"What is the post of the series? Is the a dark message, or is it a light message? ns think the finish of this episode looks favor the prize to the question," outgoing showrunner Scott M. Gimple speak THR.

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The go Dead and the comic book series on which the display is based.>

The walking Dead ended that eighth season Sunday through the long-awaited conclusion come the “All-Out War” storyline native the comics and also the fight between Rick and also Negan. And, in a bigger sense, the episode closed one chapter and also opened a surprising brand-new one in the AMC zombie drama.

Unlike plenty of of the finales that came prior to it, Sunday’s closer did not attribute any significant character deaths. Instead, the show’s huge cast of collection regulars every survived, with one relocating over come spinoff Fear the walking Dead. That collection up the series to open a new, optimistic chapter the comes as current showrunner Scott M. Gimple steps down come oversee the whole franchise for AMC, with Angela Kang taking over the zombie drama in season nine.


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The conclusion that the war in between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) complied with some the the events of creator Robert Kirkman’s comic series: rick — inspired by Carl’s dice wish for a life of “something more” — opted to spare Negan’s life after ~ the rivals walk toe come toe. Despite being surcharge by the Saviors, Rick’s team came out victorious thanks to Eugene (Josh McDermitt), who produced faulty ammunition for Negan that eventually took out a variety of Saviors. The turned the tide in Rick’s favor and also ultimately allowed him to honor Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) hope the he’d create a serene future without violence.

While rick still slit Negan’s throat, he choose to keep his opponent alive and also have the male who eliminated Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) serve rather as a reminder of how they are building a brand-new civilization — and that the civilization has adjusted from his ascendancy of terror.

“Whatever conclusion we have will have been earn by what has actually transpired this season and seasons prior to it and also how it all cumulatively add to together,” outgoing showrunner Scott M. Gimple said The Hollywood Reporter ahead that the finale. “What is the article of the series? Is the a dark message, or is it a light message? i think the finish of this illustration looks favor the answer to that question.”


Rick and also Michonne (Danai Gurira) provide that article of hope to Negan complying with a short time jump that sets the phase for The walking Dead — under Kang — to start anew after ~ Gimple claimed Sunday’s finale would certainly be a conclusion of sorts to the an initial chapter of the series.


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“We knew for a long time that this season was, in many ways, the finish of a thing of the show,” Gimple said. “The differences that civilization will be seeing in season nine and also beyond space going to it is in pronounced. It’s walk to be a very different display with characters handling really different issues, challenges and threats 보다 we’ve viewed before. These personalities will be various in a the majority of ways.”

As for whether or notNegan have the right to be redeemed, Negan revealed the his random selection of Glenn and Abraham wasn’t actually random — he tells Rick the he didn’t want to death a dad in front of his son.

Season eight had many nods come the show’s 100 episodes that came prior to it, v a handful of nods come the pilot. Sunday’s finale featured a pre-outbreak rick walking with a young Carl in a scene the Carl defined in information in the letter the left for his father.

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Meanwhile, star Lauren Cohan’s future through The wade Dead remains unclear together the actress, who has played the vital role the Maggie because season two of the zombie drama, has actually been locked in a months-long contract renegotiation through AMC. (She tho does not have a contract come return, though Gimple claimed there would be news on that front “soon.”) Cohan recently signed on as the female lead in the ABC activity drama pilotWhiskey Cavalier. Resources say alphabet andWhiskeyproducers abc Studios to be amenable to allowing the actress to return in a restricted capacity to potentially close the end Maggie’s storyline. Cohan’s transaction forWhiskey Cavalierdoes leaving the door open up for her to return to the series on a more restricted basis have to she and also AMC near the gap and agree to a new deal.(Walking Deadtypically starts production on brand-new seasons in the spring, when many broadcast reflects have already wrapped.) even with the uncertainty neighboring Cohan, the finale set up a brand-new story for Maggie, that was furious the Rick opted to leave Negan alive. She season eight story ends v a vow come Jesus (Tom Payne) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) that she would avenge Glenn’s death by eventually killing Negan.

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(Major spoilers from the comics ahead.)

In the comics, ~ Negan is take away prisoner, Rick starts a barter system with all of the neighborhoods — Alexandria, the Hilltop, the Kingdom and even the Sanctuary. While the job of tranquility that monitor the sizable time run in the comics last because that a variety of issues, it isn’t long prior to a new war is on the horizon. Sunday’s finale readily available a few key ideas that The walking Dead may without doubt be ramping increase to present Alpha and the Whisperers, together the next battle that complies with Negan is the so-called Whisperer War.

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For those who haven’t review the comics — and this is a significant spoiler — the Whisperers room a group of survivors who usage the skins from the dead as a disguise because that survival. Alpha is the group’s mrs leader who, lot like Jadis was as soon as the Heapsters were an initial introduced, is light on words and also isn’t open up to making brand-new friends, allow alone working with various other communities. Alpha additionally happens to regulate a substantial herd that the undead, which she provides as a weapon (and to threaten Rick). In his decided to the Saviors and also the rest of the survivors, stack points come a substantial herd off in the street as the lone enemy. One more clue the the Whisperer storyline might be comes lies ~ above that same battlefield, i beg your pardon is lined with a variety of fence posts. While the seems like a throwaway piece of scenery, in the comics, those spikes the sorts offer as a boundary between Rick and also the Whisperers. (And a final resting ar for a variety of beloved characters, which us won’t damn it here.)

What did friend think of the season eight finale? Sound off in the comments section, below. Stay tuned to THR.com/WalkingDeadfor interviews v Gimple, Kirkman, Lincoln and Morgan plus an ext analysis.