In Defense Of The Walking Dead Ending: From A Hardcore Walking Dead Fan

Let's look on the bright side.

If you haven't heard, The Walking Dead is finally coming to an end after season 11. It's a sad, depressing day for all The Walking Dead fans around the world.

If you haven't yet, check out my article about the show ending HERE!

But I'll summarize it here. The Walking Dead is OFFICIALLY going to end after season 11. But, at least season 11 will be extra long. Instead of the normal 16 episodes per season, the final season will have 24 episodes. Broken up into two 12 episode runs over the span of two years. Ending in 2022.

And after The Walking Dead ends, at least two spin-off shows will take it's place. The first spin-off, currently titled "Tales Of The Walking Dead" will be an anthology like series, telling various stories of various characters old and new. So expect to finally see origin stories of all your favorite characters! I highly expect there to be a Governor origin tale, and an Abraham/Eugene/Rosita origin story as well.

The second spin-off will be...

(Possible spoilers ahead! Because the second spin-off series CONFIRMS certain characters will survive past season 11!)

... A spin-off focused on Daryl and Carol. But let's be honest, besides the currently missing Rick Grimes, they are the only two original characters left from season 1. AND, their spin-off will still be headed up by the current Walking Dead show-runner, Angela Kang.

So, like I said in my original article, you can very well consider this spin-off to be a continuation of the main series. And I'm especially happy Angela Kang will continue on as show-runner. Her start in season 9 proved to be the revitalization (and saving grace) of the series, in my opinion.

Now, let me tell you why I think the series ending can be a good thing for the franchise as a whole.

The Walking Dead's greatest strengths can also be considered it's biggest weaknesses.

The Walking Dead is at it's BEST, in my opinion, when all of the characters are together, working together, and dealing with problems together. But we have more or less got that, when all is said and done, for ELEVEN years. ELEVEN full seasons of the same core group of characters dealing with the same situations and same villains, together.

Which isn't a bad thing...

But I'm ready for something more. Something different.

The Walking Dead is at it's WORST, in my opinion, when the characters are separated the most. Don't get me wrong, some of my favorite episodes are the bottle episodes (episodes focused on one character), but when you get too many of those in a single narrative, it tends to make the plot drag and feel like too much time spent simply treading water.

But when done correctly, bottle episodes can be beautifully written and some of the most impactful of the whole series. The image above is from the season 6 episode "Here's Not Here", one of my favorite episodes in the whole series that focuses entirely on Morgan's character,

And I know what you're thinking, how can I say The Walking Dead is at it's worst when characters are separated, yet be extremely optimistic about the show ending and standalone spin-off's taking it's place.

It's because with standalone spin-off's (and feature films), we rid ourselves of the burden of everything needing to be connected, in some way shape or form.

Let me explain...

In The Walking Dead, especially in later seasons, we have so many different storylines going on. Yet it's all connected. So we have to sit through what many people consider to be "boring bottle episodes", because it still connects to the main plot. And that could be a hindrance to all the other great storylines and character arcs that COULD happen, but don't happen, because it doesn't fit the main narrative at hand.

For example, let me give you two possible storylines that could happen in The Walking Dead universe.

  1. Negan is pardoned by the Alexandria community. He can either stay there, or set off on his own. He decides to leave, because he knows he will never truly be excepted into their community. So he travels states away, and meets a new small group of people. Possibly a love interest. And he tries to completely restart his life.

  2. Michonne tracks down Rick, and finds where he has been all these years. It's the largest community they have ever seen. Over 50,000 people. Rick has been kept as a prisoner there, and together Rick and Michonne must fight their biggest, most advanced enemy yet.

If those storylines both happened as part of the same series, in the same season, it would be a hindrance to both the pacing of the show, and the storylines themselves. And in the end, those storylines would also have to connect, which wouldn't necessarily be the best thing to happen plot wise.

But if those two storylines were separated into two COMPLETELY different series, they would both get the love and attention they deserve, and one plot wouldn't ruin the other. Which is what would most likely happen if they tried to do those plotlines in the same series.

But, like I said before, I am a hardcore fan of The Walking Dead. I will defend the series until my dying day. Sure, it has it's problems, but lately it's simple becoming trendy to hate on it. The show had a couple rough seasons (I'm looking at you season 7 and season 8), but all in all it is one of the greatest television series to ever grace our screens.

And in the end, we will have 11 full seasons of our favorite characters working together. Our favorite characters interacting as part of the same plot. But now, I'm excited to see them separate a bit. I'm excited to see where their individual roads lead. What journeys they go on, what new characters they meet, and how they get themselves out of trouble without always relying on the same group of supporting characters.

The end of the road always leads to a whole new start.

We still have Fear The Walking Dead. The newest season is set to premier on October 11th, 2020. As far as we know, this show still plans on going on.

And we also have The Walking Dead: World Beyond to look forward to. The second spin-off series that is premiering on October 4th, 2020.

That's right, we will have two series in The Walking Dead universe airing at the same time!

And on top of that, the Rick Grimes focused feature films are still on the way! And the two newly announced spin-offs. That's a total of 6 projects in The Walking Dead universe to look forward to! It's clear this franchise isn't going away anytime soon...

Watch the latest season of The Walking Dead HERE!