Aaron Replaces Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead

Warning: this story contains spoilers for Sunday's "The Lucky Ones" episode of The Walking Dead. Rick Grimes meets Governor Milton and her New World Order in the comic books, but it's Aaron (Ross Marquand) who gives Pamela Milton (Laila Robins) the grand tour of Alexandria on The Walking Dead. In Season 11 Episode 12, ambitious Deputy Governor Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) arranges meetings with the leaders of the allied communities: Aaron of Alexandria, Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) of Hilltop, and Rachel (Avianna Mynhier) of Oceanside. Hornsby plans an expansion of the Commonwealth empire, but the joint agreement hinges on Maggie's approval — if Hilltop declines the offer, so does Oceanside, and the Commonwealth cuts off Alexandria from its resources and supplies.

In the comics, it's Eugene who leads Governor Milton's delegation back to Alexandria in The Walking Dead #180. Under the command of General Mercer, the Commonwealth's armored military force accompanies Eugene, Siddiq, Magna, Yumiko, and Princess to Alexandria, still recovering from the devastating Whisperer War. 

(Photo: Image Comics / AMC Studios)

When Pamela introduces herself as Governor of the Commonwealth, Rick is quietly taken aback by her title — a villain calling himself the Governor cut off Rick's hand and tortured Michonne back at the prison. The two leaders find common ground in that they aren't the founders of their respective communities, but unlike Rick, Pamela has no "war stories" to share about the Commonwealth. 

The arrival of scarred ex-Savior Dwight and a militia threatens the peace talks, but Rick orders Dwight and his troops to stand down. When Rick invites Pamela on the "grand tour" of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, she politely asks how he lost his hand. (Noticeably, Marquand's Aaron resembles comic book Rick, who wears a prosthetic.) 

Learning the history between Rick and the Governor, Pamela insists Rick not call her "Governor" Milton. Not intimidated by the Commonwealth's show of force, Rick explains he wants her to know the kind of people they've encountered — who they've dealt with. 

Rick's tour shows off Alexandria's windmill and its self-sustaining food sources, admittedly limited and quaint by Pamela's standards. Back home, she governs an advanced civilization of 50,000 survivors with far more resources. 

(Photo: Image Comics / AMC Studios)

Pamela is surprised to learn Rick's house is the same as everyone else's, mirroring a scene that plays out between Maggie and Governor Milton on the show. "We're all equals here," Rick tells Pamela, explaining he wants people to look up to him because of what he does — not what he has

Pamela questions why Rick, as the leader, shouldn't give people beneath him something to aspire to. "Whatever status we established in the life before died with that life," Rick says, challenging the Commonwealth's divisive class system. "We earn a new place in a new world now." 

Rick and Pamela clash over the Commonwealth's definition of "fair." At the Commonwealth, your status before the apocalypse determines what type of job and housing you're assigned. "Our working class forms the strong foundation of the Commonwealth," Pamela explains. "You can't build anything without a strong foundation. That's the world order. Always has been." 

Rick stands his ground: "Then maybe we need a new world order." 

(Photo: Image Comics / AMC Studios)

After Rick escorts Pamela on her tour of Oceanside, the Sanctuary, the Kingdom, and Hilltop, Maggie is suspicious of the Governor and the Commonwealth. Maggie's Hilltop will agree to stand with Alexandria if Rick approves of the Commonwealth. As Rick and Pamela discuss establishing Alexandria as a Commonwealth settlement, she asks if he's going to be trouble. Rick replies, "Hopefully not too much..."

Find out what happens when Rick arrives at the Commonwealth and learn more about Governor Milton's community.  

Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter and @NewsOfTheDead for TWD Universe coverage all season long. New episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season air Sundays on AMC and AMC+.