‘Fear The Walking Dead’: A Cryptic Tree Message Has Fans Suspecting Madison Will Return

Seen in the midseason finale episode as well in the new Season 5 trailer, fans now wonder if it signifies Madison's return.

Kim Dickens stars as Madison Clark, as seen in Season 4, Episode 4 of AMC's 'Fear the Walking Dead'

Seen in the midseason finale episode as well in the new Season 5 trailer, fans now wonder if it signifies Madison's return.

SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed all available episodes and wish to avoid spoilers.

When Madison’s (Kim Dickens) tragic backstory was finally revealed in the Season 4 midseason finale of Fear the Walking Dead, many fans were shocked to find out that the character had died. However, many more also believed that because viewers didn’t actually see Madison perish, there was hope for her still.

Now that a new trailer for Season 5 of Fear has dropped and fans have had enough time to fully analyze it, some believe AMC has dropped hints about Madison’s potential return. However, the first new hint was actually dropped during the Season 5 midseason finale, according to Metro. During this episode, John (Garret Dillahunt) and Dwight (Austin Amelio) came across a tree with a message written on it.

“If you’re reading this, it means you’re still here,” the message said.

A ladder is also drawn on the tree alongside the message and what appears to be flames at the base of it. Fans are now speculating that this imagery could represent Madison’s escape from the Dell Stadium where everyone else thought she had perished.

Frank Dillane as Nick Clark, Kim Dickens as Madison Clark, and Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark, as seen in Season 3, Episode 16 of AMC's 'Fear the Walking Dead'
  Richard Foreman, Jr / AMC

In addition to this image, in the new Season 5 trailer for Fear the Walking Dead which was released at San Diego Comic-Con, video footage is shown of John near another tree that appears to have the same message as the first one. However, this tree, rather than having a ladder leading out of the flames, appears to have a series of stars on it. Once again, though, there appears to be the red of flames at the bottom of the tree. The image then pans out as Alicia walks towards it.

The tree is shown a second time briefly in the new trailer. This time, only one branch is shown as Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) and Luciana (Danay Garcia) walk past it.


Madison’s death has been the catalyst for her daughter Alicia’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) behavior over the last season and a half. After the episode aired regarding Madison’s fate, Fear‘s showrunners explained to The Hollywood Reporter that Madison’s story was now complete. However, many viewers pondered what would happen if Madison did return and found out that her son, Nick (Frank Dillane), had died.

Of course, as per usual with this sort of speculation, viewers will just have to wait for new episodes of Fear the Walking Dead to air in order to find out more.

Season 5 of Fear the Walking Dead returns to AMC on August 11.