AnnaFinally, The Walking Dead is back, and with quite a chilling episode. In No Way Out no new character is introduced, but one of the many people we saw in Now has finally been given a name: Anna, portrayed by Vanessa Cloke. In Now, she was one of the many Alexandrians who tried to steal food from the pantry, ignoring Olivia‘s prohibition, and who got convinced by Spencer to return the food. This time, we see her as she listens to Gabriel Stokes‘ words about defending their home from the herd of zombies invading it, and she takes care of Judith Grimes while most of the others go out to repel the undead. In the comics, for once, she’s a very different character, definitely younger, with a completely different role in the story and different ties and relations. Let’s see together.

As for many others, not much is known about Anna’s life before the Outbreak. When everything started, when the dead began to come back hungry for the flesh of the living, Anna was little more than a child. It’s unknown if her parents survived the first wave, but considering how long she survived the apocalypse, it’s more than likely that she was in company of some adults. Her life in the first days of the Outbreak remain pretty much a mystery: one possibility is that she arrived early in the Alexandria Safe-Zone, the fortified residential area that welcomed many survivors and tried to recreate a pre-apocalypse world hiding behind walls. In this case, she witnessed the chrisis of the government of Douglas Monroe, one of the community’s founders, and she survived the war with The Ravagers, the invasion of a massive herd and the brutal, bloody war with The Saviors, with the latter being an event that forced the entire community to reinvent itself and to find new ways to survive in a world they couldn’t possibly ignore anymore. Another possibility is that she reached the Safe-Zone immediately after the war with The Saviors, in a period of annacomics1relative peace that lasted for over two years: in this other case, she found a safe shelter, some sort of oasis in the midst of chaos, in the Safe-Zone, a community that was rebuilding itself, reborn from its own ashes, and stronger than ever before. As before The Saviors, Alexandrians tried to live a normal life similar to the one they lived before everything occured, but this time they knew they couldn’t ignore the outside world, and balanced the everyday life with the necessity of defending themselves under the leadership of Rick Grimes.

As all her peers, Anna attended the school of the Safe-Zone, where she befriended other girls and boys her age. Time passed, and from a girl Anna became a teenager…with all the changes and the desires typical of her age. Anna wanted to be popular among the guys in her school, so one day she invited some of her classmates to her house (among these there was also the boy she liked, Carl Grimes, and his best friend Mikey). Seeking attention and popularity, she bared her breast in front of them, quickly becoming the most talked girl in the school (and the most wanted by guys). Unfortunately, her “plan” backfired: among all the guys present to her little striptease, she only wanted to impress Carl, but because of her exhibition he started to look at her with suspicion, avoiding her when he could. She had obtained exactly the opposite result of what she wanted. Despite Carl’s indifference towards her, Anna believed she had all the time in the world to make him fall in love with her, but after some months the Grimes decided to leave Alexandria to move to the Hilltop Colony, a farming community that the Alexandrians had freed from the Saviors. Apparently, there was not that much time, so Anna brought her last resort on: she wrote a letter to Carl, declaring all her love and admiration for him in it. She gave him the letter the moment he was about to leave annacomics2Alexandria, telling him he should have read it once he arrived to Hilltop. Carl thanked her, and Anna started teasing him asking him who his girlfriend was…but eventually the boy left town, and Anna stayed behind (Rick, careful not to be heard, affectionally mocked his son for the “love letter”, without actually knowing that was indeed a love letter). Carl read the letter, but never answered it: that was an answer by itself, as Anna understood pretty well… However, another upcoming war, this time against the creepy Whisperers, would have soon put the girl in front of more pressing matters.

Anna is a normal girl her age, with all the problems, the contraddictions and the overwhelming emotions of a teenager. Despite being renowned among the Alexandrian boys for a flashing of her breast, she developed an exclusive crush over Carl Grimes, probably just because he’s the only boy not to be interested in her…


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