The Walking Dead TV Show Definitely Can't End Like The Comic

The Walking Dead TV series really can't end the way the comic did following Robert Kirkman's surprising and abrupt finale for the 15-year-old zombie saga. Given the characters appearing in the final book which published on Wednesday and the legacy given to the story as a whole, the show has deviated too far away from the source material already to resemble the conclusion in the adaptation.

Spoilers for The Walking Dead's final comic book issue follow. Major spoilers!

In short, Kirkman's book ended quite happily. Carl married Sophia and they had a kid named Andrea. Maggie took over Alexandria. Hershel made a traveling circus of walkers. Eugene got railroads working. Michonne became a judge. Negan was never heard from again. Rick died.

Some of those stories sound like they can happen on AMC's adaptation of the hit comic series but many of them can't. On the television series, Carl is dead. Sophia is dead. Andrea never had much of an influence on Carl. Eugene could, in theory, develop a railroad system. Michonne is leaving in the upcoming season as Danai Gurira bows out of the role (though, this doesn't necessarily mean Michonne is going to die). Negan is all but the main character of the series. Rick isn't on the show anymore but he will appear in some movies.

The closest thing the show can do to match this ending is remix things. Though the show is likely several years away from ending, it could fit a couple of other characters into the narratives occupied by those characters in the books. In fact, the show has been doing this for years. If it is to continue right through to this ending, then a picture of what it might look like is not hard to imagine.

Judith would have to fill in for Carl. A new character would have to be introduced as a love interest for her and decades in future they would live happily ever after on a farm, carrying on Rick's legacy of swift justice and protective action. Michonne would get bit by a Whisperer during the Whisperer War and perish before Rick returns only to die further down the line. Carol would go on to become a judge and have a heavily weighted say over the post-post-apocalyptic world. Eugene would go on to build communication systems lines as he has and eventually get trains running again. Finally, Negan would go missing, and never be seen again.

Ultimately, it seems unlikely the TV series would make much of an effort to match the overall conclusion of The Walking Dead comics. Should Judith fill Carl's role, it would mean that Shane's baby is the legacy of the series, which poses an interesting bit of irony among all of the decisions made by The Walking Dead's writers. Fans can hope for it, though. As abrupt as the ending of The Walking Dead comics was and as frustrating as the death of Rick certainly was, the message of the final book of a somewhat happy and thriving post-post-apocalyptic world is not a bad option.

Remixing stories with varied characters has worked for The Walking Dead in the past but recent deviations from the source material have sent it further from the original story than ever before. Carl's death and Rick's exit are chief among those changes, yet the story has managed to replace them in the Whisperer War arc, so far.

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The Walking Dead issue #193 is available in comic shops now. The Walking Dead TV series returns for its tenth season in October. The first trailer will debut at San Diego Comic Con.

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