The Nostalgic Way The Walking Dead Is Honoring Its Past In Final Episodes

As the final episodes of The Walking Dead begin to air, the show is amping up the nostalgia factor in a major way. Find out what showrunner Angela Kang revealed about the process.

By Daniel Trainor Oct 03, 2022 11:29 PMTags
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What's old is new again—even on The Walking Dead.

On Oct. 2, the first of the storied zombie drama's final eight episodes premiered and things kicked off with a montage narrated by Judith (Cailey Fleming), the daughter of Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Shane (Jon Bernthal), who was adopted by Rick (Andrew Lincoln).

"I've heard a lot of stories about when the world fell," she said. "There were more dead than living, and it started to look like the world would go cold."

As Judith spoke, images from seasons' past flashed across the screen, including Rick in The Walking Dead's very first episode in 2010, as well as glimpses at characters like Beta (Ryan Hurst), Alpha (Samantha Morton) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) from across the years.

So, what was the motivation for this trip down memory lane?

"When we were working on this last block, we were looking for things that would give us a sense of history," The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang told Entertainment Weekly Oct. 3, "because the Commonwealth thematically has so much to do with who were you before, and you're stuck being that. And I think the story for our characters is, can we grow from who we were before? 

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Kang revealed that the montages will last until the series finale on Nov. 20—and that the idea came from Walking Dead chief content officer Scott M. Gimple.

"He pitched this great idea of 'What if you do these opening montages in some kind of way?,'" Kang said. "The concept for it was a little different, but then we kind of landed on this particular way that the narration works."

Kang also teased that each montage is specifically tailored to the themes of the week's episode, so fans should pay extra close attention, adding, "So you'll have to watch and see how it all plays out. But also, if you listen to the voice-overs, it's telling a story, too."

Jace Downs/AMC

As for what viewers can expect, storyline-wise, as The Walking Dead takes its final bow? Kang said there are still plenty of big questions left to be answered.

"All parties need to figure out, is there a way forward? Is this all going to explode into war?" Kang teased. "What's going to happen next? And I don't think any of them know what the next step is. And so there's going to be some great action and turns, and hopefully the audience will be surprised by the fun that ensues."

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.

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