Whatever turns The Walking Dead may take, be they comic or TV, both mediums tend to lean on Carl as enduring hope for the future. Former series star Michael Rooker subscribes to that theory as well, pitching his own trippy twist for how the series should end a few years down the line.

The erstwhile Merle Dixon laid out his own personal vision for The Walking Dead’s swan song during an appearance at Walker Stalker Con, suggesting that Carl should quite literally end up the last man standing. Not only that, but the eight-plus seasons we’ve watched were actually Carl’s memories, as everyone else was dead the whole time (even poor Judith?!):

A railroad track … going on forever, into the setting sun. From behind camera, a single individual walks down the middle of the tracks … into the setting sun. Voiceover … You realize that individual is Carl … all grown-up, a man of his own. No one else is with him – just him. And as he does his voiceover, you realize that everything, all the seasons that you’ve just seen is him reliving his past. So everyone on the show is dead. He’s the only survivor, and he’s on his own and walks off into the sunset. And that’s the end of the show.

Certainly it makes sense to end the show with Carl, even if we don’t yet know how Chandler Riggs’ college attendance will impact the character’s presence on the show going forward. In any case, AMC isn’t keen to end The Walking Dead anytime soon; instead envisioning it with a Star Trek-size lifespan, while creator Robert Kirkman has already promised that the AMC and comic version might end differently.

Regardless, does Rooker have a point about the series ending with Carl, alone? Can we sneak in a Merle flashback, in the meantime?

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