10 'Walking Dead' Season 9 Opening Credits Easter Eggs That Are Actually Important
Comic book-based TV shows like The Walking Dead are always filled with callbacks to source materials and hints about the future. Fans love to screen shot, re-watch, and over-analyze every single scene, especially when the showrunner tells them to look out for specific clues hidden in plain sight. In a Collider interview, Angela Kang revealed that The Walking Dead’s Season 9 opening sequence has Easter eggs about what fans can expect in this new world.
The updated credits are quite different from previous seasons, which used snapshots of popular items like Rick’s gun and Daryl’s arrows as well as decaying buildings and known locations alongside the main cast’s names. As the seasons progressed, so did the title’s decay to signify the continued breakdown of society. Of course, as characters died and the group’s location changed, so did the background images and cast names. The only constant was the show's infamous theme music, which still remains in this opening sequence.
So, what exactly can we learn from the current credits? Could there be clues about where The Walking Dead will go next? Here’s what has been revealed so far, what may go down in Season 9B, and the significance of certain things as the show progresses into new territory.
The Crows Are Coming
No, this is not a weird name for another antagonist group. There are literally a ton of birds that appear to be crows throughout this sequence. These birds later appeared early in Season 9 when Rick, Michonne, and Judith went out into an open field to have a family moment. And, they were causing problems with crops at the Sanctuary.
According to Mental Floss, crows are viewed by several cultures as evil and associated with death and bad omens. This seems to be true in the series with Rick’s “demise” on the show, the breakdown of friendships, and now the introduction of the Whisperers. The world may be starting over, but fans should be prepared for some dark moments ahead.
The World Is Rebuilding
The world is truly rebuilding, even if communities like The Kingdom are struggling at this point. The latest opening sequence features several moments of growth among decay, including the aforementioned birds fleeing a tree that sprouts greenery. This is like the comic's "New Beginning" arc where the title and theme became brighter.
There’s also the presence of flowers near skulls and the show’s title starting to turn green at the top. This means the world is changing, growing, expanding, and perhaps finding a new and better normal after years of destruction. Hopefully, the communities can defeat the Whisperers quickly and continue to grow.
The Elusive Helicopter
Of course, the helicopter made an appearance in the opening credits. We still haven’t gotten a ton of answers about who owns the helicopter and exactly who was looking for “A” and “B” people, but at least they saved Rick’s life.
The Rick Grimes movies will give us more answers and hopefully the helicopter will re-appear in the TV show for a Grimes family reunion.
Michonne’s Bloody Katana
Michonne and Rick are seen on horses together like they were in the Season 9 premiere, but the shot quickly pans out to show her katana stuck in the ground with blood on it alongside a cross that looks like the one at Carl’s grave.
It’s unusual for Michonne to not have it either in her hand or on her back so this could possibly be a clue. Something terrible obviously happened during the 6-year time jump but we have yet to see what went down. Did Michonne have to make a tough call and kill someone? Was her katana used by someone else to commit a crime? Anything is possible.
Crumbled Communities & Broken Walls
Rick’s hat hangs on a fence near a broken wall as a walker appears. He was trying hard to bring the communities together and make them strong with his bridge but it never came to fruition. They ended up building emotional walls around their own communities, but now the threat of the Whisperers (hence the walker) will force them to tear down those walls.
And, it’s worth noting that Ross Marquand, who portrays Aaron, has his name right under Rick’s hat for a split second. He looks a lot like comic Rick at this point, so that seem to signify his role as a co-leader with Michonne.
Is That You, Alpha?
At the end of the sequence, a group of walkers appear with one very noticeable red walker in the midst. It’s impossible to make out any specific features, but this could be a symbol for the Whisperers leader Alpha.
It's clear that this walker is not like the ones around it, so perhaps red signifies the blood running through this person's live veins. Or, it could be red to signify Alpha's penchant for leaving a bloody mess in her wake. Either way, it's not a good sign for the future.
Final Warning Sign
Interestingly, the credits only focus on one established community — The Hilltop. One scene shows Rick’s gun alongside Negan’s bat Lucille with a “Final Warning” sign written on a wall.
This sign was later seen in Season 9A when Justin was murdered by the Oceanside ladies. The culprit behind the sign is still unknown, but it could have been either a rebellious Savior or a warning from the Whisperers.
The Caryl Friendship
Carol’s Knife, Daryl’s crossbow and arrows, and Cherokee roses all appeared in the same sequence together, which is probably a callback to how they solidified their friendship. In Season 2, Daryl told Carol about the Cherokee Rose and tirelessly looked for Sophia, but it was to no avail.
Their friendship has seen a lot of death and hard times, but they are still surviving. The presence of the pitchfork and skull are a bit disturbing, but Carol nor Daryl are dying any time soon. Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus have signed big franchise contracts to be in the Walking Dead universe for at least another three years, per Comicbook.com.
This is an obvious nod to Alexandria's growth and Maggie’s windmill at the Hilltop, which happens to have Commonwealth written on it. This is probably just a sign of progression, but perhaps this season will lead to more knowledge about the Commonwealth, especially if it is Georgie’s community.
At first, the barn appears to be a nod to Herschel, but the noose was a sly confirmation of Gregory’s death this season. Like the comics, Gregory died by hanging after trying to murder Maggie one too many times.
The focus on the Hilltop is disturbing, especially since this is where Alpha’s daughter Lydia is being held captive. Alpha confronted Daryl at Hilltop’s gates in a recent trailer, so this might mean the thriving community will take a major blow.
Of course, there are probably other hidden tidbits that will make sense as the show progresses. But, fans now know that growth will come in the midst of chaos, the Hilltop will play a key role in the Whisperer arc, and a revelation about the past will come into the light.
The Walking Dead's opening sequence is so much more that it appears on the surface and only time will tell how it honors the story.