The Walking Dead Villains Explained

This mysterious organization, known as the Civic Republic Military (CRM), operates under the motto “Security and secrecy above all.” Its three-ring helicopter group, responsible for airlifting Rick Grimes in Season 9 of “The Walking Dead,” remains shrouded in secrecy, but subsequent spinoffs such as “Fear the Walking Dead” and “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” have shed some light on the CRM, revealing itself as “the last light of the world.” Now, the black-clad helmeted soldiers return in “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live,” with Rick himself among their ranks. This highly anticipated series premiere on AMC on Feb. 25 promises to answer burning questions about Rick’s whereabouts and unveil the secrets hidden within the CRM.

Your comprehensive CRM crash course covers everything you need to know about the infamous villains of the Walking Dead Universe.

The Helicopter

Rick’s first helicopter sighting occurred in the pilot episode, “Days Gone Bye,” following his coma awakening. Despite venturing into Atlanta, he encountered only a functioning helicopter. His next sighting was in season 8’s “The Big Scary U,” where a black chopper soared overhead.

The “A”

“We take, we don’t bother,” declared Scavenger leader Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) in The Walking Dead season 7 episode “New Best Friends.” During this episode, Rick and his group pursued the missing Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) to a junkyard where a helipad was spotted among the Heaps. Jadis’s capture of Rick in season 8 episode 6, “The King, the Widow, and Rick,” resulted in his imprisonment within a storage container marked with an “A.”

The Walking Dead Villains Explained
(Photo: Steve Swisher/AMC)

The Three-Rings Symbol

In Season 8 Episode 10, “The Lost and the Plunderers,” Jadis, a junkyard resident, revealed canned food adorned with the symbol of three interconnected rings. When questioned by Savior Simon about the helipad and solar panels, Jadis remained evasive, claiming her sanctuary was merely “a dump.”

In Season 8, Episode 14 (“Still Gotta Mean Something”), it was revealed that Jadis resided in a converted storage container, replete with supplies like applesauce cans and a mysterious suitcase. She prepared captured Negan for her planned rendezvous with the helicopter bearing the three-ring symbol, only to be left behind as it departed without her.

A” or “B”

In Season 9, Episode 2, “The Bridge,” Jadis observed a circling helicopter in the night sky. The following episode, “Warning Signs,” she contacted the pilot via walkie-talkie. The pilot inquired, “What do you have? An ‘A’ or a ‘B’?” and informed her, “No pickups. But the deal remains. Do you have an ‘A’ or a ‘B’?”

Jadis denied having any trade materials, prompting the pilot to state that an “A” would be necessary for an extraction.

The Hidden City

“Gabriel, leave with me. There’s another place, far from here. We can build a life there,” Jadis confessed, hinting at the hidden civilization of over 200,000 survivors. However, when Gabriel alerted Rick, Jadis attacked him, revealing their differing classifications (“A” and “B”). She then declared, “I need you as the price of admission to my destination.”

The Trade

Rick’s fate was revealed when Jadis, after discovering him alive, informed the CRM helicopter that he had a “B” but not an “A.” Despite his injury, she stated he was strong. Rick and Jadis were then taken away by the CRM.

Later, in “Who Are You?,” Jadis confirmed she had traded Rick to the CRM for admission. She believed the Civic Republic represented the world’s last hope and that her purpose was to forge a new era on the planet.

The Walking Dead Villains Explained
(Photo: Zach Dilgard/AMC)

The Reclamation Team

Season 5, episode 5 of “Fear the Walking Dead,” “The End of Everything,” depicted Althea’s encounter with CRM soldier Isabelle in Texas. Isabelle, accompanied by Beckett, were part of Ground 17. According to protocol, Isabelle euthanized Beckett when he posed a threat to their operational security.

“The maps he carried are invaluable,” Isabelle informed Al, explaining that they revealed weaknesses in the CRM. “If you encounter someone wearing this jacket, beware. We’re not self-interested or short-sighted. You’re stuck in the past with your narratives, but we shape the future.”

Isabelle intervened to prevent a “reclamation team” from erasing all evidence of the CRM’s existence. Later, Al enlists Isabelle’s assistance in airlifting her comrades from the blast zone in “The Beginning.” In “Reclamation,” Al and Isabelle flee together, aware that the CRM will relentlessly pursue them. For the CRM, escape is an impossibility.

The Civic Republic

The Civic Republic (CRM) debuted in “The Tyger and the Lamb,” the third episode of The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s first season. Among its 200,000 population was CRM Lt. Col. Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond). Kublek proclaimed, “We possess energy, water, medicine, transport, the Council, courts, schools, culture, a currency, an economy, agriculture, manufacturing, law… We are the world’s last beacon of hope.” “We are the final hope. And we, we are responsible for the survival and prosperity of over 200,000 souls. We are building the future.”

In the fourth episode of The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 1, Elton refers to the mysterious Civic Republic as “The Hidden City.” He theorizes that their advanced technology, agriculture, and governance justify their secrecy, even if it raises suspicions about their intentions.

The Alliance of the Three

The three-ring symbol in “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” represents the Alliance of the Three:

* Civic Republic (population: 200,000)
* Portland, Oregon (population: 87,000)
* Omaha, Nebraska (population: 97,407) and its satellite, the Campus Colony in Lincoln, Nebraska (population: 9,671)

However, the CRM’s Major General Beale eliminated the Omaha Safe-Zone and the Campus Colony as part of a covert military operation.

CRM Warrant Officer Jadis Stokes assisted in a military operation to subdue Omaha and the Campus Colony using a lethal green liquid chlorine gas bioweapon, following the CRM’s claim that these settlements were overwhelmed by the undead.


CRM Staff Sergeant Jennifer Mallick (Annet Mahendru) and discharged CRM soldier Dennis (Maximilian Osinski) discuss the CRM’s origins. In “Quartervois,” the Civic Republic Military initially agreed to cede power to the Civic Republic Council and Civilian Government after a decade. However, in 2020, CRM Major General Beale requested an emergency delay due to Nebraska’s tragedies.

A transition of power from military leadership to full civilian oversight is a bedrock provision of the Civic Republic’s Founding Compact, the foundational document that has guided our city to rebuilding humanity for over nine years. Authors of the document were in agreement that military autonomy was imperative for the early survival of the CR, as well as its stabilization in the years to follow.

Project Votus

On “World Beyond,” Project Votus was established by Beale and Kublek to study live subjects through death and enhance reanimation research.

At a Civic Republic Research Facility in Ithaca, New York, the CR recruited Dr. Leo Bennett and Dr. Lyla Belshaw to develop a cure for the zombie virus. Bennett focused on fungi to accelerate decay, while Belshaw’s clandestine experiments involved studying zombie-bitten test subjects designated as “As” by the CRM.

Belshaw created the green chlorine gas that was used to suffocate “A” test subjects and, later, was used as a bioweapon in the CRM’s “tactical military operation” that destroyed Omaha and the Campus Colony.

The Walking Dead Villains Explained
(Photo: Curtis Bonds Baker/AMC)

The C.R.P.

In “Rest in Peace,” Rick appears in a jacket bearing the three-ring logo. The “Foothold” episode of “World Beyond” provides clues about his fate: “Consignee Grimes” works at a Civic Republic Cull Facility, clearing walkers at abandoned venues converted into decontamination centers. These facilities help the Civic Republic establish a foothold and reclaim states overrun by the undead.

CRM prisoner Silas (Hal Cumpston) was remanded to one of six decontamination centers in New York state, operated by trained Civic Republic Military personnel. Rick, however, has spent the past eight years at the Civic Republic of Philadelphia (C.R.P.). Consignees have a path for citizenship into the Civic Republic after six years and can enlist in the CRM, but once in, escape is impossible.

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