Rick and the other survivors of Alexandria are about to go to war in The Walking Dead season 8. How long that war will take has been anybody's guess, especially after a San Diego Comic Con 2017 trailer showed actor Andrew Lincoln with a full, white-tinted beard. However, it appears we have (something of) an answer thanks to showrunner Scott Gimple, who addressed the season 8 timeline on a preview episode of Talking Dead:
"Maggie’s baby will not be born in Season 8," Gimple said. If you're just catching up, Maggie was the wife of Glenn, and is known to be pregnant. She hasn't developed a swollen belly or shown any outward signs of an impending birth, leading fans to speculate that at most, she's about three months along. So if her baby isn't going to be born during season 8, that would suggest that episodes will take place over the course of six months or less.
Of course, Gimple then tossed out this little caveat: "But anything’s possible."
I don't... I can't... My head just... ow. Ow. Look, Gimple, I know you're trying to get people hyped and spark speculation - because what is The Walking Dead without a good teaser for people to sink their teeth into - but that isn't how language works. That's not how any of this works. You can't just say a thing will definitely not happen and then say anything could happen.
The comic on which AMC's show is based features a time jump of several years, so Gimple could be teasing that Maggie's baby won't be born, but that we'll instead meet him or her some time down the road. Sometimes the show follows the comics and sometimes it doesn't, so there's leeway for how this will play out, depending on how literally you want to take Gimple's words.
But here's the thing: I can't help but be angered by this "anything's possible" quote. Remember all the build-up to Negan's debut on the show and how season 6 ended on a cliffhanger so huge, the cast and crew filmed fake death scenes so nobody would know for certain who was killed by the new villain until the season 7 premiere? Sometimes it feels like Gimple cares more about the setup, the tease, the social media engagement than telling an effective story.
I hope my cynicism is for nothing and the upcoming season will be a great ride. We'll all find out soon enough though, as The Walking Dead season 8 is scheduled to premiere on October 22.
Note: just to clear up any confusion, the baby Rick is holding in the above photo is Judith Grimes, and the picture is not a preview image from season 8.