‘The Walking Dead’: What Do the Letters A & B Mean?

Jadis A or B

AMC Jadis A or B

Tonight on The Walking Dead, Season 9 Episode 3, we learned a little bit more about Jadis (aka Anne) and what she’s been up to since the Junkyard shut down. Last week she saw a helicopter, which reminded people that she has a deal set up with a mysterious group. While talking with Gabriel tonight, she talked a lot about “A” and “B” people, which has left fans with quite a few questions. What you might not realize is that “A” has been a recurring theme on The Walking Dead. Even Daryl once was branded with the letter A. NOTE: Scroll to the end of this story for a recap from Season 9 Episode 5 on the latest we learned about As and Bs that throws some of these guesses a bit off. 

First, here’s a brief recap of what happened with Jadis on Episode 3. Anne had a conversation on a secret walkie-talkie in the junkyard with the group that’s behind the helicopter. She asked them if they took the missing Saviors. They responded: “No pickups. But the deal still stands – will you have an ‘A’ or a ‘B’?’ She asked, “What will it take?” And they responded, “An A.” After Gabriel confronted her because he overheard the conversation, she said that she traded people (As and Bs) for supplies for her people. After Gabriel refuses to come with her, she knocks him out. “Funny, I always thought you were a B,” she says, implying that he’s actually an A.


Many Fans Think that ‘A’ Refers to Leaders  or Loyal People, Perhaps Alphas

Many fans currently think that “A” might refer to people who are leaders or “alphas.” Perhaps they are people who are less corruptible and more loyal. It seems odd that a group would want these people specifically, because it would also make them a lot less likely to go along with the group’s plan if they were kidnapped. They’d always be planning a way to revolt.

Others have suggested that A people are more defiant, and B people will follow more easily.

If A refers to alphas, then B would naturally refer to Betas. But this is just a theory. One person on Reddit has suggested that maybe B refers to people who are traitors, and they would use them for organ donations, where As are useful and loyal.

Some have suggested that it’s more about finding slave labor. But in that case, a “B” would be a better fit because they’d be less likely to revolt. However, this group clearly puts a higher value on “As.” I would guess that an A is a stronger person physically, but then Jadis’ reaction to Gabriel when he wouldn’t go along with her plan doesn’t make sense. So right now it seems to be more of a personality or internal fortitude type of thing.

There’s also a simpler theory, that A simply refers to people with Type A personalities and B refers to people with Type B personalities.


Will Jadis Try To Take Rick?

Jadis told Gabriel during their conversation in Episode 3 that she had planned to trade both Rick and Gabriel to these people in exchange for supplies. But at that time, Jadis thought she was trading Gabriel as a “B,” according to what she said later.

Maybe Jadis is going to later try to trade Rick as an “A,” and that will somehow lead to his final episode.

It’s unclear at this time who Jadis is communicating with. The Commonwealth might have the supplies to have a helicopter, but these actions don’t seem to mesh so great with the enlightened viewpoint we saw with the woman who gave Maggie the blueprints for a better society.

(SEE the end of this story for an update from Episode 5.)


Rick Was Put in a Storage Container in the Junkyard Labeled ‘A’

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The letter “A” has been a recurring theme on this show, going back for seasons. Some may be related to its usage by Jadis, and others may just be thematic.

When the Junkyard group captured Rick in Season 8 Episode 6, he was actually put in a storage container labeled “A.” This was definitely related to the “A” that Jadis is referring to now, while most of the As later on in this story are likely just thematic.


Sam Liked Using the ‘A’ Stamp in Alexandria

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In the photo above, you can see where Sam stamped Carol’s porch in Alexandria with “A.”

Both Rick and Jessie also got red stamps on their hands from Jessie’s son, Sam.

AMCJessie with an A

AMCRick with an A


The Terminus Car Was Labeled ‘A’ & Gareth Drew an ‘A’ on Gabriel’s Church

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The train car at Terminus was also labeled “A.” And Gareth drew an “A” on Father Gabriel’s church.

That even became a meme.

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This was a mark that the Terminus group used, which is an interesting parallel.


Daryl Wore an ‘A’ on His Shirt at the Sanctuary

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When Daryl was captured at the Sanctuary, he was put in white/dirty grey clothes with a big “A” painted on them. It was first introduced in Season 7 Episode 3. Over and over again during the episode, we saw people wearing white outfits with letters painted on them. Daryl was also forced to wear one of these shirts or uniforms, and his had “A” painted on it.

It appeared that people who weren’t wholly sold out for Negan were wearing those spray-painted uniforms. Daryl was wearing one and he was in the “breaking in” phase.

We had a lot of theories for this. (See Heavy’s story with theories here.) In the end, on the Season 7 Blu-Ray, Angela Kang (who wrote that episode and is now the showrunner), said that the letter simply meant “a**hole.” Each letter stood for a profane word, and the people were “just being juvenile,” she said.

As you can see, we’ve seen “A” a lot in The Walking Dead universe. Some of this may simply be thematic, although Jadis’ uses of “A” are definitely interconnected. But it’s also possible that whatever group Jadis has worked with has infiltrated itself among many factions in what’s left of this party of the United States, and that can be seen by “A” popping up in different places. Perhaps these people saw “A” used by the mystery group, and decided to then use it as a label for their own, different purposes later.


In Episode 5, We Learned that Rick Is a B

SPOILERS below.

At the end of Episode 5, we were in for quite a shock. Not only did we learn that our theories about Jadis and Rick were TRUE, but we also learned that Rick is not an A but a B. Wait, what? So A can’t mean leader or Type A, as some had guessed. B must be the superior type in some ways, although Jadis’ group is wanting more As than Bs. Why is Rick a B? Is it because he’s loyal and smart?

What do you think “A” and “B” mean? Let us know in the comments below.