These ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Ending Theories Range From Hopeful To Utterly Heartbreaking

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After the devastation that hit The Walking Dead crew at the Hilltop during "Do Not Send Us Astray," things are most likely going to get much worse before they get any better. And with only two episodes left before The Walking Dead Season 8 finale, now seems like as good of a time as any to start theorizing what tragedy the finale will hold. Of course, you've probably been considering what will happen to Rick & co. for some time now, but the clues have been stacking up with how this "All Out War" will conclude. Plus, a new trailer for Season 4 of Fear The Walking Dead appears to give some clues about how The Walking Dead Season 8 will end, thanks to the Morgan crossover being featured. So using the clues from previews and comics, what the cast and crew have said in interviews, and fan theories, here's what could possibly go down in the Season 8 finale.

"Back east, there was a fight — a big fight. I didn't know how to make it stop. Good people died. I lose people. And then I lose myself," Morgan says in the Fear The Walking Dead Season 4 trailer from WonderCon, per Variety. These lines certainly make it seem like the war between Rick and Negan's groups will finally comes to a head. After all, this season is based on the "All Out War" volumes of The Walking Dead comics. As Carl's death recently reminded viewers, however, the TV series likes to stray from its source material every now and then. So don't expect the Season 8 finale to exactly follow what goes down in the comics when it airs on April 15. Here are some of the major theories so far:

Rick Dies
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Rick looked really bloody in flash-forwards, and got hit during "Do Not Send Us Astray," so now fans are worried that Rick could actually die in the Season 8 finale. But viewers just lost one Grimes only episodes ago, so this would seem particularly cruel, so this writer prefers to believe that this won't go down. What is The Walking Dead without Rick Grimes anyway?

Maggie Dies
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Although Maggie just fought one of her first major battles as leader of the Hilltop, there's a possibility that Lauren Cohan could be leaving the show. If that occurs, Maggie would most likely be killed off. That would put an end to the Greene and Rhee families and it would also mean that Maggie's unborn baby would die. While the prospect of Cohan being on another show is certainly exciting, Maggie and her baby dying is almost too terrible to contemplate. Plus, who would run the Hilltop? Like with Rick, let's hope this scenario doesn't occur.

Rick Lets Negan Live
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In the comics, Rick ends up letting Negan live. But people on Reddit noted that Negan is much more despicable on the TV show than he is in the comics. So fans might have a hard time accepting this — especially since Rick has promised to kill Negan so many times. But what was the point in killing off Carl if Rick kills Negan? Carl's death feels like a setup for Rick to be more merciful.

A Time Jump
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The Old Man Rick scenes were reminiscent of what actually happens after the war in the comics when there's a jump into the future that shows that the Hilltop experiences a period of peace. Georgie's arrival hinted at this time of growth, so there's a possibility for a time jump that will show a prosperous (and peaceful) Hilltop.

A Major Cliffhanger
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In an interview with Comix Asylum, Melissa McBride said, "There is a twist and it just made me want to jump into Season 9 immediately because I want to know what happens. Where does this go?" If what McBride says is true, then that kind of throws out the whole peaceful time jump theory. Reddit user CPTNBob46 brought up the idea that the season will end with Rick and Negan facing off with no decisive outcome. But that would make for a pretty disappointing cliffhanger.

More Deaths
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While "Do Not Send Us Astray" didn't kill off any major characters, showrunner Scott Gimple warned of more deaths to come to TVLine. "It is a war. There are casualties along the way, and it is incredibly tough business. But it only shows just how deeply connected these characters are and how their fates are tied together, even if some of them don't want them to be." Plus, there have to be some people close to Morgan who will lose their lives to inspire him to travel to Texas. (But let's be real — he's very close to his "clear" days as it is, so he may not need someone like Carol to die to abandon the crew.)

It Will Be The Beginning Of A New Chapter
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It will be Gimple's last season finale as showrunner, so it's no surprise he's going huge for his last hurrah. "It's very big," Gimple told Entertainment Weekly. "Probably currently a little too big. It was pretty amazing the scope of some of the things that we got to do. And yet the emotional intensity was insane. And it very much sets up the start of the next story." Norman Reedus also told Entertainment Weekly that there are about four major storylines occurring during the finale, but what's most intriguing is that idea that the finale "sets up the start of the next story."

Considered with Gimple's comments, this might mean that the reign of terror that Negan created will be over after the Season 8 finale. But even with the promise of peace, don't think The Walking Dead will be any less dramatic when it returns for Season 9.