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"The Claimers", as called by Greg Nicotero, are a group of survivors introduced in the episode "Claimed" of Season 4 of AMC's The Walking Dead. They serve as the primary antagonists of the second half of Season 4.
Nothing is known about the life of Joe's group members before the zombie apocalypse. It's possible that they all knew each other before the apocalypse.
Some time after the outbreak, Joe began to use violence against others as a means to survive. Taking things from other survivors is easier for him than finding things on his own. Despite this, once Joe realizes that sharing among his men creates difficult conflicts, he creates rules for him and the rest of his group to follow; thus beginning the act of claiming goods. There were at least two main rules. First, if a member saw something they wanted., they had to shout "claim". Secondly, they must be honest at all times. This was especially important, as Joe despised dishonesty. Punishment for breaking the rules was to receive a beating.
The group unknowingly crosses paths with Rick Grimes as they raid a house where Rick, his son Carl, and Michonne had been staying. A recovering and weak Rick hides underneath a bed as the Claimers search the house. Tony and Len fight over the bed, and Rick is spotted by Tony, but Tony is choked unconscious by Len before he could say anything. Rick attempts to escape through the bathroom but runs into Lou. Rick strangles and kills Lou, taking his gun and jacket and leaves him to turn, while escaping with Carl and Michonne outside. Once Joe's group finds out that Lou was killed, they begin tracking Rick. Along the way, they find Daryl Dixon sitting on the road. After a brief confrontation, Daryl agrees to join them. Len and Daryl did not get along, which eventually led to Len being killed by the other Claimers for being dishonest.
The Claimers eventually catch Rick, Carl, and Michonne on an abandoned road. Daryl attempts to stop Joe from killing them, saying that they are good people. Joe determines that that was a lie and tells the Claimers to beat him to death. He then tells Rick that they intend to rape Michonne and Carl before killing him. Dan holds Carl down, preparing to rape him. Rick headbutts Joe and they tussle, ending up with Joe holding Rick in a bear hug. Rick bites Joe in the throat, killing him. This stuns the other Claimers, and Michonne and Daryl use this to their advantage, killing all but Dan. Dan threatens Carl with a knife, then tries to surrender, but Rick brutally stabs and disembowels him as his companions look on, putting a permanent end to the Claimers.
After killing them, Rick collected most of their weapons and gear.
- 1 unnamed man
- 2 unnamed thieves
- 1 unnamed Claimer
- Lou (Zombified)
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people