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While a lot of The Walking Dead’s narrative over the last five seasons often appeared to be forward-moving without a lot of looking back – minus references to dead characters, that is – showrunner Scott Gimple has really started opening this world up unto itself in the latter half of Season 5. With new characters and locations come more clues and hints for not only what’s ahead, but also what we’ve already experienced. Case in point: a Season 1 episode features a story from Dale that seems to foreshadow the group’s current time in Alexandria.
In the fourth episode of Season 1, “Vatos”, the group is sitting around a campfire and having a temporarily non-deadly get-together. As pointed out by someone at TheSpoilingDeadFans Tumblr, Dale paraphrases a section from William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury that mirrors current events. Read it below and pay attention to the bolded words here.
I like what the father said to the son when he gave him a watch that had been handed down through generations. He said: ‘I give you a mausoleum of all hope and desire which will fit your individual needs, no better than it did mine and my father before me. I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you may forget it. For a moment, now and then, and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it.’
You’ll notice that those five words are the final five episode titles of Season 5, the ones in which Rick’s group is coming to grips with living in a new community. And even though the time metaphor fits in here pretty well as it is, I like to think this can be taken as a purely literal interpretation of Alexandria and Rick’s place in it. Just try not to picture Dale’s crazy eyes here, as that makes it seem more like lunacy.
It doesn’t take much of a mental stretch to put the “mausoleum” part into context here, for even though this walled-in area is the one place where the walkers are kept out, there is still the ever-present threat of death inside. All of the group’s individual needs, hopes and desires can be found in Alexandria, should they choose to accept them. If Rick allows himself to exist solely for keeping the community going strong by paying less attention to the past and future, then Alexandria might stand tall for an unknown amount of time. Unfortunately, Rick only seems to grasp the “conquer” part of all this, so he’ll presumably play a big role in turning it to shit at some point. (Damn you, Father Gabriel!)
This might seem like random nonsense to some, considering Scott Gimple wasn’t even a part of the crew yet, the episode was written by comic creator Robert Kirkman, who always knows what’s coming up in the world of The Walking Dead. Here’s hoping there are more Easter eggs like that to be found in the future.