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Season 8 Trailer Ending Explained: Old Man Rick?

But was it all a dream?

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By now you’ve likely seen the all new trailer for Season 8 of The Walking Dead. If you haven’t, check it out before you read on!

If you’re not familiar with the comics, you’re probably wondering what’s up with old man Rick at the very end of the Season 8 trailer. Why is Rick laid up in bed? Why does he have a cane? And what’s up with his interesting new look?

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Fan speculations have been circling — ranging from a time jump, to a dream/flashback, to the “Rick wakes from his coma” theory. We’re here to discuss some of the more interesting theories and where the show may be headed.

It’s a Dream or Flashback

A flashback would be unlikely, since we don’t think it’s possible for someone to look older in a flashback than they are currently. The “it’s a dream” theory is still at play. However, after the backlash the show faced due to Dumpster Gate and the Season 7 finale cliffhanger, we think The Walking Dead would know better than to intentionally mislead fans with “dream sequence” clips in a season trailer.

Rick Wakes From His Coma

As much as this would be a hilarious troll move on the part of Robert Kirkman, AMC and The Walking Dead, we can’t imagine the show would ever go down this route. And, well, we guess the show would be over if this happened?

There is a Time Jump

Aha! The most likely theory of them all based on the source material. After the All Out War arch, the comic book does a flash forward for an unknown number of years. At the start of A New Beginning, Rick dons a new short hair cut and beard — very similar to the one in the Season 8 trailer. Additionally, due to an injury at the hands of Negan, Rick must now use a cane to get around.

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So, what does this mean for Season 8? Well, it seems that All Out War will only last a single season, which comes as a surprise to us. The Walking Dead isn’t traditionally known for its fast-paced nature, so it was anticipated that All Out War might stretch longer than a single season. However, the clip of “old man Rick” seems to imply that Season 8 will conclude at the end of All Out War and the start of A New Beginning.

Do you agree with our analysis? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

Sebastian Compagnucci

Sebastian Compagnucci

Sebastian is the lead host of The Walking Dead Enthusiasts Podcast. In his spare time, you can find him watching trashy reality television like Survivor and Big Brother.
Sebastian Compagnucci
  • Walt

    I think its hilarious that so many people are convinced the entire show is a coma induced dream, not taking into account “Fear the Walking Dead”. If Rick is dreaming in his coma and can magically manifest a separate sequal dream, he should join the X-Men because thats one hell of a power.

    • Xavier

      It was on the table until FTWD was introduced to extend the cash cow. Kirkman may not have wanted to do so, but with his temperament, it remained possible before the Walking Dead Extended universe . . . unless people count also the webisodes against the coma thing as well…