Ross Marquand is the latest Walking Dead star to reject persisting theories the entire zombie drama is a dream imagined by a still-comatose Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), saying such a plot twist would be “the saddest thing ever.” The Walking Dead’s pilot saw sheriff’s deputy Rick gunned down in the line of duty; in the two months Rick was comatose, the world was overrun by the undead following the global outbreak of an undetermined virus. According to the popular theory, an unconscious Rick will one day spring awake to discover The Walking Dead was all just a bad dream.
“Man, that would be the saddest thing ever,” Marquand, who plays the metal-armed Aaron, told Serieously when fielding fan theories. “If my metal arm was all a dream, and he was just dreaming that up, that would be the saddest thing for all of us, I think. Let’s hope that’s not true.”
“Yeah, that comes up from time to time. That would be a terrible story,” Kirkman said aboard Walker Stalker Cruise 2018. “I think that’s been done in a lot of things, but he is definitely not in a coma, I promise. Like, he’d wake up and Negan would be the plumber. He’d be like, ‘Oh, you were there. It was so weird.’ Yeah, that’d be awful. Judith is a ghost. Yeah, Rick is definitely not in a coma.”
The theory was one Kirkman had to address “every two years.”
“I have to come out and be like, ‘He’s not in a coma, everybody!’ And then that makes the press rounds, and people are like, ‘Whew,’” he said. “Then two years pass, and they’re like, ‘Is he in a coma?’”
Kirkman brought the comic book to an end in July, only concluding the The Walking Dead after killing off Rick in the series’ penultimate issue. Similarly, TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple — who oversees the live-action franchise — debunked the theory Lincoln’s Rick will be revealed to have been comatose the entire time.
“No coma,” Gimple said in July 2017 after The Walking Dead Season 8 trailer showed an aged Rick stirring awake in a bed. “It’s not a coma.”0comments
It was later revealed that bearded, older-looking Rick, nicknamed “Old Man Rick,” belonged to Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) vision for the future. Lincoln next returns as Rick Grimes in the planned trilogy of Walking Dead movies — and it's doubtful those end with the revelation it was all a dream.