Who Is Major General Beale: The Walking Dead’s Biggest Villain Yet Explained

By Kyle McLeod Published 6 hours ago

The Ones Who Live’s first episode introduced Major General Beale, and the CRM leader looks as though he’ll be The Walking Dead’s biggest villain yet.

Who Is Major General Beale: The Walking Dead's Biggest Villain Yet Explained


  • Major General Beale is introduced as a potential major villain in The Walking Dead universe, with ties to the CRM.
  • Beale's backstory includes his son Mason in a different Civic Republic facility, adding a layer of complexity to his character.
  • Beale holds a position of authority as the leader of the CRM, showing signs of a powerful and potentially ruthless character.


Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode 1 of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.Major General Beale was introduced in episode 1 of The Ones Who Live and could be a major villain going forward in The Walking Dead universe. Since debuting in 2010, The Walking Dead has had countless antagonists between the main series and the spinoffs, but Major General Beale has already made a big impression. His involvement in the first episode may have been limited, but Beale's association with the CRM instantly elevates his importance. Despite The Ones Who Live being his first appearance, Beale has had a presence in the universe long before Rick and Michonne's spinoff.

Beale's limited screen time hasn't prevented The Walking Dead from revealing information about him and the CRM. Terry O'Quinn's performance in the first episode instantly offers an idea as to what kind of villain Beale will be, and his previous actions in the franchise help paint a picture of how menacing he may become. The character's introduction indicates Beale could be Rick Grimes' most complex villain yet, with the protagonist referring to him as "sir." While he hasn't appeared overly threatening on screen, he clearly commands respect and there is plenty more to know about The Ones Who Live's villain.

What The Walking Dead Has Revealed About Major General Beale's Backstory

The Walking Dead Already Revealed Some Of Beale's Backstory In Another Spinoff

Who Is Major General Beale: The Walking Dead's Biggest Villain Yet Explained

While there is already a lot of information about Major General Beale, the franchise has remained tight-lipped about his backstory. He was first mentioned in The Walking Dead: World Beyond, which did provide some critical information about the character. The spinoff introduced his son, Mason, who is part of a different Civic Republic facility. This reveal in World Beyond could impact The Ones Who Live, especially if Rick is looking for leverage over him. World Beyond has already done something similar, with the show's protagonists using Mason as a hostage to try and escape the facility unharmed.

Having a son is the best-known aspect of Major General Beale's pre-apocalypse story, but The Ones Who Live did expand on the character's history. When he sits down to talk with Rick, Beale mentions he was part of the Pennsylvania National Guard as the outbreak happened. This explains his military background and why he has so much experience as part of the CRM. While Beale only mentions his military role in passing, it also provides an insight into his overall demeanor. He mentions how the National Guard required sacrifice, luck, and calm, which are traits Beale seems to have adopted.

The Ones Who Lives airs Sundays on AMC and AMC+.

Major General Beale's Rank & Leadership Role In The CRM

Major General Beale Has A Huge Role In The CRM

Who Is Major General Beale: The Walking Dead's Biggest Villain Yet Explained

Despite Beale's backstory having a lot of unknowns, his CRM role is clear. The CRM is The Walking Dead's most powerful group yet and Beale is its leader. His Major General title already gives a pretty clear idea of how high his ranking is, but the respect and discipline shown by other soldiers towards him proves he's the one in charge. This means he is in control of the Civic Republic's secrecy and security, having the responsibility of keeping the huge group safe. He may run the military, but Beale doesn't have control over the Civic Republic as a whole.

His authority may seem unchallenged based on his soldiers' respect, but The Ones Who Live's opening titles suggest this may not be true. In the opening titles, a newspaper article has the headline "Majority of CRC Candidates Call for Oversight of CRM", which indicates there is a power struggle between the Civic Republic and its military. Some people within the Civic Republic's hierarchy may have learned about some of the CRM's secrets, but it is unlikely Beale will let go of his power easily and will want to remain in full control of the CRM.

What Crimes Major General Beale Has Already Committed In The Walking Dead

The CRM Has Committed Some Awful Crimes Under Beale's Command

Who Is Major General Beale: The Walking Dead's Biggest Villain Yet Explained

The Ones Who Live hasn't shown many signs that Beale is a villain in its opening episode, but he has committed some major crimes in the past. World Beyond highlighted that despite the Civic Republic's good intentions, the CRM are ruthless in their quest to achieve it. Although the CRM never attacked Rick's group in The Walking Dead, they have killed many innocent groups in the name of protection. To keep the Civic Republic secretive and safe, Beale has ordered many assaults. This resulted in the CRM wiping out Omaha and the Campus Colony, with Portland also in their crosshairs.

Taking out their own communities is something Beale oversaw, making his condemnation of napalm attacks ironic. He acted sympathetic to Rick, who revealed what happened to Atlanta, but it seems likely Beale may have done the same thing. The CRM has also conducted experiments on people, using their A and B system to determine who will be subjects for their research. This is essentially a death sentence, and Beale's involvement in these attacks and experiments shows just how many crimes he's already committed.

How Major General Beale Is Different Compared To Any Other Walking Dead Villain

Major General Beale Is The Walking Dead's Biggest Villain Yet


The Walking Dead has had a plethora of villains throughout its run, but Major General Beale feels completely unique. There have been countless community leaders, with the likes of The Governor and Negan both commanding their own groups of people. These villains were memorable and also showed the protagonists how to fight against large communities with ruthless leaders. However, not only does Beale lead a much larger group, but his status isn't played up to quite as much, despite his title. Negan and The Governor treated their people as inferior at times, which is something Beale hasn't done.

In terms of rank, Major General Beale is certainly above his people, but he doesn't treat his soldiers as lesser than him on a human level. Pamela and Sebastian Milton were antagonists who ran the Commonwealth with a level of elitism and looked down on their community, but they weren't nearly as threatening as Beale and the CRM. The Miltons didn't command the same authority as Beale and weren't capable fighters, making them much less intimidating. The Commonwealth's smaller size, less loyal soldiers, and poorer technology all make Beale's CRM much more menacing.

Commanding the CRM to kill innocent people while also approving experiments on living people shows how twisted Beale truly is.

Beale's villainous side comes from his actions rather than his demeanor. Commanding the CRM to kill innocent people while also approving experiments on living people shows how twisted Beale truly is and will claim many lives to ensure his people are safe. While Beale doesn't come across as detestable from his personality, he is responsible for countless deaths and, with the backing of the CRM behind him, he is easily more powerful than any of the franchise's previous villains, which will be a huge problem for Rick and Michonne in The Ones Who Live.

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March 31

Release Date February 25, 2024 Cast Andrew Lincoln , Danai Gurira , Pollyanna McIntosh , Lesley-Ann Brandt , Terry O'Quinn Seasons 1 Writers Scott M. Gimple , Danai Gurira Network AMC Streaming Service(s) AMC+ Franchise(s) The Walking Dead Showrunner Scott M. Gimple

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