The Walking Dead: Walkers attack nursery in final episode promo
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Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danni Gurira) both made their highly-anticipated returns to the world of The Walking Dead in the season 11 finale. In an affair that was always going to be the springboard for the series of TWD spin-offs in the pipeline, fans watched through tears as Daryl (Norman Reedus) went his own way, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) made amends for their journey ahead, and Rick and Michonne delivered hard-hitting monologues as viewers got a glimpse at their current whereabouts.
The last The Walking Dead fans had seen Rick, he was being carried away via helicopter alongside Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) midway through season nine.
Theories of his whereabouts have long been bandied around by the fandom, with a number convinced he’d ended up in the clutches of the CRM, the ruling organisation present in spin-off, World Beyond.
And thanks to his appearance in the dying moments of The Walking Dead season 11, it seems these theories have been confirmed after many spotted his attire and weapon of choice was identical to that donned by World Beyond’s Silas Plaskett (Hal Cumpston).
Rick was shown barefoot but donning the outfit Silas wore when he was relegated to the Civic Republic Cull Facility.
Rick was even holding onto the same weapon Silas was equipped with, prompting many to believe the two crossed paths in the TWD universe.
After all, the series ended with Rick being summoned back to the CRM after a helicopter had spotted him on his escape.
Could it be Rick had suffered a similar fate to Silas and took it upon himself to escape by any means necessary? And could he have even killed the World Beyond stalwart as part of his plan?
Fans will be waiting until the Rick and Michonne-led spin-off for concrete answers but in the meantime, a number have shared their own theories on Rick’s return.
Fan account The Walking Dead World first shared the images of Silas and Rick, tweeting: “Anyone else notice that Rick Grimes was holding Silas Plaskett’s weapon #TheWalkingDead #TWDWorldBeyond?”
And fan @tinyalienx replied: “I knew the crm is involved. I wonder if those characters in world beyond will be seen in the Rick & Michonne spin off.”
Elsewhere, @TWDTHEORYCRM was certain the outfit confirmed Rick has been relegated to the Cull Facility: “RICK GRIMES WAS WHERE SILAS WAS IN WORLD BEYOND!! Finally confirmed where the CRM put him.”
TWD viewers @04_Marta_T echoed: “Rick is dressed the same as Silas (and others..) in ‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’.”
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While @mikeyb72402 theorised: “Silas probably died and Rick found it on him and he took his stuff.”
And Jax was similarly in shock: “So the crm got Rick mother f*****g grimes and made him a glorified garbage man . That’s the same weapon and jacket Silas and the others had at the zombie clearing outpost in world beyond.” (Sic)
As fans await answers, many can continue to look for clues in Rick’s final speech in the season 11 finale.
While it appeared he and Michonne had reconnected, it soon became clear the pair were worlds away from one another and Rick was logging his thoughts in a journal.
Rick penned: “I think of the dead all the time, and about the living, who I lost. I think about them all every day. Their faces. What I learned from them. How they made me who I am.
“So much more than all of this made me who I am,” he added.
However, during the scene, it was confirmed Michonne had found the journal at a later time, proving she was on the right track to save Rick.
Rick had launched the journal and bag onto a crashed ship, so if Michonne had managed to find them, surely the pair’s reunion can’t be too far away when their own spin-off gets underway.
The Walking Dead seasons 1-11 are available to stream on Disney+ in the UK now.
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