When is a poster not just a poster? When it could be a big honkin’ hint as to what goes down at some point on The Walking Dead Season 4.
It's possible the poster is just illustrating how the prison isn't the safe zone the Atlanta/farm/Woodbury group was hoping it would be. They are exposed in this dangerous world filled with hungry walkers and desperate people — and even though Rick Grimes isn’t The Ricktator anymore, he’s still going to do whatever it takes to protect Team Prison.
Then again, look at the size of that fence hole. And look at Rick’s bandaged right hand. What could that mean?
Spoilers and speculation ahead, based on the original Walking Dead comics.
There are 16 episodes in Season 4, which starts October 13 on AMC. They’re going to do that frustrating break again after Episode 8, which will be the mid-season finale. Back in late July, comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman told AMCTV he was writing Episode 3 and Episode 9 this season. “Episode 9 will probably be the episode that’s closest to a direct adaptation from the comic book aside from the premiere episode,” Kirkman said. “It’s been a lot of fun for me working on them because I’m basically just rewriting something I’ve already written, which means I get to go back in and go, ‘Woah, what’d you do there? Let’s fix that.’”
With that in mind, TWDEnthusiasts.com posted a story around the same time as Robert’s interview, saying they'd received intel from an insider hinting to a big Season 4 scene ripped from the comics: "It’s been stated that a tank has been reported on set at the prison, aka Raleigh studios in Georgia, on Thursday, July 25th. It’s also being reported that locals heard a ‘loud BOOM’ sometime between afternoon and early evening [that day]."
In this comics, The Governor shows up at the prison with a tank and crushes the fences, leading to a bloody massacre. Could this poster be hinting to The Governor's attack on the prison, with the tank either being used as a mid-season finale cliffhanger or busting through on Episode 9 when the action picks back up?
Here’s another mid-season finale hint. In early August, Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) told the Wizard World Comic Con audience, “I will say that we just wrapped the mid-season finale last night of The Walking Dead, mind-blowing. Minds are going to blow up, it’s so crazy, it’s so good. We thought last season was real good. This season’s crazy good. It’s nuts, you’ll love it.”
There's also the issue of Rick's hand. It seems like the TV show skipped over the potential hand-hurting sections of the comics, but it could be that The Powers That Be are backtracking now and doing things a different way (as they suggested they might). In the comics, The Governor cut off Rick's hand, as part of his torture to try and find the location of the prison. Robert has said he wishes he didn't write that the way he did since it limited his options with Rick. So maybe Rick doesn't actually lose his whole hand on TV, he just injures it and has to cover it up.
Also, as the commenter below noted, Rick may beat up someone in the prison who takes up the comic book story of prisoner Thomas. Thomas is already gone on the TV show, but it's definitely possible there will be a different killer on the loose in the prison, since the Season 4 extended trailer hinted to someone ambushing the prison and killing people "in cold blood." Rick broke his hand in that beat-down, so they may just re-do that storyline with a new character.
What do you think? It’s a lot to infer from a poster, but it’s possible some or all of that is headed our way in Season 4. Or it may just be a cool-looking poster about the dangers of life in the prison this season. We’ll find out soon!
Sources: AMCTV, TWDEnthusiasts.com, ComicBook.com, TVLine