"A new show… with a bigger, new narrative": Will The Walking Dead season 9 be a mini-reboot?

Eight seasons is a long time to keep things fresh. Just ask The Walking Dead. At risk of decaying like so many of its mangled Walkers, outgoing showrunner Scott Gimple has revealed plans for the show to undergo a complete refresh for season 9. He’s stopped short of using the word reboot – but his words have pretty clear implications for both Sunday’s finale and the show’s immediate future.

Speaking to EW, Gimple addressed his departure and how it ties into the finale. For him and his team of writers, it felt as if “in many ways being sort of the conclusion of the first eight seasons.” 

I was already firmly on the ‘Rick dies’ theory bandwagon, and now I’m more convinced than ever that Rick bites the dust in The Walking Dead season 8 finale. Don’t believe me? Read what else Scott Gimple has to say…

“This show will be very much a new show next year and with a bigger, new narrative,” says the showrunner who was on charge of the series from seasons 4 to 8.

The best way to make it feel like a new show? Kill off your lead. Plenty of shows have done it, but none would top The Walking Dead straight-up murdering Rick. Even Andrew Lincoln thinks the show could continue if Rick dies. It’d get plenty of eyes on The Walking Dead season 9, and inject a real sense of panic if any protagonist from then on could die at any moment.

At the very least, the ‘new narrative’ hints at the war with the Saviors finally coming to an end. How big could it get? Might we see the incredibly creepy Whisperers come into play, or maybe the mysterious folder-wielding Georgie could open up the world even more than Jesus promised? 

Heck, I’d love to see the show attempt a proper endgame at this point, but, if AMC heads want the franchise to drag on for another few decades, I think we’ll all be dead in the cold, cold ground before that ever comes to pass.

For more in the way of future TV goodness, check out our big list of new TV shows coming your way in 2018.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.