Warning: Potential Walking Dead comic spoilers lie in the images used.
With the recent introduction of the Hilltop and Kingdom communities in #TheWalkingDead, die hard fans have been hanging out for the day we eventually get to lay eyes on the ultimate community - Negan's compound.
So, while Episode 3, "The Cell" was light on action, we finally got our wish to see Negan's home, showing a surprisingly establish set up, but also a structure that doesn't seem to house very many truly happy residents.
In the comic series, Negan's compound goes by the name "The Sanctuary," and the whole place is a very intimidating - so how similar to the comic version did the TV version get? Take a look:
The walker security system
In the comic series, The Sanctuary is actually a massive abandoned factory. The factory has large smoke stacks, and an exterior staircase, however the most interesting feature has to be the elaborate security system that ensures The Sanctuary is safe from sneak attacks.
Outside the main fence of the base is a number of chained and impaled walkers and sprinkled between them are a number of concrete barriers. Between the walkers and the barriers, the Saviors have created only one very specific path for vehicles or people to take in order to safely reach the gates to the compound. Because it's confusing to navigate, it means the guards have plenty of time to take out any unwanted guests.
The TV series has obviously taken this security method straight from the comic series, and we saw a number of workers rearranging the walkers. They even used a rather ingenious technique - covering the walkers head with a bucket while they were transported, and removing the bucket when the walker was in the correct position, thus minimizing risk of a bite.
Though the TV series has replicated the security system, it's still not clear whether or not Negan's compound is inside such an imposing factory as it is in the comics. I guess we'll have to wait to see from Rick's perspective sometime in the future (fingers crossed!).
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Despite comic book Negan living in what could be considered the lap of luxury for post-apocalypse times, the Negan in the TV series seems to be living a lot more modestly. Granted, the bedroom might have actually belonged to Dwight, but something tells me that the TV show will probably give Negan more realistic living quarters than the plush ones he has in the comics.
Meanwhile, Episode 3 also gave us a glimpse at where those who work for points live, and to be honest it doesn't look very comfortable at all. Almost like a soldiers barracks, or refugee camp, the residents of the compound who work to collect points seem to have a single cot and a trunk at the end for their belongings (which even then, could be taken by someone like Dwight at any moment). They're also probably divided up by family groups or some sort of system, given that the pregnant couple whose mustard and pickles Dwight took were living in area 39.
Much of Episode 3 was spent inside the dark, miserable cell that Daryl was locked in. This was actually an area of the Sanctuary that we haven't seen in the comics, and from the hallways we saw near the cells it looks like they're in a rather isolated part of the base (which is a good thing considering how many times they blasted "Easy Street"). The cells themselves are not exactly set up to hold prisoners, and were probably large-ish supply closets prior to the apocalypse, given that they don't appear to have any windows. One thing is for sure - they looked totally miserable and hopefully Daryl can make it out and to his own cot very soon.
This was another area that hasn't been shown in the comics, but it seem natural that although the Saviors get most of their supplies from the surrounding communities, they also need to grow some of their own.
It also provided a nice little insight into just how far ahead of Alexandria all the surrounding communities are. While the idea of crops seem to have just occurred to the residents of Alexandria (after the arrival of Rick and co), it's clear that at the Kingdom, Hilltop and the Savior's base, gardens have been established for some time.
The factory floor
In the comic series it looks as though what was formerly the main work space in the factory had been turned into a mess hall/common room area for the residents. In the very background are ping pong tables, there seems to be a bunch of people eating, and even two people fighting.
In the TV series it looks like the compound has set up the main floor with an area for the points workers to earn their keep. Though we only see the area briefly, it's clear there's a bakery at one end, as well what looks to be a supply shop - possibly where the workers can exchange their points for goods.
Storage and bike parking
An area that has never been shown in the comics, was the outdoor courtyard area where the motorcycles were parked, which also held spare lumber and steel. Though it looked to have been used as a driveway at some point, the entrance was now closed off with a very secure looking gate which would have made it difficult for Daryl to escape through, even if he did manage to get a bike started.
The birds eye view did allow us to see that perhaps the compound in the show won't be quite as imposing as it is in the comics, with at least one of the buildings only being single story. But, as all Walking Dead viewers will know after the menace that was the Governor, you don't necessarily need an imposing home base to scare people if you yourself are one evil son of a bitch.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 4, "Service" on November 13 at 9pm ET.
What did you think of Negan's compound - better than Alexandria, the Hilltop or the Kingdom?