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The Walking Dead Fans Think The Variant Walker In Season 11 Episode 19 Is Too Little Too Late

Even as AMC's "The Walking Dead" draws closer to its climactic and highly-anticipated series finale, the show itself continues to set up a variety of new storylines for the future — several of which might lead into the numerous spin-offs which will follow the series' conclusion. For example, one of the most shocking new developments from Season 11 Episode 19 was the introduction of a brand new variant walker — a dangerous threat that we've only seen a few times throughout the series.

During their journey to Oceanside, Aaron (Ross Marquand) and several other survivors encounter a zombie who displays a surprising amount of dexterity and intelligence: grabbing Lydia's (Cassidy McClincy) knife, climbing a ladder, and using a rock to try and smash in Jerry's (Cooper Andrews) skull. This particular walker is so intelligent that Aaron actually thinks it's a vagabond Whisperer, up until he tries to rip off its "mask" and finds himself face-to-face with its skull.

This chance encounter with the variant has extremely important implications for the future of "The Walking Dead" franchise, as it hints at the existence of even more intelligent and powerful zombies across the world – some of whom we could meet in the aforementioned spinoff series. That said, plenty of fans online were remarkably underwhelmed by the introduction of this terrifying new breed of walker, as many believe that this variant's introduction came far too late in the series.

Fans wish the variant walker appeared earlier in the series

Fans across social media made it abundantly clear that they found the introduction of this variant walker to be extremely bizarre since there are only a few episodes left in the series as a whole. "Seems rather late in the game to introduce variant walkers & acknowledge their abilities, but we'll see," tweeted @PicardLucy. "How do you bring a variant Walker into TWD with 3 episodes left of 11 series," echoed u/LaLigaLuke.

On top of the fact that the appearance of a variant walker seems extremely unnecessary with so little story left to say, other fans criticized the show's late attempt to make the walkers seem more threatening — as they've been dispatched with relative ease throughout the last few seasons. "It's honestly hysterical that they're trying this with 2 seconds on the shot clock," wrote u/Princisb on Reddit. "Walkers haven't mattered for years but now all of a sudden they're a threat again."

Although fans have been very open about their distaste for this late new addition to the zombie horde, it's worth noting that most fans don't actually mind the idea of variant walkers — u/EpicTrev on Reddit claimed that they absolutely loved the idea of distinct walker variants, and wished it had been introduced sooner, while @DavidWRose1986 on Twitter asserted that variant walkers would have been a welcome addition to earlier seasons. Considering the clear interest that fans have in this new breed of walker, it's possible that these variants could become a major factor within several upcoming "The Walking Dead" spin-off series –- and that perhaps this bizarre new storyline came at the perfect time after all.