The Walking Dead started its journey on Halloween night in 2010. Based on the comic by Robert Kirkman, the series had a fantastic first season with Frank Darabont at the helm. The pilot episode is one of the best series openings in TV history. Did the series end? Or is a new season on the horizon?
In November 2022, AMC aired the series finale of The Walking Dead. Titled “Rest in Peace,” a nod to the comic’s final volume, it became the 177th episode of the 12-season series. While fans were disheartened by the end of the series, the promise of new stories via spinoffs loomed in the background. Fans could handle the ending knowing that several prominate characters’ stories would continue in the upcoming series.
The eleventh and final season of The Walking Dead began airing on AMC in August 2021, and the new big bad, the Commonwealth, was introduced. This progressive community was heavily featured in the comic story on which the series is based. Hence, it wasn’t surprising that this community would be featured in the series’ final episodes.
The final episode neatly wrapped events, closed doors for many characters, and left doors open for others to continue their story. There are no immediate plans for an additional season, but creators have discussed possible reunions of key characters.
The Walking Dead ending
The final episode saw Governor Pamela Milton (Laila Robins) make one too many mistakes, including shooting Judith (Cailey Fleming). She survived due to the advancements of medical care in the Commonwealth and at the hands of Dr. Tomi (Ian Anthony Dale). Milton would then be thrown in jail, and after the one-year time jump, there was no mention of her.
With Milton, her right hand Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton), and her pampered son Sebastian (Teo Rapp-Olson) all out of the picture, the Commonwealth could finally become what it was meant to be. After a one-year time jump, it was revealed that Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Mercer (Michael James Shaw) were leaders of the community, with Carol (Melissa McBride) taking up Hornsby’s old position. The time jump would also show that great strides had been taken to see that Alexandria and Hilltop were beginning to rebuild. It would be revealed in The Walking Dead: Dead City that Hilltop was damaged beyond repair, forcing Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and the others to move to a new community, The Brick, located near New Jersey.
Before the time jump, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) would leave the Commonwealth, accompanied by his expectant wife, Annie (Medina Senghore). But nothing is revealed about his location or the birth of his child one year later. This is another story addressed in Dead City. Negan would confide that Annie and their young son Josh were sent to Missouri as Negan was a wanted man for murders in New Babylon, a new community featured in Dead City.
Another interesting storyline is that of Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), who took off searching for Rick, Michonne, and whatever else he could find after a heartfelt goodbye with his best friend, Carol. This, of course, sets up his spinoff, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, which will be set in France. The first season finale of Daryl Dixon sets up Carol’s inclusion in this story in the second season, The Book of Carol.
The coda scenes are among the most exciting to come out of the finale. The return of Rick and Michonne was a surprising shock to viewers. Rick’s scenes happened sometime after he was whisked away to the CRM (Civic Republic Military) in season 9, but before Michonne knew he survived the bridge explosion. Michonne’s scenes take place nearer the present storyline as she is still actively searching for Rick and, in her final scene, is headed off into a massive horde of walkers.
These scenes set up their spinoff, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, which continues the couple’s epic love story.
The Walking Dead series may have ended, but the fandom will live on in the new stories from the spinoffs.