Rick waking up in the future

Fall TV premiers have officially begun, bringing the long hiatus to an end for most of the small screen's most popular shows. And few series are as hotly anticipated as AMC's The Walking Dead. The massively popular apocalyptic drama is heading into its eighth season this year, and its comic-con trailer dropped a major bomb on the fandom. In the final moments of the trailer, we were shown an older and grey Rick Grimes wake up, teasing a possible time jump some time in Season 8. Now actor Andrew Lincoln has revealed his thoughts on said time-jump, saying:

I was shocked and kind of excited by it. My instinct was, what a great storytelling device. That was my instinct. I thought it was very interesting, and also gives us an opportunity to do something else a little ahead of the game, which I think is very, very neat.

It looks like Andrew Lincoln is ready to age his signature character, and see where our favorite group of survivors are a few years into the future. But is the fandom down for this change?

A time jump would be a game changer for The Walking Dead, which has historically only skipped a few months at a time during its long tenure on AMC. It's only actually been two or so years since the apocalypse began in TWD's timeline, despite the many years that the fanbase has been watching their favorite characters brutally killed off.

Furthermore, jumping a few years in time would help the child characters age and become more valuable. Chandler Riggs' Carl has aged far faster than what makes logical sense for the timeline, and Judith was all but non-existent in Season 7. If they were to skip ahead a few years, we could have a Judith who actually have lines, and the comic book purists could calm down about Carl's age on screen.

A time jump actually happened in The Walking Dead comics, although Season 8 would have to move things very quickly if the series was going to catch up to the comics in that way. So perhaps the series will pull a Lost, with some flash forwards happening throughout the season. Andrew Lincoln expanded on the use of a time jump in his same interview with EW, teasing we might get some answers in the season premiere.

I mean, it's a gray Rick. It's an older Rick. So by virtue of the fact that you see, that means that it's in the future. . . . It will become somewhat clearer after the October premiere. Then again, it may not be. It maybe still is somewhat opaque. I think that that's possibly all I can say on the matter.

That damn Andrew Lincoln is always so cryptic. We truly are going to have to tune in in order to get answers, so set your DVR now. The Walking Dead will return for Seasons 8 on October 22, 2017. In the meantime, check out our fall premiere list to plan your next binge watch.

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