'The Walking Dead': Hidden Detail Key to Rick's Survival?

The letter "A" has a history within The Walking Dead which might finally pay off in saving Rick's life.

Throughout Rick's post-apocalyptic journey, which started in Atlanta, the character has found himself surrounded by the first letter of the alphabet. The train car outside of Terminus which Rick's group was herded into was marked with an "A." Jesse Anderson's son ran around stamping the same letter on to people's hands in Alexandria.

Carol found this stamp in a trying time, having just defeated the Wolves and parking it on a porch for a cigarette with the stamp on the railing beside her. Then, the letter "A" popped up again on Daryl's Sanctuary prisoner jump suit and later on the shipping container Rick was taken hostage in at Jadis' trash heap in season 8.

Now, it looks like the letter "A" will be back in a big way. As revealed in the season 9 trailer, Pollyanna McIntosh's character, now known as Anne, will make contact with her helicopter people once again. This helicopter is branded with the letter "A" on its side.

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(Photo: AMC)

With Andrew Lincoln set to exit The Walking Dead in season 9, is he going to follow the letter which has always seemed to follow him?

Many expect Rick Grimes to die — and with good reason. After all, this is The Walking Dead we're talking about. However, with Lincoln promising his relationship with Rick Grimes is "far from over," could the show's main protagonist simply be taking a trip out of town via helicopter for a while?

Let's take a look at another important piece of evidence: Jadis previously tried to make contact with the people who have helicopters during a crucial moment in season 8. While still acting as Jadis, the character had Negan — another leader in the apocalypse — held hostage at her trash heap just as the helicopter was approaching. Negan, however, stalled her plan of contacting the pilot via flare gun, prompting their exit without her. What if she was never trying to kill Negan, but instead deliver him to some people the audience has not yet been introduced to?

Negan and Rick don't have much in common in terms of their morals, but both men certainly have a good bit of leadership experience under their belts. With the fandom split of Rick's eventual fate, many believe the helicopter will play a part in Rick's departure and ultimate survival.

Side theory for another time: There appears to be a biohazard logo on the helicopter just beside the "A." Could there be a group of scientists or other survivors looking for leaders and eager to find a cure or method to rebuild the world out there somewhere?

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Will Rick survive The Walking Dead Season Nine? Will the helicopter play a part, if he does? Does the letter "A" finally have a payoff within the zombie drama? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Fear the Walking Dead returns for the back half of its fourth season on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season on Oct. 7, 2018. For more updates and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!