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It's easy to get people to follow you. You just have to offer them something they really want to believe in.
~ Maddox on manipulating people.

Theodore "Teddy" Maddox is a major antagonist in AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. He is the leader of a doomsday cult and a serial killer who wants to change the world in his image. He is the main antagonist for the second half of Season 6, the posthumous overarching antagonist of Season 7, and a minor character in the webisode Dead in The Water.

He is portrayed by John Glover, who also portrayed The Riddler in Batman: The Animated Series, Dr. Jason Woodrue in Batman & Robin, Mr. Sivana in Shazam!, and Lionel Luthor in Smallville.

Personality

Theodore Maddox is a charismatic, highly intelligent cult leader who manages to convince people to join his cause. While clearly insane, he presents himself as wise and suave, never losing his cool while under pressure. He is very manipulative, targeting people in their lowest state to get them to join his cause.

He is a nihilist, wanting to bring an end to all living people and during the Apocalypse, believes that it simply a cycle to end everything.

Biography

Past

Somewhere in Texas during the 1970's, Teddy was a mortician who also ran a doomsday cult. He was also a serial killer who embalmed his victims after killing them. At one point, Teddy murdered his mother because she wanted to have him committed after finding his notes. Teddy was also being hunted down by a police officer named John Dorie Sr., but the officer lacked the evidence needed to put him away. However, after being framed due to planted evidence, Teddy was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes. He ended up confessing to the murders of twenty-three young women, but the police never found the body of his last victim, Cindy Hawkins.

Jailbreak

A few decades later, a global outbreak had occurred and Teddy managed to break out of prison during the chaos. Shortly after his freedom, Teddy restarted his cult and gained new followers. The cult was also at war with a group of Pioneers situated in Lawton, Oklahoma.

Finding the USS Pennsylvania

Eventually, Teddy's group discovered the USS Pennsylvania, a beached submarine in Galveston which held nuclear missiles that required two keys to activate, one of which was in the hands of one of the crew members of the submarine, Walter Schowski. Teddy had also gained a right-hand man in the form of Jason Riley, another crew member of the submarine. Two of Teddy's followers hired a bounty hunter named Emile LaRoux to kill Walter and retrieve the key. Emile was successful, but was later killed by Morgan Jones, who took the key off of him.

Attack on Tank Town

Later, Teddy's group attacked Tank Town by destroying one of it's oil wells, burning the whole area down.

Finding Valley Town

Shortly after the death of Virginia, the former leader of the Pioneers, Teddy's cult was discovered by Alicia Clark, Althea Szewczyk-Przygocki, Luciana Galvez, and Wes, who was the brother of one of Teddy's followers, Derek. Teddy managed to capture Alicia while Althea, Luciana, and Wes managed to escape. Eventually, Riley managed to retrieve the key from Morgan after threatening to kill a pregnant Grace.

Holding Alicia Hostage

Teddy eventually recruited Dakota, the daughter of Virginia.

Launching the Nuke

Morgan and Victor Strand infiltrate the sub to confront Teddy. However, despite Morgan's attempts to stop the launch, Teddy and Riley had already launched one of the missiles.

Death

Shortly after launching the nuke, Teddy and Dakota went to a lookout to apparently die in the ensuing blast. However, during a confrontation with John Sr. and June, they discover a secret bunker that Teddy intended to use before the explosion. John realizes that Teddy intends to survive the destruction and then return to the sub to use the rest of the nukes. Teddy has only spared Dakota as he needs a second person to turn the launch keys. Feeling betrayed, Dakota shoots Teddy in the chest and head, killing him.

Legacy

Despite his death, Teddy was ultimately successful in his endeavors, turning Texas into a nuclear wasteland. While trapped in the bunker, John discovers that it's where Teddy would kill his victims in the 1970s and begins an obsessive search for the body of Cindy Hawkins, Teddy's last victim who was never found. In the end, John and June discover that Teddy buried Cindy's body in the bunker's walls after getting spooked by the cops getting too close to him in their investigation, giving John peace that he had at last kept his promise to Cindy's mother.

When John emerges from the bunker for the first time since the bombs dropped, he finds Teddy's decayed skeleton, identifiable by the glasses that are still on his face. John asks Teddy if this was the beginning that he was envisioning before moving on.

Trivia

  • Teddy's appearance was first foreshadowed in the episode "The Key" where John Dorie Jr. tells a rabbi friend of his the story of his father framing Teddy when he couldn't find the evidence to put him away. Teddy first appears shortly after John Jr.'s death and is confirmed to be the same man from John's story about his father, John Dorie Sr.
  • Teddy is often considered one of the most dangerous antagonists in the entire Walking Dead franchise, having plans of mass destruction unparalleled to those of other antagonists on the show such as Negan and Alpha.
  • Despite the fact that he is a well-known serial killer with over 20 confirmed victims, Teddy never actually kills a human onscreen.
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