|This article is about the Novel Series character. You may be looking for his Road to Survival counterpart. For other pages with the same name, see: Joshua|
- "You think this is like a passing thing? Like this is Summer camp? Like we're all gonna go home at the end of the season after losing our virginity and getting poison ivy."
- —Joshua to Lilly about their relationship and the zombie apocalypse.[src]
Joshua Lee Hamilton, better known as Josh, is a main character first encountered in The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury. He was the leader of his own group and the boyfriend of Lilly Caul. He worked on Martínez's construction crew in Woodbury up until his death at the hands of Sam "the Butcher". He is described as "an imposing figure. Built like an NFL tackle, with monolithic shoulders, enormous tree-trunk thighs, and a thick neck". "His sad, long-lashed eyes and his deferential brow, which perpetually creases the front of his balding pate, give off an air of unexpected tenderness". He has a "tattooed bicep" and wears a "sleeveless denim shirt and ratty down vest".
Greenville, South Carolina
Josh was born on January 15th, 1969, as the son of single mother, Raylene Hamilton and grew up with four sisters. When he was younger, Josh developed crushes on girls with embarrassing frequency, but he always seemed to mess things up by rushing it and sucking up to them big time. Josh grew up as a natural loner in the 1970s, when South Carolina was still clinging to the ghostly days of Jim Crow and making attempts to integrate their schools. He shuffled through various housing projects with his family, and because of the kind-hearted nature of his mother, him and his sisters would return home from school to find their house full of strangers and stray dogs Raylene had taken in off the street to feed and make tea for. Josh put his size and strength to use on the gridiron, playing varsity ball for Mallard Creek High School with visions of getting a scholarship, but he lacked the raw aggression that got the other players up the academic ladder. During his childhood his uncle Vernon would take him hunting up on Briar Mountain where Josh was an eagle-eyed hunter.
Josh was always a gentle soul to a fault. He let far weaker boys pick on him, deferred to all adults and had no fight in him. By the mid-eighties his football career phased out. By that time his mother, Raylene, got sick with “lupus erythematosus,” and although it wasn’t terminal, for Raylene it was a death sentence with a life of chronic pain and skin lesions and near paralysis. Josh took it upon himself to be his mother's caretaker (while his sisters drifted away to bad marriages and dead-end jobs out of state). While Josh took care of his mom, within a few years he got good enough at cooking to get a job in a restaurant before moving up the ranks at steakhouse kitchens across South Carolina and Georgia. By the 2000s, Josh Hamilton had become one of the most sought-after executive chefs in the Southeast, supervising large teams of sous-chefs, catering upscale social events, and getting his picture in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles. And all the while he managed to run his kitchens with kindness.
During the early days of the outbreak back when there were only a few biter sightings, Josh was still trying to get into work each morning. One Sunday when the walkers started to become a bigger problem, his street got blocked off by officials. Josh left for work while his mama was sitting at the window, staring at the dead slipping through the cordons and getting picked off by SWAT, thinking she'd be okay. Later that day he tries to call her but the phone lines are down so he figures no news is good news. At about 5:30 PM he finishes work and returns to his street, flashes his ID at the cops and notices a lot of activity outside his building. Josh is ordered to leave but is let through when he tells the SWAT that he lives here. He enters and finds the front door to his apartment building wide open with cops coming and going and some carrying specimen containers for human organs. He runs up the stairs, knocks over a police officer and gets to his door on the second floor where men in hazmat suits block the entrance. He shoves them aside and discovers the horrific sight of his mother torn apart and slumped in her chair with six walkers dead on the floor. Blood coats the walls and china and her chewed up fingers lie next to the gravy boat.
Around sunset one evening Chad Bingham's caravan of survivors gets pinned down by a pack of walkers in a Kmart parking lot. Josh Hamilton comes to the rescue from the shadows of the loading dock like some Moorish gladiator, wielding twin garden hoes with the price tags still flagging in the wind. He easily dispatches the half-dozen zombies and saves the survivors who thank him profusely. He shows the group a couple of brand-new shotguns in the back aisles of the store, as well as camping gear. He helps the group load their two minivans with provisions and is allowed to join the group. He invites Lilly Caul to ride with him on the back of his Suzuki motorbike as he follows the caravan closer to the abandoned orchards patchworking Meriwether County.
During the first attack on the original camp, Joshua is attacked by walkers. Scared, Lilly escapes, while other survivors save Joshua. Lilly felt ashamed about escaping and wants to apologize to Joshua. Joshua forgives her, but Lilly won't believe it. When Joshua is away, a second attack happens at the Tent City. Chad blames Lilly for the death of his daughter and starts beating on her breaking ribs and smashing her face. Joshua sees this happening and attacks Chad. Losing all control, he slams Chad against a tree several times, killing him. Joshua is forced to leave the Tent City but Lilly, Bob Stookey, Megan Lafferty and Scott Moon all go with him.
They end up camping in a farm house for a few weeks while there Joshua starts falling in love with Lilly. They are soon forced to leave the Farm House and find that the Tent City was overrun and destroyed having no option they hit the road again until the stumble across a Walmart, where they meet Caesar Martínez.
They follow Martinez to Woodbury where they stay for a while and finally Lilly and Joshua tell each other of their feelings and start a relationship, while in Woodbury they catch wind of some weird things from Brian Blake's creepy leadership to Sam's corrupt barter system they decided to leave Woodbury after secretly scavenging for their own supplies.
- Killed By
After returning to Woodbury with Lilly from a community of houses nearby, Sam (who runs a type of market trading favors in exchange of goods) spots the bag of supplies that they had with them. When Sam asks to give him the bag to pay off his massive debt, Joshua Lee Hamilton declines, which leads to a brief struggle between the two and ends when Sam quickly proceeds to take out his pistol and shoot Joshua in the head. Joshua's death date is November 11th 2012, mentioned later in The Fall of the Governor novel.
This list shows the victims Joshua has killed:
Joshua and Lilly were in love and cared for one another deeply, many times Joshua could be seen protecting and caring for Lilly. In The Fall of the Governor it is revealed that he thought of Lilly as the only woman he has ever loved, just showing at what extent his love for her went.
Joshua loved his mother very much. She was a sweet and kind lady, he dedicated his life to helping her when she became ill. When the outbreak started Joshua was at work and his mother, whom was known for letting in strangers for supper, let zombies in not knowing they were not human. To this day Joshua blames himself for her death.
Joshua has great respect for Bob, even though he looks down upon him for his alcoholic problems he still asks him for advice and considered him a good friend. In "The Fall of the Governor", it is revealed that Joshua had said to Bob that Lilly Caul is the only woman he has ever loved, which further supports the good friendship they had.
Joshua and Chad had a very strained relationship. This relationship is ultimately severed when Josh sees Chad attacking Lilly, and brutally murdered him.
Joshua sees Scott as a sex-filled pothead and finds little use for him but at times he shows he does care for Scott's well being and enjoys his company on occasion.
|Rise of the Governor|
|The Road to Woodbury||✔||✔|
|The Fall of the Governor|
|Search and Destroy|
|Return to Woodbury|
|✔||Appears||✔||Voice is heard|
|👁||Appears with no lines||✔||Appears in a flashback|
|✔||Appears as a walker||🖼||Appears in a photograph/video|
|✔||Appears as a corpse||✔||Appears in a hallucination/dream|
- In The Fall of the Governor, we learn that Josh's death date is November 11th 2012. However this is incorrect as The Road to Woodbury starts in late October, and many weeks pass on the road before the group arrives in Woodbury, far exceeding the date mentioned for his death. However, on the day of Josh's death, it is mentioned that Christmas is twelve days away, placing his death at December 13th.
- Josh is one of the few Novel Series characters to make an appearance in The Walking Dead: Road to Survival. Others being Philip Blake, Nick Parsons, Gene Gavin, Trey Barker, Jeremiah Garlitz, Chen Wenzhu, Elena Anderson, Ying Hengyen, Wangfa, Guo, Lǎopó and Jiafeng.
- Josh almost has the same name as Lance Hornsby's actor in the TV Series, Josh Hamilton.