Split into three parts to be aired over two years, the eleventh and final season of AMC’s The Walking Dead has slowly but surely been wrapping up the main characters’ storylines, all while bringing in some new faces. With plenty of new spinoffs on the horizon, it might not be the end of the franchise, but it is the end of an era.
Yet, there’s more closure for characters and viewers alike if we see some old faces, even for those that have since become deceased. Whether they return to finish out the series, pop in to say a final “goodbye,” or appear in a dream or a vision, there’s a chunk of The Walking Dead alumni who should return for the show’s final season.
Viewers watched Carl grow some a child to a young man in the blink of an eye. From delivering and helping raise his little sister to fighting off walkers in his signature brown hat, Carl fought for a better life in the apocalypse until his devastating death in Season 8.
But despite this fan favorite’s death, TWD fans want to see Carl’s return before the show’s end, even if it’s in the form of a dream. Maybe even a hallucination from Rick, whee Carl can let him know he still hopes for that beautiful life in Alexandria, even if he’ll never be a part of it.
Morgan was one of Rick’s first friends in the apocalypse, taking him in and explaining the outbreak to the fresh-out-of-a-coma sheriff. Since leaving the show in Season 8, Morgan’s portrayer can still be found on AMC, continuing the character’s story in the show’s spinoff, Fear The Walking Dead.
Being one of the few characters left who is still alive somewhere in the zombie-ridden world, viewers can only hope to see Morgan pop up again before the end, hopefully, to “clear” a herd with his infamous sticks.
While Lucille’s name has been mentioned countless times by her widower husband Negan, the character has only appeared on the show once, in flashbacks during Negan’s origin story episode.
Though she can’t miraculously show up alive and give Negan a happy ending, we’d love to see Lucille briefly return. Whether through more flashbacks or a near-death hallucination from Negan, it may be just what the not-so-redeemed villain needs to survive both the apocalypse and Maggie’s wrath.
While he only appeared in the first two seasons as Rick’s best friend-turned-enemy before getting killed by Rick, the character of Shane has already made an unexpected post-death appearance in Season 9 in Rick’s dream as he teetered between life and death.
Because he appeared in one of Rick’s dreams before, we can only expect Shane to show up again before the series finale, maybe this time to wrap up his young daughter Judith’s story.
Though viewers had a love-hate relationship with Lori, there’s no denying she was a massive part of the start of The Walking Dead. She gave viewers the badass Carl and fierce Judith, plus she gave Rick a reason to live and fight off walkers to find his family in the first episode.
And while the character’s voice came to Rick in a dream in the actor’s final episode in Season 9, viewers haven’t seen Lori onscreen since her death in Season 3, and the series finale needs that significant moment of closure that includes Lori.
Maggie’s father, Hershel Greene, played a prominent part in Rick’s group until his decapitation by The Governor in Season 3. And while Scott Wilson reprised his fan-favorite role in Season 9 to send off Andrew Lincoln’s Rick, another character may need to speak with Hershel’s ghost.
With everything Maggie has gone through in this apocalyptic world, this farmer’s daughter may need some courage from her dad, even if it’s a dream. From the deaths of her father and sister to the brutal murder of her husband and becoming the leader of Hilltop, Maggie has gone through it in ways most of the other characters can only imagine.
Abraham joined the scene in Season 4 with his friends Eugene and Rosita, joining forces with Rick’s group. After a lot of turmoil involving love, suicide, and walkers, Abraham’s run ends when he’s the first person in Rick’s group that Negan kills with his infamous barb-wired bat.
From post-death cameos and even directing several episodes since season 9, Michael Cudlitz has stayed a prominent part of the show. There’s a good chance of seeing Abraham return to the screen before the show’s final episode.
Glenn was the first person Rick found after waking up from the coma. He later becomes an unexpectedly valuable part of Rick’s group, dates and marries Maggie, and learns of their future child just before Negan murders him in one of The Walking Dead’s most horrific kills.
And while Steven Yeun has made a significant name for himself in Hollywood, even wracking up an Oscar nomination since leaving The Walking Dead, fans have to hope that Yeun will return to pay a final farewell to the show that started it all.
When Michonne started suspecting that Rick was alive and took off to find her lover, it could be assumed that by the end of the show, she would be back with Rick by her side.
Though Danai Gurira left the show in Season 10 to pursue her role as Okoye in Marvel’s Black Panther and Avengers films, it only makes sense she’ll reappear in TWD to finish out Michonne’s story, and hopefully Rick’s, too.
The man, the myth, the legend; the one who started it all. Without Andrew Lincoln, there would be no Rick, and without Rick, there would be no The Walking Dead. While his “goodbye” was a sad one to watch, there’s a reason why the show’s most prominent character is still out there.
When a reunion between Lincoln and Norman Reedus sparked Rick rumors during the final season’s filming, it led longtime fans of the show to hope this reunion between Lincoln and Reedus would also mean one between Rick and Daryl.