Courtesy of The Walking Dead: Dead City, there’s a new Hilltop in the Walking Dead universe. One of the two most important locations in the main show, Hilltop is continuing to be relevant in the franchise. From the looks of things, the Hilltop settlement will play a key role in the story currently unfolding in Negan and Maggie’s Walking Dead spinoff.
Even though a handful of the franchise’s main characters had confirmed futures on other shows, there was no evidence that communities like Hilltop would ever appear again. After all, all the returning characters have new adventures to embark on, thus making familiar locations seemingly unnecessary for the stories. One Walking Dead spinoff, though, is continuing to use Hilltop, albeit with some serious changes. Reintroduced in The Walking Dead: Dead City episode 2, Hilltop has been relocated in the Walking Dead universe. Here’s what’s known about the new version of Maggie’s home in Dead City.
Why Hilltop Is Somewhere Else In The Walking Dead: Dead City
Maggie confirmed in The Walking Dead: Dead City series premiere that the Hilltop was rebuilt elsewhere in the aftermath of the main show’s ending. Based on comments from the character, at least part of the motivations for the move can be attributed to the Whisperers destroying it in season 10. When Negan was still trying to earn Alpha’s trust, he helped the Whisperers burn it to the ground. Maggie spent most of season 11 trying to salvage the community, and by the Walking Dead series finale, it appeared she was successful in reviving the Hilltop. At the time, it was assumed that the Hilltop was rebuilt (just where it was to begin with), but that doesn’t seem to be the case in Dead City.
It’s possible that Maggie and other leadership figures at Hilltop agreed prior to rebuilding the settlement that a new location would be beneficial to their people. Such a change would result in the Hilltop distancing themselves from Alexandria, but that may not have been considered a problem. Clearly, it has plenty of neighbors nearby. The New Babylon Federation, including its capital city, is implied to be quite close to the Hilltop’s borders, as Maggie was shown driving past a New Babylon sign shortly before dropping off Ginny at her new home. Also, moving the Hilltop closer to civilization could have been deemed good for trade, and a greater abundance of resources may have been a consideration as well.
How New Hilltop Compares To The Walking Dead’s Original Community
The new Hilltop has a similar aesthetic to its predecessor. As Maggie said in the first Dead City episode, it has “the same people” and “the same setup.” It still looks and feels like the Hilltop, in spite of the move, but some things are indeed different. It appears to be based out of a factory, as opposed to being built around a museum like the original version. Plus, it looks a bit bigger, meaning that it should be able to house a somewhat larger population.
Of course, the most significant change is its place on the Walking Dead map. Exactly where it is hasn’t been stated as of yet, but it’s clearly further north than the original Hilltop, which was located in Virginia. Since it’s in the proximity of New Babylon, a city not far removed from Manhattan, it’s likely in the state of New York. New Jersey is another possibility. Either state would make sense, considering how Dead City made light of Maggie and Negan’s journey from the Hilltop to Manhattan. Had they still been in Virginia, getting there should have been an adventure all on its own.
What About The Walking Dead’s Other Communities?
Whether it’s in New York or New Jersey, it’s obvious that the Hilltop is a great distance away from its original home. That means it’s no longer a neighbor to Alexandria, the central community in The Walking Dead franchise. This in turn isolates Maggie and Herschel from the majority of The Walking Dead’s characters, who are believed to live within the borders of Alexandria. If that’s true, Maggie and Herschel probably don’t see very much of characters like Carol, Lydia, Elijah, Ezekiel, and Aaron anymore.
However, that’s not to say that ties with Alexandria have been cut. Visits from familiar faces may be less frequent in the timeframe of The Walking Dead: Dead City, but the trip isn’t so long that it would be unmanageable. Trade deals may still be in place, allowing contact to continue. What makes that likely is the Hilltop school teacher introducing Ginny as an Oceanside resident. This moment confirmed that the Hilltop has maintained relations with its original allies. With that being the situation, the show’s story could easily feature guest appearances from The Walking Dead’s Alexandrians.