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The Return Of Two Big Characters In The Walking Dead Series Finale Had Fans Going Wild

Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead finale

"The Walking Dead" certainly has a long and winding path through a world almost entirely consumed by zombies. Originally starting with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) as he awakes from a coma in a hospital, his confusion and disorientation are quickly shattered by the realization that there are hungry undead afoot. As he gets his bearings, Rick's primary pursuit is to find his family, whom he finds relatively quickly. However, survival quickly becomes a group effort as Rick collects a retinue of allies and enemies.

As anybody who has watched "The Walking Dead" might tell you, after 11 seasons, one almost needs to keep a flowchart to track the different groups, alliances, and relationships among the survivors. Not only that but there have been several main characters that have died or left the group, as well as new characters who have quickly become fan favorites or enemies that have become tenuous compatriots against greater threats. Even Rick, who was once considered the main character of the show, is considered dead among many of his family and friends, with only some knowing what truly happened to the former leader. Now that the final episode of "The Walking Dead" has premiered, it seems like the show has one last treat for fans, and it involves two long-missing characters.

Fans are loving that Rick and Michonne returned for the finale

The finale episode of "The Walking Dead," titled "Rest in Peace," sees the intrepid survivors deliver several stirring speeches and bring an end to the Commonwealth, which used safety and security as a means of masking their oppression and tyranny. However, during the epilogue of "The Walking Dead," both Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Rick make an appearance, which may or may not set up the next "Walking Dead" spin-off. Considering the elapsed time since fans last got a chance to see these characters, the response was pretty ecstatic on social media.

Expressing their all-caps-filled thoughts on Twitter, @cyilcal said, "YES YES RICK GRIMES AND MICHONNE BACK!!! YES YES YES HES BACKKK OMG THEY DID IT #TheWalkingDead #RickGrimes WE WON!" @chrissy posted an image of a haggard-looking Rick penning his letter to Michonne, and they said that they would never shut up about the return of Rick. @SexyYummyKitKat was also incredibly enthusiastic about this moment in the "Walking Dead" finale and said, "RICK GRIMES IS BACK!!! I have been crying all episode, but this BROKE ME!!!" Others also felt similarly about Rick's return, with @distiN444 posting an image of Rick looking towards a helicopter and saying that they were never so happy as to receive a spoiler as they are now and loved that Rick came back for this particular episode.

The showrunner said this scene took a lot of effort

The above comments were just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the deluge of expressions directed at the return of Rick and Michonne. @rickslincoln posted four different images of the final moments of "The Walking Dead" involving Rick and said that in just a few short scenes, Rick became part of "The Walking Dead" universe once again. Likewise, @Napoli_i8 also shared images of Rick and said that the king had finally returned. @mikadotougen also used the word king to describe Rick and expressed their excitement at finally seeing him return. Still, "Walking Dead" fans were delighted at this turn of events.

Speaking with Deadline, showrunner Angela Kang said of the Rick and Michonne finale twist, "For Rick and Michonne that was the trickiest piece because we were trying to keep that secret and things were leaking right and left all season. We're like, how do we hold on to this, and that's something like from the first pitch that I gave to the network, I feel like we have to come back to Rick and Michonne in some way. Just to me, but I think to a lot of fans, it's not going to feel complete, it's going to feel satisfying to see them, and everybody kind of was on board that idea." 

She continued and said that she wasn't even sure if "Walking Dead" was going to be able to pull off this moment and noted that it took a ton of effort in order for this scene to come to fruition. Considering the fan response and the planned future slate of "Walking Dead" spin-offs, it will be interesting to see when the next time might be for Rick and Michonne to appear.