Warning: This article contains spoilers for the series finale of Fear the Walking Dead.
- The series finale of Fear the Walking Dead broke the tradition of shocking deaths by not killing off any major characters.
- The decision to spare major character deaths was intentional, as it allowed the show to showcase the growth and potential for future development of those characters.
- The survival of certain characters in the finale was planned well in advance, as it was crucial to their character arcs and the story’s narrative.
The co-showrunner of Fear the Walking Dead has explained the lack of death in the series finale. The show, which is a spinoff to The Walking Dead that explores a group of characters on the West Coast struggling to survive during the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, has now lasted for eight seasons. The newly released season 8 finale, which is the final episode of the entire show, made a reversal on the Walking Dead habit of featuring shocking deaths by not killing off any major characters.
Screen Rant had the opportunity to sit down with executive producers and co-showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian B. Goldberg to discuss the show’s final episode. Chambliss explained that no major Fear the Walking Dead characters died in the finale because the characters who were meant to survive had been planned for quite some time. For their character arcs, it was important to show how much they had changed, and for that they “needed to have the potential for future growth.” Read his full quote below:
Kind of as we conceived the story, we knew that the characters who survive are all going to survive, so we didn’t really go down any roads and then double back to change that. I think, for us, we wanted this to be a finale that showed how all these characters had changed, and it felt like in order to see that change, we needed to have the potential for future growth. For so many of these characters, I think this is just kind of a moment where this chapter of their lives is ending and the next one is starting. For us, we want to feel like these next chapters were continuing in all these different directions, and it just didn’t include death for any of them.
The Walking Dead Has Already Set A Precedent For The Fear the Walking Dead Finale
While this move on the part of Fear the Walking Dead might seem surprising, there is something of a precedent for it in the overarching universe. While The Walking Dead character deaths are common even for main cast members, the flagship show also had a light touch with some of the longest-running main characters. While the show doled out brutal deaths to many important original characters, including Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), and Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), quite a few characters from season 1 were left alive by the end of the show.
Many of the surviving season 1 characters are seeing their arcs continue into Walking Dead spinoff shows as well. This includes Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) in Daryl Dixon and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in the upcoming The Ones Who Live. While The Walking Dead allowed many major characters to die, as a long-running drama it did require some important character arcs to thread through the show from beginning to end.
Other long-running characters who have appeared or will appear in The Walking Dead spinoffs include Michonne (Danai Gurira), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), though they didn’t debut in season 1.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Fear the Walking Dead cast is being set up to return in future spinoff shows. It remains to be seen if any of them will appear in their own spinoffs or any of the new spinoffs that have already begun to air. However, in order for the show to tell a complete story and feature satisfying arcs, it was important that quite a few core characters remain alive.
Fear the Walking Dead
- Release Date:
- Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, mercedes mason, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Kim Dickens, Ruben Blades, lorenzo james henrie, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo
- Drama, Horror
- Story By:
- Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard
- Ian Goldberg, Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson, Andrew Chambliss
- Streaming Service(s):
- Hulu, Amazon Prime Video
- The Walking Dead
- The Walking Dead
- Dave Erickson, Ian Goldberg, Andrew Chambliss