There's nothing to fear, "The Walking Dead" is here! Well, almost. And there's still plenty to fear, because "The Walking Dead" exists for the sole purpose of nauseating you week in and week out with gratuitous zombie violence — an edict that season five made clear time and time again.
Before the AMC thriller returns for its sixth season on Sunday night (October 11), let's look back on all the basics. Are you one of the three people who never watched "Walking Dead" once in your life? Then we're here to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.
Welcome to the End of DaysAMC
Even if you haven't seen the show, you certainly understand the premise. The world as we know it is gone, with undead flesh-eating monsters bringing about the apocalypse. A bite or scratch from one of these creatures will eventually turn you into one of them — that's if they don't eat you entirely first, of course. Even if you die of natural causes, you will come back from the grave, unless your brain is destroyed. Call them walkers, biters, roamers, whatever — they are zombies, they are disgusting, they are everywhere, and they are the fuel that keeps "Walking Dead" moving.
Meet the RicktatorAMC
Rick Grimes is the hero of the tale, although some would take issue with the word "hero," maybe even Rick. Before the world turned, he was a law enforcement officer. In recent years, however, he's become a ruthless survivor in an otherwise unsurvivable world, killing walkers and humans in the name of protecting his family, blood relatives and makeshift brothers and sisters alike. Sometimes, his tactics don't exactly work out — see the time his wife Lori died thanks to an ex-con's actions — but more often than not, Rick's kill-or-be-killed attitude has kept his people moving forward, if not entirely intact.
All Hail The Chocolate Pudding KingAMC
His name is Carl, and he is Rick's son. He wears Rick's ridiculous cowboy hat, walks around strapped and eager for action, and houses entire tubs of pudding all on his own. He's a tough little kid who has come a long way since the beginning of the show, between getting shot in season two, losing his mother in season three, protecting his father in season four, and taking care of his baby sister in season five. Let's see what season six brings.
If Daryl Dies, We RiotAMC
This is the mantra of the legion of fans devoted to Daryl Dixon, the crossbow-wielding badass who never showers and will never die. Sure, anyone on "Walking Dead" could die at anytime, in theory; that's part of the appeal of the show, that it keeps you on your toes. Those rules do not apply for Daryl. He's the heartthrob of the show, the most popular character by far, and he's not going anywhere. That ear necklace he wore back in "Chupacabra" may as well be a "Survivor" immunity necklace, because Norman Reedus is as safe as anyone gets on "TWD."
Carol Peletier Is The Best Character And It's Not CloseAMC
You can say Daryl is the best, and that's fine, but you're actually wrong. Carol is the best. She was a victim of domestic violence in the old world, and even in the opening weeks of the apocalypse, until her abusive husband died. Then her daughter died, and a part of Carol died with her. The woman who took her place is a steely-eyed, cold-blooded killer who will do anything to protect her people — including killing a psychotic little girl and threatening another child's life over a plate of cookies. She's the Sarah Connor of "Walking Dead," and if SHE dies? Then we really will riot.
Rick Grimes Has So Many FriendsAMC
Really, the list of people in Rick's crew goes on and on and on: Michonne and her samurai skills; Glenn and Maggie, the best couple in the group; Sasha, eagle-eyed and angry after the deaths of her boyfriend Bob and her brother Tyreese; Abraham and his mustache; Eugene and his mullet; Rosita and her pigtails; and Tara and her fist bumps. It's a pretty GREATM group of peeps.
Oh, I Forgot About Father GabrielAMC
But he sucks, so whatever.
So Much Has HappenedAMC
If we were going to recap everything that's happened on "The Walking Dead," we would be here for days. Here are the cliff notes: Rick woke up in a hospital three months into the apocalypse, and eventually reunited with his family just outside of Atlanta. His group shacked up at a farm for way too long, and then eventually a prison for not long enough. When their prison society was destroyed, Rick's group was forced back onto the road, where they were eventually targeted by cannibals and crazy cops. Things looked very bleak indeed, to the point that everyone almost died in a barn, until they were saved by a storm, and a stranger named Aaron from a town called Alexandria.
Welcome to AlexandriaAMC
It's a walled-in community just a few miles outside of Washington, D.C., a supposed safe haven from the zombie apocalypse. Alexandria is populated with a wide spread of people, good and bad alike, many of them wildly unprepared for the horrors outside their walls. Rick and company bring a world of experience with them once they become denizens of Alexandria, but the adjustment has been… well, let's call it rough, and leave it there.
Actually, let's not leave it there.
Alexandria Gets RickedAMC
Everywhere Rick goes, bad things happen. It's no different for Alexandria. The moment they set foot inside the walls, the storm followed them. For one, Noah died gruesomely in a horrible walker assault, and community leader Deanna Monroe lost one of her sons in the same attack. Then Deanna's husband died a few days later, killed by an abusive and drunk jerk named Pete. And then Rick shot Pete right in the face, right in front of everyone, including an old friend.
Morgan Sticks AroundAMC
Meet Morgan Jones, one of the very first characters ever introduced on "The Walking Dead." He was the first friendly face Rick saw when he woke up in the apocalypse. We didn't see him again until season three, when he went crazy from years of solitude and watching his family die all around him. Since then, Morgan has apparently regained his chill, so much so that he doesn't believe in killing at all. Instead, he tries to talk sense into people, and failing that, he beats them with a stick. Throughout season five, Morgan was on Rick's trail, trying to reunite with his old friend. In the finale, he succeeded, just in the nick of time to watch Rick publicly execute Pete in the middle of Alexandria. Morgan's reaction to Rick's actions is easily one of the most exciting plot threads heading into season six.
Forget The Zombies, Fear The WolvesAMC
The walkers are horrifying, but "Walking Dead" constantly stresses how much worse the people are in a world without rules. The Governor, Shane, Gareth and the Terminus gang… the list goes on when it comes to awful people who almost ruined Rick's life. Now, a few new bad guys are in the mix, in the form of a murderous duo called The Wolves. We know very little about them, but they know a whole lot about our people, since they got their hands on Aaron's Alexandria recruitment material. Bad news for everyone.
One Last Thing...AMC
This show is gross. Really, really, really gross. Proceed with caution.