Hey there, Walking Dead fans. This post contains a sh*t ton of comic book spoilers — you’ve been warned. Also, if you haven’t watched The Walking Dead season 7 premiere, turn back now.
Last season, Rick and the gang accompanied Jesus to Hilltop and met Gregory. Now, we’ve met and seen the full scope of Negan’s powers. If you’re like us and just end up Googling everything and reading The Walking Dead spoilers anyway, then we have all of the details from the comics you need right here.
The Hilltop Community
In the comics, The Hilltop is a farming community and home to about 200 people. Everything that happened in “Knots Untie” aligns perfectly with the comics — Jesus bringing Rick and peeps to the community, Gregory getting stabbed, Rick’s crew offering to kill Negan in exchange for half of their supplies.
Later on in the comics, Maggie actually becomes the leader of Hilltop because she’s a boss. There’s also an important character named Ezekial who participated in trade with The Hilltop. His group is called The Kingdom and Jesus introduces him to Rick. They join forces with the people of The Hilltop and Alexandria to fight Negan and the Saviors.
There’s a huge war at Hilltop when the Saviors and Negan show up for battle. The Saviors use weapons laced with walker juice (brilliant!). Read on to find out what happens as a result of the war.
Portrayed in the show by: Tom Payne
Paul Monroe (known as Jesus) is a fan-favorite for lovers of the comics. Just like the show, Jesus is a certified ninja badass and a really cool dude. He’s in charge of reaching out to other communities to trade with and brings Rick to Hilltop to show him their community.
Jesus in the comics is an excellent escape artist, which explains a lot in the show. He’s also a big believer in justice and fairness. In a nutshell, Jesus is a total badass, becomes a big asset to Rick in taking on Negan, and later assists Maggie in running The Hilltop. Jesus is so loyal to Rick that he says in the comics that he’d lay down his life to make sure Rick survives. At one point, Jesus fights off over a dozen Saviors on his own to save Rick. #friendshipgoals
Portrayed in the show by: Xander Berkeley
This asshole. Gregory, as we see in the show, is the leader of The Hilltop. As we’ve seen, he is creepy and flirty and hits on Maggie just like in the comics.
In the comics, Rick returns to The Hilltop after Glenn is killed by Negan to tell Gregory what happened. Gregory freaks out, worrying that Rick told Negan about the deal for half of their stuff in exchange for Negan’s death. Gregory pulls a really dick move and sneaks out to warn Negan about the pending attack on his camp and publicly condemns his Hilltop people from taking part in it. He says he’s trying to do what’s best for his people, but it’s evident in the comics that Gregory is only worried about saving his own hide.
Gregory later tries to kill Maggie by poisoning her (she lives) and is then hanged for it. We likely won’t see this any time soon since it happens after the war against Negan and his Saviors. Who knows, though.
Portrayed in the show by: Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Word on the street is that Negan won’t be showing up in the show until the final episode of season 6. If Negan’s storyline is going to follow the comic book timeline, then Glenn might get killed right off the “bat”. Get it? Anyway, Negan kills Glenn (pre-war) with his barbwire wrapped baseball bat that he’s named Lucille (in true psychopath fashion). In the comics, Negan also kills Spencer and is inadvertently responsible for the death of Denise.
While Negan is a really bad dude, he also has a method to his madness and is described as reasonable if you follow his rules. But we all know how well Rick and Co. like following other people’s rules.
In the war at Hilltop against the Saviors, Rick and Negan have a man-to-man chat which ends in Rick slitting his throat. Negan lives, but remains imprisoned. Oddly enough, Carl has chats with Negan while he’s behind bars and Rick even consults Negan for advice when a new threat (the Whisperers) appear.
Portrayed in the show by: Khary Payton
The other main character we mentioned previously, Ezekiel, has not made an appearance yet, but we assume he will since he’s a main player in the war. He calls himself “King Ezekiel” and presides over his community called “The Kingdom” which has set up a community in an old high school.
Fun fact: He has a pet tiger named Shiva. Ezekiel also has a romantic relationship with Michonne, but based on how the show is going right now, we don’t think that will be happening. We’re not going to tell you anything further about Ezekiel because it feels too spoilery (is that possible?). If you just can’t wait and you want to know everything about him (and possibly the big bad that could follow Negan and his Saviors on the show), head here.
What does this mean for the show?
So far, the show is following the comics very closely. Everything with the death of Jessie and her sons, Carl losing his eye, the introduction of Jesus, the details of the Hilltop, and Glenn’s death are spot on. We would assume at some point they would have to separate from the comics a bit, but who knows.
So, will The Walking Dead continue to follow the comics with the character deaths and the depiction of the war at The Hilltop, or will they seek to shock fans and diverge at some point? Are any other beloved characters in danger?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC at 9/8c.
(Image via Skybound/The Walking Dead)