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The Pioneers (also called Settlers[1]) are a large network of hostile survivors introduced in Season 5 of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. Under Virginia's leadership, they served as the primary antagonistic group of the second half of Season 5 and the first half of Season 6. The group is made up of 817 rangers and civilians alike spanning over the franchises' thirteen settlements, Tank Town, and a work camp in northern Texas and southern Oklahoma. After Virginia's defeat and death, they fell under the command of Victor Strand.


The group appears to be divided into two distinct ranks: the rangers, which are in charge of security, and the workers that maintain the communities. The rangers have clear authority over the workers, and are normally to be obeyed without question. The rangers all answer to Virginia, but as demonstrated by Hill and later Strand and John Dorie, rangers with golden keys have much higher authority over rangers with regular keys. Those that break the rules are punished by being forced to do dangerous jobs, such as clearing out walkers from an abandoned sugar plant. Due to the strict nature of the group, defections are fairly common. Under her leadership, Virginia regularly placed people in different communities and assigned roles to them; this was done many times to keep certain people separated from one another. The group's capital is based in Lawton, Oklahoma, which also serves as it's main hub of activity. The group also were able to maintain working oil fields, due to Luciana and their seizure of Tank Town, up until the doomsday cult sabotaged the operation and destroyed the oil rig.


Nothing is known about the individual members of the group before or as the outbreak began. It can be assumed that most lived in or near the Texas and/or Oklahoma area.


It is unknown how the group was formed. At some point during the outbreak, Virginia took command of a large group of survivors, and this group began exerting its influence over the surrounding area, swallowing up various survivor towns they came across into their expanding network, which only further bolstered their numbers. The Pioneers' reach soon expanded to large swaths of norther Texas, as well as southern Oklahoma.

Season 5

"Leave What You Don't"

The Pioneers eventually make a deal with Logan in the past to get oil for their bigger plans, as most gasoline left around had begun to go bad.

After Logan fails, they kill him and members of his crew that were with him. After making a proposal to members of the survivor caravan to join them, it ends with Luciana staying with them to show how to make oil in exchange for sparing the others. Virginia offers that the entire group can still join them if they change their minds. According to Virginia, the group can help Dwight find Sherry if she's still alive, give Sarah the place to brew that she's been looking for and provide the safe place that June has been looking for too.

"Today and Tomorrow"

After catching Tom stealing some of their gas, Al and Morgan are forced to hide in an abandoned minivan with him from some of the rangers on horseback. Afterwards, Tom tells them his story, how the group found and helped him at Paradise Ridge but later turned on him as they blamed him for an incident. Al begins to suspect the group is connected to the Civic Republic Military as what they told Tom is the same as what Isabelle had told her about CRM.

With Tom worried about his sister Janis, Morgan and Al sneak into Paradise Ridge to find her and in Al's case, hopefully find a connection to Isabelle and CRM. Morgan discovers Janis gone and the ranger who had been sent to kill her reanimated as a walker. After a struggle, Morgan kills the zombified Pioneer and the two are captured by Virginia and some of her rangers. Rather than killing them, Virginia makes a pitch for Morgan and Al to join their group and claims no knowledge of any helicopters. Virginia releases the two, returning their weapons to them. Before Morgan and Al leave, Virginia reveals that she had a resident woodworker repair Morgan's broken staff to his gratitude.

"Channel 5"

Virginia makes her own promotional video that lies about her background and motives. Later, she comes across Morgan's group and offers her help only to be refused once more. She order two of her rangers to shoot bullets in the air to draw zombies to them before leaving. She still offers her invitation to join her group which Morgan reluctantly accepts later on.

"End of the Line"

Virginia gets Morgan's call for help and with Luciana in tow, she arrives at their spot and agrees not to separate Morgan's group entirely. However, much of the group is split up into different vehicles and taken to different towns for re-settlement. Annie, Max, Dylan, and the other children were sent away in the back of a tractor trailer while a flatbed truck drove Dwight, Tess, and majority of the other adults away. Grace is driven away for medical treatment by the Pioneers' primary physician, Dr. Holt.

Season 6

"The End Is the Beginning"

A group of rangers, including Hill, escort Virginia around in her stolen SWAT van until they run into a roadblock made of body parts. The rangers get out and inspect the immediate area as Hill checks a box at the roadblock, calling over Virginia once he realizes what is inside. After Emile's head is revealed by Virginia in the box, she and her escort leave the area in their vehicles.

"Welcome to the Club"

Pioneers, civilian and ranger alike, are shown living and carrying on their days as residents of Lawton. More than seventy Pioneers are known to live in Lawton, including Pioneer leader Virginia and her deputies Hill and Marcus. After the molasses plant is cleared, Victor and Janis are sent to live in Lawton, albeit in different roles, joining fellow caravan survivors John Dorie, who has been assigned the role of a ranger, Rabbi Jacob Kessner, and another woman. Pioneers from other towns are known to visit Lawton, including Daniel Salazar of Paradise Ridge, who offers his barber services to Virginia in her office.


The Pioneers will appear in this episode.

"The Key"

The Pioneers will appear in this episode.


The Pioneers will appear in this episode.

"Bury Her Next to Jasper's Leg"

The Pioneers will appear in this episode.

"Damage From the Inside"

Townspeople of Lawton can be seen walking along the main street. At night, inside a house, Virginia's severed wrist is seen being treated by Hill. When Victor returns to Lawton without Dakota, a frantic Virginia checks in with him in regards to her sister's well being. She then takes Victor to a back alley in town where a ranger is on guard duty inside a locked courtyard. He lets in Victor, Virginia, Hill, and Marcus as they check on an imprisoned Grace. Virginia then announces she wants all of the caravan survivors from the Gulch rounded up and brought to Lawton.

"The Door"

The Pioneers will appear in this episode.

"Things Left to Do"

The Pioneers will appear in this episode.

"Handle With Care"

The Pioneers will appear in this episode.


While swerving John Dorie Sr.'s RV to throw him off-balance, June inadvertently runs over a reanimated Pioneer, nicking the transmission fluid line and ruining the RV's engine.

Later, June realizes that Hill, Virginia's former lieutenant, is hiding out at her husband's cabin. John confronts Hill who reveals that all the Pioneers had ever managed to learn about the cult is that they have big plans and intend to kill everyone that's still alive. After a struggle between John and Hill, June shoots Hill dead.

"USS Pennsylvania"

At some point, Strand left the Pioneers as a leader. The Pioneers' fate are left unknown after the other residents evacuate Valley Town in search of shelter in an attempt to survive the impending devastation brought upon by the launched missiles at the hands of the doomsday cult.



Killed Victims



Fear the Walking Dead

Season 5

Season 6



  1. Virginia told to Morgan's group: "Think of us more like the pioneers. (...) Yes, sir, settlers."