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The Return of the Walking Dead
As with any iconic story, viewers expect the show runners to be thinking several steps ahead. This is especially true with The Walking Dead as the television universe is several chapters behind the graphic novel so a great deal of future subject matter already exists. While the show tends to deviate from the comic on several points keeping it fresh for the viewer who consumes the story in both formats, many keen viewers are adept at sniffing out clues in the show and tie backs to the comic that foreshadow future events.
Old Man Rick in the Season Trailer
In the trailer video for Season 8, the final scene shows a much older Rick Grimes waking up in a serene bedroom setting with his cane propped on the wall. There are a few fan theories about this scene. First, and most frustrating, is the theory that the entire apocalypse really was just Rick's coma dream and the characters, save for Lori, Carl and Shane, were all just figments of his imagination. This is incredibly unlikely and more importantly, might cause a fan apocalypse.
The second theory is that the show is about to experience a large time jump and the rest of the season will be viewed through Rick's memories of the war with the Saviors and how the new world was constructed from the ashes of the old. This is a more plausible theory as the graphic novel, itself, does contain a time jump and the show runners have confessed that the same will eventually occur in the show.
My personal theory is that Rick is imagining the future. Perhaps he is remembering when Negan said, "You thought you were all going to grow old together..." in the premiere of Season 7. I believe the scene was added to the trailer simply to create a buzz and keep viewers guessing.
Will Negan Die or Become a Prisoner?
It seems clear to everyone that good will conquer evil in this war for the future of humanity but at what cost? We're at a pivotal turning point and it's difficult to tell the difference between good and evil. Carol, considered a good person, has done unspeakable things in the name of survival. Rick, too, no longer checks his moral compass. The man who once suffered great internal turmoil over the fate of Randall brutally bludgeoned Gareth to death in the pews of Gabriel's church.
A serious turning point came when the group assassinated the sleeping Saviors in the outpost. This was the first and last time Glenn killed a living person.
Morgan may be able to kill again, but back in Season 6, he did something that no one is talking about. He built an actual jail cell in Alexandria. Will this be the future home of Negan? Will the group decide that the only way to start over is to regain their humanity and rule of law or will they simply turn Lucille against her master and turn Negan's head into a bloody pancake?
I believe that they will incarcerate Negan just as they did in the comic. That's not to say that he won't do something to cause his own eventual demise but the group will at least make an attempt to regain some civility first.
Finally, The Picnic Scene
In the premiere of Season 7, after the loss of Glenn and Abraham, Rick imagines a peaceful Alexandria picnic scene. The majority of the group is together sitting around a long dinner table. It was an emotional scene for many, as Glenn and Abraham are also at the table, but if you looked closely, there were nuances, hidden clues perhaps, in this scene.
The thing that viewers found most concerning is that only half of the table is dressed with a cloth. The other half is bare. If you look at the seating arrangements, you find Rick at the head of a table with Michonne, Daryl, Tara and Rosita on his right and Gabrielle, Carol, Carl, and Enid on his left.
There is a split in the table and Glenn sits at the head of the table with no cloth. Maggie and her son, Spencer, Eugene, and Aaron are on his right. Abraham, Sasha, and Morgan are on his left.
The fan theory is that everyone sitting with Glenn is either dead or will die. So far, that prophecy has come true for Spencer and Sasha.
I believe the fans may be right on this one. I wouldn't be surprised if, after the deaths of the remaining characters, the group celebrates their victory over the Saviors with a picnic dinner and sets an empty table for their fallen comrades.