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The Prison as it appears in the Comic Series
|The Prison as it appears in the TV Series|
|Seen in Series|| Comic Series|
Video Game (Mentioned only)
|Issue/Episode||"Issue 12" to "Issue 49"|
"The Prison", located at West Central Prison, Georgia, is the location where the majority of the main cast of characters settle themselves in. Also where most of the character and continuity's story-arc's were formed. It was also the longest lasting location the survivors remained in; being seven months, beginning with their arrival in Issue 13, right up to the climactic and tragic destruction by The Governor and his Woodbury Army in Issue 48.
Discovery and Clearing
Simply referred to by the survivors as, "The Prison", it was found by Dale and Andrea after the group left Hershel's farm. The Prison boasted three fences that surrounded the entire penitentiary, as well as having its back to a hill and only one main dirt road leading to the entrance. Starving and desperate, the group quickly surmised that it being in a relatively isolated area, and without any other potential safe places to go, it was the most viable option to stay safe, at least for the night. The decision was quickly made to search and secure the penitentiary.
After the initial clearings of the zombies inside, Rick Grimes and Tyreese found four inmates who were trapped inside the cafeteria that had been living in the locked cafeteria since the outbreak; Axel, Thomas Richards, Andrew and Dexter. Even with this risk, Rick deems it worthy for the entire group to settle in, and make it their new home. Tensions soon rise between the inmates and the survivors while Rick is primarily busy dealing with the proper settling of their new haven, the witnessing of the end result of a suicide pact between Chris and Julie, and his subsequent discovery that anyone who dies of any cause (short of damage to the brain) comes back as a zombie.
Serial Killings and Mutiny
It soon becomes apparent the survivors and the convicts cannot co-exist, as Rachel and Susie Greene's bodies are soon found, decapitated. Dexter is wrongly accused, but after an attempt on Andrea's life, Thomas is found to be the culprit. He is brutally beaten by an overwhelmed Rick, before a distraught Maggie Greene later shoots him to death.
Dexter does not take kindly to the false accusations, and concludes that cooperating with Rick's group was wrong. He organizes Andrew to sneak into A Block, the building containing the guard's riot gear and weapons, to help take back The Prison. After confronting Rick with shotguns and a defecting Patricia, a standoff ensues that is only prevented because of the zombies escaping from A Block. While temporarily working together to hold the wave back, Rick makes the hard decision to kill Dexter "in the cross-fire", as he knew the convict would have killed or kicked them out afterwards. Andrew surrenders his weapons but flees in distress, never to be seen again by the group. Michonne and Otis join the group soon after.
In between the bloodshed and drama, several sub-plots develop. Carol and Tyreese's relationship is challenged after the mysterious Michonne joins the group. Maggie and Glenn struggle through the loss of more of her family and her father's strictness of their intimacy. Maggie and Glenn eventually marry in a ceremony performed by Hershel. Patricia is isolated and attacked by Otis after her temporary defection with Andrew and Dexter. Allen slowly begins to come out of his shell following Donna's death in Wiltshire Estates but he is bit and dies of infection while investigating the prison. Dale and Andrea discuss the possibility of splitting off and finding somewhere safer and quieter. Lori's pregnancy advances rapidly, and she is strained by Rick constantly leaving, particularly when Rick, Glenn, and Michonne go missing when searching for the helicopter that went down. However, when Rick returns from Woodbury with Alice, Alice is able to help with Lori's pregnancy and delivers baby Judy.
Eventually, significant conflict within the group arises when Tyreese finds himself giving in to Michonne's sexual advances. Carol witnesses their actions and is evidently hysterical and upset, causing her to slit her wrists. Rick finds out and confronts Tyreese. The pair's strong friendship is temporarily broken when their argument ends up in a brutal beating, leading to a schism between the group and their opinion on Rick's leadership. Carol later fed herself to a walker when rebuffed from a proposed relationship between her, Lori, and Rick.
First Woodbury Invasion
Following the allowed escape of Rick and Glenn from Woodbury with the assistance of Dr. Stevens, Alice, and Martinez, the Governor awaited the return of Martinez on the location of the prison. Dr. Stevens did not survive the escape, having been bit on the outskirts of Woodbury. Rick, Glenn, Alice, and Martinez re-discover the prison overrun with Walkers. Dale informs the group that they had let the walkers in accidentally when Tyreese was returning from searching for them. Otis was killed by the walkers in the ordeal, but the rest of the group was able to close the fences and deal with the walkers, retaking control of the prison.
When Martinez did not return (having been discovered as a mole after fleeing the prison to inform Woodbury and ran down in the RV by Rick), the Governor set out a search party to find Martinez. The search party found Martinez as a walker and stumbled upon the prison. The Governor, further enraged by Michonne's mutilation and torture of him, convinced his town that the prison survivors were deranged monsters that deserved to die, and arranged an army of Woodbury citizens to assault and take the prison by force. The Governor drove his force en masse to just outside of the prison's outer gates and delivered with a megaphone an ultimatum to Rick's group inside the prison: surrender the prison or die. When they did not respond, the Woodbury army began its assault, peppering the prison yard with gunshots while shooting and running down walkers with a tank around the outer fences.
This first assault was successfully repelled by Rick's defenders. The Woodbury Army was preoccupied with keeping the Walkers near the fences off of them, which allowed Andrea and Glenn (after some resistance and a grazed bullet to Andrea's head) to sharpshoot enough of the assaulters so that the Governor called for a retreat. Axel also suffered a gunshot wound to the arm and Rick suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach, but they survived and recovered and the group was intact after the attack.
However, fearing for their safety, Dale, Andrea, Glenn, Maggie, Sophia, Billy, and Ben left the prison following this attack. Tyreese and Michonne also left, but to assault the surviving army in a surprise attack. Rick was shocked, angry, and downtrodden at the turn of events that happened while he recovered from his gunshot. He believed they could no longer repel an assault from Woodbury with so many defenders missing. While Tyreese and Michonne they were able to kill a few of the Woodbury force, their guerilla attack was a failure and Tyreese was captured and executed (beheaded) in front of the prison after Rick and the others once again rejected the Governor's ultimatum, believing they would be murdered the second they stepped out of the prison.
Second Woodbury Invasion
When Woodbury's forces returned for a second time, very little strategy had been altered from the first attack, at first. Woodbury's invaders were still preoccupied with the walkers at the fences, while the prison defenders fired upon the army from under cars that they had parked pre-assault as a line of cover from the oncoming gunfire. Billy had taken up sharpshooting in the watch tower in the absence of Andrea and Glenn, and even threw a grenade to great effect, taking several assualters out of the fight and destroying a vehicle. Andrea had also returned, surprisingly, and sharpshot several of the invaders from the RV's roof. However, Rick's prediction pre-assault that they were hopelessly outnumbered with the absence of half their number came true. Axel was shot in the head and killed by the assaulters and Andrea was knocked out of the fight when a Woodbury soldier drove his truck into the RV. When the Governor believed he was losing the fight once again, he drove the tank through the prison fences, destroying the only true safety the defenders had.
Overrun and Massacre
Without the fences, Rick's defenders were at the mercy of the Woodbury army and the walkers pouring through the opening. Patricia was shot through the head and killed as she attempted to escape from the cover of the guard tower where she hid under fire with Hershel and Billy. Billy, too, was shot in the head and killed as he and Hershel made their rush from the doomed area.
Rick had retreated into the prison to collect Lori and Carl and discovered Alice pointing a gun at Lori, feigning allegiance to the Governor in an attempt to secure safe passage for them back to Woodbury. Rick, Lori (holding Judy), Carl, and Alice attempted to escape the prison by way of a truck left in the yard. Rick alerted the assaulters to their position by screaming for Hershel to join them. Hershel had given up after the death of his son, requesting and granted death by ways of a gunshot to the head from the Governor. Alice sacrificed herself, waiting at the entrance of the prison, to provide gunfire cover for the Grimes family. Alice was shot through the leg by one of the invaders and was executed by the Governor.
Rick, Carl, and Lori continued to try and make their way to the truck under heavy gunfire. Lori, trailing the other two, took a gun blast to her back, killing her and Judy. Rick, witnessing the murder, grabbed Carl and moved them through the walkers and out of the prison yard, realizing they wouldn't make it to the truck under the downpouring gunfire. Once they made it safely past the walkers and into the hills on the outskirts of the prison, Rick broke the news to Carl, hugging admist the chaos that continued around them.
Lilly, the woman from Woodbury who murdered Lori and Judy, quickly realized she had murdered a mother and her newborn and discovered the Governor for the true monster he was. She then shot the Governor through the head and pushed him into the crowd of walkers that were bearing down on the remaining assaulters' position inside of the prison yard. The Woodbury army then attempted to make their way inside of the prison, but ran out of ammo as they made their way inside, followed by the walkers. Their fate is unknown.
Woodbury Survivor's Fate
Creator Robert Kirkman wrote:
- "I'm not going to say (the Woodbury survivors) were all killed (when their bullets ran out), but it's very unlikely that we'll ever see them again. The prison is dead to me. I've moved on and so have the characters."
- Dexter - An African-American victim imprisoned for murder. Partner to Andrew.
- Andrew - An African-American victim imprisoned for dealing drugs. Partner to Dexter.
- Axel - A Caucasian victim imprisoned for armed robbery.
- Thomas Richards - A nerdy victim imprisoned for "tax fraud", but as a matter of fact is a serial killer.
- Lori Grimes - Shot by Lilly in the stomach while escaping the Prison.
- Judith Grimes - After Lori was shot, Judith was crushed to death.
- Brian Blake - Shot by Lilly after Lori and Judith were murdered.
- Carol - Committed suicide by letting zombie eat her. Shot by Andrea after reanimation.
- Allen - Bitten while exploring other parts of Prison. Although his leg is amputated he died of blood loss and shot by Rick before reanimation.
- Tyreese - Decapitated by The Governor, killed by Michonne after reanimation.
- Julie - Shot by Chris while alive and after reanimation because of suicide pact.
- Chris - Strangled to death by Tyreese after he killed Julie, killed again after reanimation.
- Hershel Greene - Shot by The Governor after Billy Greene's death.
- Billy Greene - Shot by unnamed Woodbury soldier in the head.
- Rachel Greene - Decapitated by Thomas Richards and shot by Glenn after reanimation.
- Susie Greene - Decapitated by Thomas Richards and shot by Glenn after reanimation.
- Patricia - Shot by The Governor in the head.
- Otis - Devoured by zombies while Rick, Michonne and Glenn were at Woodbury.
- Alice - Shot by The Governor in the head.
- Axel - Shot by unnamed Woodbury soldier in the head.
- Dexter - Shot by Rick in the head while shooting zombies.
- Thomas Richards - Shot by Maggie Greene
- Gabe - Shot in the head by Andrea.
- Andrew - Infected (presumably) outside the prison.
- A lot of Woodbury Soldiers - Nearly all killed by Prison survivors.
The Prison is first seen in the Season 2 finale episode, Beside the Dying Fire, indicating that the survivors having abandoned Hershel's Farm, will make their way to this location next and it will be the major setting for Season 3. The building itself is given the name 'West Georgia Correctional Facility'.
- Manuel - An Hispanic man of unknown origins imprisoned for an unknown crime.
- Harold - A Caucasian man of unknown origins.
- The TV series' prison was hand-built from the ground up by the production crew, rather than using a real prison. This includes the set, decorations and plumbing.
- Rick, Carl, Michonne, Glenn, Maggie, Andrea, Dale, Sophia, Ben and Billy are the only people of Rick's group to have made it out of The Prison alive after the second Woodbury attack.
- In a Q&A with Jake Rodkin and Harrison G.Pink, designers on The Walking Dead Video Game, it was stated that the prison that Lee Everett is being transported to in the beginning of the game is the same prison in the Comic Series and TV Series of The Walking Dead.
- ↑ The Walking Dead Google Map, fan map The exact area of "The Prison" is ambiguous, but judging by their lengthy travel from their original campsite, the conversations between The Governor and Gabe, and the appearance of the crashing helicopter containing survivors from Atlanta, it is most likely located miles away in the surrounding and sprawling countryside of Atlanta.
- ↑ Issue 46, page 25, "Letter Hacks"
- ↑ Issue 50, page 34, "Letter Hacks"
|Locations (Comic Series)|
|Cynthiana, Kentucky • Atlanta, Georgia • Atlanta Survivor Camp • Wiltshire Estates • Greene Family Farm • West Central Prison, Georgia • Woodbury, Georgia • National Guard Station • Fr. Gabriel Stokes' Church • The Hunter's Base • Alexandria Safe-Zone • Hilltop Colony • Washington D.C. • The Saviors' Base • The Kingdom|