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|This article is about the Alexandria resident. You may be looking for the TV series character, the unseen TV series character, the comic series character, the novel series character, the video game dog, or the voice actor.|
- "Carol?... Carol? (...) What happens if you can't live with it? The people who came, were they the monsters? Did my dad turn into one? You kill people... Do you turn into one of the monsters?"
- —Sam to Carol[src]
Sam Anderson is a survivor of the outbreak introduced in Season 5 of AMC's The Walking Dead, and is a resident of the Alexandria Safe-Zone. He lived with his mother Jessie, his father Pete, and his brother Ron until Pete's death at the hands of Rick Grimes, a newcomer to the community.
Nothing is known about Sam's life before the outbreak or as the outbreak began nor how he and his family came to live in Alexandria.
While Rick Grimes takes a stroll in the streets of Alexandria, Sam can be seen in the distance on a walk with his mother, Jessie, and brother, Ron.
Sam is in attendance at Deanna Monroe's welcoming party for the newcomers and meets his mother's friend Rick. Sam asks if he could stamp Rick's hand to officially welcome him into the community, and Rick allows it in a playful manner. Sam pulls out one of his stamps and presses it against Rick's hand. Unbeknownst to Sam or his mother, Rick is actually quite disturbed by the stamp, as it is a red "A", which is the same symbol that the people of Terminus had used against him. Sam complains to his mother that there are no more cookies, but Rick reassures him that his very nice friend, Carol Peletier, will make plenty of more cookies for him. Later, when Carol sneaks into the armory, it is revealed that Sam followed her inside. He understands what she is doing and asks why she is doing it. She says that it is no concern of his and she threatens him, telling him not to say anything regarding Carol at the armory else he'll find himself tied to a tree far from Alexandria being eaten by walkers. Also, in return for being a "smart boy" in staying quiet, she'd give him "lots and lots of" cookies. After this very graphic threat, he nods meekly, obviously very scared.
Sam is caught by Carol after breaking in unnoticed, digging through her pantry looking for possible leftover cookies from Deanna's party. After complaining to Carol that the power at his house is out, and that he cannot work on his owl statue as it is broken, he asks her if she can teach him how to make them. Before Sam is almost pushed outside, Carol reluctantly agrees, but under the terms that Sam returns with a stolen half of a chocolate bar from Olivia.
Sam later returns to Carol with the stolen chocolate, and is let inside. After the baking is placed in the oven, Sam attempts to make conversation while they wait, asking if she has always been a good cook, leading her to explain that she used to do it when she was upset, which causes Sam to admit that he breaks things when he feels the same way. After some pressure, he confesses to breaking his owl statue out of frustration. When asked why he would do that he hesitates and asks Carol why she would steal guns from the armory, which she responds to by saying that sometimes you need to protect yourself. After hearing this Sam asks if he could have one, but when asked why he claims that it is not for him. Soon after being asked who it was for Sam then hesitates and runs away out of fear. However this eventually leads to Carol learning that Pete is abusing Jessie and possibly Sam.
As Carol makes a casserole for the Monroe family, Sam can be seen peering through Carol's kitchen window. Carol talked to Sam about his family and he reveals that his mother build a lock on his closet door, so he can lock himself in when Pete gets angry. Sam also mentions that one time, things got quiet during an argument between his parents, where he came out to find Jessie bleeding and unconscious with Pete simply sitting on the porch with a cigarette in his hand. On the next day, Sam can be seen playing in the streets with his toy boat and balloon. He hides behind Carol when his dad gets into a fight with Rick.
Sam briefly appears in a flashback, in his mother's arms after the death of his father; it is not clear if he witnessed it personally, saw the body, or was told by someone.
Sam first appears moping on the steps of Carol's house, clutching the "A" stamp he used on Rick at the welcoming party. Carol scolds him for still being upset over Pete's death, telling him that it happened and to get over it. When the Wolves attack Alexandria and begin slaughtering its residents, Sam pleads with Jessie not to leave him and they both take refuge in his wardrobe. When they hear Ron coming in, Jessie leaves him to warn Ron while instructing Sam to lock the door and be brave; he complies.
At Jessie's house, Jessie tries to convince Sam to come downstairs and have cookies. He refuses however, afraid to return to the area where Jessie murdered the Wolf. She then leaves the cookies for him.
When Carol stops by the Anderson home so Jessie can look after Judith, Sam hears Carol and starts talking to her from upstairs while she waits in the kitchen. He begins asking about monsters and what happens to people when they die, like his father.
Sam leaves an empty lunch plate outside his room before retreating back inside, where he draws a picture of a little boy tied to a tree with walkers surrounding him. Later, inside Jessie's house, Rick carries Deanna to an upstairs bedroom. Sam watches, paralyzed with fear. Jessie urges him to be brave.
Before starting to leave the house, Rick's group slathers themselves in guts to avoid getting noticed by the herd. Sam opens his door and recoils from the gruesome scene. "Pretend you're brave," Jessie says. Sam tearfully nods. Outside, Rick's group stands on Jessie's front porch, looking out at the sea of walkers. They hold hands and make their way into the herd, however, as they try to walk among the herd, Sam calls out to Jessie multiple times, which then seems to gain the attention of the walkers around them as the screen goes black at the sound of the walkers now becoming attracted to them.
Sam is seen walking with the rest of the group past the large horde of walkers. After carefully treading a while longer, the group stops by the side of the road to discuss a new plan of attack. Gabriel offers to take Judith to the safety of the church; Jessie takes advantage of this and attempts to convince Sam to accompany Gabriel for his safety, to which he refuses, wishing to stay by his mother's side and insisting that he'll be able to overcome his fears. The remaining members then head towards the community gate, their trek lasting until nightfall.
As they navigate through the herd, Sam looks around at the undead forms, recalling Carol's threat in the pantry from weeks prior. He freezes in fear when he catches sight of a little boy who had turned amongst the herd. Despite Rick's, Jessie's and Ron's efforts to snap him out of his shock and calm him down, Sam then whimpers catching the attention of several walkers, who bear down on Sam and begin to devour him. Sam's screams draw more walkers to the area and cause Jessie (who, in her state of distress, has not let go of his hand) to be eaten alongside him.
This list shows the victims Sam has killed:
While making their way through the herd, Sam sees a child walker and freezes and remembers Carol's threat to leave him out in the wilderness where he'd be devoured by walkers and suffers a panic attack. The others tell Sam to hurry before the walkers hear them though he does not move. Due to the noise he is making, Sam is devoured by walkers shortly after.
Jessie and Sam have a stable mother-son relationship. According to Sam, he tells his mother everything, indicating that they are close. Sam also mentions that he wants a gun for someone who needs it, because the person is in "danger", referring to Jessie, showing that he cares deeply for her safety.
Later on, after witnessing Pete's death, she can be seen holding Sam in her arms as they mourn in their living room. They both watch Ron walk away in frustration.
After the fight with the Wolves, Jessie calls for Sam as she holds a plate of cookies. He refuses to come down and walks back into his room, leaving a saddened Jessie alone.
Once the herd pours in from a breach in the wall, Jessie tries her best to calm Sam down and to help him through his fears. Despite her and Rick's efforts, Sam is unable to cope with the stress and, as their group heads out toward the armory, ends up blowing his cover and getting devoured. After losing her son, Jessie is caught in a state of emotional distress, which leads to her own demise.
Sam's relationship with Carol is a curious one. Despite her remaining quite cold and aloof towards him, Sam is undaunted and tries to stay close to her even after she threatens him. When Pete and Rick fight, Sam hides behind Carol rather than Jessie, showing that he views her as stronger and more able to protect him than Jessie. In turn, she gradually warms up to him and shows concern for him, even contemplating killing Pete to protect the Andersons. Unfortunately, her threat to him unintentionally ends up causing his death when he freezes up in the midst of a herd of walkers and is devoured. Later after his death Carol goes to his grave and leaves a cookie, still slightly saddened over his death.
Sam and Rick don't interact much, but they are friendly and civil. Sam is nice to Rick upon first meeting him and is willing to welcome him into the community by stamping his hand, unaware of the meaning the letter "A" has for Rick. Rick is shown to be very saddened when Sam is killed.
- "Sam calm down, listen to Mom."
- —Ron to Sam before being devoured[src]
Ron and Sam are hardly seen interacting, but they are likely close as Sam requests a gun to protect his family from Pete. When Sam is killed, Ron blames Rick for it and tries to shoot him, only to die himself when Michonne runs him through from behind.
Sam is scared of Pete and hides from him whenever he goes on a rampage or rant. His fear of Pete is such that he requests a gun from Carol to protect his family from Pete's drunken rages. Despite this, he is shown to be very sad when Pete dies.
- Sam was more based on Ron Anderson in the comics in terms of age and personality, while the TV incarnation of Ron is given a more antagonistic role and the only similarity Ron has with his comic book counterpart is his name.
- Sam is the first child to be devoured by zombies on-screen.