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The Walking Dead: The Untold Truth Of Alexandria

Based on the acclaimed comics series from creator Robert Kirkman, AMC's "The Walking Dead" has become a television mainstay in the years since its 2009 arrival. Now on track to wrap up in 2022, the show has racked up 11 total seasons and over 150 episodes, amounting to a small screen run most titles dream of. Not to mention, "TWD" has earned countless awards and heaps of praise in its time from all directions, thanks predominantly to its unique portrayal of desperate survival in a world plagued by turmoil.

Alongside heroes like Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Michonne (Danai Gurira), and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), viewers traveled through their TVs to a civilization torn apart by flesh-eating monsters known as walkers. Given the constant hunger and sheer numbers of the undead, every day was a struggle for the few humans living among them, no matter the orientation of their moral compass. Amidst the chaos, several individuals crafted villainous personas for themselves and stepped on whoever they had to in the name of staying alive. Nevertheless, the good guys pressed onward and found safety wherever they could.

When it came to seeking out shelter, the protagonists of "The Walking Dead" tried out a handful of potential bases before settling at the Alexandria Safe-Zone. This is the untold truth of the Virginia survivor community they call home.

Alexandria outlived all previous survivor settlements

Alexandria first appeared during the fifth season of "The Walking Dead," specifically the episode "The Distance." Rick and his crew encounter a stranger named Aaron (Ross Marquand) and are immediately suspicious of him and his intentions. They never quite shake the feeling that he's a potential threat, but they eventually let their guard down and follow him to his home anyway. He takes them right to the imposing gates of Alexandria, where they patiently wait for the doors to open and its residents to welcome them inside.

After spending much of Season 1 at the Atlanta camp, a decent portion of Season 2 at the Greene family farm, and Seasons 2, 3, and 4 at the West Georgia Correctional Facility, viewers thought Alexandria's introduction would go one of two ways: it would bring with it the emergence of a new threat, or the group would stay there for a season or so and move on. However, neither prediction fully came true, seeing as Alexandria is still around to this day, having bounced back from some dark times. Its tenure on the show from Season 5 to Season 11 makes it the longest-occupied survivor settlement in "Walking Dead" history.

Alexandria was the only survivor community to be rebuilt

Contrary to its quaint, suburban aesthetic and plethora of resources, Alexandria wasn't as peaceful as it was when it first arrived on the "Walking Dead" scene. Aside from the ever-present threat of walkers invading its borders, other, more aggressive survivor factions saw it as easy pickings. First came the Wolves, and later the Saviors — led by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) –, whose callousness shook Alexandria's residents to their cores and cost them loads of provisions. They didn't stand idly by for long, ultimately engaging in an all-out war with their pillaging oppressors.

It was a brutal, bloody conflict that ended up engulfing other communities, such as the Hilltop colony and the Kingdom, but the people of Alexandria came out victorious. Sadly, the Safe-Zone was in shambles and promptly overrun by walkers, leaving evacuation as the only course to take. Although, with the fighting over and the Whisperer War not yet at hand, the survivors returned to their abandoned home to rebuild it as effectively as they could. None of the previous settlements got such treatment, thus, Alexandria is the only one that was nearly destroyed but later restored and reoccupied.

There's strong irony in calling Alexandria a Safe-Zone

In the zombie apocalypse, death is a tragic inevitability. Not everyone will make it out alive as hordes of decaying monsters close in with morally corrupt humans waiting to pick up the pieces. Thankfully, places like Alexandria stand as monuments to human compassion and offer refuge to the majority of people its leaders allow within its perimeter. As mentioned previously, though, misfortune has befallen the so-called Safe-Zone on several occasions in the form of nightmarish battles. Every single time, ordinary folks who were promised safety and tranquility in an otherwise horrifying world met a grizzly demise.

From the time Alexandria emerged in Season 5 to the beginning of Season 11, it has seen roughly 100 people die on its grounds. This number doesn't just account for its residents, but several people who served the Wolves, the Kingdom, the Saviors, and the Scavengers during the conflicts that Alexandria hosted. Some of the most notable deaths include its longtime leader, Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh), her son Spencer (Austin Nichols), and Rick Grimes' son, Carl (Chandler Riggs). With that data in mind, it's plain to see why calling Alexandria a Safe-Zone might be a bit dishonest, to say the least.

The Alexandria community is a real place

Ignoring its myriad of issues — both alive and undead — Alexandria has remained a constant on "The Walking Dead" for its numerous advantages in the context of a zombie outbreak. Its fortified walls make it incredibly difficult for walkers to get in on their own, the homes are a comfortable size and can accommodate several survivors, and it also functions as a farm, making fresh food plentiful. As someone wandering the world low on supplies and dealing with even lower morale, it's just the place you'd want to stumble upon.

In reality, the famed Gin Property in Senoia, Georgia, provided the basis for Alexandria (via TV Guide), hence why it looked like a nice, well-kept neighborhood at first glance. The homes in the area, which just so happen to be right around the corner from the infamous Woodbury community from past "Walking Dead" seasons, are available for purchase if you're in the market. If not, AMC once created a virtual tour that allowed you to explore Alexandria yourself from the comfort of your own home. You were able to do so on standard devices (laptops, phones, etc.) as well as in a virtual reality headset to fully immerse yourself in the experience.

The finale of the Walking Dead comics almost centered on Alexandria

It's evident that Alexandria is a major piece to the "Walking Dead" puzzle on the television front, but what about in the source material? Well, it enjoyed a lengthy run in the "Walking Dead" comic line, debuting in issue #69 and last appearing in #187, going from a haven to a battleground just as it did on the small screen. However, all of the events that came to define the place would have never come to fruition had Robert Kirkman stuck by his initial vision for Alexandria's function in the wider story.

Way back at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con event (via CBR), Kirkman was still knee-deep in the "Walking Dead" comic saga. At the same time, he was tinkering with the idea of how the series would inevitably end and, more importantly, where. "The end has changed," he told a panel of eager "TWD" fans, revealing, "There was one version that would have had it ending as soon as everybody reached Alexandria." As we now know, this was not the finale the beloved Image Comics title received, and both versions of "The Walking Dead" and the Alexandria Safe-Zone are better for it.