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The Saviors are a large group of former hostile survivors based on a factory in Northern Virginia, near D.C.
They were first mentioned in A Larger World and first appeared in Something To Fear, from where they served as the primary antagonists up until Part Two of All Out War under the leadership of the ruthless Negan. They appear sporadically from A New Beginning onward, before re-emerging as antagonists in A Certain Doom. The community is home to over 300 members, both soldiers and workers, as well as families and children living in the Sanctuary.
The Saviors formed early in the apocalypse, originally made up of two smaller groups that met on the road and were united under the leadership of a man named Negan, who created a strict set of rules for all members to follow, making the group almost cult-like. The Saviors (or at least their military) were comprised of mostly physically strong and violent survivors.
The group became one of the largest organized survivor groups in Virginia, becoming more and more violent with their ways as they grew in numbers and confidence, eventually demanding supplies and services from other groups and communities, one of which was the Hilltop Colony.
Negan fiercely believed that the strong should protect the weak, even if the weak don't want to be protected. The Saviors operated by demanding half of all supplies from other communities and, in return, they would kill all of the zombies in the area, an agreement they apparently respected. If the demand wasn't met, however, they would respond with violence and more threats. There is at least one case of the Saviors holding a hostage from one of the communities (though this was likely just an excuse, as the said hostage was a doctor and thus highly valued)
According to Negan, the Saviors possessed at least 70 members. This is a somewhat contradicting statement, as there were 50 or more Saviors attacking Alexandria (according to Andrea and Nicholas) while another 50 were involved in capturing Rick's group on the road at the same time, putting their numbers to 100 or more without even counting the civilians living at the Sanctuary. Additionally, Rick estimates the Saviors to number at least 200 before the war, without knowing about the civilians at the Sanctuary. It's possible Negan was talking about the Savior numbers after the war, which would mean the Saviors lost anywhere from 30 to 130 members in the war.
The Saviors' main base of operations is a heavily fortified factory with a fence surrounding it. The main entrance is surrounded by a horde of chained and impaled undead, supposedly to discourage intruders from attacking, and which forces entries and exits into a small path only big enough for a single vehicle or a few people on-foot without the risk of being eaten by the surrounding undead. This method likely keeps zombies away from the factory as well. The base is referred as "The Sanctuary" by its members.
Additionally, the Saviors occupied at least 4 outposts, which they mostly used to increase their influence over the communities they were subjugating. Unlike the Sanctuary, the outposts seemed to act as exclusively military installations and, according to Carson, housed the more violent and dangerous Savior members.
As leader of the Saviors, Negan has supreme authority over all and is obeyed without question. Negan has created a cult of personality around himself, with the Saviors almost seeing him as a god. Though, according to Dwight, most of the Saviors hated Negan, they all feared him. The Saviors have a strict code under which they operate, set down by Negan himself. Punishments for breaking the rules are harsh, and range from torture and scarring to death.
The Sanctuary operates on a barter system, with both fighters and workers being forced to earn "points" if they want to purchase goods. The only people exempt from this are Negan himself and his "wives". This leads to many women choosing to marry Negan for an easier life and, in some cases, to provide for their family members.
The military is very organized, often divided into smaller groups headed by a lieutenant. The lieutenants answer to Negan, though it's unclear if some lieutenants outrank others. They are well armed, utilizing both firearms and melee weapons, though they are normally seen armed with the latter as they don't like to waste ammunition on the dead. They also have access to explosives, stockpiling of dozens of grenades. Additionally, they possess several large trucks they use to transport troops and supplies from the communities, as well as numerous armored cars and motorcycles which they sometimes use when invading communities.
As Rick's group returned to the Alexandria Safe-Zone from the Hilltop Colony, they were confronted by a four-man squad of Saviors, who demanded that they turn over their goods in the name of Negan. As Rick Grimes had never dealt with the Saviors before, he made the decision to oppose their demands and signaled to Andrea to attack. Andrea shot two of the Saviors to their deaths while Michonne leaped out of the van and decapitated another. Rick informed the surviving Savior, who appeared to be the four-man squad's ringleader, to return to Negan with a message: the Saviors no longer need to protect the Hilltop Colony and that, as they demanded the colony, they owed Ricks' group half of their supplies now.
The remaining Savior fled while Rick and the others returned to the Alexandria Safe-Zone. Later, Rick held a meeting and told the residents of the agreement he made with Paul Monroe and Gregory about protecting the colony from the Saviors, referring to them as hot air and a lesser threat, and promised that they would not be much trouble. Rick then asked if anyone disagreed to protect the Hilltop Colony in exchange for food; no one objected and the decision was made. The next day, early in the morning, Abraham Ford and Eugene Porter left for several stores to collect spent bullet casings and tools to make new ammo. Eugene pressed Abraham to make the journey.
However, Eugene was unaware of the Saviors' planned retaliation attack for the deaths of three of their group by the hands of Michonne and Andrea, as Rick had wished to wait until morning to tell them of the new threat. While the two conversed, the topic led to Rosita Espinosa, Abraham's former girlfriend. Abraham told Eugene that he regretted the way he had treated Rosita and left her, and expressed that even though he no longer loved her, that he genuinely hoped Eugene could bring Rosita happiness the way Holly had brought him happiness.
However, Abraham was then abruptly struck with a crossbow arrow through the back of his head and out his eye, effectively killing him. Dwight, a member of the Saviors who fired the arrow, then took a stunned Eugene hostage.
The Saviors used Eugene to lead them to the Alexandria Safe-Zone and demanded that Rick let them in. Rick refused, and a firefight ensued which led to almost a dozen Saviors deaths. Eugene used the commotion to bite Dwight in the crotch and escape death as Dwight and the remaining members retreated. Rick and Andrea chased the Saviors to kill them, but instead of finding any of them, they found Abraham's corpse being gnawed on by a zombie.
After they disposed of the zombie, they brought back Abraham's body for burial in Issue 98. Late in Issue 99, a small group of Saviors spied on the colony with one Savior telling the others to inform Negan that they will attack at dawn.
Rick led a group of Community survivors which included Michonne, Carl, Glenn, Maggie, Sophia, and Hilltop Colony following the death of Abraham. Along the way, they realized they had underestimated the length of time it would take to reach Hilltop, and decided to stop on the roadside for the night. At some point during the night, a group of four Saviors snuck up on their vehicle and captured Rick. His captor ended up being the Savior who Rick had let live earlier in order to deliver a message to Negan. The group of four alerted Negan, along with a bulky group of Saviors in the area, that they had captured Rick.
Negan arrived with his fellow Saviors and proceeded to taunt the group while attempting to mentally break Rick before the others. He proceeded to inform them that they and the Alexandria Safe-Zone were now property of the Saviors. In retribution of the violence towards his men, he told them that one of them would die from his favorite weapon, "Lucille", a baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire.
Before the decision was made of who to kill, Negan threatened to have Carl killed if Rick continued to resist his rule. Unable to decide who will be killed, he decided to use the "eenie-meenie" method to select his victim, who was eventually revealed to be Glenn.
After Glenn was brutally beaten to death before the others, Rick promised to kill Negan one day. Before leaving, however, Negan beat Rick with his bare hands, telling the group that they were to now answer to the Saviors and that they would be in Alexandria in one week to pick up their "offering". Rick begrudgingly accepted their new rule over the group, only in hopes that it would let them kill Negan and drive off the Saviors in the future, though this was met with anger by the others. To this end, he released their only captive of the attack on the safe-zone, Dwight. However, he prompted Paul to follow behind in hopes that he could find out where it is the Saviors are located.
As Paul carefully followed Dwight back towards the Saviors base, Negan made well on his promise to return to Alexandria for their offering. His Saviors proceeded to interact with the safe-zone while Negan talked with Rick about the lay-out and emasculate him before the group, forcing Rick to give up the majority of Denise's narcotics. As Negan lead his group out of Alexandria, neither he or Rick noticed that Carl had climbed aboard one of his cargo trucks.
Upon Dwight's return to the Saviors base, others had found that he was being followed and captured Paul as a result of this. Having deduced Rick's true intentions, Dwight had Paul brought back to the base only to find he had escaped, thus causing him to "forget" it had ever happened.
The base, once a type of mill or factory, is revealed to be surrounded by a wall of piked zombies, still alive but stuck on poles and spears dug into the ground. Once inside the base, Negan returns as well and the Saviors are shocked to discover that Carl Grimes had in fact stowed away with them. Carl proceeds to kill six saviors using Abraham's automatic rifle, before losing control to it's rapid-burst and running out of ammo. Dwight violently attacks the child, only to be stopped by Negan who has shown further interest in the young child and gives him a small tour of the location.
It is revealed that the Saviors are in fact a cult of sorts, the followers of Negan bowing and chanting to his every word as if he were a Pharaoh in ancient Egypt. The people are divided amongst those closest to Negan, such as guards, henchman and his multiple "wives", as opposed to the common followers who live on a point-system that is intended to replace monetary value in bartering. Carl witnesses to this end, the brutality of Negan's rule as he subjects one of his newer wives' former lover to a ritual punishment, as the wife and lover had reunited in Negan's absence. The man has his face mutilated by a scalding cloth-iron, which Negan presses against his face before pulling away, peeling back the flesh and melted skin which leaves the victim permanently deformed or, "marked with shame".
Sometime after the failed attacks on Alexandria, Negan began personally visiting the Safe-Zone himself along with some of his trusted men. Prior to his arrival though, Negan set up several outposts around the community and positioned scouts outside of their walls before arriving to pick up his demanded supplies.
After Negan returned Carl from the Sanctuary, Rick began actively preparing to fight Negan by gathering allies. His plans were nearly foiled when Kal almost revealed Rick's plans to Connor, but Jesus managed to reach him in time and convince him otherwise. While Rick was visiting the Kingdom, Negan unexpectedly arrived to Alexandria a day early and decided to patiently wait for Rick in one of the empty houses. During this time, Spencer approached Negan and tried to convince him to kill Rick and put him in charge of Alexandria. Disgusted by this, Negan disemboweled Spencer, shortly before Rick arrived. Due to Negan arriving with only eight men and no guns, Rick decided to ambush Negan as he was leaving Alexandria. This plan failed, however, as Negan had a backup force of Saviors right outside the gates as a contingency. Luckily for Rick, a timely intervention of Jesus and Ezekiel's army forced Negan and the Saviors to retreat back to the Sanctuary.
After Negan manages to escape Alexandria, the Saviors gear up for war against Alexandria and the Hilltop. Soon enough, Rick leads his forces to the Sanctuary and demands their surrender. Negan, however, reveals that he made an alliance with Gregory, the leader of the Hilltop. Gregory orders all the Hilltop fighters to return to their home or face exile, though this doesn't achieve the desired result, as only twelve people leave, as opposed to half of Rick's forces as Negan had hoped. A shootout ensues with casualties on both sides. Rick's plan works as expected, with the noise drawing in a large group of zombies. As the herd approaches, Rick's forces begin to evacuate, with Rick volunteering to stay behind to knock down the Sanctuary's gates. Holly sacrifices herself instead, however, and is captured as a result.
Under Rick's command, the Militia assault several Savior outposts while the main force is cut-off at the Sanctuary. This has mixed results, with the group under Rick's command proving victorious while the one under Ezekiel's command is decimated.
Negan and the Saviors are eventually able to escape the Sanctuary and arrive at the gates of Alexandria. Though Negan pretends to have come in peace and offers to give back Holly, his hostage turns out to be undead and bites Denise when the bag is removed from her head. During the commotion, Negan orders his forces to attack. The Saviors surround Alexandria and proceed to throw grenades inside the walls, destroying most of the houses on the outer perimeter and killing several residents. The Saviors are forced to retreat once more when Maggie attacks them with her forces from Hilltop. Unfortunately, half of Alexandria is destroyed in the attack, and the survivors are forced to relocate to the Hilltop.
The Saviors capture Eugene and his ammunition crew on the road, and Negan attempts to force him to produce ammunition for the Saviors, with little success. Since all the Alexandria and Kingdom survivors relocated to the Hilltop, Negan decides to strike a final blow to the rebellion. He instructs the Saviors to muck up their weapons in zombie guts, so that any injury they inflict upon the survivors would be fatal.
They arrive to the outskirts of the Hilltop Colony, and Negan announces that they will attack at sundown. The Saviors breach the gates with their trucks and armored cars, and a huge battle ensues. In the chaos, Negan and Dwight sneak behind Rick and his group, so Negan instructs his lieutenant to shoot Rick with his crossbow, which Dwight reluctantly does. The Militia are forced to retreat to the Barrington house, which the Saviors quickly encircle. Just as they are about the storm the Barrington house, Michonne and Ezekiel sneak behind the Saviors and turn on the headlights of their vehicles, illuminating the Saviors and exposing their position, this allowing Andrea and her snipers to kill many of them. The Saviors are forced to retreat, though Negan is convinced they won since he believes Rick to have been infected by Dwight's arrow.
Negan returns to the Hilltop the next day with Dwight and a small group of Saviors to negotiate the Militia's surrender. He is surprised to be met by Rick, still very much alive due to Dwight not poisoning his arrows. Rick then attempts to negotiate a ceasefire and slowly begins to convince Negan of the error of his ways, before slitting his throat with a knife. Rick tells the other Saviors that the war is over and that they can save Negan's life, provided the Saviors go home, only to be attacked by an enraged Negan. In the confusion, the Militia attack Negan's group of Saviors from behind, killing all save for Dwight. Before the rest of the Saviors are attacked, Dwight grabs Lucille and usurps Negan's position as leader of the Saviors, ending the war. Negan, meanwhile, passes out from blood loss, but not before breaking Rick's leg. Negan is imprisoned for his crimes, after being given a life sentence.
The Saviors are thriving under Dwight's leadership and are part of the community network. However, it's revealed that at least half of the Saviors are not satisfied with the new policy, and still do not trust Rick. The saviors attend the fair at Alexandria along with the other communities. Amber is one of Alpha's victims.
The Saviors return to the Sanctuary after the fair. Despite the pleas from Laura, Dwight decides to resign as leader of the Saviors, leaving the Sanctuary the next day.
After Dwight leaves the group, Sherry takes over as leader. The Saviors are asked to help fight the Whisperers, but refuse, with Sherry seemingly plotting to eliminate Alexandria and the other communities in the aftermath of the Whisperer war.
After the Alexandria is overrun with walkers, Sherry and the remaining Saviors attempt to break away from the rest of the joint communities. This leads to the taking Dwight, Heath, and Laura hostage. After a tense stand-off between the Alexandrians and Saviors, Sherry agrees to talk with Rick. As they are talking Sherry becomes angered and threatens Rick with a knife. She then attempts to strangle him, but fails when she is pushed away by Rick. She hits the back of her neck against a table causing it to snap. Afterwards, John takes over leadership, and severs nearly all ties with the other communities, though continuing to trade.
Despite not being part of the network anymore, the Saviors apparently still continue to trade with the other communities, with John increasing the Sanctuary's food production in order to get better trade terms. Surprisingly, despite advocating for a more aggressive policy during Sherry's rule, John has renounced the group's violent ways. When Rick visits them, accompanied by Pamela Milton, John welcomes them with open arms and is interested in Pamela's proposal, much to Rick's surprise.
The Saviors are not seen after the 20-25 year time skip. They presumably merged with the Commonwealth like the other communities in the area, although their ultimate fate is unknown.
- John (Leader)
- Tara (Second-in-Command)
- Paul (Lieutenant)
- Savior 10
- Savior 1
- Savior 3
- Savior 6
- Savior 7
- Savior 14
- Sherry (Former Leader)
- Connor (Former lieutenant)
- Savior 4
- Savior 11
- Savior 12
- Negan (Former Leader)
- Dwight (Former Leader)
- Savior 16
- Amber (Former concubine)
- Carson (Former assistant)
This list shows the victims the Saviors have killed:
- Ethan (Indirectly Caused)
- Abraham Ford
- Spencer Monroe
- Denise Cloyd (Indirectly Caused)
- Mr. Orson
- Mrs. Orson
- Orson Children
- Nicholas (Caused)
- Richard (Caused)
- Arnold (Caused)
- Marcus (Caused)
- Numerous Hilltop Colony survivors
- Numerous Kingdom survivors
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people
- Savior 2
- Savior 5
- Savior 8
- Savior 9
- Savior 17
- Savior 18
- Savior 15
- Savior 11
- Savior 12
- Savior 4
- Savior 16
- Around 70 unnamed members
- Out of all the communities in the comics, the Saviors have had the highest number of leaders, with leadership of the group changing hands four times.
- The current fate of the Saviors in the comics differs from that of the TV series. In the comics, the Saviors are still an active group while they have completely disbanded in the TV series following the supposed death of Rick Grimes and at least some have joined the other communities. After the events of "Who Are You Now?" in the TV series, most of the fates of the lesser Saviors remain unknown while the antagonistic Saviors are all dead aside from Negan.
|Groups (Comic Series)|
|Rick's Group • Tyreese's Group • The Prisoners • Michonne's Group • Woodbury Army • Abraham's Group • The Marauders • Herd • The Hunters • Alexandria Safe-Zone • The Scavengers • Hilltop • The Saviors • Kingdom • The Militia • Magna's Group • The Whisperers • The Commonwealth • Commonwealth Army • Commonwealth Resistance|