The Walking Dead showrunner, Scott Gimple, has revealed that the show has an endgame - and that creator, Robert Kirkman, has offered to tell him what it is.
Speaking at the Saturn Awards in California, Gimple revealed that Kirkman has the ending for the series already planned out:
I would say ‘Yes’ [there is an end-game]. I actually don’t like spoiling myself on the comic. I read it as I go. Robert’s offered to tell me the whole thing so I get general aspects of it. I know the emotional end game of the show but there’s practical aspects, I want to keep with the comic. With these characters, you definitely have to think of the emotional endgame and that is very much a part of where I’m headed. But I want to have the flexibility to change the practicals with the comic and I don’t want Robert to spoil the whole series for me.
Obviously Kirkman isn't going to tell us mere mortals how The Walking Dead is going to finish, so instead, I thought I'd present 3 theories on how I think it will go down. Let me know what you think and share your own ideas in the comments below.
The Happy Ending
Considering most of the show and comic series is an exercise in misery and despair, I wouldn't bet a lot of money on it having a happy ending. That being said, it's possible the group - or whoever is left at that point - stumble across an oasis of sorts, a military outpost or government-controlled safe-zone that allows its residents to live in peace and security.
Who knows, they might even find a cure for the zombie virus, meaning that when you die, you just die and don't come back and try and eat your partner's face off.
The Hopeless Ending
One of the main themes of the show and the comic is the struggle for people to maintain their humanity. Despite the undead roaming the earth, it's often the people around you who are more likely to end your life with extreme prejudice.
Wouldn't it be dark - and incredibly powerful - to see Rick lose all those around him with his reckless and violent actions.
Then, having lost everyone he ever cared about, Rick's spiral into self destruction and paranoia is complete when, in the Season finale, Carl finally starves to death thanks to his refusal to interact and accept help from other survivors.
It dawns on Rick in those dark moments that he's the threat now; he has truly become the walking dead. Rather than live a life of loneliness, he tells the corpse of his dead son that he's sorry, before putting a bullet in his own brain.
And fade to black.
The Dallas Ending
In what would surely be the most unsatisfying finale in TV history, Rick finds himself cornered by a horde of ravenous walkers and quickly running out of options. As the stinking undead reach out with their grotesque, decomposing fingers, Rick decides to go out in a blaze of glory, screaming with a primal rage and attacking anything that moves.
However, he suddenly feels a sharp pain and sees that a walker has taken a chunk out of his lower arm. As he starts to fade out of consciousness, he sees his long-dead wife, Lori, standing in the distance, looking lovingly at him, and whispering to him to let go. Rick closes his eyes and everything fades to black.... Until suddenly he wakes up with a jolt. He finds himself lying in some sort of bed, with IV needles sticking in his arm. Holding his hand is Lori, who's very much alive and smiling at him. Carl runs into the room to hug his dad, and it's then that Rick realizes this is the hospital in Atlanta where he was brought to after being shot while on duty.
And then Shane enters the room...
How will The Walking Dead end?