The Walking Dead: How much will they stray from canon?

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

After making a huge (and risky) move in the midseason finale of The Walking Dead, some fans wonder how far from canon showrunners are willing to go.

For anyone who thought certain characters are safe on The Walking Dead, it looks like that that assurance has been thrown out the window after a major character’s death will be waiting in the wings during the midseason premiere on February 25. There are even theories now that the show might skip entire comic arcs entirely. With that in mind, how far are the showrunners willing to stray from comic book canon?

I know a lot of people out there are upset about losing Carl, but now this whole new world opens up for the show. For some fans, breaking from canon will be bad no matter what they do with it. On the other hand, changing things up opens up a whole new world of possibility for the show.

Now there are theories out there that The Walking Dead showrunners might even skip a major plot point – The Whisperers – and skip to the newest bad guys from the comics canon.

Full disclosure here, I have not read the comics but I have studied the various arcs. The Whisperers are a terrifying group who wear Walker skins to blend in with the herds. This story might be skipped over because it has very strong ties to Carl. If Carl isn’t around, the story might not work.

There’s also the thought that advancing the story in the comics continuum could allow for actors to move around and exit the show. We’ve already talked about Andrew Lincoln’s contract being up at the end of season 8. Should he choose to depart in season 9, moving the plot through the canon could allow for that to happen in a “natural” way.

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Clearly we have no idea what is going to happen on The Walking Dead now that things have taken a sharp turn. What do you think: Will showrunners make another jump or will they return to comic canon moving forward?