Fans have been anxiously awaiting the official and final wrap for The Walking Dead with a lot of bittersweet longing and excitement. While the idea of saying goodbye to the series that’s been part of our lives for 12 years is almost impossible, the universe in which The Walking Dead exists is ever-expanding and full of camaraderie.
From the first episode of the series, when a wounded Rick Grimes woke up in an Atlanta hospital amid the fall of society as he knew it, to the latest episode, where our central characters are fighting for survival as well as for what’s right — it’s been a wild ride for fans of The Walking Dead.
It’s friendship and companionship, laughter and tears, a bond, unlike anything you’ve experienced before, and it’s all thanks to a show about the undead.
Over the last several years, conventions and social realms were born for fans of the series to connect with each other. The Walking Dead isn’t just a show or a universe; it’s a family. That family grew in places worldwide, at convention circuits, but it grew incredibly close in Senoia, Georgia.
Fans fell in love with the characters they met over the last 12 years, even if they hated some of them too.TWD didn’t just pit survivors against the undead — it dared to look into a fallen society and how people try to rebuild it. The show was and still is a brutal look at survival and the hoops people jump through for a promise of safety.
As fans tuned in season after season, they watched their favorite characters experience the highs and lows of life, all while up against inexplicable odds. There were moments of love, friendship, marriage, and even children being born. There were conversations you’d have around a table with friends — as normal as possible.
In the next moment, there were Walkers at the door or around the corner, and the fight or flight reflex kicked in. The series had staying power because of its truth — it kept in mind that the undead was part of the appeal, but so were the layers of the characters.
Daryl Dixon has always been a fan favorite (remember those “If Daryl dies, we riot trends?”) Norman Reedus plays Dixon in the series, and the show wrote the character specifically for him. Fans didn’t know what his future held because it wasn’t there to ponder. It was an exciting aspect of the series, but also a nerve-wracking one. Reedus has adored the series as much as fans have loved him in it.
Norman Reedus spoke recently about The Walking Dead coming to an end.
He’s not the only star feeling emotional and sentimental about the end of the series. Several cast members have shared pictures in the last few months as they appreciated their time together with a deeper understanding that things were about to change.
Just last month, Jeffrey Dean Morgan shared several snapshots of himself and his friends on set.
Fans of the series know that Negan is a character that brings a lot of strife to the series, but as The Walking Dead continues, we’ve seen layers of Negan being peeled away. Those who have been keeping up with new episodes know that things are changing for Negan. We won’t give spoilers away here, but we will say that the groundwork they’re laying down is making sense for the future.
Matt Negrete, writer and “friend of the dead” shared an emotional tribute to the series and the talented people involved in the show. Negrete said he began the show as a fan and ended it as one and that he got to learn so much in the middle.
As we shared before, executive producer Greg Nicotero, who also looks after the bone-chilling makeup effects, posted an emotional little shout with Norman Reedus earlier in the day. The two are great friends and even have restaurants together called Nic and Normans.
Showrunner Angela Kang also shared an Instagram post noting the importance of today and sharing gratitude for those who sent well wishes on their last day on set.
Several fans have begun making videos with scenes from the last 12 years of The Walking Dead, highlighting characters we’ve loved, lost, and bonded with. This one, in particular, sees the highs and lows, the good and the bad, and the hope that still exists.
This fan found some old cast photos, and they’re enough to make you ugly cry as they remind us of the characters we lost in the course of the show. Saying goodbye to Hershel, Tyreese, Shiva, Abraham, Glenn, and Lucille broke our hearts, and those are just a few of the characters we lost along the way.
As fans prepare to say goodbye to this chapter, to this story, and to these characters, it’s bittersweet knowing that those associated with the show also feel the same way.
You can watch the last episodes of The Walking Dead on AMC on Sunday nights and catch up with season 11 on AMC Plus now.