The Ones Who Live’s “alternate ending” could have changed everything

Jessica Cullen
Danai Gurira as Michonne and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

A rumored alternate ending for The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live has been circulating online, and it could have changed the entire TWD universe.

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live was the perfect button for fans who were looking for closure after the main show ended in 2022. It achieved this by giving a finality to Rick and Michonne’s story, having the two characters finally reunite and return home to their children.

However, it very nearly didn’t turn out that way, according to one theory. In fact, The Walking Dead spinoff could have had a completely different ending. The “alternate ending” in question would have had Rick die at the end of the spinoff. Instead of getting back home, he’d turn into a walker.

This theory is supported by some on-set images of Andrew Lincoln. In them, he’s wearing prosthetic injuries, which do look a little reminiscent of how the walkers turn out. Apparently, this ending was in the line-up in case the finale’s plot leaked.

However, this very likely isn’t true. The concept of the alternate ending isn’t coming from official sources, and hasn’t been made known publicly. (Which it could have been, since the spinoff is now over.) What’s more, the pictures aren’t totally convincing. Rick’s injures look closer to burns than they do a walker transformation, really.

What’s more, if Rick had been killed, creatives would have no doubt been subject to hate from the fanbase. With Rick being the show’s beloved protagonist, it would have made no sense to kill him.

This theory hasn’t convinced many fans, either. One wrote on Reddit: “Looks more like a chlorine gas burn than a walker burn.” Another added: “I haven’t seen any source for this except this picture with anonymous unsourced claims on it.”

“Not true at all. Y’all believe everything with a picture and some poorly written captions,” a third wrote.

For more, check out our guide on how to watch The Walking Dead in order. You can also find out more about The Ones Who Live Season 2.

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About The Author

Jessica Cullen is a TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's previously written for The Digital Fix, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, Slate and more. Aside from being the residential Yellowstone expert, she also loves Westerns, '90s action movies, and true crime. You can email her here: