in the eye, killing her instantly, which sparks a shootout within the square. During the chaos, a New Frontier member kicks the chair out from under David, who begins to suffocate. Javier and Gabe quickly rush the stage in an attempt to save David. Reaching the stage, Gabe manages to hold David up by his legs as Javier cuts the rope, narrowly saving David's life. Clint attempts to escape amid the chaos, but is seen by David, who gives chase, along with Ava (Determinant) and Gabriel. (Determinant)
If Javier Accepts The Deal (Unknown): Javier accepts Clint's deal. Clint unties David, who ends up going against the deal by disarming a New Frontier member and holding Clint hostage. While David is distracted, Clint manages to break free of David's grip and attempts to wrestle the gun away from him, causing the gun to go off, which sparks chaos within the square. Seeing his dad in danger, Gabe runs up to the stage and attempts to pull Clint off of David, distracting him long enough for David to grab the gun, who proceeds to shoot and kill Clint without hesitation.
Regardless if Javier shot her in the previous episode or not, Joan does not make a returning appearance in this episode. If she was spared, her fate is ultimately unknown. If she was killed however, a picture of her is seen on the memorial wall.
- Killed By
After Javier witnesses Joan order the execution of either Ava or Tripp, Clint attempts to resolve the conflict between Javier's group and Joan in a non-violent manner. Javier, however, refuses to capitulate to Clint's offer, and after telling her to go to hell, shoots Joan right in the eye, killing her instantly.
This list shows the victims Joan has killed:
- Mariana García (Indirectly Caused)
- Francine (Indirectly Caused)
- Ava (Caused, Determinant)
- Tripp (Caused, Determinant)
- A few members of the Kingdom (Caused, Off-Screen)
- Numerous counts of Prescott residents (Caused)
- Numerous unnamed people (Caused or Direct)
- Possibly numerous counts of zombies
- Joan is the fourth major recurring antagonist in the Video Game, the first being the Save-Lots bandits leader, the second being the Stranger, the third being William Carver, and the fifth being Lilly.
- After the confirmation of Clint's full name via an AMA on the Telltale forums, Joan is now the only co-leader of The New Frontier without a known last name.
- Joan was originally designed as Eleanor's mother in an early version of the story.
- Joan would originally appear in "From The Gallows" depending on who died in the previous one: If Joan is to survive in "Thicker Than Water", she would appear, and the player would decide her fate: Execute her, exile her from Richmond, or let her stay. This was scrapped due to unknown reasons, likely time constraints.