The 11th and final season of The Walking Dead returns this Sunday (2) with the final wave of episodes of the series and will put an end to the journey of the zombie drama. With several spin-offs already announced from the franchise, the end of the attraction should even present some deaths, but it will deliver few surprises.
As much as possible losses of characters may still shock fans who have been following the plot for 12 years, the main names in the franchise will pass unscathed. Daryl (Norman Reedus), Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) have won spin-offs that will take place after the events of season 11, which confirms that the protagonists are not in danger of dying in the final episodes.
Even Melissa McBride, who has played Carol since the first episode and was confirmed to star in one of the new spin-offs alongside Reedus, seems to have her future in the franchise assured. As much as the actress is no longer a regular on the spin-off, the fact that the final season has already been recorded several months ago indicates that the character must also survive the final events of The Walking Dead.
AMC’s decision to announce the spin-offs well before the final episodes aired did not please everyone. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jeffrey Dean Morgan considered that the strategy spoiled any surprises for the public.
“This is not the way we should have done it, but it is the option they [produtores] chose. And who knows? Maybe we wouldn’t have been able to hide the secret. But it seems to me that we could have tried. I would try to go it this way, but this decision is above my payroll.”
Even Angela Kang, showrunner of the original series since the ninth season, was surprised by the early reveal. To the publication, she admitted that the decision may have affected the way some things will work in the last episodes of The Walking Dead.
“We didn’t know the exact date the announcement would be made. I assumed they wouldn’t announce it sooner. So that changes the way some things are going to work out this season compared to how they could work out.”
Lauren Cohan in The Walking Dead
Disclosure / AMC
If the main names of the franchise will pass unscathed in the last episodes, the same cannot be said for the rest of the team. Names like Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Aaron (Ross Marquand), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), Princess (Paola Lázaro) and Mercer (Michael James Shaw) their futures are not assured and may be the main casualties of the last episodes.
Because it’s The Walking Dead, it’s possible that more than one of the “side” good guys will star in shocking deaths for fans. The franchise has never refrained from cutting important names from the cast, and everything indicates that it will follow the same formula in its final wave.
Opportunities for this will not be lacking. Season 11 will show the final clash between the group led by Daryl and Maggie against Commonwealth forces. Lance Horsby (Josh Hamilton) and Pamela Milton (Laila Robins) will face the protagonists and may be responsible for the downfall of many of the good guys in the franchise.
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Disclosure / AMC
And Rick Grimes?
If The Walking Dead producers really want to surprise fans after handing over the fate of some of the main characters on a platter, it could be done with the long-awaited return of Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). Absent from the series since the beginning of the ninth season, the former protagonist will star in a spin-off centered on him and Michonne (Danai Gurira) to explain what happened to the leader of Alexandria during the years in which he was separated from the group.
Although Scott M. Gimple, head of The Walking Dead franchise and showrunner of the new attraction, has not confirmed the return of the characters in the mother series, a surprise appearance by Rick and Michonne would represent a big twist for the last few episodes.
As the spin-off will tell the journey of the reunion between the couple, the latest installment of Season 11 could show the duo already reunited and ready to help their friends against Hornsby and the Commonwealth. Whether that’s actually going to happen, fans will have to wait for the latest episodes of pop culture’s most popular zombie drama to air to find out.
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