The Walking Dead is back with the second half of Season 8, and things are already taking a heartbreaking turn from the comics. In the midseason premiere, viewers watched Carl (Chandler Riggs) say goodbye to Rick and Michonne in what is one of the biggest departures from the original source material. What did Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple say about what’s ahead in the Season 8 finale?
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gimple promised that the Season 8 finale is bigger than anything fans have seen to date. Gimple didn’t reveal any details about the episode, but it sounds like we’re in for another emotional rollercoaster.
“It’s very big. Probably currently a little too big. It was pretty amazing the scope of some of the things that we got to do. And yet the emotional intensity was insane. And it very much sets up the start of the next story.”
Past season finales have served several different purposes. Some have wrapped up storylines from the previous year, while others have set things up for the next season. Fans have also seen huge cliffhangers like back in Season 6, which left a lot of fans unhappy.
For the Season 8 finale, Gimple revealed that it will mostly wrap up Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) war with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), but it will also set things up for Season 9.
But how much will the Season 8 ending differ from the comics?
For starters, Carl died on the show, but he’s still alive and well in the comics. The flash forwards this season also turned out to be Carl’s visions for the future instead of real time. Viewers have also seen Dwight (Austin Amelio) defect, which is another big change from the original story.
Despite the changes, Gimple assured fans that they will capture the same emotions from the comics, just with different moving pieces.
This opens the door for a lot of possibilities. Could Negan’s fate be different from the comics? Will we see more major characters meet their end before the finale?
Fans won’t know for sure what happens until the finale, but Gimple did reveal a spoiler about future time jumps. Although the flash forwards this season were not real, Gimple said that there is a possibility to have more time jumps in the future, which means we might get to see an old Rick after all. It isn’t clear when that might happen, but it would follow closer to the story in the comics.
One of the biggest questions moving forward is how Rick will handle Carl’s death. With his war with Negan raging on, it will be interesting to see if Rick dials things back and takes Carl’s advice for a more peaceful end. If that happens, then there might be hope for Rick and group after all.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC. The Season 8 finale will air April 15.