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How The Walking Dead Got Its Own Timeline Wrong In 'Here's Negan'

One of the themes of The Walking Dead is how people change and how the zombie apocalypse changes people. The outbreak of the Wildfire virus permanently changed the world, forcing everyone to adapt or die. Some of those who adapted still managed to keep the good traits that make them who they are, while others morphed into someone who was unrecognizable. But for those who turned into monsters, the question is, did the zombie apocalypse make them that way, or were they like that already?

Occasionally, The Walking Dead devotes episodes to certain characters' backstories, exploring who they were before the world went sideways. The latest character to get this treatment is one of its most notorious – Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

The show's season 10 finale, "Here's Negan," is already available on AMC+ and will air on AMC on April 4, 2021. The episode follows Negan in the early days of the Wildfire outbreak, which is familiar territory for fans of the comics, as creator Robert Kirkman published a standalone volume about this subject with the same title in 2017. But for those who only watch the show, they will finally get to learn where Negan came from and why he has such an unhealthy attachment to a baseball bat.

There's just one problem, though — the chronology.

In the zombie apocalypse, the first thing to go is math

The beginning of the episode takes place as the Wildfire outbreak is beginning, and the show dates this as taking place 12 years ago. But that's a bit too long for the present-day storyline. Based on evidence from The Walking Dead universe, the outbreak started about 10 years ago. 

While The Walking Dead hasn't offered an official timeline of the show's events, its spinoff Fear the Walking Dead revealed that the outbreak happened in 2010. As for how much time has passed since then, the comics and the series are intentionally vague, and the many time jumps only make it more difficult to calculate. But based on several clues laid out over TWD's 10 seasons, fans have landed on 111 months since the outbreak, or nine months short of a decade.

But hey, when the whole world goes to hell, that's going to mess with your perception of time.