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"What part of 'everything is gone' do you not understand?"Rick Grimes awakens from a months long coma to find the world overrun by the undead. With advice from a fellow survivor, he sets out to find his wife and child, and ends up joining their camp of survivors led by his best friend Shane. As Rick comes to lead the group of misfit survivors, they all search for answers to their predicament and look for a safe place - though neither of those wishes are guaranteed to be fulfilled.
"We're facing a long, hard journey, maybe harder than I can imagine... but it can't be harder than our journey's been so far, can it?"The group moves to leave Atlanta, but when one of their own goes missing, the search takes them to the Greene family farm. Though its' owner Hershel allows the group to temporarily stay on the property, tension between the Greene family and Rick's group begin to boil over as Rick tries to convince Hershel to allow them to stay for good. As this is all going on, Daryl begins to find his place in the group, a Love Triangle between Rick, Shane and Lori begins to go south, and the group discovers that the undead are not the only threats they have to worry about in this horrible new world.
"In this life now, you kill or you die or you die and you kill."After a long winter, Rick settles his battle-hardened and more combat-proficient group into an abandoned prison, but discovers that the place may not be the safe haven they had hoped for. Chief among the threats to the prison is The Governor, the despotic ruler of a nearby community of Woodbury, who sees Rick's group as a challenge to his empire. Caught in between the escalating war between the two groups is Andrea, who questions her place as she slowly begins to realize The Governor's true nature as the conflict threatens to destroy both groups from the inside out.
— The Governor
"Things break, but they can still grow."Several months after the Woodbury War, Rick has ceded leadership of the swelling prison group to a council led by Hershel, seeking to regain the humanity he risked losing during the previous season. As Rick questions whether you can come back from the things you have to do to survive, the specter of The Governor begins to cast a shadow over the prison with devastating results. The survivors of the tragedy, now scattered to the winds, begin to migrate towards Terminus, a supposed safe haven, while Rick is forced to finally come to terms with both his humanity and brutality if he is to finally find what kind of man he really is.
"Nightmares end. They shouldn't end who you are."The reunited group escapes from a harrowing ordeal, but the nightmare isn't over, as they now find themselves hunted by the cannibalistic Hunters. The mystery of Beth's disappearance also comes to light, and brings about a confrontation and a string of losses that break the group's faith. Nevertheless, the group leaves Atlanta for good, and is eventually welcomed into the idyllic community of Alexandria several hundred miles away. Rick finds the sheltered community too weak and pampered, and begins to question whether or not he'll have to take drastic measures to protect his family and new home as a sinister threat begins lurking in the background.
"Will you look out for him like you look out for your people? Guess what. They're all your people, Rick."After the events of the previous season, Rick's group is still not wholly assimilated into Alexandria. When outside threats begin to threaten the community, Rick takes command to repel the threats, but heavy losses are taken. Rick soon learns that not only must the Alexandrians change their ways, but he must as well if he is to actually become their leader. The two sides must learn to stand as one sooner than later, because unbeknownst to them, a threat larger and deadlier than anything they've ever faced before is well on its way.