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The Walking Dead Producer Tells Fans What Not To Expect From The Finale

The end is nigh for AMC's long-running zombie apocalypse drama "The Walking Dead." In fact, we're now just a couple of months away from the third chapter in the show's 11th and final season. And that final run of episodes will indeed serve as the culmination of more than a decade's worth of storytelling.

As it is, that story has essentially already outlived its source material, with creator Robert Kirkman bringing a swift and sudden end to "The Walking Dead" comic book series back in 2019. As Kirkman famously proclaimed to Kevin Smith on the "Fatman Beyond" podcast in 2021, part of his reason for ending the book series without any sort of fanfare was to avoid giving readers too much time to ponder and debate how the ending might, or even should play out. At this point, AMC bosses might be wishing they'd taken the same approach, as fans of the TV series have spent the last few months doing just that.

Even still, fans really don't know what to expect when the finale airs later this year as the show has diverted in ways too numerous to count from its source material. Likewise, the cast and crew of "The Walking Dead" have remained remarkably tight-lipped about the show's final episodes. But thanks to recent comments from series producers, fans have gained a touch of insight about what not to expect. 

The Walking Dead finale will be about endings, and not setting up new beginnings

"The Walking Dead" has already inspired a pair of intriguing spin-offs in "Fear the Walking Dead" and "The Walking Dead: The World Beyond." There are several new series in the works as well (per Insider), most of which are centered around major characters from the flagship series. That very fact has left some viewers expecting the final episodes of "The Walking Dead" to spend significant time setting up what's next. As covered by Comicbook.com, according to comments made at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, that will not be the case.  

Those comments came from longtime "The Walking Dead" producer Scott Gimple and current showrunner Angela Kang, who spoke at length about the final season during the series' SDCC panel. And according to Gimple, "The finale is about completing 'The Walking Dead' story, not setting up spinoffs." Gimple further added, "We didn't want the spinoffs to get in the way of that satisfaction."

Kang was quick to back that sentiment, stating, "I think the goal is that, even if there were no spinoffs, it would feel like there is a closure to the show itself." She did, however, slightly hedge on the finality of the series' finale. "But doors are left open, as they so often are in life, and as they were even in the ending of the comic," Kang said, continuing, "There's always a story that's continuing once the story that you tell on screen has ended..." And so it seems "The Walking Dead" fans can breathe a sigh of relief that the end of the show will, in a practical sense, actually be the end.

The final season of "The Walking Dead" begins October 2, 2022, on AMC.