AMC’s The Walking Dead is teetering toward the end of its series, with the second half of its eleventh and final season scheduled to return to air on February 20. Fans of the show and the comic it spawned from are excited to see how the series will put an end to the walker incursion, which has caused untold disaster and chewed up several major characters since The Walking Dead aired in 2010.
Fans of the comic book and TV series versions of The Walking Dead know one thing for sure: amidst the blood and heartbreak, they are two entirely different entities whose events diverge fairly quickly from a singular timeline. Characters live in one version of the story and die in another.
Different things happen in different places to different people. But there have been exceptions to this rule; some stories, like Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) story, have been transferred to the show with only a few changes between the two formats. However, Angela Kang left us all surprised with her revelation.
This may not come as a surprise to devoted The Walking Dead fans, but the show’s sharp divergence from the comic book timeline will carry over into the series finale. Via an interview with series showrunner Angela Kang, while the series began “with the comic book as our foundation,” the AMC show also uses “a fair amount of riffing on that as well because we have a different variety of characters.” that are in the books at the end. He added that “we have different directions that the story has gone, so we’re definitely in a parallel universe from the comics,” but also expressed hope that the ending would honor the series’ “elements of theme and intent.” of comics.
In fact, comic book fans will remember that Carl Grimes survived to adulthood in the comics. Within the pages of the comic world of The Walking Dead, Carl marries Carol’s daughter Sophia, and together they have a daughter named Andrea. The world is peaceful and walkers have been a thing of the past for years. But suddenly one stumbles onto Carl’s property and kills him. Carl later learns that the walker escaped Hershel Greene’s care. Greene runs a carnival and the walkers are part of the sideshow of him, and after killing him, Carl is framed for destroying Greene’s property. Carl is then tasked with replacing the walker as a form of penance for both the law and Greene.
Sophia, Hershel, and Carl are all dead in the TV version of The Walking Dead, making recreating the comedic version of the series finale completely impossible, unless the show wants to erase seasons of major events.