Fear the Walking Dead: Who Are PADRE? What Does it Stand For? Explained

Image Credit: Lauren "Lo" Smith/AMC

The seventh season of AMC’s post-apocalyptic series ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ depicts Alicia Clark’s search for a safe place for the survivors of the zombie apocalypse. Upon learning about the existence of a place referred to as PADRE, Alicia leads her friends and allies to the same thinking that it is a safe place. The eighth season of the series reveals that PADRE is a new civilization with an eponymous supreme leader. In the third episode of the eighth season, Alicia’s mother Madison Clark and June set out to find out who exactly PADRE is. If the viewers are intrigued about the same, here’s what we can share! SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Genesis of PADRE

PADRE is a group formed by Shrike and her brother Crane, whose original names are Sam and Ben respectively. When the siblings were younger, the community was headed by their father General Krennick. As the leader of the civilization, he developed the same on the island, cut off from the rest of the world. He eventually started to form relationships and connections with other survivor groups to make sure that they will not end up helpless when their resources meet an end. Krennick used to send containers with unrevealed materials to several survivor groups to form such connections, seemingly making a network of safe places using these trade relations.

Krennick turned into a walker accidentally when his son Ben and daughter Sam got surrounded by a group of the undead. To protect his children, the then-supreme leader of the civilization sacrificed himself but only after reminding his children of the importance of his notion of PADRE surviving and existing beyond his demise. To honor Krennick’s memory and sacrifice, Shrike and Crane became the supreme leaders of the civilization by becoming PADRE. Since they didn’t want to replace their father, the siblings made sure that they didn’t present themselves as the leaders of the civilization he headed. That’s the reason why Shrike always acts as a trusted general of the supposed supreme leader while her brother hides himself to pretend to be his father, using only his voice.

Shrike and Crane reinvented the notion of PADRE when they came across a child who wanted to know what happened to his parents. When the siblings learned that all the children on the island wanted to know the same, they realized that they need to rely on a lie that wouldn’t break the group. Thus, they started to lie to them that their parents abandoned them instead of informing them of the deaths of their parents and their existence as walkers. The lie drove the children to survive on the civilization Shrike and Crane developed in the name of their father as well. Gradually, PADRE grew along with the children and the lie that motivated them to prove their parents wrong.

The absence of PADRE’s physical figure adds not only mystery but also intimidation to the notion of the supreme leader Krennick had created. Crane/Ben’s powerlessness to become a dictator is masked by the same mystery and an element of fear it creates. Shrike used her brother’s voice and absence to build an army of collectors, who abduct children for the civilization, and soldiers, who bow down to the supposed potency of their leader. Meanwhile, the lie Shrike and Crane rely on became the foundation of more and more children’s lives in the civilization.

PADRE: A Symbol of Leadership

Although the leaders, residents, survivors, and seekers of PADRE refer to it as a standalone name, it is actually an acronym that reads, “P.A.D.R.E.” Neither the show nor this group of characters has revealed what really does it stand for. Regardless of the full form, the name “PADRE” sheds light on what General Krennick wanted to achieve through his civilization and what Shrike and Crane aim for after the death of their father. Considering that “PADRE” means “father” in Spanish, one way of understanding the essence of the civilization is by understanding the essence of fatherhood.

Image Credit: Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

The supreme leaders of PADRE have always tried to become father figures to children who reside on the island, especially after their separation from their parents. The children approach the voice and notion of PADRE with utmost care and respect, reminding us of one’s relationship with their father. The same group in the civilization obeys the words of PADRE as they would have followed the words of their real fathers. In their interactions with PADRE, the children make it clear that they don’t want to let PADRE down, which further shows how much the residents of the community think of the same as nothing short of a father.

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