The Walking Dead is readying a Season 8 return that will thrust our favorite survivors into the thick of the long-anticipated "All Out War" between the groups of Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes and Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan and his apocalyptic plunderers the Saviors.
The Walking Dead has always been a shocking television series - and not just because of the numerous tension-filled encounters with the undead. The moment seemed to set-up the time jump fans know from the comics, which took place in issue #127, pushing the narrative ahead a full two years.
'The Walking Dead': Andrew Lincoln Was 'Shocked' & 'Excited' by Old Rick Twist
Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes in the series, told Entertainment Weekly he was surprised but excited by the narrative choice, and teased fans will have some answers (maybe) when the season premiere drops in late October. It could be exactly what it seems like - maybe it's a tease to the end of Season 8, and they'll jump ahead after the "All Out War" story with Negan's forces. Indeed, while Lincoln's comments seemingly cement the idea of the time jump, his language is also vague enough about the context of what we're seeing to be open to interpretation. Instead, showrunner Scott Gimple told TVLine, "That won't come until about halfway into the season".
"My instinct was, what a great storytelling device", he said of learning about the twist. "I thought it was very interesting, and also gives us an opportunity to do something else a little ahead of the game, which I think is very, very neat". "It's an older Rick". Lincoln did confirm that it's an "older Rick", adding, "so by virtue of the fact that you see, that means that it's in the future". And is it a real future or another dream sequence like the Glenn and Abraham feast in last year's season premiere. "It will become somewhat clearer after the October premiere", says Lincoln. "Then again, it may not be. I think that that's possibly all I can say on the matter". What do you think the Old Man Rick scene means? Share your theories below and make sure to check out our big Walking Dead cover next week.