The Walking Dead: 10 Things Fans Would Like To See In A “What If…?” Series, According To Reddit
Fans of The Walking Dead have discussed the scenarios they would like to see in a spin-off series like Marvel's What If...?
Content Warning: This article contains references to abuse, violence, and sexual assault
As The Walking Dead television series nears its end, fans have been considering what scenarios they would like to see in series similar to Marvel’s What If…?. A Reddit thread posted by user bostonburrito sees fans pitching ideas for alternative universes where certain events are either changed or removed completely.
Naturally, fans wonder how things might have panned out had significant events not occurred, but it is also interesting to consider how the smaller moments and decisions directly impacted the storyline in true Butterfly Effect fashion.
What If… Rick And Glenn Never Met?
One of the many scenarios user superbeagleman “would love to see” is one where “Rick and Glenn never met.” Rick Grimes is a survivalist; it is entirely possible that he might have escaped from the tank somehow in season 1, but the situation would have been much stickier without Glenn’s help. Not to mention the fact that, without Glenn, Rick never would have reunited with Lori, Carl, and Shane when he did.
Assuming that he did survive on his own in a What If…? episode, Rick might link back up with Morgan and Duane, meaning that the latter might have lived, completely changing his father’s character development arc (as seen later in the show and in Fear The Walking Dead). Also, without Rick, the group would never have made it to the CDC and would have fared a lot worse without the guns during the walker attack at their camp.
What If… Shane Had Left With Andrea?
Reddit user maatttthheew proposes the question “what if Shane did leave the group with Andrea[?].” Both would likely still be alive, but at an arguably greater cost to the group. Carl would not have survived his gunshot wound without the medical supplies retrieved by Shane, and Michonne might never have found the group without first meeting Andrea.
However, it would be interesting to see how their relationship might have developed in a What If…? episode. They would likely have been constantly on the move, with their journey resembling that of Andrea’s and Michonne’s. Having lost Lori and Carl, Shane would only have himself to look out for; although he would appreciate having someone there to watch his back, and despite their physical attraction to one another, he would likely abandon Andrea if she succumbed to an illness like that at the start of season 3.
What If… Shane Had Killed Rick?
Having already demonstrated that he is capable of murdering his childhood best friend, Shane would have become even more ruthless if his plan to kill Rick had succeeded, as suggested by Reddit user milkdrinker3920. In a What If…? scenario, he might plan to kill or abandon those who challenge him or hold him back, while protecting Lori, Carl, and the unborn child at all costs.
However, the group’s suspicions about what really happened to Otis, Lori’s abuse at Shane’s hands back at the CDC, and the shock of what happened with the walkers in the barn would make this plan harder to execute. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him snap and adopt an “If I can’t have them, no one can” mindset.
What If… Andrea Had Killed The Governor?
User a-widower ponders a universe where “Andrea killed the Governor” instead of trying to settle the dispute peacefully so that no one had to die. Ironically, her decision not to kill him indirectly cost the lives of multiple characters, including Milton and Merle, whose character development arcs could have been explored in further detail.
She had been eager to prove herself since the beginning. Although her death was noble in itself, killing the Governor could have provided the perfect opportunity to do so. A What If…? scenario might depict her as the leader of Woodbury, living peacefully alongside the prison and handling inner conflicts caused by those who remain loyal to the Governor’s memory.
What If… Negan Hadn’t Lost Lucille?
It is evident from snippets of his past pre-apocalypse that Negan has always had a mean streak that was worsened by his grief and rise to power. This is evidenced by his adultery, as depicted in Season 10’s “Here’s Negan;” however, his guilt and determination to save his wife was starting to redeem his character before he lost her for good. User Mcartmell7 poses a situation where “Lucille had lived and Rick had died and Negan became the leader of the group.”
Although Lucille seemed to be a positive influence, a What If…? scenario where she survives might see their circumstances harden them. Perhaps she would recover to become a real-life manifestation of the iconic barbed baseball bat that Negan named after her, making them a ruthless leadership duo.
What If… Negan Chose Maggie And Glenn Lived?
Overall, Maggie has been depicted as more vengeful than her husband. This vengeful side has been evident since her introduction to the series, such as when she smashed eggs on Glenn’s head for telling the others about the walkers in the barn in season 2.
However, if Maggie had died rather than Glenn, Hershel would not have been born and she never would have led the Hilltop. Glenn evidenced his own vengeful traits after the Governor’s abuse of Maggie in season 3, so without his son or a community to consider, he is likely to have let his grief and need for revenge consume him in a What If…? scenario. User Throw_away91251952 suggests that this would be interesting to see as part of an episode like in Community “where they roll a dice and quickly speed through the effects of the decision.”
What If… Negan Made Rick Choose?
Negan’s eenie-meenie method of selecting who to execute provided the series with one of the most notoriously shocking moments on television. Fans believe that it would have been even more excruciating if Negan had forced Rick to choose who would die in season 7’s “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be.”
If this were to be explored in a What If..? scenario, fans believe that Rick would try to sacrifice himself first. Reddit user dumb_revolutionist reckons that in that case, “someone would […] offer themselves up as the lick” and signal for Rick to choose them. Most fans seem to be in agreement though, that if it came down to Rick’s choice alone, he would choose Aaron or Eugene.
What If… Carl Never Died?
Carl’s departure from the series in season 8’s “Honor” came as a shock to fans, particularly those who read the comics and expected him to live. His death is one of the more upsetting in the series, with fans believing that he did not deserve such a tragic outcome. User milkdrinker3920 pitches the idea, “What if Carl never died? (I mean c’mon… for the fans).”
The most logical What If…? storyline would be one that follows the comics, depicting the events are they were originally written, or transporting the viewer forwards in time, giving Carl a future that was denied to him in the television series.
What If… Rick Was Around For The Whisperers?
There are a number of events that occurred during the Whisperer arc that would have panned out differently had Rick been around during the conflict, as suggested by milkdrinker3920. Fans over on Quora are conflicted, with some believing that he would have waged an outright war, not wanting to repeat the mistakes made during the Saviour arc, and others arguing that he’d be more diplomatic, with Mithil Raj stating that he “has already lost a lot […] so wouldn’t go for a war and risk everyone’s life.”
A What If…? scenario where Rick weighs up his choices would take both viewpoints into consideration and allow viewers to draw up their own conclusions based on the circumstances and outcome. Should it come down to it, it would also be an interesting spin to see him fight alongside Negan.
What If… The Commonwealth Found The Saviors First?
User TrifectaOfSquish believes that, had the Commonwealth made contact with the Saviors, they either wouldn’t have bothered with them due to the distance or would have gone into “stamp them out” mode. Clearly, the latter would give writers more to play with, in a What If…? episode.
A conversation between Hornsby and Negan at the height of his power would certainly make a chaotic scene, with their clashing personalities providing humor and tension in equal measure.
What If…The Apocalypse Never Happened?
A popular concept pitched amongst fans is one where the apocalypse never happened at all. Throughout the series, viewers have caught glimpses into the lives of characters before the zombie outbreak, such as the introduction of Rick and Shane in the first episode.
But it’s interesting to consider how those lives might have panned out without the cataclysmic event. Lori and Shane wouldn’t have died but Judith wouldn’t exist; Sophia would still be alive but Carol might never have escaped her abusive relationship and realized her strength. Reddit user capt45 says, “To see if these characters’ journeys would’ve changed if the world never changed would be an interesting idea to me.”