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"I stand before you today, at the start of a new tomorrow! A tomorrow made possible by the sacrifices of many over the years. Among them, a man whose mission was to build community, and strengthen the bonds between us. A man who had to destroy the very thing that connected us in order to save us. It took us far too long to fulfill the promise of what Rick Grimes and his son Carl envisioned. The same promise, that Paul Rovia, better known to most as Jesus, believed in when he brought us together those many years ago. We’ve always been bound to each other."
Ezekiel's speech to start off the fair.[src]

The Coalition is a network of survivor communities formed in Season 9 of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is a successor to the Survivors and incorporates the Militia. Drawn up as an attempt to bring the Survivors and the communities together again after several events tore them apart, it shortly also became a united front against the threat of the Whisperers.

Overview

Following the presumed death of Rick Grimes, his group, who once saw itself as an unbreakable family, became divided, cold, and distant from each other following Michonne Hawthorne's decision to only look out for Alexandria's well-being after a group of bandits led by an old friend betrayed her and kidnapped Judith, forcing her to kill many children. Six years later, Ezekiel attempts to bring the group and the communities back together with a fair, where each community leader would sign a charter that agrees that each of the four remaining communities will agree to trade with and aid one another, promoting the re-establishment of society, and honoring Rick's legacy.

Post-Apocalypse

Forming the Coalition

Main articles: Alexandria Safe-Zone, Hilltop Colony, The Kingdom, Oceanside, Magna's Group, The Highwaymen, The Militia

Following Rick's presumed death, Michonne has their child, a baby boy, and after an old friend comes to Alexandria's gates seeking refuge only to betray her and kidnap Judith, Michonne is forced to kill several children and decides to only watch out for Alexandria's wellbeing, causing the group to divide even further, becoming cold and aggressive to each other. Several former Saviors integrate into Alexandria after the fall of the Sanctuary, earning their trust and place within the group, Laura, D.J. and Frankie among them. Sometime later, Maggie leaves Hilltop to travel with a group of pioneers with her son to help build up another community. Six years later, Daryl has isolated himself from the rest of the world in search of Rick, and an older Judith saves Magna's Group from a herd and invites them to Alexandria. Despite Michonne's reprehension, they are offered a home at Hilltop, proving themselves as trustworthy allies as they travel there. When Eugene and Rosita attempt to increase Alexandria's radio signal to find more signs of life, they are attacked by a strangely intelligent herd of walkers, who were "whispering" to each other. Rosita manages to escape after leaving an injured Eugene in a barn. Aaron, Jesus, and Daryl go out to find Eugene, only for Jesus to lose his life when the Whisperers reveal themselves to the group.

After escaping the Whisperers with the help of Magna's group, the survivors make their way back to Hilltop to give Jesus a proper funeral, and run into a small group of walkers. They corner them at a bridge and unmask a young girl who begs for her life. Taking her back to Hilltop as a prisoner, they question her about her people. Failing to get any information from her, Daryl lets Henry talk to her, and the two begin to form a romantic relationship. Rosita reveals she is pregnant with Siddiq's child, and later Alden and Luke are captured by Alpha, the Whisperer's leader and Lydia's mother.

Alpha drags Alden and Luke before the Hilltop's gates, demanding Lydia's return in exchange for their lives, promising no conflict so long as she is returned. During the standoff, a Whisperer abandons her baby as it was crying and attracting walkers, but Connie saves it. Lydia is successfully exchanged for Alden and Luke, and Ezekiel, Carol, and Jerry make a trip to a movie theater to obtain a projector bulb, passing by a sign with a symbol on it. Henry follows the Whisperers to get Lydia back, and Daryl and Connie go out to retrieve him. Alpha's second-in-command finds and captures Henry, though Lydia signals she is now loyal to Henry, and when Daryl and Connie infiltrate the Whisperers, Lydia and Henry leave together. Jerry and his patrol are ambushed by the Highwaymen, who steal their supplies and send Jerry back with a message, demanding a list of supplies from the Kingdom or else they will make sure no one will make it to the fair.

Ezekiel, Carol, and Jerry confront the Highwaymen's leader, Ozzy, and despite a tense standoff, Carol successfully wins over the Highwaymen's service as escorts to the fair by offering them a chance to watch a movie. Meanwhile, Daryl, Connie, Henry, and Lydia are chased by Beta and the Whisperers, and the four hold themselves up in a office building, where they face off against their pursuers, and Daryl seemingly defeats Beta in a one-on-one. As they all arrive at the Kingdon, some Whisperers spot them, and prepare to report back to Alpha.

In the Kingdom, Ezekiel addresses the crowd and declares they’ve finally accomplished Rick, Carl, and Jesus' dreams of reuniting the communities. As everyone celebrates, Daryl, Michonn, and the convoy arrive. Carol scolds Henry for running away while Michonne greets Ezekiel, who’s shocked to see her. Carol and Ezekiel marvel at how much Judith has grown while Tara spots Lydia among the group. Tara is angered that Lydia is with them and they were only supposed to bring Henry alone.

Inside the theater, Michonne convenes the leaders and tells them she’s finally ready for Alexandria to help out. Gabriel announces Alexandria is willing to grant asylum to Lydia, but Tara warns if her mother retaliates it’ll be against Hilltop. Michonne reminds her that none of them were trusted when they were first introduced to the Survivors, and Tara relents. They all agree to send some of their own to Hilltop to guard against any potential attacks from the Whisperers and Michonne decides to re-establish the charter, establishing that an attack against Hilltop counts as an attack against all of them. Ezekiel then retrieves the original charter as Tara and Michonne finally make up. They all sign the charter, and Michonne tells Gabriel he should sign for Alexandria as the head of the council.

Later that day, in the Kingdom, Alpha walks around the fair in her disguise. She observes the trading booths, paints and people celebrating. Ezekiel notices her and introduces himself. She presents herself as Deborah from Alexandria and asks him to show her around. Somehow, Alpha is able to kidnap Tara, Enid, Henry and several residents and has them be taken away to a stable in the woods.

In the stable, Alpha arrives as the kidnapped residents try to fight back and then proceeds to kill them all. However, she lets Siddiq live to warn the others and to try to divide the communities by scaring them. She then decapitates her victims and place their heads on pikes in the middle of a border, separating the Whisperer's land and the communities.

Sometime later, the Kingdom finally falls to a hard winter and its already deteriorating conditions. The Kingdommers move to the Hilltop with the help of people from the Hilltop and Alexandria. Despite a blinding and dangerous blizzard, everyone makes it to the Hilltop safely after crossing through the Whisperers' territory.

The Whisperer War

Main articles: Alexandria Safe-Zone, Hilltop Colony, Oceanside, Magna's Group, The Highwaymen

In the time since the fair, the Coalition has organized into a fighting force training for the inevitable return of the Whisperers and their horde. Following the crash of a satellite, the Coalition is forced to cross the border again to fight a fire, provoking Alpha to change the borders again. With the Whisperers back, paranoia spreads throughout the communities, heightened in Alexandria by Dante, a Whisperer spy disguised as Alexandria's doctor. Alpha chooses to take a long game approach, sending smaller waves of walkers to attack Alexandria, crashing a tree through the Hilltop defensive walls, causing trouble near Oceanside and poisoning Alexandria's water supply. During this time, after accidentally killing Margo while defending Lydia, Negan escapes from Alexandria and joins the Whisperers.

The conflict between the Coalition and the Whisperers begins to heat up when Siddiq discovers Dante is a Whisperer spy and is murdered by him. Dante is exposed and later murdered by Gabriel Stokes for his actions while Aaron attempts to turn Gamma to the Coalition's side. After Carol reveals Lydia's survival, Gamma, returning to her real name of Mary, defects to the Coalition and reveals the location of Alpha's horde while an enraged Lydia takes off. Ultimately, several members of the Coalition become trapped in the cave containing the horde. Though most escape, an explosion collapses the cave entrance, trapping Magna and Connie while taking out approximately half of the horde. Beta later infiltrates Alexandria to find Mary, killing several residents, including Laura. However, Mary is able to lure Beta away and he is forced to retreat by returning Coalition members. At the same time, Daryl and Alpha have a brutal fight that ends in a draw before Lydia rescues Daryl. Unable to kill her mother, Lydia rejects Alpha completely, causing Alpha to lose all inhibitions and declare all-out war on the Coalition.

Alpha and the Whisperers subsequently attack the Hilltop, using a plan suggested by Negan to prevent an easy retreat. Unable to call for help from the other communities in time, the Hilltoppers and Coalition soldiers stationed there are forced to hold out against a massive walker attack on their own. The Whisperers set much of the Hilltop on fire, including Barrington House, ultimately forcing the Coalition to abandon the Hilltop and flee. Many members of the Coalition are killed in the battle with Alpha deciding to add them to her horde to help replace the walkers lost in the battle. Upon later making contact with Judith again, Michonne is told that the Coalition managed to destroy most of the Whisperers' horde in the battle for the Hilltop. Magna is discovered to have survived and hidden amongst the horde, but is unsure of Connie's fate. Amongst those who lose their lives are Earl Sutton who was bitten in the battle and Mary who is killed by Beta after using herself as bait to lure a herd away from Alden, Kelly and her nephew. However, at the same time, Negan lures Alpha into a trap using Lydia and kills the Whisperer leader. Negan brings her zombified head to Carol, Negan and Carol having been working together the entire time to have Negan get close to Alpha and kill her.

Following the death of Alpha, Beta takes over the Whisperers and leads them and a massive horde to destroy the remaining communities outright. Alexandria and Oceanside, the two surviving communities, are abandoned in favor of using an abandoned hospital dubbed the Tower as a refuge while Luke develops a plan to destroy the horde using a makeshift sound system that he builds from scavenged parts. However, the initial plan to lead the horde away from Oceanside is foiled when Beta locates the Tower instead and besieges it with his horde. In order to save everyone and defeat the Whisperers, Daryl leads a small group into the horde camouflaged by the walker guts trick to reach the wagon on the other side with the sound system. With covering fire from Dianne, most of the group makes it with the addition of Lydia, but lose Beatrice in the process. Blaring loud music, Daryl's group draws the Whisperers and their horde away from the Tower while Gabriel initiates an evacuation. When several Whisperers enter, Gabriel stays behind to hold them off and is saved by the surprise return of Maggie Rhee with her new friend Elijah. Though Daryl's group succeeds in leading the horde away, the Whisperers eventually attack the wagon directly, suffering heavy casualties but killing Oscar and destroying the sound system. With Beta turning the horde back towards the Tower which is now defenseless, Daryl's group infiltrates the horde and begins assassinating the Whisperers one by one. As Beta starts to go after Lydia, he is distracted by Negan and then mortally wounded by Daryl before Beta is ultimately willingly devoured by his own horde.

With all of the Whisperers dead, Lydia and Carol complete the plan to destroy the horde by using Lydia's training from Alpha to finish leading the walkers to a cliff. Lydia prevents Carol from sacrificing herself to complete the plan and the two women witness the walker horde walk over the cliff to their destruction, ending the threat of the Whisperers forever. In the aftermath, the Coalition is left able to recover their surviving communities while Connie, still alive, is found by Virgil near the abandoned Oceanside.

Conflict with the Reapers

Main articles: Alexandria Safe-Zone, Oceanside

The defeat of the Whisperers does not solve all of the Coalition's problems, however. It is discovered that before leaving Alexandria, the Whisperers had done heavy damage to the community and destroyed its food supply. In addition, the Whisperers' horde had scared off all of the animals in the area, preventing any successful hunting. Despite this, the residents choose to stay and once again rebuild their home despite the incredible hardships that they have to face. As a solution, the residents raid Fort Connors for supplies, but only gain a very limited number of MREs.

Along with the possible dangers of starvation, a new threat quickly emerges in the form of the Reapers, a former military unit that raid and wipe out other communities for their supplies, most recently Meridian where Maggie and her people had lived. One Reaper follows Maggie and her people back to the Coalition lands and hunt them shortly after the defeat of the Whisperers, committing suicide when confronted and only telling Maggie that Pope has marked her. As a solution to both problems, Maggie suggests that the Coalition retake Meridian from the Reapers as the town has ample food and supplies. Maggie, Daryl, Gabriel, Negan, Alden, Roy, Gage, Elijah, Duncan, Cole, Agatha and Frost set out, but most of the team are quickly killed by the Reapers and herds, leaving only Maggie, Daryl, Gabriel, Negan, Alden and Elijah. After being severely wounded by a Reaper, Alden has to be left behind and Daryl is captured by the Reapers, but he manages to infiltrate their ranks thanks to his former lover Leah Shaw being a member.

In order to successfully attack Meridian, Maggie has Negan give her and the others Whisperer training and create masks for them out of walker faces. Once they have been sufficiently trained, Maggie's team leads a massive herd to Meridian and lays siege to the town. With Pope being willing to sacrifice his own people, his family, in order to win, Leah sides with Daryl briefly and she kills Pope. However, Leah blames the murder on Daryl and launches a hwacha at the herd once most of the Reapers are clear, destroying the walkers. Maggie, Daryl, Negan, Gabriel and Elijah engage in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the Reapers through Meridian, killing several before capturing Brandon Carver. Despite Elijah wanting revenge upon Brandon for the murder of his sister, Daryl instead decides to trade him for a deal with Leah where the Reapers leave Meridian and its food supplies to them and the surviving Reapers are allowed to live. With Gabriel having taken control of a sniper rifle, Leah takes the deal, but as the Reapers leave the town, Maggie attacks, killing all of the surviving Reapers aside from Leah whom Daryl allows to escape. In the aftermath, the group collects Meridian's food supply to take back to Alexandria and Maggie returns for Alden, only to find out that he has died and reanimated. Knowing that Maggie will never let go of her need for revenge upon him, Negan chooses to willingly exile himself from the group.

While Maggie's team is away, Alexandria continues to struggle with starvation and danger from herds getting in due to breaches in the community's weakened wall. In an attempt to repair the wall, Aaron leads a team back to the ruins of the Hilltop in search of blacksmithing supplies where they find and sadly put down a number of reanimated Coalition soldiers who had died during the fall of the Hilltop. A small group of surviving Whisperers led by Keith are discovered to be living in the ruins, but Keith insists that they no longer intend any harm to anyone and just want to survive. The group ultimately chooses to leave Keith and the Whisperers alone and Keith, as a gesture of their good intentions, reveals where his people had seen the still-missing Connie following her escape from Alpha's Cave. Kelly, Carol, Aaron, Magna and Rosita manage to track down Connie just as she and Virgil escape from the Ferals and return with them to Alexandria.

Following their return, Alexandria is hit by a massive storm which sets the windmill on fire and opens breaches in the wall, letting in a herd. The residents fight both the fire and the herd successfully, suffering no casualties, but by the time that Maggie's team returns with the much-needed food supplies, Alexandria is in worse shape than ever with everything that they had left in terms of food destroyed in the storm.

Encounter with the Commonwealth

Main articles: Alexandria Safe-Zone, Hilltop Colony, Oceanside

Shortly after the defeat of the Reapers, Eugene returns to Alexandria with Lance Hornsby and the Commonwealth Army. Lance offers the residents of Alexandria help with rebuilding their ruined town and the chance for the residents to join the Commonwealth itself. Subsequently, many of the residents move to the Commonwealth while others work on rebuilding Alexandria with the Commonwealth's help and Maggie takes others to work on rebuilding the Hilltop, albeit on her own.

Lance attempts to get Pamela Milton to agree to a trade agreement with the Coalition, seeing the communities as a chance to expand and start rebuilding the world despite them being much smaller than the Commonwealth. Pamela turns out to have been an old friend of Deanna Monroe, the original leader of Alexandria, which is the only community interested in a trade agreement. Oceanside, having renewed their mutual defense pact with the Hilltop, refuses due to Maggie's refusal to accept the deal. Although Maggie briefly considers it after talking with Pamela and Lance, she ultimately rejects the offer as she suspects that the price might be too high. However, Lance is able to convince Pamela to continue trade with Alexandria and to allow him to work on convincing the Hilltop and Oceanside to change their minds. In addition, some of the people at the Hilltop begin to abandon it in favor of living at the Commonwealth.

However, things soon begin to take a turn for the worse when a dying young man arrives at the Hilltop with a plea for help from Riverbend. Maggie, Lydia and Elijah go to help, learning that Aaron and Gabriel are amongst those in trouble with Negan, now living at Riverbend with his new wife having been the one to send the message for help. This brings the Coalition into conflict with the Commonwealth, a number of Commonwealth soldiers led by Toby Carlson attacking Riverbend in search of a missing weapons shipment. The Coalition members aid the survivors of Riverbend against the Commonwealth, killing Toby and all of his men, but putting the alliance in danger. Lance quickly deduces Maggie's help to the now-missing Riverbend residents, but he is forced to leave following a failed inspection of the Hilltop for his missing weapons and the Riverbend survivors.

Shortly thereafter, Lance moves to eliminate anyone who isn't an ally in order to seize power for himself, setting up Daryl, Gabriel and Aaron to be killed and hiring Leah Shaw to assassinate Maggie. Daryl, Gabriel and Aaron manage to eliminate their attackers while Maggie, Lydia, Elijiah and Marco set up an explosive trap for the Commonwealth at the Hilltop, killing three of their soldiers, but severely damaging Barrington House in the process. Marco is killed by Leah who is able to capture Maggie and take her to her old cabin in order to exact revenge upon her. However, Daryl tracks them down and he kills Leah, eliminating the last of the Reapers and saving Maggie's life. Daryl attempts to kill Lance when he approaches the cabin, but his shot only succeeds in grazing Lance's face while Maggie and Daryl escape. Enraged, Lance decides to seize it all for himself.

Subsequently, Lance and his men take over Alexandria, the Hilltop and Oceanside while Maggie, Daryl, Aaron, Gabriel, Elijah, Lydia, Hershel and the Riverbend survivors are forced on the run.

Members

Alexandria Safe-Zone

Hilltop Colony

Oceanside

  • Rachel Ward (Leader of the community/Fisherwoman)
  • Cyndie (Former Leader of the community)
  • Jules (Soldier)
  • Luke (Soldier)
  • Beatrice (Soldier)
  • Many unnamed Oceanside residents

The Highwaymen

  • Alfred (Soldier)
  • Margo (Soldier)
  • Ozzy (Former Leader of the group/Road Patrol)
  • Alek (Road Patrol)
  • At least 12 unnamed Highwaymen

Formerly

Deaths

Killed Victims

Appearances


Trivia

  • As shown by the charter in "Bounty", the Sanctuary and the Saviors were originally meant to be a part of the Coalition. However, the Sanctuary fell since the charter was written and the Saviors disbanded with at least most joining the other communities or becoming a part of Jed's group.
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