You don’t create one of the most watched television shows without fans analyzing everything – and we seriously mean everything. This analysis has resulted in quite a few fan theories about The Walking Dead floating around the interwebs. The most obvious fan theories are about the zombie virus – how it started, how it’s cured. Being that Robert Kirkman has straight up said that he won’t reveal what started the zombie virus, we may never find out if these theories pan out or not. On the plus side, the speculations about the beginning of the zombie apocalypse also probably won’t be dispelled either.
There are also theories tackling mysterious characters – like Enid, who very well may be a spy for the Wolves. Also included is a theory about why Carl doesn’t cut his hair because it is getting super long. You’d think he’d be worried about a zombie grabbing him from his luscious locks, but apparently Carl cares not. Of course, the likelihood of some of these theories panning out ranges from very likely to not a shot in hell. Some of these theories are seriously out there, but they are worth mentioning just on the very off chance that they do actually pan out.
We live in the golden age of television fan theories so let’s really indulge. Below are the 15 good, bad and ugly theories about The Walking Dead that every fan should know. Oh, also spoilers below.
15. The Reason Carl Doesn’t Cut His Hair
Let’s start with the saddest fan theory, shall we? We’ve all noticed that Carl’s hair has been getting pretty long. In all honesty, I’d love to know what conditioner he uses because it’s always falling in his face in such a delicate, feminine way. Alright, back on topic, why isn’t Carl cutting his hair? It’s not like he’s growing it out because long hair is in style. During the zombie apocalypse, nothing is in style. You just wear whatever the hell you want and try to survive. One theory proposes that Carl never cuts his hair because it’s his connection with his mother. Remember back in season one, Lori gives Carl a haircut. Noticing Carl fidgeting during the haircut, Shane told him that shaving is much worse because it stings, finishing with, “That day comes, you’ll be wishing for one of your mama’s haircuts.”
Lori passed away in season three and since then, Carl’s hair has gotten very long. While it could be that no one is there to force him to cut his hair, fans have theorize that he doesn’t want to cut it because it’s his connection to Lori. Tears, so many tears.
14. Dinner Scene Hinted Towards Other Deaths
During the brutal season seven premiere, The Walking Dead did something weird. There was a short dream/fantasy sequence where Rick imagined the whole group having dinner together. Maggie had had her child, who was sitting on Glenn’s lap. The whole thing was emotional, but it noticeably did not fit into the tone of the episode. Well, this ill fitting scene may have been included in the episode to foreshadow even more deaths. I know, say it ain’t so.
As the camera moves across the dinner table, there are four candles lit in the middle. Morgan extinguishes two candles, and coincidentally two characters seen at this table (Glenn and Abraham) were killed in that episode. Fans are speculating that perhaps two more characters seated at this table will also be killed off before the end of the season, rounding out the four candles. Emotionally prepare, you guys.
13. Breaking Bad Exists In The Same World
This one seems odd because Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead are very, very different shows. The only thing they seem to have in common is the fact that they’re both AMC shows but alas, a few Easter eggs have made fans believe that they, in fact, exist in the same world.
In season one, we see the crystal meth that Merle used and what do you know? It’s blue meth, like the blue meth that Heisenberg famous produced. Later in the series, Daryl describes Merle’s drug dealer as “this janky little white guy.” Huh, a janky little white guy could fit the bill of Jesse Pinkman. Daryl goes on to say that the dealer said, “I’m going to kill you, bitch.” Okay, so that totally fits the bill of Jesse Pinkman. “I’m going to kill you, bitch” has Jesse Pinkman written all over it.
There is also the fact that when Glenn has to lead the zombies away from the city, he drove a red Dodge Challenger with black stripes down the middle. This is the same car Walter White bought in Breaking Bad, black stripes and all. Of course, these could be fun, little nods to the other AMC series but fans have speculated that it is much more.
12. Walter White Started The Virus
This one takes the whole The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad are in the same universe theory one step further. It’s certainly a stretch but it’s one fun theory so we’ll break it down.
It suggests that anyone who smokes enough of Walter White’s blue meth would be turned into a zombie and that Gus Fring, of all people, was patient zero. The theory suggests that Gus may have ingested some blue meth before Walt blew him up in season four. Gus then reanimated as a zombie and started the zombie apocalypse. Yes, this theory makes Gus Fring a much worse villain than he already was in Breaking Bad.
11. Lost Exists In The Same World
Here’s another theory about The Walking Dead and another television show being linked – only this time it’s Lost. This is, of course, just as unlikely as Walter White starting the zombie apocalypse but it’s fun so we’ll dive into it.
In Lost, there were quite a few zany story lines but the zaniest may have been DHARMA and the number sequence, which was thought to have something to do with marking the end of humanity. The theory suggests that scientists working for DHARAM were trying to research ways to help people live longer, happier lives but instead accidentally created the zombie apocalypse.
Okay, so that’s the zombie virus theory but how are these worlds connected? For starters, Michael Cudlitz, who played Abraham on The Walking Dead. In Lost, we see the same actor in flashbacks as Ana Lucia’s partner at the LAPD. The theory suggests that he’s playing the same character, who left the LAPD to join the military and was relocated closer to Atlanta.
The other connection is Jeff Kober, who played the leader of the Claimers. In Lost, sideways Kate runs into a mechanic played by Kober. The theory suggests that Kober is also playing the same character in both shows.
10. Enid Is A Spy
Getting back to theories that could actually pan out, here’s a theory about one of the least liked characters on the show: Enid. A theory is circulating that she may actually be a spy for the Wolves. There are quite a few clues that go along with this theory and overall, it definitely feels like it could be right.
Enid is certainly not a normal member of Alexandria. Most Alexandrians wouldn’t be munching on a turtle or sneaking outside of the safe community every chance they get. But, that’s exactly what Enid does. One could chalk this up to her backstory, as she was on her own for a good while after her parents were killed in front of her. However, we were only shown a portion of her backstory. She certainly could have run into the Wolves, who then convinced her to become a spy for them. When she does approach the walls of Alexandria, she is very hesitant. We’ve seen that anxiety from Rick and his gang but they’ve had a bad run with strangers. We were not shown Enid falling prey to Terminus or Woodbury, so why would she be afraid of other humans when she is approaching Alexandria? Perhaps, it is because she knows of the horrors that await when she helps the Wolves attack the safe area.
Speaking of the attack, the episode in which the Wolves attack is named “JSS,” which is in reference to her “just survive somehow” saying. Choosing to name this specific episode after Enid and to also open the episode with Enid’s backstory does seem to point to the likelihood of this theory.
Need more proof? When talking about the size of Alexandria and how it’s too large to protect, Enid says, “That’s how we…” then trails off and doesn’t finish whatever it was she was going to say. It’s not like the actress had accidentally said this on camera. Her character was supposed to say “that’s how we” and trail off like that. “We” who, Enid? This is a huge red flag that she may have been about to spill the beans about being a spy for the Wolves.
Finally, why do we think the Wolves have a spy inside the walls of Alexandria in the first place? Well, the Wolves attack comes when Rick, Michonne, Abraham and all of the stronger members of the group were away. That seems to be quite the happy coincidence or perhaps it was that they were told when the stronger members would be out.
9. Rick Is Actually A Zombie
The theory attempts to answer the question of how Rick survived in the hospital for weeks without food or water, not to mention no medical staff checking on him. While the theory is far fetched, the idea of someone just surviving in a coma is too, so here we go.
One theory along this line of thinking suggests that the virus is dormant in Rick. This means some symptoms will show while others, like being a flesh eating zombie, will not arise. This suggests that he’s actually been killed quite a few times but comes back from the dead, as that is one of the symptoms not dormant in his body. In the first episode, we may have been watching him rise from the dead for the first time. The second time Rick may have died was after the Governor beat him nearly to death. Afterwards, he moans on the couch and is silent, causing Carl to think his dear ol’ dad died. Then it turns out that Rick’s fine, a little worse for the wear but fine. It would certainly help explain how Rick can seemingly live through anything.
Another form of this theory suggests that because Rick’s brain activity was so low during his coma, the virus didn’t attack him as it did everyone else. Both theories are interesting and could help in finding a cure, even if finding a cure seems very unlikely in the world of The Walking Dead.
8. Morgan Saw The Whisperers
Though we haven’t been introduced to the Whisperers, they may have already been referenced on the show. If you aren’t a fan of the comic books, the Whisperers are the main antagonist group that Rick and the gang are battling in the most recent issues.
After defeating Negan, the comics skip forward two years and it seems like everyone is doing well. Rosita is pregnant. Maggie is happy with her son, who she named Hershel. Like we said, happy… but happiness is fleeting in The Walking Dead’s world. They run into a new survivor group, whose members wear walker skin and travel among the walkers undetected. While walking with herds of zombies, the Whisperers will whisper to each other so as to not draw attention to themselves, thus earning their nickname. How bad are they? Well, their leader, Alpha, allows rape within her group, claiming it’s part of the natural world. Alpha also kills both Rosita (while pregnant) and Ezekiel, putting their heads on spikes. So, yeah, they’re baddies.
Where are we going with this? Stay with us. When Rick, Michonne and Carl run into a crazed Morgan during season three, he’s saying a lot of outlandish things. One of these crazy things was, “People wearing dead people’s faces.” Having been on his own for while, it’s completely plausible that Morgan could have run into the Whisperers and may have been referencing them in that bit of dialogue. Let us not forget that Morgan even bumped into the antagonist group the Wolves before they attacked Alexandria.
7. Abraham Said Goodbye To Sasha
After Abraham’s gruesome death, Twitter was quick to point out that he may have said goodbye to Sasha in his own special way. Giving the peace sign to each other was one of their little things. We know that it’s a popular symbol, but the pair would seriously give each other the peace sign quite often. Right before having his head bashed in, Abraham does a low-key peace sign in Sasha’s direction. Cue all the tears. Obviously, we don’t know if Sasha actually saw that, but the theory is really sweet.
We should also note that due to Sasha’s billowy dress, people have speculated that she may possibly be pregnant in the dream dinner scene. While we never actually saw Sasha and Abraham have sex on the show, they could have had sex off screen, though that is slightly unlikely. Through the events of season seven, we’ll see if the Sasha’s pregnancy theory pans out.
6. It’s All A Dream
A popular fan theory is that this is all a coma dream of Rick’s. I, for one, would be furious if it ended this way.
Being that we meet Rick when he’s in a coma, it’s led people to believe that perhaps Rick has been in a coma the whole time and this whole series is just some screwed up coma dream. Understandably, people tend to drift towards “it’s all a dream” theories when shows are just so far out there. That being said, even though there are zombies everywhere this world really does feel grounded in reality.
This theory proposes that the show ends with Rick waking up and seeing Lori, Carl and Shane at his bedside. Then all of the hospital staff could be characters he met along the way, like a full on The Wizard of Oz. This ending would not fit the tone of the show and would be rather unfulfilling for viewers. Thankfully, Kirkman put their theory to rest by tweeting out, “Rick is NOT still in a coma. The events of TWD are definitely happening.”
5. The Rest Of The World Is Totally Fine
We don’t know how the rest of the world is faring so it’s plausible that maybe they aren’t effected at all. Two different theories fall into this realm. One is that something could have gone terribly wrong on American soil. Perhaps, testing of a nuclear weapon or testing of a cure for cancer incited the zombie apocalypse in the US. Realizing what had been going on, the rest of the world could quickly have quarantined the US. However, that doesn’t explain why everyone is infected. If it were, maybe, an airborne virus that effected everyone in the US, one would think that it could have the ability to spread throughout the world.
Another line of reasoning in this theory suggests that the rest of the world may have infected the United States in order to finally take them out. By infecting the US, it may have just become a zombie wasteland. Couldn’t you totally see rich Europeans coming over to go zombie hunting, a la a Hostel-style scenario?
4. The Zombies Are Decomposing
The special effects makeup supervisor Greg Nicotero is an unmatched talent when it comes to his job. The Walking Dead isn’t the only thing on his resume. He’s worked on Preacher, Fear the Walking Dead, The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Drag Me to Hell and hundreds of other projects.
Nicotero’s a genius, so it’s safe to say that the guy is doing his job exactly the way it should be done. That being said, there must be a reason why he’s been making the zombies look more and more decomposed every season. Seriously, that little girl zombie we saw in the pilot episode was practically human compared to the gross zombies walking around in season seven. A theory suggests that the zombies are decomposing and will die from natural causes soon enough. Of course, with people still dying and getting bitten, zombies continue to be born and thus have to live out their natural life cycle, meaning that the first generation of zombies may die off soon but the newer ones will not.
3. The Characters Are Hearing Impaired
How do groaning zombies keep getting so close to our main characters when they are walking in the woods? One would hear the footsteps and the chomping of their zombie teeth. We’re just saying that normally, you’d hear someone sneaking up on you, especially if they are going “argh, argh.”
To explain this, a theory suggests that maybe all of our characters are severely hearing impaired. Considering that they have been firing off whatever weapons they can get their hands on without anything to protect their hearing, it’s certainly plausible. There was even a moment where Rick told Carl and Michonne to cover their ears and started firing off rounds while they were inside a car. Most gun safety rules warn against that for several reasons, one being hearing loss.
2. Aliens Created The Virus
Ah, aliens. Let’s get really sci-fi with it, shall we? Due to the fact that the virus only affects humans and not any other animals, it’s lead people to assume that this virus is manufactured, as opposed to natural. A natural disease would have most likely mutated and affected animals as well by now. By the way, zombie lions, tigers and bears are a horrifying thought.
If it were manufactured, we’ve already explored the idea of another country (or all the countries) having created the virus to take down the US, which is plausible. Another theory suggests that aliens may have inflicted the virus on the whole world. The fact that animals and nature have pretty much been spared from the virus means that the virus particularly whipped out mankind. This could certainly be a tactic used to overtake earth. By killing off the human race, the aliens could colonize without having to fight the human race. While this is far out, it actually seems like one of the most solid origin stories.
1. Babies Are Immune
First of all, all hail Daryl Dixon holding Lil’ Ass Kicker. Okay, moving on.
It’s been speculated that the babies born after the zombie apocalypse may be immune to the virus. Since the zombie virus is not just spread via zombie bite, the virus is clearly something that is in our bodies regardless of people being bitten. Whether the virus was airborne or how exactly it is affecting all people is not stated and will never be stated, as Kirkman said he will not be telling us. Gee, thanks, Kirkman. We’ll all just wonder forever.
A popular theory suggests that babies born after the outbreak are immune to the virus, as they may develop immunity while in the womb. Going even further into this theory, many have speculated the ending of the series will be bittersweet in that Judith may be bitten (oh, no!) but alas, she won’t turn (oh, yes!). With the tone of The Walking Dead, it is plausible that this could, in fact, be how the show ends. With the ending, they wouldn’t want to totally bum us out but at the same time, after all the gore and sorrow, we also don’t think the end will be all sunshine and rainbows either.
You’ve read all the good, the bad and the ugly theories about The Walking Dead. Craving more? We’ve got you covered: 16 Times The Walking Dead Ruined Our Lives, 20 Behind The Scenes Photos of The Walking Dead You Have To See, 16 Must-See Photos of The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan.