Former Carl Grimes actor Chandler Riggs theorizes The Walking Dead franchise will culminate in a civil war between two major civilizations led by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan). Rick is in the hands of CRM, a shadowy organization represented by a three-circle symbol linking all three Walking Dead shows, and Riggs suspects Maggie, the currently away leader of the Hilltop colony, is in a leadership role at the Commonwealth. In creator Robert Kirkman's comic books, the Commonwealth is an Ohio-based network of settlements home to nearly 50,000 survivors governed by former politician Pamela Milton, who strictly enforces the society's class system.
"My kind of theory is that the whole CRM thing they're setting up, they're setting it up to be the CRM versus the Commonwealth and there’s gonna be a big battle at the end," Riggs said at Wizard World Cleveland. "That's kind of how they're gonna close out the whole franchise. That's my guess."
Riggs, who exited The Walking Dead midway through its eighth season, stressed this ending theory is speculation.
"I promise I know nothing, I’m not spoiling anything. This is purely my guess," he said. "But that's kind of my guess on that whole thing. Rick will be at CRM and Maggie will be at the Commonwealth."
Rick appeared to be killed halting a walker horde in The Walking Dead Season 9 episode "What Comes After," which ended with Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh), formerly Jadis of the Scavengers, urging a CRM helicopter to rescue the gravely wounded Rick.
The former Alexandria leader has been missing for more than six years by the time of Walking Dead Season 10, now set a decade post-apocalypse, but teaser trailer for the untitled Walking Dead movie hinted Rick was transported to Philadelphia.
The Commonwealth will soon be introduced in Season 10B of The Walking Dead. The ongoing half-season recently saw Eugene (Josh McDermitt) make plans to meet with Stephanie (Margot Bingham), a representative for the Commonwealth who forged a connection with Eugene over his long-range radio.
It remains to be seen if Hilltop benefactor Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) is a representative for the Commonwealth — or the show's version of Pamela Milton — but TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple in July 2019 confirmed the helicopter community and the Commonwealth are not one and the same.
Gimple later said TWD Universe is developing multiple mythologies beyond CRM, who play a major role in upcoming two-season limited event series The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Audiences can expect to learn more about CRM — including the meaning of those three letters — as early as World Beyond's premiere episode airing Sunday, April 12.