Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead introduced a new community called Riverbend. As to be expected with any new group, this one was paranoid and careful regarding who they let inside.
Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) traveled with Carlson (Jason Butler Harner) from the Commonwealth in Episode 13 in order to meet with Riverbend.
Gabriel and Aaron had been told it was a friendly mission. However, it was later discovered that Carlson was there at the behest of Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) and they were searching for missing weapons.
So, who is this new community?
Here’s what we know about the Riverbend community
Riverbend is a group of people that is holed up in an old apartment building, known as the Riverbend Apartment Complex prior to the zombie apocalypse.
Living in this group is a familiar face. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) left the other communities recently because he was concerned that Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) would always antagonize him. He has now found a home among these people and it will be interesting to see how this all unfolds in the coming weeks as Riverbend is expected to feature in at least one more episode.
Riverbend’s leader is a man named Ian (Michael Biehn) and they are described, as a whole, as a deeply religious community.
Ian appeared quite intimidating as he revealed a bookshelf filled with human skulls. He declared they were all people who tried to take over Riverbend at one point or another.
“Those are raiders, murderers, rapists, and a few cannibals,” Ian told Carlson.
“All of them sat in the same seats you’re sitting in right now. Most were wolves dressed as sheep. All of them meant my people harm.”
Regardless of the impressive skull-shelf, Carlson quickly overpowered Ian, thanks to his CIA/assassin background.
Now, Carlson is working his way through the group, trying to locate the stolen weapons and next week’s episode of The Walking Dead looks set to explore this new community further.
So, what can the comic books tell us about Riverbend?
Does Riverbend appear in The Walking Dead comics?
While Riverbend is established now in the TV series, in The Walking Dead comics this community doesn’t appear at all, it being a complete fabrication of the writers at AMC. This puts it in line with the Reapers, another newly introduced community that has caused trouble in Season 11 of The Walking Dead.
However, that doesn’t mean that some things can’t be gleaned from the comics regarding this new group.
As pointed out by CBR, the introduction of Riverbend could be a mistake by the network who should be focused on the Commonwealth storyline in the final season of The Walking Dead.
However, by introducing Riverbend, viewers are able to find out quickly just how sneaky stuff is going on behind the scenes in relation to the Commonwealth and, in particular, Lance Hornsby.
Along with this, it might even be possible to find out more about Negan’s upcoming storyline thanks to the comics.
In the comic books, Negan ends up living alone at a place called Springhaven. This is an abandoned community that he ends up residing in after everything that goes down with the Whisperers.
It is here that he buries his bat, Lucille, and settles in to live a hermit-like existence. Potentially, Riverbend could fill this spot in the TV series for Negan’s storyline.
Although, already, AMC has announced a spinoff series called Isle of the Dead, featuring Negan and Maggie, and is based in Manhattan. So, even if Negan does end up living here, it seems something will come up that makes him move far away.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.