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The Meaning Behind Elton's Catchphrase On The Walking Dead: World Beyond

He may be only 15, but The Walking Dead: World Beyond's Elton is already among the wisest characters within The Walking Dead universe. The smartly-dressed young man is the first person to whom his peers turn when they need a bit of sage advice on their road trip through the apocalypse, and he always has a thoughtful observation at the ready. In fact, Elton already has his own zen catchphrase: "The wind always wins." But what does that mean, exactly?

Sadly, Elton lost both of his scientist parents when the empties first began to appear. Before his mother died, though, she did impart some wisdom on to her son, namely about how nature works. It's his mom who first told him that "the wind always wins," a shorthand for the way in which nature prevails no matter what. That's why Elton first says the phrase to Hope when they find an empty (known as a walker in TWD) trapped under a fallen tree.

For actor Nicolas Cantu, who plays Elton, the phrase is a perfect way to sum up The Walking Dead universe at large — even as humans struggle to survive, the earth is flourishing. The ways in which nature has crept back into even the most metropolitan of areas seems to prove that while our lives are temporary, nature is enduring.

Nicolas Cantu believes Elton's catchphrase provides insight into The Walking Dead universe

As a character, Elton is deeply philosophical about life. Even though he's young, he has already made peace with the idea that humans may not have much time left. Ultimately, he is a child of scientists, and he can see that, from a purely statistical standpoint, the odds of humanity enduring are low. This idea doesn't seem to cause him any distress, though — it's just how he sees the world. And that's exactly why he is "the center point of morality and problem solving" for his group, as Cantu told CinemaBlend in an interview.

But on the flipside of that realism, he has a healthy respect for nature and the ways in which it continues on, no matter what's happening with the humans of the world. In his interview with CinemaBlend, Cantu revealed that Elton's catchphrase is actually an apt summation of The Walking Dead's philosophy as a whole.

"In the world of The Walking Dead, 'the wind always wins' rings very true," he said. "With the dead now roaming the Earth, Mother Nature has reclaimed its spot as the controller, not the controlled. When humans were selfishly taking everything from nature, the world responded by revoking control from the people. Massive cities have been reclaimed by vines and trees, showing that nature is taking back what is rightfully theirs."

He went on to note that even the empties aren't immune to nature. As far as nature is concerned, they're just another bit of detritus that can be repurposed into something useful.

"Plants grow around empties, tethering them to the ground in some instances, and in others, wasps use the decaying body of an empty to build nests inside them," he said. "It was always nature's world; we just didn't see it until after our reign ended."

Ultimately, Elton's pragmatic stance on humanity's long-term chances of survival speaks to The Walking Dead's overarching philosophy: Life is temporary, but that also makes it all the more precious. The future isn't guaranteed for people, so the best thing that they can do is try to leave the world a little bit better off than they found it.