Rick Grimes has seen some serious shit over the course of The Walking Dead, in both the comics and TV show. He’s at an especially low point in the former right now what with dealing with the death of his wife, his faltering leadership skills and his community disintegrating. Plus there’s the hand thing. But through all this, Rick Grimes soldiers on, apparently the only character immune to the series’ motto of “no one is safe.”
Now, however, it seems his plot armour is wearing mighty thin, according to creator Robert Kirkman, but apparently, the story will go on. During a panel this weekend at San Diego’s Comic-Con, Kirkman was asked by a fan whether things will continue even after Rick is gone, and replied with the following:
“Yeah I think so. I’ve said before, Rick does not survive to the end. It was years ago so you guys probably forgot but I foresee there being more story after his eventual demise…Next issue.”
I’m hoping he’s joking with the ‘next issue’ comment (who knows, though?), but it’s kind of nice to hear that the occasionally sprawling Walking Dead universe does actually have an end point. Later in the panel, Kirkman spelt out his thinking a little more clearly:
“There was an ending I had in mind that I was thinking, ‘Oh, this would be kind of a cool ending.’ I got to a point where it should’ve happened and I was like, ‘I’m not done yet.’ And this was before the show. It got to a point where I would’ve had to start building to it and I was like, ‘Nah.’ So, I just threw that out and then I just kept going because I had all kinds of cool stuff I wanted to do.”
Then, after years of immersion in The Walking Dead’s various multimedia projects, he had a brainwave:
“I think about two or three years ago, I had a pretty good idea for a definitive ending. I have known that since then and been working towards that, so I know exactly where I’m going and what’s gonna happen when I get there. I haven’t written it down or anything so, you know, I don’t know why I would do that. It seems so practical and responsible but I remember it. So, I’m working towards that but it’s a very long way off.”
Can we dare hope for a happy ending for anyone in The Walking Dead‘s ultra-miserable universe? Probably not. But season 8 premieres on October 22nd, so we’ll soon get to see precisely how much horror they’re going to have to deal with before the inevitable nightmarish finale.