Mercer Has a Greater Role to Play on 'The Walking Dead' (SPOILERS)

Actor Michael James Shaw plays new 'TWD' character Mercer, but who is Mercer? And how will he factor into the plot? Here's what we know so far.


Aug. 29 2021, Published 6:40 p.m. ET

Mercer, 'The Walking Dead.'
Source: AMC

Warning: this article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11.

Despite The Walking Dead (TWD) coming to an end, there are still a few more twists in the story left to tell. Actor Michael James Shaw (Avengers: Infinity War, Constantine) is no stranger to action and will appear in Season 11 as the mysterious Mercer.

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In The Walking Dead comics, Mercer was a General who eventually overthrows the Commonwealth to remake the community for the better.

However, Mercer's background in the show is a little different, so here's everything we know about his character and what his future on the show could hold.

Who is Mercer in 'The Walking Dead?'

Only two episodes into TWD's eleventh season, Mercer — which could be a first or last name, much like mononymous Negan is the leader of the Commonwealth military and holds a lot of sway with the community. His orange suit might seem strange, but the suit is a nod to the comics, where his armor was the only thing that set him apart from the community he holds dear.

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Mercer in 'The Walking Dead' comics.
Source: Image Comics

Mercer reveals at the end of Episode 2 that he is a West Point graduate, and despite holding a position of power in the Commonwealth, he doesn't entirely buy into their ideals.

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Den of Geek notes that Mercer's character is "an intelligent, sensitive person and realizes the social inequality is unsustainable long-term. He’s also just sick of having to act as Pamela’s rotten son Sebastian’s errand boy.

Mercer is just itching to stage a military coup, overthrow Pamela, and install a more equitable form of government for all of The Commonwealth’s 50,000 citizens.

Mercer in 'The Walking Dead.'
Source: AMC
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Angela Kang, the showrunner for The Walking Dead, also spoke to Den of Geek about actor Michael James Shaw's audition for Mercer, and it sounds like the character fans will see onscreen will be just as multi-layered as his comics counterpart.

"His audition was so interesting,” Angela said. "He was able to play unpredictable. He was able to play vulnerable. He could do everything from A to B. He’s just a lot of fun to watch on screen. I think he’s bringing a lot to that role."

Mercer in 'The Walking Dead.'
Source: AMC
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As many fans know, The Commonwealth is an almost utopian set of communities that totals nearly 50,000 people. The Commonwealth is by far the largest society introduced in TWD and needs a lot of management to keep functional.

Much like real society, there's a divide in the Commonwealth between the haves and have-nots that fans are hoping they will see Mercer attempt to set right.

The Walking Dead might be nearing the end of its comics material, but that doesn't mean the end of the storyline. Fans can look forward to more political intrigue within The Commonwealth this season and will hopefully get to witness Mercer's revolution for themselves.

The Walking Dead airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET only on AMC or stream early through AMC+.

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