|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 of several united towns with over 50,000 survivors total in AMC's The Walking Dead. Its main community is located in Charleston, West Virginia and is led by Governor Pamela Milton. It also has its own army.
- 1 Pre-Apocalypse
- 2 Post-Apocalypse
- 3 Locations
- 4 Government and Society
- 5 Inhabitants
- 6 Deaths
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Trivia
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 Charleston before the outbreak occurred.
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, to which the Commonwealth has been substantially expanding ever since.
During a conversation, Stephanie asks how many comets Eugene has spotted, to which he replies four. Stephanie is slightly peeved that Eugene is in the lead, and warns that he "better not be counting satellites", revealing that she saw one falling recently. Eugene realizes that the satellite she observed is the same one that crashed near Oceanside at roughly the same time, leading Stephanie conclude that their groups are located relatively close to each other. Excited to learn this fact, Eugene reveals that his group is located in Virginia and proposes a face-to-face meeting, allowing Stephanie to choose the time and location. Stephanie reluctantly agrees to talk to her people, but asks Eugene not to do the same. Eugene promises to keep quiet.
After being spooked by an unknown person and ignoring Eugene's calls, the two share a heart-to-heart causing Stephanie to abruptly blurt out the location of her group (Charleston, West Virginia). The duo set up a location and time of their future meeting, which Eugene accepts.
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.
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.
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.
At the Commonwealth interrogation center, Yumiko concludes that the Commonwealth is indeed real, based on the notice board 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.
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.
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.
The Commonwealth will appear in this episode.
- Southern Train Yard
- Commonwealth Admissions Center
- Wall of the Lost
- Union Station
- The Milton Hotel
- Elodie's Treats
- Tillman's Hardware
- Housing Complex
- Commonwealth Jail
- Taste of Tradition
- General Store
- Dry Cleaners
- Hawthorne & Gibbs Law Offices
- Hill Street
- Track Side Lane
- Union Square
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. 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 civillian jobs with pay. The Commonwealth is shown to not have reliably access to gasoline, as its soldiers rely mainly upon horses and carts as forms of transportation. However, there is a possiblity 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 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.
- Pamela Milton (Governor/Commander-in-Chief of the army)
- Lance Hornsby (Deputy Governor/Director of operations)
- Mercer (General of the army)
- John (Legal Supervisor)
- Edward Widgeuroy (Worker at the office of State Affairs)
- Clark (Auditor)
- Evans (Auditor)
- "Stephanie" (Spy)
- Vazquez (Soldier)
- Livitz (Soldier)
- Zell (Soldier)
- Sorsensen (Soldier)
- Garcia (Soldier)
- Charles (Bakery Manager)
- Tomichi Okumura (Baker)
- Kasey (Florist)
- Elaine (Ice Cream Clerk)
- Marcus Colvin
- Sebastian Milton
- Stephanie Vega
- Yumiko Okumura
- Juanita Sanchez
- Eugene Porter
- Commonwealth Resident 1 (Government Clerk)
- Commonwealth Soldier 1 (Soldier)
- Commonwealth Soldier 2 (Soldier)
- Commonwealth Soldier 3 (Soldier)
- Commonwealth Soldier 4 (Soldier)
- Thousands of unnamed people
- Many unnamed people
- 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.
- 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.