For the entirety of The Walking Dead’s flagship run so far, the main squad(s) of protagonist survivors have mostly been accustomed to dealing with one kind of undead threat, in the form of the traditional slow-moving and non-dextrous walkers. It’s the kind of thing someone who’s lived through an apocalypse might take for granted, and while the Whisperers knocked such presumed assurances for a loop, the show’s characters probably aren’t expecting any vast changes on the horizon. But as we can see from the super-sized “The Last Episodes” trailer above, released at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, such changes are imminent, with the final moments of the promo paying off on a big twist introduced in the series finale of The Walking Dead: World Beyond.
What’s Different About The Walking Dead’s Final Episodes Trailer
As it usually goes for its SDCC trailers, The Walking Dead dropped a potentially game-changing reveal on fans with Aaron mentioning “stories” of walkers that can scale walls and maneuver doorknobs, sounding as if they were the stuff of campfire legend, and that he wasn’t sure how much stock to put into such claims. I do think it’s patently ridiculous for Aaron (and possibly others) to have heard such fabled tales without any of those walkers ever appearing in the endless hordes this show has delivered already, but so be it.
Aaron clearly isn’t just speaking randomly, either, and is presumably trying to address a mysterious situation that could only be explained by walkers with evolved tactics. And sure enough, the trailer’s final shot is of a walker starting to climb a fence, which is definitely a frightening visual to consider.
For anyone who hasn’t watched any of the Walking Dead’s expanding franchise offerings beyond the O.G. horror drama, that reveal might seem a bit random. But as those who watched the entirety of TWD: World Beyond can attest, these climbing zombies are almost definitely examples of variant cohorts.
How The Walking Dead: World Beyond Set Up This Reveal
With its Season 2 finale, which was ultimately its final episode, The Walking Dead: World Beyond brought back former guest star Noah Emmerich as Dr. Edwin Jenner, who was memorably killed off in the flagship series’ Season 1 finale. In the spinoff ep, a video plays of Jenner talking about a “variant cohort” walker that he hadn’t yet seen yet in the U.S. Considering how many years ago he would have recorded that, it’s no surprise that info wouldn’t be current.
That episode ended with a French woman being shot in the head, and then rather quickly reanimating to become a faster and seemingly smarter version of walkers than what we’ve seen. So while that doesn't appear to be the exact same kind of variant, it means there are definitely multiple kinds of walkers out there now.
When The Walking Dead Returns With Its Final Episodes
The beginning of the end is almost here for TWD, and it fittingly comes just weeks shy of the anniversary of the series premiere back in 2010. The final leg of The Walking Dead's final season begins on Sunday, October 2, back in its usual 9 p.m. ET time slot on AMC. While that's still a few months away, it does give fans plenty of times to revisit the earlier days of the series with a Netflix subscription for a blast to the past before the end.
Another entry in the franchise is also on the way sooner in the 2022 TV premiere schedule, with spinoff Tales of the Walking Dead premiering on Sunday, August 14. There is no shortage of zombie apocalypse action on the way even with the looming end of the original series, so be sure to keep tuning in!
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.