There's a New World Order on The Walking Dead. When Eugene's (Josh McDermitt) tinkering with a long-range radio connects him to Stephanie (voice of Margot Bingham), he embarks on a journey with King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and new friend Princess (Paola Lázaro) to make contact with an as-yet-revealed civilization. In "A Certain Doom," Eugene's expedition seems to miss their railyard rendezvous with Stephanie in Charleston, West Virginia, where the foursome is suddenly swarmed and apprehended by a small army of soldiers clad in white armor. In the extended Season 10 episode "Splinter," a grunt trooper (Cameron Roberts) reveals the first details behind this resourceful new community:
After she's strip-searched by an examining trooper (Erik Bello) and thoroughly questioned by an irritable interrogator (Jessejames Locorriere), Princess manages to capture a rookie soldier (Roberts) who recites the community's creed: "For the benefit of all, and for all who seek solace at our gates." According to the grunt, the group is "organized" with access to "things that are valuable in times like these."
Princess is suspicious of the grunt's claim that the soldiers who "look like a bunch of scary action figures came to life" are benevolent helpers. But the grunt says the group's separation and temporary detainment is standard protocol on mission-based assignments, and the questions so routine that they process paperwork.
"The place we live is a good place. It's our job to keep the many, many good people who live there safe," the grunt says. "We're careful because we have a lot to lose."
Comic book readers will recognize the armored troopers as soldiers of the Commonwealth Army, the military force of an Ohio-based sprawling network of communities home to nearly 50,000 survivors. Their duties include patrolling and protecting the Commonwealth, efficiently and effectively eliminating swarms of walkers, and serving as the personal bodyguards of high-ranking Commonwealth figures like Governor Pamela Milton and her spoiled son Sebastian.
"Here's this group, they show up, they're wearing this white armor which is not super practical, but also they had to create these uniforms. It's really cool in a comic when you've got this look, but it's like, 'What does it mean about this group that they're part of?'" showrunner Angela Kang said on The Walking Dead Extended Season 10 Preview Special. "They had to have some ability to create these things and keep them clean and make them all look the same, but they're also ingenious because they've got these sort of like automatic weapons that they've also transformed with a bayonet, so it's the old and the new all mixed together."
Kang added, "It tells you that this group is really formidable, they are organized, they have some access to the materials that you need to create in a uniform fashion, so that's really unlike some of the groups that we've seen. Because our groups have only been able to do things like that on a very limited basis, like [how] Eugene was only able to make a handful of perfect bullets. But these guys have a lot more going on."