With forums and social media such a large part of the way we consume television these days, it’s no surprise that the way we talk about TV has evolved. Friends used to swap theories about their favorite shows across school desks or by the water cooler at work, or maybe even at conventions or cast appearances.
Now, fans can communicate with one another across the world thanks to the ease of using the internet as soon as a new episode airs. That’s led to some serious investigative skills and thoughtful theory-making.
Some theories are pretty out there, but even the craziest theories can have merit. When a show like The Walking Dead has been on for years, it means there are plenty of ludicrous theories (walkers being powered by sunlight comes to mind) out there, but there are just as many that seem like perfect fits for a show in a post-apocalyptic landscape.
Fans have the chance to comb episodes for clues thanks to DVR and streaming sites, and they also have the benefit of existing comic book stories to build their case.
We’ve rounded up some of the best of the best theories to give you the 15 Walking Dead Fan Theories That Make TOO Much Sense.
15 Rick And Company Are The Real Villains
The audience has always seen Rick, Maggie, Daryl, and all of their friends and family as the heroes of The Walking Dead. Of course, that’s because we’re seeing the events of a zombie apocalypse unfold from their point of view.
We see the group go up against the residents of Woodbury, take out those at Terminus, take over at Alexandria, steal Oceanside’s weapons, and even turn the Hilltop on its head, all in the name of preserving their own way of life.
Though the Saviors are currently painted as the show’s villains, it’s been pointed out over and over that their harsh system of living - and killing - is what’s been keeping their people alive, and Rick’s people are a threat to that.
Could it be that one day Rick and his found family will finally be shown as the bad guys? We’ll have to wait and see.
14 A Cure Will Be Found
We might not know all of the science behind the events that led to the dead reanimating, but we do know that a virus exists and everyone is supposed to be infected. That information came courtesy of a visit to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta early on in the series.
When Eugene entered the show, there was a moment of hope that a cure for this virus was possible, but that hope vanished fairly quickly without the audience seeing anyone actively working on a cure.
Since the show focuses on a small group of survivors in the rural south, there’s no reason to think that there isn’t someone out there working on a cure though.
A faction of fans has decided that the series will end with someone finding a cure and it eventually making its way to the survivors.
13 It’s All Eugene’s Fault
When we first met Eugene, he told everyone he was a scientist who worked on a cure for the walkers, and he had to get to Washington to speak with whomever was left in government. That was quickly determined to be a lie, but was it really?
Eugene proved himself as the kind of person who does whatever necessary to save his own life - even throw in with Negan’s camp. He’s also shown himself to be remarkably intelligent, thinking outside of the box to form plans, and even solving everyone’s bullet problem. He’s incredibly scientifically minded.
Perhaps, as this fan theory suggests, Eugene was a scientist in his former life, and perhaps he wanted to help with a cure because he’s the one who caused this outbreak.
It would explain his need to survive, his scientific knowledge, and his shifting lies that apparently have a kernel of truth.
12 Walkers Evolve
On the opposite end of the walker-theorizing spectrum is the idea that decomposition might not matter if and when the walkers evolve - though into what is anyone’s guess.
So far, The Walking Dead has taken place over a very condensed time period, so the only walkers the audience has seen are mindless hordes attracted to loud noises and heat.
They can be distracted by the setting of fires, guns going off, and even by the sound of a blaring car horn, making it easy to get them moving in another direction.
Like any organism, including a virus, they can change. As time goes on, all living things evolve. We could see the eventual rise of stronger, faster, and even smarter, walkers to create a true threat to what is left of humanity.
11 Rick Already Died
The series opened with Rick Grimes in a coma in an Atlanta hospital. At some point while he was in that coma, the apocalypse became a reality when the dead began to reanimate into the walkers we see on the show.
Rick was still in a coma when infrastructure began to fall apart and people were left to fend for themselves. One of the things that also quit working while he was in that coma? Electricity.
That means the machines helping to keep him hydrated, monitoring his vitals, and providing him with oxygen stopped once the hospital’s generator gave out.
Since the audience doesn’t know exactly when that happened, the idea is that Rick could have died while in his coma, but his brain activity being as low as it was allowed him to reanimate closer to his old self than that of a mindless zombie.
10 This Is Carl’s Story
One of the longest running theories about The Walking Dead is that we aren’t watching Rick’s story unfold, but his son’s.
Episodes focusing on Carl tend to be incredibly slow paced compared to the rest of the show, but the events that unfold also tend to be the most detailed of the stories on the show, so there’s a definite possibility that Carl is the real focus.
Critics have argued that Carl can’t be telling the story simply because he wasn’t present for every event we’ve seen play out on screen, but those same critics should remember that Carl is often in the background watching things unfold and making his own plans.
He’s also the one who listens to everyone else’s stories when they return. He could easily have an entire library of post-apocalyptic tales to share.
9 North America Is Quarantined
With The Walking Dead filming in Georgia, and much of the show’s action set in the southern United States, the audience doesn’t really get an idea about what could be going on in the rest of the world, so it’s entirely possible that other areas of the planet are just fine.
With Fear The Walking Dead expanding the scope of the franchise to include the West Coast and Mexico, the audience still only gets to see what’s going on in North America. This theory postulates that the continent has been quarantined to prevent walkers from spreading and putting the rest of the planet in danger.
If the virus is contained on a single continent, it would certainly make for a heck of an ending to find that the rest of the world has been watching North America crumble while it prepares to defend the planet.
8 Rick Never Found His Family
Over the course of the show, we’ve watched as Rick woke up from a coma to a completely changed world, set out to find his wife and child, lost his wife, and began to create a new community. What if that’s not what happened at all?
Fans initially speculated that maybe the long established TV trope of “it was all a dream” would come into play as Rick would finally wake up from his coma in the series finale, but that theory has since been shot down by producers.
Fans found a new way to make the idea work, instead theorizing that Rick had a mental break from reality and that what’s happening is all in his head. He never actually reunited with Lori and Carl, and instead, his fighting the walkers is a crazy man’s daydream.
7 Oceanside Will Save The Day
In season seven, the audience was introduced to the community of Oceanside, a group of survivors on an island not far from where Rick and company have made their home.
Mostly made of women after losing their men to war with Negan, the group is hidden away from the Saviors, and want nothing to do with Rick’s war, though Rick’s people did commandeer their guns for the fight.
In the graphic novels, Oceanside wasn’t introduced until after the conflict with Negan was resolved, leading viewers to speculate that the little community might actually end up being Rick’s ace in the hole.
The Kingdom has already lost many of their best fighters and the rest of the group seems to be one step behind Negan. Oceanside might not have guns now, but with a little more time, they might just save the day.
6 Walkers Will Decompose
It’s no accident that the opening credits of the show appear to be falling apart the more time goes on. In fact, they’ve been designed to decay a little more each season, indicating just how much the world is falling apart.
Viewers have also noticed that as time goes on, the walkers have been decaying and decomposing, just like the opening credit sequence. Those walkers who have been out in the southern heat for an extended amount of time are barely recognizable as human-- it’s only recently deceased that still look like people with clouded eyes.
If the survivors could just hunker down somewhere, they could conceivably wait out the walkers. Once the older generation of walkers is gone, the population would just have to take precautions with their own dead to make sure they don’t reanimate.
5 Enid Is A Spy
Alexandria was a safe place until Rick and company came along, but the attack from the Wolves can hardly be blamed on him. Instead, a popular theory at the time was that Enid may have been a spy for them.
Though the Wolves were dispatched (mostly by Carol to start) fairly quickly, the possibility of Enid being a spy remains. The teenager had an episode dedicated to her backstory, revealing that her entire family was killed and she was forced to make it on her own.
Despite a harrowing experience, Enid still chose to repeatedly sneak out from the safety of the community on her own.
The theory goes that Enid was told to infiltrate that community by whomever she’s spying for - whether it’s the Wolves or someone else. It seems farfetched that it would be the Saviors, but there’s always someone else out there.
4 That’s Not Judith
As season eight premiered, audiences were treated to what appeared to be a flash-forward - far beyond the events of the war with Negan. In it, Rick had a beard, a cane, and a little girl who appeared to be about six or seven years old. Some fans don’t think that little girl was his daughter Judith.
Instead, the running theory is that the little girl is actually Gracie, a baby pulled from a Savior base in episode three of the season. Why? Because the little girl in the fash-forward was holding a stuffed rabbit from Gracie’s crib.
This latest theory takes the long-running idea that Judith will eventually be killed and supposes that Rick takes Gracie in after the fact. Of course, this theory also surmises that when Judith is killed, she won’t become a walker as children born in the post-apocalyptic world will actually be immune.
3 Morgan Meets The Whisperers
Fans of the graphic novels have been waiting for the Whisperers - apocalypse survivors who wear the skin of walkers to blend in - to appear for a few seasons. There have been hints of them on the show, and with some changes on the way, there’s a new theory as to how they’ll pop up.
Morgan will cross over to the sister series Fear The Walking Dead, which is set closer to the beginning of the walker uprising. What this means for the character on the mothership show is up in the air, but it could mean his fate is sealed.
When he met with Rick and his people after an extended time of not appearing on the show, he spoke of people “wearing dead people’s faces,” prompting speculation about the Whisperers.
Perhaps they’ll be introduced on Fear The Walking Dead through Morgan’s storyline before they’re seen in the main series.
2 Everyone Has Severe Hearing Loss
For such a skilled group of fighters at the core of the show, they get snuck up on by bumbling walkers an awful lot. Fans have developed a simple explanation for that though.
The group of characters used to spend most of their time killing walkers with knives, machetes, or whatever other objects were nearby. As long as it could pierce the brain of a walker, it was a weapon. Over time, and with Eugene’s formula to make bullets, they started amassing quite a few guns, but not earplugs.
The sound of sustained gunfire takes a toll on someone’s hearing, so it stands to reason that the main characters would all be suffering some slight damage to their hearing, allowing them to be snuck up on once in awhile.
1 No One Gets A Happy Ending
Even if the writers did allow the show to end with a cure in sight, there’s no guarantee that Rick’s nearest and dearest would get access to it. If there’s one thing we’ve seen time and again on this show, it’s that the tragic always outweighs happiness.
The writers have done a great job at allowing the main characters to have fleeting moments of happiness: Judith survives childbirth, Rick and his people arrive in Terminus, Maggie discovers she’s pregnant, and the group finds Alexandria.
Each of those happy moments are followed by a succession of tragedy though. Judith lives, but Lori dies, Terminus is full of cannibals, Maggie loses Glenn, and Alexandria becomes a target of the Saviors.
Even if the show came to an end with a cure, chances are the characters the audience knows and loves would all meet sticky ends.
Can you think of any other The Walking Dead fan theories that actually make sense? Let us know in the comments!