Your Own “Walking Dead” Location Tour — Season 4: The Prison Days

 

And welcome once again to Cassidy’s Really Dirt Cheap Tours of The Walking Dead Filming Locations! So far we’ve visited locations for Seasons 1, 2, and 3, and today we’re heading into Season 4–

But we’re doing it a little differently this time.  See, Season 4 was the first season where certain things happened throughout the first half of the season, then we went into the holiday break and when we came back, the characters were pretty much doing something else. This means there was a increase in the number of areas where The Walking Dead filmed, and that means if I were to cram everything into one post, it’s gonna be hella long.

So I’m going to look at the first part of Season 4, which I’ll call The Prison Days, since that’s where the majority of the action occurred.  And that’s what we’re looking at: all the locations used in bringing about the Prison Story for Season 4.

Note: The Wayback Machine is set for Late 2013, so we can get an idea of what everything looked like at the time Season 4 was filmed and aired.

Season 4 Shooting Locations Part 1.

 

The Big Spot (GPS: 33.25967, -84.29014)

A bunch of the gang–Daryl, Michonne, Sasha, Bob, Tyreese, and the red shirts who’ll get eaten by zombies–make a run to The Big Spot, which was actually an abandoned store in northwest Griffin just off US 41. The building is now being used by a local college.

 

Back at The Prison
Crops (GPS: 33.288623, -84.523954)
Pig Pen and Horse Enclosure (GPS: 33.288718, -84.524347)

Rick Visits the Strange Woman’s Campsite (GPS: 33.287934, -84.521679)
Rick, Daryl, and the Four Little Pigs (GPS: 33.288736, -84.523374)

Things at the prison became a bit more homey and this meant adding an enclosure for pigs and horses as well as having crops. The crops were legit: they were planted four month before filming began and were nearly taken out by deer. The cast and crew would actually eat items from the garden during lunch breaks.

During 30 Days Without an Incident Rick encounters a strange woman who wants Rick to help her husband and her… little does she know she’s dealing with Borderline Crazy Rick and it doesn’t go well. The campsite was set up to the south of the studio on the shore of the lake where various scenes are filmed.

Later in the episode Rick and Daryl take the sick piglets out and use them to lure walkers away from the fence so they can prop them up better. This is done in the field to the east of the set. Trivia: The ASPCA was on set for the “pig cutting” scene to make sure no harm came to the piglets and indicated they were extremely pleased how AMC used digital effects to make it appear the piglets were maimed and left to be eaten.

 

Daryl, Michonne, Bob, and Tyreese Drive To Find Meds (GPS: 33.27969, -84.55612)

Daryl, Michonne, Bob, and Tyreese head out to find meds that can be used to keep their people from dying due to a mutated flu virus. They’re heading north on Dolly Nixon Road, just a few miles south of Senoia.

 

Daryl’s Car Overrun (GPS: 33.45555, -84.89959)

Just after hearing the first radio message from Terminus the car is overrun by a large herd of walkers and the group is forced to abandon the Dodge and get the hell out of. This is done on Dyer Road near a large power plant which is replaced with a college by CGI. This location is northwest of Newnan and some 23 mi/37 km west of where they were seen driving earlier.

 

Rick and Carol On a Supply Run (GPS: 33.29057, -84.53666)

Since we having visited Crook Road in a while it’s time to get that fix! Rick and Carol turn off of Chestlehurst Road–coming from the direction of the studio–and head south on Crook Road.

 

Rick and Carol’s Big Adventure
Rick and Carol Drive Through The Crossroads (GPS: 33.26338, -84.29563)
Rick and Carol Looking For Stuff… and Things (GPS: 33.26651, -84.29621)

Rick Spots the Walkers (GPS: 33.26709, -84.29584)
Rick And Carol Split (GPS: 33.26722, -84.29546)

Here are all the locations where Rick and Carol enter a subdivision looking meds and other goods and find a couple of crazy kids who probably would have been better off dying of hunger locked in a bathroom. At the end of this little expedition Rick laughingly tells Carol to get the fuck out because she killed two people trying to prevent the spread of the flu and Rick doesn’t feel safe around her any more. This is the same Rick Grimes who we’ll later see suggesting throat slitting as a way to get shit done…  Trivia: This development is about a five minute drive from The Big Spot location.

 

Rick Heads Home; Serpents Run
Spot One (GPS: 33.2624, -84.53319)
Spot Two (GPS: 33.2867, -84.53684)

Spot Three (GPS: 33.26234, -84.30171)

After ditching Carol Rick drives back to the prison while Serpents plays during the outro and sends thousands of people to search for the song on Spotify and YouTube. Rick drives down three separate locations.  The first is on Dead Oak Road due south of the studio and quite close to where a rather iconic moment will occur later in the season. The second is on Crook Road.  And the third is on W Ellis Road just a short distance from the development where he abandoned Carol.

 

Daryl, Tyreese, Michonne, and Bob Find A Ride (GPS: 33.26338, -84.29563)

After wandering around for a while, Daryl, Tyreese, Michonne, and Bob snag a ride at a gas station located on the corner of Deep South Road and Johnson Road. This location is only a mile and a quarter due west of the location used for the campsite at the end of Season 2.

 

Daryl, Tyreese, Michonne, And Bob Find Medicine (GPS: 33.753848, -84.29563)

Medicine is finally discovered and with the exception of Daryl almost beating Bob’s ass over some booze, everything goes smoothly.  Filming returned to Atlanta as these scenes were filmed in an abandoned building on the grounds of Morris Brown College.

 

Daryl, Bob, Tyreese, and Michonne Drive Back With The Medicine (GPS: 33.2638, -84.30587)

And here we are back on W Ellis Road about a quarter mile from where we last saw Rick driving home after kicking Carol to the curb.  Hey, may as well use that road while you got it closed.

 

Fence Come Down, Zombies Come In (GPS: 33.289048, -84.523906)
Rick and Carl’s Zombie Last Stand (GPS: 33.289163, -84.524326)

Before everyone arrives back with meds and good vibes the fences finally give way and Rick and Carl grab some automatic weapons and guard the Hot Gates against the zombie horde. If you ever managed to sneak onto the Raleigh Studio lot, you can use a GPS app to find these locations.

 

The Governor Makes Camp (GPS: 33.23691, -84.56265)

Of course, we discover that The Governor is still alive, because of course he is.  And that means we need to learn what happened to that asshole after he gunned down everyone.  Well, the first thing he does is make camp and discover come morning that his remaining two friend left him to die, but you know he’s not going to croak that easy.  If this location seem familiar, it’s because this is the same spot where in Season 3 The Gov gunned down all those military people.

 

Note: I know I bitch about The Governor getting away and how he should have died, but in the graphic novel the bastard had nine lives as well. In actuality Michonne had two opportunities to kill him and didn’t. The first time she tortures the shit out of him in a scene that HBO probably would have not wanted to film, cutting off his arm and removing his eye and, um, another body part as well–but doesn’t kill him. Later, during the big Woodbury assault on the prison, Michonne and Tryeese went out in riot gear and began making hit and run attacks on The Governor’s people.

And then this happened:

 

Michonne has a MACHINE GUN pressed against The Governor’s HEAD and DOESN’T KILL HIM!  Oh, she blows open his left cheek, but she doesn’t KILL HIM!  I swear, Kirkman really wanted to get Rick and Company the hell out of that prison and was gonna make sure the Governor did the deed.

 

Message Barn (GPS: 33.21269, -84.35312)

The Governor stops in the middle of his travels and find a barn with the sides covered in messages for Brian, whose name he steals. This barn is southwest of Griffin on Rover Zettella Road and should still be there, even though the last street view we have of it is from July, 2013.

 

The Governor Avoids a Walker (GPS: 33.24642, -84.2664)
The Governor Collapses (GPS: 33.24568, -84.2689)

Now we’re back in downtown Griffin with the Governor walking down Meriwether Street where he avoids a walked just across the street from a Bugger King and later, at the intersection of Weriwether, W Poplar, and South 10th Streets, he sees a Gorbelli Foods truck and a little girl looking out of a window at him. The girl is Megan, Lily’s daughter and Tara’s niece, and right about now she should start thinking about the quality time she’s gonna spend with Teddy Bear Girl and Sophia, ’cause this is The Walking Dead.

 

The Governor Finds Oxygen (GPS: 33.38291, -84.80118)
The Governor Buries Lilly and Tara’s Father (GPS: 33.38291, -84.80118)

It’s back over the Newnan and the former Piedmont Heart Institute off Carmichael Street for the location of the assisted living home where the Governor finds oxygen for Lilly and Tara’s father. The scene of him being buried happens just to the south off Carmichael.

 

The Governor, Lilly, Tara, and Megan on the Road
Scene 1 (GPS: 33.21638, -84.33825)
Scene 2 (GPS: 33.21073, -84.33681)
Scene 3 (GPS: 33.21224, -84.35027)
Scene 3 (GPS: 33.21173, -84.35036)

We get four scenes of The Governor and the Chambler’s (Tara’s family name) on the road in the Gorbelli Foods truck. There are four scenes of note: the first two are filmed on Maloy Road west of Griffin–

 

And the next two scenes are on Rover Zettella Road, only nine hundred feet/two hundred and seventy-five meters east of the Message Barn.

 

The Governor, Lilly, Tara, and Meghan Flee Walkers (GPS: 33.32995, -84.63356)
The Walker Pit (GPS: 33.33215, -84.6356)

The Gov Group flee walkers at the intersection of N Hunter Street, N Road, and Odom Road. The pit The Governor and Megan fall into is located in a nearby field. Believe it or not, this walker pit is two-thirds of a mile/one kilometer due west of the walker pit used by Woodbury.

 

The New Encampment (?) (GPS: 33.32995, -84.63356)

Though this is only a guess on my part, based upon how the site looks were we find Martinez’s group eventually settling, it’s a good bet it was filmed here on studio property just to the east of the prison set.  This would allow AMC to bring in the tank and not have to move it around a lot.

 

The Governor Sees A Dock (GPS: 33.32995, -84.63356)

This was also filmed at the Raleigh Studio lake, where The Governor sees a dock that he know he can put to good use later.

 

The Governor, Martinez, Pete, and Mitch Find A Cabin (GPS: 33.32995, -84.63356)

The cabin is located on private property a bit north of the studio and due west of the location of The Farm. The lake cabin found by Rick, Michonne, and Daryl when they were headed to Woodbury is just to the south and the open field on the left was used for the helicopter crash site in Season 3.

 

The Governor and Martinez Play Golf (GPS: 33.332187, -84.635764)

This is where The Gov and Martinez are hitting a few balls while drinking and everything is great until The Governor clubs Martinez and throws him in the walker pit, probably taking a two stroke penalty for his action.

 

The Governor Dumps Pete’s Body (GPS: 33.32995, -84.63356)
The Governor Watches Pete (GPS: 33.33215, -84.6356)

While we head back to the Raleigh Studio lake for the scene where Pete’s body is dumped in the lake, the underwater scenes with Pete being watched by The Governor were filmed at the Glenloch Recreation Center pool on Stevens Entry in Peachtree City.

 

The Governor Leaves Lilly and Megan (GPS: 32.85302, -84.48344)
Megan Attacked (GPS: 32.8531, -84.48362)

Before the final assault on the prison The Governor leaves Lilly and Megan at a “safe spot” near a river, thinking walkers can’t cross open water. Of course, this is The Walking Dead and it demands a little girl sacrifice, so Megan gets bit. This was filmed at Sprewell Bluff Park on the banks of the Flint River. Trivia: Until Season 7 this was the farthest south The Walking Dead filmed.

 

The Final Assault
The Governor and His Gang of Idiots Attack the Prison (GPS: 33.288604, -84.523619)
R.I.P Herschel (GPS: 33.288672, -84.523700)
Maggie Speaks to Beth For the Last Time (GPS: 33.288898, -84.525072)
Don’t Look Back, Carl: Just Keep Walking (GPS: 33.287947, -84.524970)

And then we come down to the last traumatic scene, where The Governor and his assembled forces attack the prison after killing Hershel. The blue line shows the path of the tank, leaded up to where it’s blown up in the most bullshit way possible (if it can fire 90mm rounds out of its cannon, a grenade isn’t gonna do jack shit to it), but given this was the dumbest assault ever–yeah, I wanna take over a place by blowing it to hell–what can one expect?  We see the place where Maggie and Beth speak, not knowing then it was the last time.  And we also have the last spot where we see Rick and Carl walking away after finding Judith’s carrier empty and bloody, and Rick’s last works are “Don’t look back, Carl: just keep walking.”

 

Personal Note: Throughout Seasons 3 and the first half of 4 we went through so many different changes with The Gang as they lost old friends and made new ones. And for those of us who knew the graphic novel, we knew the confrontation with The Governor would come to a head and the prison would fall.

One of the biggest changes to come to the Prison Story were the people who died and how they died.  That means going to the graphic novel and, in a few instances, showing some rather gory stuff.  But you’ve seen zombies getting blown apart on a regular basis, so you’re good with it, right?

First off… Carol dies.  First she starts a relationship with Tyreese–yes, he came to the group early–then loses him when Michonne shows up. She tries to convince Lori and Rick they should have a polygamist marriage, but that goes over about a well as you’d expect. So she heads out into the yard where a walker is tied up for study–yeah, really–and starts talking:

 

And finds she made a new friend.

 

Suicide by walker.  Sophia, who is alive and is still alive in the graphic novel, ends up becoming the ward of Dale and Andrea, all of whom are dead on the show by the end of mid-Season 4. Shit happens.

Tyreese… remember I said during the final attack on the prison Tyreese and Michonne were out doing hit and run attacks?  Well, Tyreese gets captured and the Governor decides he needs to make an example of him for Rick:

You have to love Rick saying, “Just think about Michonne getting way.” No fucks given about Tyreese.

Since Hershel didn’t get his head cut off, what happened to him?  First off, let’s keep in mind that Maggie wasn’t an only child: in fact, she had a huge family and saw a few of them die at The Farm. Once they were at the prison–She, Hershel, her brother Billy, and her two twin sisters–things went to hell. The sisters were killed by a nutcase right away–it was the discovery of their animated heads that made everyone realize you turned when you died–and during the final assault her brother Billy was killed with a bullet to the head. This happens right in front of Hershel and it breaks him, so much so that when The Governor’s forces enter the prison he makes no attempt to defend himself.  In fact:

Yeah, not quite the honorable death you’d imagine for Herschel.

And last of all, Lori.  Yes, she survived childbirth and Judith turned out to be a lovely, healthy baby. 

 

Ah, but this is The Walking Dead and it’s hard to let little girls live. It came down to Rick, Lori, Carl, and Judith being among the last to leave the prison. Lori was running with Judith in her arm and was almost away, but The Governor saw her and ordered a person to stop them.  And that scene went down like so:

And this is why Rick told Carl not to look back: he didn’t want him to see his mother and sister–whose body and skull Lori crushed when she fell on her–dead.  On the show, however, Judith is the only member of the Grimes Family alive–or so we’re told–and she’s grown up to become a little bad ass. Or so we expect.

Now that the first part of Season 4 is out of the way, it’s time to get into the back half of Season 4. And get ready to head out on the road…

 

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