Following the All Out War storyline in The Walking Dead comics, the series sees a massive time jump which overlooks the immediate aftermath of Rick and Negan's battles.
As the TV series which adapts Robert Kirkman's books to TV on AMC has marched to war through its seventh season, the showdown between Rick's communities and Negan's Saviors is upon us when the show returns for its eighth season. Following the war, it sounds like the time jump will be realized on television.
"Also, maybe in a couple of episodes time, there may be a jump ahead in the curve and maybe setting themselves to that job at hand," Rick actor Andrew Lincoln told ComicBook.com.
Showrunner Scott Gimple chimed in, as well.
"For the people who read the comics, they're going to be expecting this," Gimple said. "We're doing the book, we do all sorts of variations on it, and then we do things that are inspired by it and then we change things up with a remix. But I will say there are things that happen in that time jump that are referred to that are super interesting. And thus we might see some of that stuff; it might not be the same sort of jump, or we'll do that two to five years in real time."
On the following slides, we run through the three major events which The Walking Dead's two year time jump leaps past in the comics and will likely do so on television, as well. Be warned, this does mean spoilers are packed into each slide!
Somewhere in the unspecified amount of time which passed in The Walking Dead's time jump, Maggie Rhee delivers her baby.
The baby is named Hershel, in memory of her late father. In the comics, Hershel was shot in the head during the Governor's raid on the prison rather than being beheaded. That honor went to Tyreese.
In the comics, Maggie and her baby have been living peacefully at the Hilltop since the war concluded. She has continued to emerge as the Hilltop's leader with the community reporting to her rather than Gregory, by this point. While several potential suitors have emerged, Maggie elects to hold on to her love for Glenn and has yet to move on with another man.
In the adaptation of Robert Kirkman's comics to television, a couple of characters appear to have switched roles around.
Rather than killing herself as she did in the books, TV's take on Carol is filling Michonne's role from the comics. In the comics, Michonne finds herself reluctantly developing a relationship with King Ezekiel and searching for a method of survival which does not involve killing.
Michonne, on the other hand, has taken on the path originally paved by Andrea in the comics. Now trained with a rifle and dating Rick Grimes, she is the embodiment of Andrea for television. As the story goes, Andrea was killed off of the AMC series prior to Scott Gimple's taking of the reigns. Since Gimple has been in charge, the series has followed the comics more closely than ever before.
During the time jump, Michonne will grow closer to Rick but, more importantly, Carol was exile herself from the community and head to Oceanside. She will take up a more peaceful life in an effort to avoid killing at any cost.
Once he is finished dealing with Negan and his Saviors, Rick will have time to finally focus on rebuilding civilization. This means having a fair in Alexandria, initiating common trade with the Hilltop and Kingdom, and putting laws against killing in place.
The laws against killing are so firm that Rick elects to toss Negan into an Aelxandria jail cell rather than killing him for the atrocities he has committed against the good people of the Safe-Zone. In the end, this turns out to be a smart move, and the villain becomes a symbol of what civilization stands for and separates Rick from the savage world surrounding him.
Communities begin to prosper, jobs are offered, resources become more plentiful... and then the Whisperers arrive.