The Walking Dead is showing no signs of slowing down but heading into its eighth season, some fans are wondering how the zombie drama could possibly tie itself up in a bow which would satisfy the viewers.
If Rick is going to die "eventually" as the show's writer and creator Robert Kirkman promises, the series will wrap up its final moments without its leading man. While the series has no end date and doesn't appear to be concluding any time soon, discussing the potential finale ideas is not unreasonable at this point.
The show will likely wrap up prior to the comic book, which has now published over 160 issues, and Kirkman promises the two series will have different endings. He is not willing to share his plans for the comic book's sendoff!
On the following slides, we run through the five theories regarding potential endings for The Walking Dead, some from fans and some from cast members.
Old Man Carl
This theory suggests that Rick Grimes is the focus of the series mainly because of Carl's idolization of his father. Additionally, the theory believes that Carl's interactions in both the show and the comics are purposefully more detailed, since Carl himself is recalling them firsthand. The video cites a handful of examples, including Lori's death and Carl's first meeting with Negan.
In addition, the video cites quotes from The Walking Dead's creator, Robert Kirkman, who has previously said that Carl is one of his favorite characters, because he likes exploring the idea of growing up in the zombie apocalypse.
While what is being referred to as the 'Old Man Carl' theory does have a handful of plotholes, the video makes a point to explain them away. For example, if Carl wasn't present for a particular interaction between two characters, it could be something that was relayed to him later on.
It's unclear who exactly Carl would be telling the story to, whether its his descendants or the group of survivors he is traveling with. Carl being the last character to survive the series would definitely be an interesting twist, considering the fact that the reigning fan theories considering the show seem to counteract it.
With Chandler Riggs planning on attending college in the fall, many have believed that he could leave the show in the near future, which would most likely entail Carl being killed off. But Riggs has yet to make a decision as to where he will attend college, meaning that he could remain on the show - possibly for much, much longer.
Whether or not you believe the 'Old Man Carl' theory to be true, you do have to admit that it would be an awesome conclusion to the popular series, further establishing the legacy of its main characters as a sort of folk tale.prevnext
During The Walking Dead's panel a PaleyFest in Los Angeles this year a fan asked Andrew Lincoln and the rest of the cast how they would write and direct the final moments of The Walking Dead. Lincoln took the opportunity to share his absolutely amazing, fitting, shocking, and hilarious ending to the series.
While the rest of the cast cautiously look to Scott Gimple for advice, Lincoln jumped on the opportunity.
"I got one," Lincoln said, as executive producer Greg Nicotero advised him to keep it to himself.
"I'm gonna say this now, this is how I want Rick to die," Lincoln said. "Do you want to hear it? I was gonna say it, anyway."
That's when the idea began. "So, we're going through a desert somewhere and I jump off the bus," Lincoln said, pointing out that he shared this with Nicotero while the two were in Spain. "In a very heroic act, Rick jumps off, 'Cororororal.' He's still alive. Maybe it's the last thing I say."
"I jump off and I'm like kung-fu kicking, earn my action figure, half way through I get bit... Ow! Doesn't matter, keep going!" Lincoln went on. "Anyway, I deal with that, and I'm dying on my own. Just waiting to die. I wait and I patch up and a day passes."
Melissa McBride can't stop laughing, at this point.
"I patch myself up, I don't die," Lincoln said. "The final shot is, "Holy s---! Maybe I'm the cure!' High shot, the whole thing... High shot, herd of zombies coming: Rick gets up, follows the tracks to go see 'Coral,' walking, the herd comes towards him, and they separate. He walks through. Boom!"
The audience burst out, loving Lincoln's epic but also hilarious idea, which will certainly never be brought to television.prevnext
Answering the same fan as Andrew Lincoln at PaleyFest, Sasha actress Sonequa Martin-Green borrowed an idea which she credited to Larry King.
"How about last shot, last everything, whoever's there, we get to the coast, you pan out, and you see all this ships blockading, in which you find out that it's just America," Martin-Green said.
The idea of having the zombie virus contained to the United States is one which would make fans lose their minds, especially if the exploration of the other parts of the world is going to make it to television. The crowd was largely blown away when Martin-Green concluded her sentence, sharing a similar reaction to most of the Internet after reading the "Old Man Carl" series ending theory.
Martin-Green and Larry King are likely out of luck, though. As cool of an ending as a quarantined America would be, The Walking Dead comics have explored other continents to reveal that zombies have taken land overseas, as well. In a canon to the comics series one-shot book called The Walking Dead: The Alien, Rick's brother Jeff is seen in Barcelona attempting to escape a herd and head for the United States. Whether or not he makes it out of Europe alive was left up for interpretation when he narrowly made it on to a boat with a bite in his foot.
Still, no word on whether or not Jeff Grimes cut that foot off in time to survive.prevnext
The popular theory from the jump for The Walking Dead was that the entire series was taking place in Rick's imagination while he slept and recovered from his gunshot injury acquired in the pilot episode.
This would mean none of the events of the zombie apocalypse have been taking place. Lori and Carl are alive and well, with four eyes between them, Judith was never born, and Negan never cracked any skulls. Not to mention, Rick never killed a walker, kissed Jessie, fell in love with Michonne, or even met either of them.
Writer/creator Robert Kirkman has firmly ruled this theory out on multiple occasions. Everything that is happening on Sunday nights in the zombie apocalypse is really happening. It's not Rick or anyone else's dream.prevnext
With Robert Kirkman promising to kill Rick "eventually," many suspect the leading man to be killed just in time for an epic finale.0comments
If Carl, Judith, and other characters survive, watching Rick stumble off into the sunset as a walker, the emotions will be punching everyone in the feels. Furthermore, Judith would be able to fulfill the Grimes family prophecy in putting down reanimated parents like her big half-brother. Otherwise, Carl can do the job himself and kill his zombified father.
On the contrary, Carl might elect to allow his father to roam the world as a zombie, aimlessly until his body degenerates so much that it can't stand anymore.prev