The Unexpected Way The Walking Dead Series Finale Could Have Ended

After surprise appearances from Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira during The Walking Dead series finale, executive producer Greg Nicotero shared the alternative ending that almost aired.

By Vivian Kwarm Nov 21, 2022 6:12 PMTags
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A blast from the past.

The Walking Dead fans were gifted a nostalgic surprise for the final episode of the long-running post-apocalyptic zombie series as fan favorites Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) returned to tease their upcoming spinoff. However, viewers were nearly in for a different final moment.

In an interview with Insider, executive producer and finale director Greg Nicotero shared the last-minute changes that allowed for the cameo. "There was a scene that we had shot, but when it was decided to put the coda in we felt like it would conflict with the Rick and Michonne bit. So we took it out." 

The cut scene, the finale's original ending, would have jumped forward in time with adult RJ and Judith looking to escort any survivors back to their Freedom Parkway communities in Atlanta, continuing the legacy of their mother, Lori Grimes.

Nicotero added that he initially wasn't sure how they would be able to end the series noting he want "back and forth" on the different options, including what they'd do if Lincoln and Gurira weren't able to make an appearance.

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"We weren't sure about their availability," he explained. "We weren't sure about how to integrate this Rick and Michonne beat into the current narrative, which was wrapping up the Commonwealth story." In October, showrunner Angela Kang recalled how the decision to take the trip down memory lane came to fruition.

"When we were working on this last block, we were looking for things that would give us a sense of history," she told Entertainment Weekly, "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?"


All 11 seasons of The Walking Dead are available to stream on AMC+.

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