One of the strangest items taken from Alexandria by Negan and the Saviors were the community’s mattresses, but it served a greater, most sinister purpose.

In the fourth episode of The Walking Dead‘s new season, Negan and the Saviors came knocking at Alexandria. Even though half of the supplies had been set aside, Negan sent the Saviors door-to-door to take whatever they liked. In addition to taking all of the guns and medicine (among other things), they also took the mattresses from every house.

Mattresses seemed like a strange thing to take. If one had to guess, it made sense that maybe mattresses were hard to come by in the apocalypse. Maybe the Saviors needed them for their own people.

Then, at the very end of the episode, Michonne discovered the mattresses on the side of the road. At least, she found what was left of them. Negan and the Saviors had piled them and burned them.

Enslavement

Actress Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, spoke about the significance of that event.

Danai Gurira as Michonne in The Walking Dead episode 'Service'Image Credit: AMC

“She said she was going to try because she knew [Rick] needed her and she knew that this was the only way he could envision moving forward,” says Gurira. “She still isn’t convinced, but out of respect and love for him, she said she’d try. Going back out there alone was a way to gather her thoughts, but then finding those mattresses tips her completely away from the ability to accept because they didn’t take those mattresses to use.

They took them to mess with them and break them down further. They’re playing psychological warfare. They’re continuing their enslavement process of their new subjects and this is one of their strategies. How do you cooperate with people whose goal it is to enslave you? That’s where she is at the end of the episode. To see those mattresses is unequivocally a direct manifestation of their objective.”

Love and Joy

The Walking Dead cast has always been known as a very close family. Gurira says despite the dark nature of this new season, they try and find joy in each other.

“We’ve started to work very separately now since the Season 7 Premiere, so all of the characters are scattered and we’re not always around each other that much as we shoot,” says Gurira. “The show has always dealt with dire and high stakes, and we’ve always found a way to have joy on set in the midst of it.

“Jeffrey Dean Morgan is great at playing the role he plays, but also at being a joyful guy — ironically.” [Laughs] 

“We’ve always been family and we take care of each other. There are times when you can’t keep it light because you’ve got to go where the character goes and stay there and there are times you can always get love and joy from each other. We’re always available to each other for that.”