Season five joan
Actor Keisha Castle-Hughes
Gender Female
Hair Brown
Age Mid to late 20s
Occupation Unknown
Family Unknown
First Appearance "Slabtown"
Last Appearance "Slabtown"
Death Episode "Slabtown" (Alive and Zombified)
Cause of Death Cut open her own stitching to bleed herself out (Alive)
Put down by Dawn Lerner (Zombified)
Status Dead
Ethnicity Caucasian-American
Joan reanimates after reopening her stitches, causing herself to bleed out, committing suicide.
Joan (TV Series) Gallery
Keisha Castle-Hughes Gallery
"It's easy to make a deal with the devil when you're not the one paying the price."
—Joan to Beth Greene[src]

Joan is a character that appeared in Season 5 of AMC's The Walking Dead. She is a patient at Grady Memorial Hospital.


Joan is described as "A fierce spirit despite being petite of stature. She is defiant, independent, easily worked up. It's clear she has a haunted past, but she's kind to those who deserve it. And although she's self-aware enough to know when she's outmatched, she won't go down without a fight."[1]


Atlanta, Georgia

Nothing is known about Joan's life before or as the outbreak began. It is possible that she used to live in or near Atlanta before the outbreak.


Season 5


Joan is dragged down to a hospital room by Tanaka and Bello. Gorman calls for Dr. Steven Edwards to come into the room at Dawn Lerner's request. 

Joan is being held down and struggling in a hospital bed at Grady Memorial Hospital. She tried to escape the compound and was bitten outside. Joan, clearly traumatized, is rather willing to die than have her arm amputated. As Dawn and newcomer Beth Greene hold her down, Dr. Edwards cuts off her arm. 

As Beth is cleaning up Joan's blood in her hospital room, Joan compliments Beth's humming, calling it "really nice". Joan implies that Lerner is allowing Gorman to rape her.[2]

Later Beth finds Joan dead in Dawn's office. She had committed suicide by opening her stitching, ultimately resulting in her bleeding out. When Gorman attempts to sexually assault Beth, she knocks Gorman to the floor and a reanimated Joan rips out Gorman's neck. Beth then informs Dawn that Joan and Gorman went into her office. Dawn and Jefferies walk into the office and Joan attacks and kills Jefferies. Dawn then puts down a zombified Joan. When Beth and Noah are escaping the hospital, Joan's severed arm can be seen at the bottom of the elevator shaft.


Killed by

  • Herself (Suicide, Alive)

Joan, after having her arm amputated, goes into Dawn's office and cuts open her stitching; causing her to bleed out. She scratched the words "FUCK YOU" into the floor before dying.

After reanimating, Joan attacks Gorman. When Lerner enters her office with Jefferies, Joan attacks the two, killing Jefferies. Joan is then put down by Dawn.

Killed Victims

This list shows the victims Joan has killed:

  • Herself (Suicide, Alive)
  • Gorman (Infected, Alive)
  • Jeffries (Infected, Alive)
  • Numerous counts of zombies (off-screen)


Dawn Lerner

"We're not going to let you die, we are not going to let you turn."
—Dawn to Joan[src]

It is shown that Dawn cares about Joan's well being, as after she escapes the hospital and is bit, Dawn brings her back in to amputate her arm, and when she resists Dawn tells her that she's not going to let her turn and die. However Joan doesn't seem to care at all for Lerner presumably because she'd been raped and Dawn did nothing to stop it, as well as being a forced laborer for Lerner. Dawn is later forced to put down Joan after reanimating but after losing Jefferies.  


—Joan's carving on the ground, directed at Gorman in Dawn's office[src]

Joan is shown to despise Gorman, and presumably tries escaping the hospital as Gorman sexually abuses her. Gorman says that he'll make Joan his again, and after Joan has her arm amputated, Joan cut out her stitches so that she didn't have to be sexually abused by Gorman again, writing "FUCK YOU" into the floor directed at Gorman before killing herself. In an ironic turn, Joan kills Gorman when she reanimates when Beth smashes a glass jar into his head. This causes him to fall to the floor where Joan bites his neck and causes him to bleed out. 

Beth Greene

"I'm so sorry."
—Beth to Joan[src]

Beth and Joan had a stable relationship in the short time they knew each other. Dawn forces Beth to hold Joan down whilst being amputated which Beth later states she is sincerely sorry that it happened. Joan also compliments Beth's humming, calling it "really nice".


TV Series

Season 5


  • The casting call for this character used the name Amber.
  • Joan is the first and only character in the series to be portrayed by an Academy Award nominee (Keisha Castle-Hughes was nominated for the award of Best Actress in 2004 for her role in Whale Rider).

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