For fans of The Walking Dead comic books who also watch the television series, the general consensus is that Season 9 will include a pretty big time jump at the start. However, this may have been confirmed thanks to a permit requested by AMC for the zombie apocalypse series.
SPOILER ALERT: For those who have not read The Walking Dead comics and wish to avoid spoilers that might end up in the television series, please proceed with caution.
In the comic book series of The Walking Dead, when the All-Out war between Rick Grimes and Negan concludes, a significant time jump follows. This is when readers found out that Negan survived and relatively stable communities are being formed and already thriving. This included the community of Alexandria even though it suffered significant damage as it did in Season 8 of the TV series. Already, fans of the television series who read the comics are predicting the same will follow in Season 9.
Now, according to Vanity Fair, a permit requested by AMC during production of Season 9 confirms this time jump. The permit has been requested by The Walking Dead location manager for a "a 55-foot-tall windmill on the show's 'Alexandria' site." This request has been forwarded to the Senoia City Council, according to the Newnan Times-Herald. The request also states they would like the windmill to stay on location for three years. Alongside this, they asked for the permit for the Alexandria location to be extended beyond the current 2019 expiry date to match that of the windmill structure.
So, why is this windmill important?
In The Walking Dead comic books, this windmill is a permanent structure that features as a backdrop for the storyline after the All-Out War. It could also be considered proof that AMC will jump forward in time just as it did in the comic books and viewers will already see the completed windmill moving forward into Season 9 of The Walking Dead.
While this seems likely, it is possible AMC will not include a time jump. Instead, viewers will get to see this windmill as it is being constructed. However, fans will just have to tune into Season 9 of The Walking Dead to find out for certain whether it will feature a time jump at the start of the season or not.
The Walking Dead will premiere on AMC later this year.