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Why The Reapers Make No Sense On The Walking Dead According To Fans

The eleventh and final season of "The Walking Dead" has featured two major storylines involving our protagonists from Alexandria coming in contact with other communities of survivors. There is the story of Eugene's (Josh McDermitt) group arriving in the ultra-advanced society known as the Commonwealth and Maggie's (Lauren Cohan) ongoing conflict with a brutal community called the Reapers. While the Commonwealth is a storyline pulled right out of the comics that the TV series is based on, the Reapers are a brand new group invented for the show. And that fact has some fans confused about when and why they were introduced.

We first met the Reapers in the Season 10C episode "Home Sweet Home," where they were presented as a ruthless group of mask-wearing mercenaries known for violently taking over Maggie's former community of Meridian. They got more fleshed out in Season 11 when we learned that the group is made up of former military contractors who have a religious devotion to their leader, a man named Pope (Ritchie Coster) who believes that they have been chosen by God to lay claim to whatever they desired. Meridian was one such place they laid claim to and the first chunk of Season 11 sees Maggie leading a mission to try and take back the settlement and its vital food stores.

That's all pretty classic "The Walking Dead" stuff. However, for some fans, it simply doesn't make sense for an already sprawling series with dozens of well-established characters to give a new cast of villains such a prominent role in its final season. 

Fans don't think the Reapers quite lived up to their reputation

In the episode discussion thread for the Season 11A finale episode "For Blood," fans of the series sounded off on how they felt about the Reapers. And, for the most part, it doesn't seem like they were thrilled about the group's inclusion.

User u/nladyman began their comment by noting, "I feel like the reapers could have been fleshed out better." They went on to call them a knockoff of Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) former group the Saviors and then pointed out, "[they have] no real rivalry with Maggie other than 'We took her home and she may want revenge.'"

For u/kuroakela, the group also never quite lived up to the reputation the show tried to build for them when they were first introduced. "They were written as these badass muhf— who can take on an army individually," they said, "but they didn't even show such skill ..."

The general lack of specificity or deeper motive for being at odds with the Alexandrians led many fans to view the Reapers, to quote u/Stiletto420, as "B tier villains." And that appears to be at the crux of the issue that fans have with the group's prominent place in the show's final season. User u/FisknChips argued, "It's the final season I'd rather our time be spent with our characters as it was."

You can catch up on the final season of "The Walking Dead" on AMC+.