6 Ways The Walking Dead Could End

I’m a huge fan of The Walking Dead TV show, and I can’t wait for the show to return this Sunday. But something about the first half-season got me thinking: where the heck is this show going? We’re five seasons into The Walking Dead, and theoretically, this show can’t last forever. It’s got maybe two or three seasons left, according to the lives of most TV shows.

So how is The Walking Dead going to end?

With zombies, probably

It’s an interesting question when you consider that the comic book can go on for much longer. Comics aren’t bound in the same way as TV seasons, and writer Robert Kirkman can just keep writing that comic for as long as he wants, considering how popular it is. But TV audiences are eventually going to get bored of The Walking Dead, right? At some point, the showrunners are going to want to bring it to a close. Breaking Bad only had five seasons. Lost called it quits after six. The Walking Dead has to end sometime.

But how? Join me after the jump for some of my ideas! Be warned, because there will be SPOILERS from the latest episodes.

6. They find a cure

Or they find the Cure, still alive

I don’t know about you, but I was rooting for Eugene to be telling the truth. I rather liked the idea of the characters racing to Washington DC to activate some kind of cure that ends the zombie apocalypse once and for all. I knew that Eugene was a liar from the comics, but I was hoping that the show would go in a different direction – and that’s what got me thinking about this article. How cool would that ending be? Granted, it definitely goes against the nihilistic outlook of The Walking Dead, but only nihilists really like nihilism. This would be an actual goal, a mission, a quest for the cast to accomplish. Maybe they still find another cure somehow and the world will be saved. It could happen! It would definitely be a happy ending.

But The Walking Dead probably isn’t going to have a happy ending. I can dream, though.

5. They kill every single zombie in the state of Georgia

They’re not that hard to find or kill

For example, I could dream that they could kill every single zombie in the state of Georgia and just live there zombie-free. How many people live in Georgia anyway? According to Google, it’s about 10 million…which, I’ll admit, is a lot of people, but they’ve had to have killed maybe a few thousand so far, right? Plus some people are also among the living, so…well…they’d definitely have a long way to go, but at some point, the sheer number of zombies has to go down. Zombies can reproduce (via biting), but not indefinitely. They’re a finite resource. Someday the scales will have to tip.

4. Clementine!

Rick ain’t got nothing on Clementine

Would it be too much to ask to bring video game star Clementine into The Walking Dead TV show? I don’t necessarily think she’d fit, and she and Rick would have to grapple for leadership, and she’d probably be the worst Cousin Oliver since the original, but man, how cool would that be? Clementine is the hero of my Walking Dead experience, she should be the hero for everybody!

3. They all die of old age

Darryl will never stop

Here’s the thing that kind of bugs me about The Walking Dead TV show: everybody dies in the ‘present’. Since the actors all age in real time, like the rest of us, the show can really only progress on a linear line. And since several characters have to die each season, none of the current cast ever gets to grow old. Think about it: every single character we’ve come to care about on The Walking Dead has died or will likely die within a year or two of the zombie outbreak. How is that a show about survival?

Herschel was killed knowing that his daughters were still alive and safe…but then Beth was killed within only a few months of her father. Scant weeks passed before sweet, young Beth was dead.

It’s the same for everybody. Whether we’re talking about Beth, T-Dog or that one girl who did the thing, everyone we’ve met and started caring about, everyone who had hopes of survival, is barely going to survive for a couple of weeks or months.

But what if that didn’t have to be the case? Maybe the current crew, all of whom are zombie-fighting badasses, get to hunker down somewhere and live out the rest of the zombie apocalypse in peace. The final episode or scene can be Rick and friends all gray and old, cackling like crazy old fogies as they shoot zombies with their futuristic weaponry.

Of course, if they do that, we’re going to need a flash forward…

2. Flash forward to adult Carl

That much pudding will stunt his growth

Everybody loves flash forwards. Ever since the end credits of Animal House, we all want to know what becomes of our favorite characters after the show. And considering how well Parks and Recreation is currently pulling it off in their flash forward final season, what if The Walking Dead ends with a dramatic time jump into the future, where Carl and Judith are adults and…doing something. Maybe they’re warlords? Angels of mercy? President Judith?

Whatever their individual futures might hold, I could easily see The Walking Dead spending an entire season a decade or so in the future. Maybe by then, Rick is a hermit with an even bigger beard, and Carl and Judith have to get him out of retirement to save the day from the Frankenstein Governor. Boom, there’s your series finale.

1. Rick dies

But not before he is more beard than man

The death of Rick Grimes is probably the most likely of scenarios for the end of The Walking Dead. He’s the lead character, he drives most of the action, and when he finally closes his eyes on that jungle floor (with optional golden retriever), then the show can shuffle off. He’ll do it in some amazingly badass way, of course. He’ll single-handedly fight through an entire army of zombies, murder the latest human bad guy, and save Judith from the clutches of a zombie-worshipping cult, but by then he’ll be done.

He’ll hand off his daughter to Carl, he’ll hug Darryl and Carol, and then visions of Laurie and Shane will flash before his eyes as he lays down and dies. The other survivors will bury him in a silent scene, with the perfect touching song playing over it, and then the camera will pan up as the survivors walk off through the woods. Their journey won’t be over, obviously, but when Rick Grimes finally surrenders his life to this apocalypse, it will be time to say goodbye.

Only for the camera to then zoom in on his grave so that his zombie hand can then burst out through the dirt!


How do you think or want The Walking Dead to end? Let me know in the comments!


About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on February 4, 2015, in Lists of Six!, Television and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Yeah, I don’t know how much longer TWD has to go. I mean, the whole premise is that it’s a never-ending zombie story, and it is one of if not the most popular show on television. I suspect it’s gonna last another three seasons easily, probably more. I doubt it’s going to last the decade or so it’s going to take for the comic to reach its roughly scheduled ending, so however it ends, it probably won’t be very close to the comics. But I suppose nothing’s impossible.

    • That is a weird thing about The Walking Dead: there is no overarching plot. Both Breaking Bad and Lost, which I referenced, had plots that had beginnings, middles and ends – but The Walking Dead is kind of just never ending. Every season has just been about this same group engaged in some random new thing with no larger goal beyond just existing. So it could, theoretically, just keep going – but I don’t think The Walking Dead has the staying power of Doctor Who. Someday it’s going to have to come to an end…Personally, I want to combine #s 2 and 4.

      • Well, they pretty much already did #2 in the comic, and it just kept on trucking. I don’t see any reason they couldn’t bring Clementine onto the show, so you might get lucky. But yeah, I suppose it will probably end either with everybody dying or Carl walking off into the sunset after everybody else has died. Point being, whatever happens, everybody can and probably will die, because, again, that’s kind of one of the universal laws of TWD. Which is what makes me simultaneously love and hate it.

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