The Season 8 trailer for The Walking Dead out of Comic-Con International in San Diego was the action-filled response to Season 7 that fans were hoping for. As indicated in the trailer -- finally -- the people of the Hilltop, the Kingdom and Alexandria will come together to take down Negan and the Saviors. However, it also provided an intriguing little teaser in its last moments with a shot of a much older-looking Rick Grimes, waking in his bed with a cane nearby.
Readers of the comic book know that after the situation with Negan concludes, the story jumps ahead by two years. Fans have already begun to speculate if this snapshot to another time is the beginning of that time-jump. Well, at the Television Critics; Association panel for the series, the Executive Producer and creator of the comic, Robert Kirkman, told reporters that this intriguing tease may or may not relate to the books, also noting that we won't have to wait long to find out. Answering a question about timing he replied, "I’m pretty sure you’ll learn in the first episode what that means."
This wouldn't be the first time a season premiere for The Walking Dead used this sort of technique. Several episodes over seven season have used flashbacks to tell backstory and set up the new season's plot lines. Readers of the book may think it's too early for the jump in time -- and Kirkman agrees -- saying, "Comic book fans know where a scene that kind of looked like that would fall, but it also doesn’t seem like we would be getting to that just yet if you were a comic book fan, so there’s a mystery to that."
If this flash-forward scene is shown in the first episode, it may just be a reassurance to viewers that despite all the sad drama of the past few seasons, happier times are in the cards for Rick and company; a thoughtful gesture considering their toughest battle is yet ahead.
Of course, Kirkman, known for his elusive teasing around the show, couldn't just be straight forward with his insight. He joked to reporters, "Or was it the time jump? I don’t know, maybe it was Rick waking up from his coma. Wouldn’t that be weird?" Kirkman would know better than to throw viewers for a LOST loop and try to explain eight seasons of the show as a coma-dream, but the joke is an obvious one.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC for it's eighth season on October 22. The Walking Dead is a production of Skybound Entertainment starring Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Melissa McBride as Carol Peleteir, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Green and Danai Gurira as Michonne.
(via Entertainment Weekly)