When listing executive producers Robert Kirkman and David Alpert, the credits include a sequence from TWD 905, “What Comes After,” Lincoln’s final episode. In the climactic final scene borrowed from that episode, a wounded Rick stares down an encroaching horde of walkers atop the bridge constructed to unite the Alexandria, Hilltop, Kingdom, Oceanside and Sanctuary communities. Taking aim at a toppled stack of dynamite, Rick pulls the trigger of his Colt Python and the bridge explodes. Rick’s sacrifice spared the lives of hundreds, seemingly at the cost of his own; it would later be revealed Rick was rescued by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) and flown away by helicopter.
Another change added to the updated credits are four stained glass windows, each representing the communities: Alexandria (windmill), Hilltop (corn), the Kingdom (tiger Shiva) and Oceanside (fish). A similar glass window first appeared in Season 8, and the tree was where Rick ultimately decided to spare Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and end the Savior war.
The communities have since been cut to three, following the collapse of the Sanctuary and the shuttering of the Kingdom. That community is merged with Hilltop and the new “Kingtop” is overseen by King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) in the absence of Maggie (Lauren Cohan).
Just after Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) are seen on horseback in silhouette, we see Michonne’s katana staked into the ground. A second sword is added, likely the one wielded by daughter Judith (Cailey Fleming). The intertwined swords form an “X,” or the Roman numeral for ten. Michonne also has a scar in the shape of an “X,” given to her by former friend Jocelyn (Rutina Wesley). That story unfolded in Season 9.
During the title card for Jeffrey Dean Morgan in Season 9, “final warning” was seen scrawled across a gate, referencing graffiti first seen in 903, “Warning Signs.” In the updated credits, the graffiti is replaced with propaganda urging the survivors to “silence the Whisperers” — a story still to unfold in Season 10.
Another noticeable change has been made to Lucille, Negan’s beloved barbwire-wrapped baseball bat. In Season 9, the bat that once belonged to the jailed ex-Savior leader was bright red and bloody. In Season 10, the long-gone bat is black — likely representative of a changed Negan, who has renounced his bad guy background.
The new credits sequence also does away with the noose used to hang the treacherous Gregory (Xander Berkeley) in Season 9 before adding a gruesome reminder of the devastating losses that came in 915, “The Calm Before,” where Alpha (Samantha Morton) and her walker skin-wearing Whisperers claimed the lives of ten victims, including Enid (Katelyn Nacon), interim Hilltop leader Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Kingdom prince Henry (Matt Lintz).
Their decapitated heads were displayed on pikes marking Alpha’s territory, a border that plays a central role in Season 10. Look closely and you can again spot Whisperers hidden amongst a crowd of walkers.
The Walking Dead Season 10 airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.