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This article is about the Commonwealth in the TV Series. You may be looking for the Commonwealth in the Comic Series.

"For the benefit of all, and all who seek solace at our gates."
—The Commonwealth's motto.[src]

The Commonwealth is a civilization composed of numerous united communities across the eastern and mid-west United States with over 50,000 survivors total in AMC's The Walking Dead. Its main community is a city located in Ohio and is led by Governor Pamela Milton. It also has its own army.

Pre-Apocalypse

Nothing is known about the lives of the residents of the community prior to or as the outbreak began. It is unknown if any of the residents knew each other or lived in Ohio before the outbreak occurred.

Post-Apocalypse

During the onset of the outbreak, many of the Commonwealth's original members arrived in the area seeking safety and refuge. The Milton Family, a highly influential political family, somehow managed to secure a few blocks for people to live. The Commonwealth has been expanding substantially ever since.

Season 10

"Bonds"

When Eugene asks Stephanie about her community, she says that she isn't comfortable discussing it. She is worried that doing so could put her group at risk.

"Morning Star"

During another conversation, Stephanie asks Eugene how many comets he has spotted. He says four. She is slightly peeved that he is "in the lead," and warns that he "better not be counting satellites." This indicates that she has seen one recently. Eugene realizes that the satellite she observed is the same one that crashed near Oceanside. This leads Stephanie to conclude that their groups are located relatively close to each other. Excited to learn of this, Eugene reveals that his group is located in Virginia. He then proposes a face-to-face meeting, and asks Stephanie to choose the time and location. Stephanie says she will have to talk to her people, and reluctantly agrees to do so. However, she asks that Eugene not do the same. Eugene promises to keep quiet.

After being spooked by an unknown person and ignoring Eugene's calls, the two finally share a heart-to-heart. This compels Stephanie to reveal the location of her group (Charleston, West Virginia). She suggests a time and location for their next meeting, and Eugene readily agrees.

"A Certain Doom"

The Commonwealth Army appears at the Southern Train Yard where Eugene, Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Juanita are waiting for Stephanie. They rush in pointing their weapons at them, demanding them to put their hands in the air and drop their weapons. The group is both in shock and worried.

"Splinter"

The Commonwealth Army separates Eugene, Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Princess by placing each of them in separate train cars, so they can scout the area to see if there are any more members of their group in the area. Afterward, each member of Eugene's group gets interrogated to see if they fit the right criteria to enter the Commonwealth itself. Juanita attacks a trooper attempting to interrogate her after having a dissociative episode, whom she apologizes to. The trooper calls to the other soldiers outside the train car that he has her ready for transport. Juanita sees Yumiko, Ezekiel, and Eugene standing outside, bags over their heads, before having a bag put over her own head. The four are then transported for further processing.

Season 11

"Acheron: Part I"

After ascertaining that the four are fit for further inspection, the Commonwealth Army bring Eugene, Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Juanita to a makeshift detainment center, where they are individually questioned by a man and a woman for hours on end, under the scrupulous yet silent supervision of Mercer. They are asked a series of detailed and personal questions, such as what their occupations before the apocalypse were, what the ZIP codes of their homes were, and whether or not they were ever arrested. The four are consistently kept under the threat of "reprocessing" if they fail to comply or meet the necessary standards to move on to the next level of citizenship authorization. They are all eventually put and kept inside of a makeshift cell and are each fed a bowl of a thin grain stew, and they watch as multiple other refugee seekers are forcibly taken away for questioning. After managing to escape from their cell and attempting to leave the facility, Yumiko decides to stay behind and undergo the acculturation process upon discovering her brother may be alive and in the Commonwealth, which motivates the other three to stay with her and do the same.

"Acheron: Part II"

At the Commonwealth interrogation center, Yumiko concludes that the Commonwealth is indeed real, based upon the notice board that she found. Juanita comes to the same conclusion, although she gets lost in her own train of thought. With that, Yumiko determines that the best course of action is to talk to the person in charge, while being cold as ice. Juanita questions whether Yumiko is capable of this, since her brother is involved, but Yumiko assures Princess that it comes naturally to her, since she was a lawyer. Yumiko goes on, but Juanita shushes her as the same trooper that encountered them during their escape attempt walks by. Princess thinks the guard knows they tried to escape, but Yumiko is skeptical of this, as they haven't been confronted about it yet. Just then, Eugene arrives and informs them that Ezekiel is gone, with the guards having taken him somewhere, apparently. Eugene starts to panic, believing that the guards know they tried to escape, and suggests they come clean about who they really are. Yumiko firmly tells him to not talk to the Commonwealth's law enforcement, or stick to the story if he has to. When Princess asks what they should do, Yumiko gets up and demands to know where Ezekiel was taken, and then to speak to the person in charge.

Yumiko is put back in the interrogation room, with the interrogators apparently being the ones in charge. Clark says she isn't sure why Yumiko is talking to them, since she had already been assessed, but the latter asserts that she was the one assessing them instead. She goes on to deduce that their community is large and organized, with a bureaucracy the interrogators are a part of. She also believes the interrogators had similar jobs before the apocalypse, guessing that Clark was a forensic psychologist and Evans an academic researcher. With their role being to assess threats to their community, Yumiko determines that the reason the interrogators asked about their past lives is because someone above them determined that was a good position from which to judge who they were in the present. She also deduces that their currency is the US dollar, as they hounded one of her companions over a $2 bill, with the reason for this being their need to strictly control the amount in circulation. Yumiko also believes the Commonwealth uses old currency as a symbol to remind people of the days before the fall. While she understands their need to determine whether she and her companions are an asset or a liability, she asserts that the Commonwealth needs to justify its existence, too. Taunting her interrogators, Yumiko hypothesizes that manual laborers are more valuable nowadays that someone who can write endless lists of questions, when at the end of the day, they still need to rely on their gut instinct. She pegs the interrogators as people who follow rules, which she likes, as she was a lawyer once, and goes on to proclaim that they need her. Yumiko says that she has reason to believe her brother is alive in the Commonwealth and, thus, requests expedited processing for her and her group. With that, Mercer enters the room, and offers Yumiko a cup of coffee.

Outside the interrogation room, Eugene asks Juanita to stop fidgeting, as she is making him more nervous than he already is. Princess replies that she can't help it, as she needs to pee. Finally, she decides to ask for a bathroom, but Eugene protests the idea of her splitting off. Juanita assures him that, since Mercer walked into the interrogation room with a coffee, things must be going well with Yumiko. She then asks a nearby trooper for the bathroom in Spanish, and is excited that they have working toilets and even toilet paper.

Outside the interrogation room, Eugene fidgets nervously. He decides to ask the guard when Yumiko will be done. To Eugene's bewilderment, the guard informs him that no one is in the room. Puzzled, Eugene asks about Juanita instead, but the guard claims to have no idea who he is talking about, before ordering Eugene to leave.

Inside his cell, Eugene sharpens a piece of wood into a stake, and hides it in his sleeve just before the guards arrive. He is taken to an interrogation room, where Evans and Mercer await him. Eugene inquires about his companions, but Mercer simply replies that they're being processed. Mercer asks if Eugene likes feeling nervous, and goes on to state that the only time his heart is racing is when he is fighting against the dead. He offers Eugene a tissue to wipe himself off, but goes on to observe that Eugene can't lie for shit, so warns him against it. Eugene claims he wasn't going to lie, which Mercer is pleased to hear. Mercer states that he knows Eugene is holding back, and orders him to truthfully answer two questions. If he does that, Mercer claims, he'll get to see his friends again. Mercer then asks Eugene where his settlement is, and why he was at the train station. Before Eugene can answer, Mercer again warns him against lying, as he will know if he does. Eugene admits to holding something back, and claims he wanted to speak up sooner, but was afraid of what his friends might think. He says that, during their travels, he found a radio, and would speak into the void hoping for an answer. Then, one night, a woman answered. The two bonded over certain topics and eventually decided they wanted to meet. Under the guise of asking for help, he talked his friends into coming with him, because he knew they wouldn't go otherwise. In truth, however, all Eugene was thinking about was Stephanie. Thus, Eugene confesses to lying to his friends for fear of losing them, and lying to Stephanie about being from a large settlement for fear of her not being who she said she was. He also admits to having difficulties with relationships, and to being a virgin. He was hoping Stephanie was his "one true love," and is afraid that if she finds out he wasn't honest with her she might reject him.

With a bag over his head, Eugene is taken to a train car where he is overjoyed to be reunited with his friends. He asks Ezekiel where the soldiers took him, but the latter says it was to the infirmary, where they gave him a syrup for his cough. Their conversation is cut short when Mercer strides into the room. He formally admits them into the Commonwealth, and sarcastically comments that they'll be escorted by a "beat cop." Before walking away, he indignantly informs Ezekiel he went to West Point. Mercer then knocks twice on the door. When it opens, a woman steps in who introduces herself as Stephanie.

"Out of the Ashes"

In a Commonwealth orientation video, a man named Lance Hornsby welcomes viewers to the Commonwealth and describes the benefits of living in their community. He explains that the Commonwealth has a population of 50,000 and is led by Governor Pamela Milton. A Commonwealth clerk turns off the video, and hands out work and housing assignments to Eugene, Yumiko, Ezekiel, and Princess. Eugene says they weren't planning to stay in the Commonwealth, but the clerk tells them to take it up with their case supervisor. Yumiko reads her letter and sees that it's a VIP invitation to discuss opportunities at the Commonwealth. Yumiko presents her letter to the clerk and asks to see her brother. Yumiko stops by a bakery where her brother, Tomi, works. Tomi drops his freshly made cake on the ground, shocked to see her alive. Eugene and Stephanie get ice cream at an ice cream truck. A clerk puts in a special order for Governor Milton. Eugene asks Stephanie for advice on how to leave the Commonwealth. She offers to help him radio his people but says it could take a couple of weeks to get him access. Ezekiel and Princess inform Eugene that they won't be able to speak to the case supervisor for five weeks. Eugene asks Stephanie if she can get him unofficial access to the radio. Mercer suspiciously watches them from afar. Stephanie brings Eugene, Ezekiel, and Princess to the train station, which now serves as headquarters for various Commonwealth agencies. She sneaks Eugene up to the radio room. In the meantime, Yumiko catches up with Tomi. Tomi explains that he found the Commonwealth very early on, and that he's happy working as a baker instead of a surgeon. Yumiko asks if there's any possibility of bringing her people to the Commonwealth. Tomi says anything is possible if you follow the rules. Princess sees Mercer approach the train station and flirts with him as a distraction. Mercer briefly engages with her but turns stoic the more she talks. Eugene radios Rosita in Alexandria and tells her that they're safe. Rosita updates Eugene on the fate of the Whisperers but says that Alexandria is in ruins. They lose contact. Mercer busts in on Eugene and Stephanie and arrests them. Ezekiel and Princess stand in the hallway, also under arrest. A supervisor informs Eugene, Ezekiel, and Princess that they've been charged with several crimes and will be banished if found guilty. Stephanie and Hornsby enter the room. Hornsby orders the supervisor to release Eugene's group. Stephanie tells them that Hornsby can protect them from banishment but that they'll still have to pay for their crimes.

"Promises Broken"

Eugene and Stephanie clear walkers in an abandoned building as part of their punishment for breaking the law. Eugene asks Stephanie if Hornsby is trustworthy. Stephanie assures Eugene that Hornsby can help them. Ezekiel and Princess clear a nearby building of walkers. Ezekiel coughs and doubles over in pain. Stephanie seeks Hornsby for medical help. They see Mercer escorting a young well-groomed couple across the grounds. A Commonwealth officer tells Yumiko that they should have no trouble finding a position for her, given her credentials. Yumiko makes it clear that she's not planning to stay and demands to see her friends. The officer says her friends will be released once they're finished completing their sentence. Yumiko demands to meet with Governor Milton. Yumiko meets Tomi at the train station and marvels that he chose not to be a doctor. Tomi tells Yumiko he's happy with his life, and makes Yumiko promise to keep his true profession a secret. Yumiko mentions that she has a meeting with Governor Milton. Soldiers come out of nowhere and haul Tomi away. Yumiko confronts Hornsby and demands to know where Tomi is. Hornsby assures her that Tomi will be home that night and that he will soon free her friends. He admits he's helping her with the hope she might return the favor one day. Ezekiel rejoins Eugene and Princess feeling rejuvenated from his medical treatment. Hornsby assigns Eugene and Stephanie to a new location, then tells Ezekiel and Princess to come with him. Eugene and Stephanie see walkers approaching the well-groomed man and woman they saw earlier with Mercer; they're busy making out in a gazebo. Eugene and Stephanie kill the walkers. The man, Sebastian, yells at them for interrupting his date, and says he has private security to protect them from walkers. Stephanie kills another walker. Sebastian screams at her for splattering walker blood on his girlfriend. Eugene confronts him and then punches him. Hornsby and Mercer race over as troopers surround Eugene. Yumiko arrives at Governor Milton's office for her meeting. Max, the receptionist, gives her a warm welcome. She takes a phone call and informs Yumiko she needs to reschedule the meeting because Governor Milton's son, Sebastian, was attacked. Hornsby visits Eugene in a cell and explains that the only way Eugene can get out of jail and help his friends is to reveal the name and location of his community. He starts to leave. Eugene tells him to wait.

"No Other Way"

After Daryl, Maggie, Gabriel, and Elijah return to Alexandria from Meridian with various food supplies, they are soon after called to the front gate by Jerry. A small convoy of Commonwealth soldiers on horseback are riding up to the settlement with their guns, and a small stand-off between the groups ensues. Before anyone can be hurt, however, Eugene runs out in between the two parties, proclaiming that the Commonwealth is "here to help."

The Commonwealth soldiers begin unloading supplies into Alexandria, including barrels of ethanol, as Eugene relays his experiences over the past few weeks to the Alexandrians, before stepping aside for Hornsby to say his piece. Hornsby commends the community for their ingenuity and resourcefulness for having survived so long, but notes they have "fallen on hard times." He offers the Commonwealth's assistance in helping fully rebuild Alexandria, providing them with manpower, resources, and protection. He gives a simultaneous counteroffer: anyone who wishes to is welcome to come back to the Commonwealth and live there themselves while the community is reconstructed.

In a flash-forward to six months later, a small group of over a dozen armed Commonwealth soldiers, lead by Hornsby, are in position outside of Hilltop's front gates as Maggie watches them. A trooper steps forward, ordering they open up. Maggie insists "it doesn't have to be this way."

The trooper removes his helmet, revealing that it's Daryl. "Yeah. Yeah, it does," he says bitterly.

"New Haunts"

Back in the past, 30 days after joining the Commonwealth, Daryl, Judith, R.J., Ezekiel, Carol, Connie, Gabriel, Rosita, Coco, Kelly, Jerry, Nabila, Ezra, Aliyah, and Mariam are all either enjoying or working as part of the Commonwealth's annual Halloween festival: Daryl takes Judith and R.J. through their first haunted house, Ezekiel is running a petting zoo attraction, Jerry is spending time with his family, Carol is helping supply confectionaries to the crowd, Connie and Kelly are working together on an article about the festival for the Commonwealth's newspaper, and Gabriel speaks with Rosita as she hands him a costumed Coco. Judith befriends a local girl named Mei, who offers to show her around and introduce her to the pre-apocalypse customs the Commonwealth has to offer. Pamela Milton makes a public appearance during the festival, announcing the winner of the year's costume contest, a young girl dressed as Mercer. Carol notices that Ezekiel is dealing with apparent pains in his chest, symptomatic of his cancer. As Jerry asks a reluctant Ezra to give Ezekiel Shiva's collar back, which he saved from Hilltop and Ezekiel let use for his tiger costume, Ezekiel lets him keep it under two conditions: that he honor Shiva's memory with it, and that it always bring him joy.

Daryl and Rosita, who have signed up for the Commonwealth Army, later attend a training exercise headed by Mercer, in which they must work in teams of two to clear a walker-laden obstacle course. Despite Daryl's insistence that he and Rosita are a good team, Mercer pairs him with fellow trainee Daniels and Rosita with fellow trainee Green. Whereas Rosita and her teammate are able to make it through the training course quickly and effectively while working together, Daryl prioritizes finishing the course swiftly over working in tandem with his partner, which results in Daniels nearly being bitten. As Daryl is about to come to his aid, Mercer intervenes and shoots the walker attacking Daniels, saving his life. Daryl annoyedly protests that he was about to do so himself, to which Mercer reminds him that the point of the exercise was to move fast and work as a unit. He asks Daryl to follow him for a special assignment.

Meanwhile, Carol sneaks into the Commonwealth's hospital's record room, where she is caught by Tomi. She admits she's looking into Ezekiel's medical records, and asks if he has been given any information as to the severity of his condition. Tomi points out that there is a long waiting list for patients to undergo surgery, and that the only way for Ezekiel to be properly treated would be for him to get bumped to the top of the list for one reason or another. Distraught, Carol notices Hornsby struggling to find a good vintage of wine for the night's Halloween gala, giving her an idea. After finding the address of a nearby winery in a logbook, she sneaks outside the walls of the capitol and tracks down a cellar full of vintage wines. She returns to Hornsby, who is still attempting to find the right wine for the event, and presents him with a crate of "chateau du dévouement" margaux. Hornsby is impressed, and asks how Carol knew he needed the wine. Carol responds by saying her mother always told her to "be observant", and Hornsby asks Carol what it is she wants.

That night, at the Halloween gala, Daryl and Rosita stand by the entrance to the event, where Yumiko has been invited to and taken Tomi as her plus one, and Magna is helping with the catering. Sebastian walks in, smugly adjusting Daryl's collar as he passes him, and Mercer is met with verbal praise from the bystanders, much to Hornsby's chagrin. After a brief conversation with Juanita, Mercer invites her in as his guest. Inside, Tomi, bitter over having lost his job at the bakery and now being forced to be a surgeon, is drinking copious amounts of wine despite Yumiko's attempts at calming him down. He ignores her, and continues to dull his pain.

Juanita notices that one of the servers is Tyler Davis, the trooper she attacked while in the train car back when they first made contact with the Commonwealth, and wonders aloud why he went from being part of the Commonwealth's military to serving drinks. As the evening ramps up, Connie and Kelly attempt to interview Pamela about various topics, including the overindulgence of resources for the party. Pamela name drops her father, a former sitting US President, and claims that the festivities are all a means of keeping the people of the Commonwealth happy, specifically since Halloween was her father's favorite. As Connie and Kelly ask more pressing questions about the Commonwealth's traditions and its extravagance, Max intervenes and cuts the interview short. Soon after, Tyler walks over the Pamela, begging to have a moment to speak with her, only to be refuted and asked by Max to leave the Governor alone. Defeated, Tyler walks off.

With the gala in full swing, Pamela proposes a toast to her late father, who made the Commonwealth possible, and congratulates Alexa Park, an artist present at the party, on having finished a portrait of him. She goes on to that the Commonwealth is a place made for all people, which prompts Tyler to interject by calling the claim "bullshit." Despite Max attempting to quiet him, Tyler continues to rant, asking if anyone really believes the Commonwealth cares for all of its people. He bitterly asks Pamela if she even knows his name, and when Max tries once more to deescalate the situation, Tyler grabs her and a holds a dinner knife to her neck. As the crowd reels and security is is put into a standoff as Max is held hostage, Tyler begs Pamela to just speak with him.

"Rogue Element"

The Commonwealth will appear in this episode.

"The Lucky Ones"

The Commonwealth will appear in this episode.

"Warlords"

The Commonwealth will appear in this episode.

"The Rotten Core"

The Commonwealth will appear in this episode.

"Trust"

The Commonwealth will appear in this episode.

"Acts of God"

The Commonwealth will appear in this episode.

Locations

Government and Society

The Commonwealth has a very sophisticated bureaucracy, with an Office of State Affairs, and having a Communications Department, for example. It is led by Pamela Milton, who serves as the Governor of the Commonwealth, with her and her family having a high degree of importance throughout its history. The Commonwealth uses the United States Dollar as a form of currency, and authorities take measures to strictly control the amount in circulation. The Commonwealth is a wildly advanced and thriving society, particularly in its main community, almost perfectly mirroring life prior to the outbreak. Commodities and luxuries such as electricity, medicine, alcohol, sugar, and various forms of entertainment and recreation are a staple of life in the Commonwealth, with various residents having never seen the undead in years. Commonwealth society is based off a caste system, where people's pre-apocalypse professions are transferred to equivalent roles in the Commonwealth's society. This system has the higher-class maintaining a degree of superiority from those with lower-tiered jobs, as well as those in the higher-class having specific advantages, such as Sebastian Milton's ability to conjure a private tour with military personnel serving as guards. The citizens of the Commonwealth enjoy leisures that many enjoyed before the apocalypse, including concerts, restaurants, and having secure civilian jobs with pay. The Commonwealth is shown to not have reliable access to gasoline, as its soldiers rely mainly upon horses and carts as forms of transportation. However, it is possible that they have access to reliable coal deposits, since they are able to maintain a train network out of Union Station (and this may be the primary way that citizens get around). The Commonwealth does produce biofuel, but it is seemingly only reserved for special vehicles that the government uses, such as Pamela Milton's escort truck. The Commonwealth is shown to have working phone lines, so it might be the case that they regulate their gasoline reserves to only needed infrastructure elements. Despite this, they have working infrastructure, and have even repaired plumbing systems outside of the Commonwealth proper, such as having working toilets at the Commonwealth Admissions Center.

The Commonwealth has a large army, which is led by Pamela Milton (who serves as its commander-in-chief), as well as Mercer, who serves as the General of the army. It is a well-equipped force, with all members being adorned with the same white and red armor, along with high-powered assault rifles, indicating that the Commonwealth has significant manufacturing capabilities. The military also functions as a police force, and are commonly seen walking amongst the towns under Commonwealth control.

The Commonwealth strictly controls its borders, and enacts tight immigration policies as a result, holding people in detainment centers and interrogating them on their histories, in order to decide whether or not to grant them citizenship. This policy has some people stuck in processing for months at a time. The Commonwealth also has laws established to prevent anyone from communicating with any foreign entity unauthorized.

Inhabitants

Commonwealth Army

Formerly

Deaths

  • Many unnamed people

Appearances

TV Series

Season 11

Trivia

  • The Commonwealth is the fourth largest community in the whole TV Universe, with a population of about 50,000 people, followed by Portland being the third largest with around 87,000 people, Omaha being the second largest with approximately 97,407 people and the Civic Republic being the largest with more than 200,000 people.
    • It is also the largest community so far in the TV Series.
  • Several of the business names in the Commonwealth are references to the comics and people behind the show.
    • A law office with the name Hawthorne on its front door is a reference to Michonne from the Comic Series, who was a lawyer with the last name Hawthorne.
    • Lozano Tailors is a reference to script writer Magali Lozano.
    • Elodie's Treats is a reference to Michonne's daughter from the comics, Elodie Hawthorne, who was working in the bakery when Michonne found her. Elodie's role was given to Yumiko's brother, Tomichi Okumura for the TV series adaptation.
  • The possible location for the Commonwealth's capital is Toledo, Ohio.
    • This possibility is furthered when Tomichi said to Yumiko that he drove east out of Chicago when the Global Outbreak happened. Toledo is over a three hour drive straight east of Chicago.
    • Another support to this claim is a sign pointing to Toledo in the Bridge Camp from Season 9. While it was revealed that this was a joke reference to the show M.A.S.H., Angela Kang admitted it also served as a deliberate Easter Egg to foreshadow the Commonwealth - signifying that the capital does take place in Toledo, Ohio.[2]
    • The French scientist in The Walking Dead: World Beyond mentioned that a team of biologists, known as the "Primrose Team" from La Biomédicine DDMI in France, were at a conference in Toledo, Ohio during the Global Outbreak. It was further implied they created the Wildfire Virus. It's possible that members of the Primrose Team are residents of the Commonwealth. This could potentially explain why the Commonwealth survived the initial outbreak and is still functioning twelve years later.

References

  1. The plaque in front of Union Station and Ohio flags confirm that this particular community is in Ohio
  2. https://www.wtol.com/article/news/local/amc-show-the-walking-dead-makes-nod-to-glass-city/512-859dcba1-c1b7-4009-a303-ac505fa62a70
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