The Walking Dead debuted all the way back in 2003 and after 193 issues, it all came to an end in 2019. That’s 16 years of story-telling, heartbreak, and of course: zombies.
While the beloved comics series by Robert Kirkman seemed to reach a sudden end, it turns out Robert and the team had planned the ending for a while but wanted to keep it a complete surprise to fit the nature of the comic series as a whole. But how did it all end, well keep reading.
Oh and *SPOILER ALERT*
The Death of Rick Grimes:
It all began with the death of the big boy himself: Rick Grimes.
From the very beginning of the comics it was always said that the The Walking Dead is all about Rick’s journey, it’s his experience of going through the apocalypse and while the TV Series strayed away from this concept, the comics always stayed true to that idea for the entirety of it’s run.
In issue 191, Rick Grimes pulled off one of his finest moments, preventing a war from breaking out and ensuring peace and solidifying a new world for thousands of people. He spoke his now famous words: ‘We are NOT The Walking Dead’.
\Then later that issue, he was suddenly killed off by a spoilt little rich boy. While it’s not exactly the most noble or epic death in the world of The Walking Dead, the affect Rick Grimes left on the new world is unfathomable.
READ MORE: 5 Reasons The Walking Dead Is Losing Viewers
A New World:
The final issue arrived soon after the death of Rick Grimes and involved quite a hefty time jump.
The final issue follows Carl Grimes, living out his days separate from other communities with his wife Sophia and their child Andrea.
Things are peaceful until he finds a walker and kills it, sounds normal right?
Well that walker actually ‘belongs’ to Maggie’s son Hershel who owns a travelling entertainment show in which people can see the walkers from a safe distance.
The world has moved on since Rick’s death and long story short Carl is taken to court for destruction of property.
The rest of the issue basically serves as a showcase of the new world, showing where the characters are now and how far everyone has come, communities are built, people are flourishing and even trains work now (thanks to Eugene).
Carl eventually goes to court and is facing time in prison, luckily for him the top judge at the court is the one and only Michonne.
Carl defends himself with a speech about the old days and how they used to be, as everyone seems to have forgotten of what used to be. Michonne agrees and lets Carl walk free, she secretly admits herself that there was no way she would put him behind bars.
Leaving the court, Carl and Sophia find a statue of Rick Grimes proudly on display, the man who made the new world. That leads us to the comics final moments.
The Famous Rick Grimes:
Carl and Sophia return home and he reads his daughter a book before bed, it’s a book covering the histories of their communities and the new world.
The story follows the story of the apocalypse, a time that’s now called ‘The Trials’, it’s called this because it’s not seen as the end of the world but instead a time in which people were tested.
The story explains how the world turned into a horrible place in which people were forced to start surviving, it became a place full of people forgetting who they were, becoming the worst versions of themselves and doing terrible things.
Just when there seemed like no hope, a man came along.
This man had been hurt by ’The Trials’ but he didn’t let it knock him down, he knew if people came together and stopped fighting, a new world could be made.
He travelled and found allies wherever he went, sometimes losing them too. He sometimes had to do bad things and was worried he was becoming a bad person, but he never did.
While Rick didn’t survive ‘The Trials’ himself, he managed to unite everyone as one, at a time when people only wanted to kill and fight one another, he showed them the way and taught them that they could be something more.
The book described how people are safe now, people live happy and normal lives all because of Rick Grimes.
And that’s it, Carl reads that story to his daughter nearly every night and we can only assume they go on to live happily ever after, right?
A Perfect Ending:
The Walking Dead come to what most would describe that perfect ending, making everything the comics showcased over 16 years feel worthwhile.
Every death, every sacrifice and every tear led to the final moments and Rick’s story truly felt like it meant something. While his death wasn’t the most noble, the end of the story and his legacy he left behind is what made the ending so satisfying.
We followed a random man simply looking for his family who gradually became a leader, an icon and a hero.
It wasn’t just Rick either, so many brilliant characters were introduced and we fell in love with nearly all of them, some becoming heroes in their own right and others become the very opposite.
The comics really valued their characters and their developments and that’s what made this comic series shine.
If you haven’t read the comics yet well now is the time, while there’s a hefty amount of nearly 200 issues, it’s definitely a journey worth going on and one you won’t regret.
And who knows, Robert Kirkman has already mentioned how we would continue the story in some way or another, so this might not be the end after all.