[WARNING: The following contains potential spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11 and discussion of The Walking Dead comics.]
We’re fast nearing the end of The Walking Dead’s source material — and with it, we’re also nearing the end of The Walking Dead. With 24 episodes left to air, the zombie show will break its final season into three chunks, premiering the first starting on August 22.
The first set of episodes seems to revolve around two storylines: Eugene’s (Josh McDermitt) group’s journey and Alexandria’s battle against a new foe in the Reapers. Here’s how we think the show might blend some of the source material details into these first eight episodes.
A Notable Reunion
With the Commonwealth approaching, many fans wondered who’d be getting Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) arc from the comics. In the source material, Michonne reunites with her daughter at the community, who she’d previously thought was dead. In the source material Michonne is also a lawyer, so it’s possible Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) takes this given that she seems to be paralleling Michonne’s story. But Yumiko doesn’t have a daughter — at least, not that we know of — so, who is she going to find? Of course, it’s also possible this story goes to Princess (Paola Lazaro) or Ezekiel (Khary Payton) or even Connie (Lauren Ridloff), as it was implied in Season 9 that she saved the Whisperer baby because she had lost a child.
An Expanded Role for Yumiko
In general, if Yumiko is taking Michonne’s story, fans should expect to see a lot more of her in Season 11. Once she arrives at the Commonwealth, Michonne goes back to practicing law, which makes her an important part of Commonwealth society — eventually, she becomes High Court Judge of the community.
New Characters Galore
With a new season comes new characters, and plenty have been ripped straight from the comics for 11A. As part of the Commonwealth we’ll be meeting Mercer (Michael James Shaw), the leader of the Commonwealth army who eventually turns against its leadership; Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton), the community’s bookkeeper; Pamela Milton (Laila Robbins), who leads the community; and likely Sebastian Milton, Pamela’s bratty, entitled son.
A Gruesome Death?
The Reapers aren’t in the comics, so there’s not much to predict there. But in some of the recent trailers, disemboweled bodies dangling from trees have been shown — and in a way, there is comics precedent for that gruesome end. Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) died in the source material via disembowelment during the Whisperers arc, after he falls off a water tower, shatters his ankle and gets caught in the ladder, and Beta (Ryan Hurst) comes along. Obviously, Father Gabriel didn’t meet that particular end on the show. But it’s possible, with the Reapers killing people in much the same fashion that he would’ve died, that “Father Not the Father” doesn’t make it out of 11A.
With Eugene headed to the Commonwealth, it’s likely he’ll meet Stephanie — or at least, that’s how it happens in the source material. And in the source material, those two are happy together presumably for years, until Stephanie’s death (which isn’t shown).
An unlikely flame could spark between Mercer and Princess, as they’re together in the comics as well. TWD hasn’t always (or even usually) followed the source material as far as relationships go, but they’re an interesting pairing — and they stay together for decades.
Finally, it’s possible Maggie (Lauren Cohan) might end up finding love again. In the comics, Maggie eventually began a relationship with a man named Dante, who was one of her advisors at Hilltop—in the comics, Maggie never left after All Out War. For a little bit in Season 8, it seemed like Alden (Callan McAuliffe) had a crush on Maggie — but that never went anywhere, and he ended up with Enid (Katelyn Nacon). It’s not likely we’re getting Dante, as that name was already used (remember the Whisperer who infiltrated Alexandria as a doctor?). But it might be worth remembering there is comics precedent for Maggie having another relationship, either with Alden or with one of the people from her community.
The Walking Dead Season 11, Premieres August 22, 9/8c, AMC