The Entire Walking Dead Timeline Explained (So Far)

The Entire Walking Dead Timeline Explained (So Far)
The Entire Walking Dead Timeline Explained (So Far)

With a decade-long cinematic exposure and 11 seasons, The Walking Dead franchise has made the mythos a lot more complicated — not to mention the spin-offs released in the last ten years. Fear The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond have their own story plots, flashbacks, timeline jumps, and suspenseful cinematics. The show ideally portrays the apocalypse and human survival in a world full of zombies. But due to an excessively lengthy timeline, the show skipped clarifying the specifics for the fans. 

Throughout the journey, the franchise covered 13 years in the apocalypse. In all this time, the humans were seen fighting great wars with zombies, met multiple undead members, and longed for a safe and secure new home. As a matter of fact, the survivors also had to endure a nuclear explosion or two. All that characterizes that humankind will never return to the same state as before but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Let’s discover the complete timeline of the franchise and see how The Walking Dead franchise reached its present state. 

Outbreak Of The Wildfire Virus

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead franchise hasn’t enlisted any origin of the virus. Dr. Jenner mentions the Wildfire virus for the first time. According to this CDC scientist, the virus had been infecting people worldwide for 190 days. Through his research, the doctor revealed that the virus is now officially airborne. The Season 1 finale of The Walking Dead “TS-19” clarified that no one’s now safe from the virus. Dr. Jenner told Rick that no matter how anyone dies, they will rise again as zombies.

The Aftermath And Apocalypse’s First Year

Andrew in the Walking Dead

The Walking Dead missed the immediate aftermath of the apocalypse as the primary protagonist Rick Grimes was seen spending his first two months in a coma. Thanks to Shane, the character survived because she barricaded the hospital. Fear The Walking Dead comes to save the day and highlights the events in the timestamp when Rick Grimes was in the coma. Throughout the show, it was made clear that society collapsed within the first three weeks. The first season episode of “Cobalt” introduces the military plans to bomb the area after the evacuation. As the story gets up to Season 2, this evacuation and bomb plan scales up to plenty of coastal cities of North America where the virus has reached already.

The Mysterious Terminus And Survivors’ New Home

The Entire Walking Dead Timeline Explained (So Far)

The Walking Dead’s early seasons went with the speed of a snail and encompassed only a few months-long stories. Even if The Walking Dead Season 2 feels like a decade long, it only portrays the events of a few weeks. As Rick Grimes spent Season 1 to find his family and the CDC explosion left him homeless, he started looking for a new shelter, and that’s when he met Hershel’s family. 

In Season 2, Rick and the group land in prison and try to make it their new safe place. In Season 3, Grimes comes face to face with the Governor, loses his wife, and sees the death of Meryl. The rest of the events of the world are all offscreen, but in the next season, we see flashbacks. The Season 4 story began six months after the Season 3 events and took place in less than two weeks. After the destruction of their shelter prison by the Governor, they are on the road once again. That’s when everyone is captured by a mysterious community called Terminus. 

The 5th season wasn’t so easy on the group. The Terminus turned out to be a cannibals group. So the group escapes and starts to make their way toward North D.C. to meet Noah’s family. After watching the community of Noah’s parents overrun by the walkers, the group keeps moving forwards. That’s when Aaron (recruiter from Alexandria) invites them to a community. That’s where Morgan meets Rick, and they take precautions to keep their home safe. 

Trouble With The Saviors

Survivors in the walking dead


Rick and the group starts helping Alexandria to get rid of The Saviors. The first mention of saviors is in Season 6, whereas their events stretch over to Seasons 7 and 8. At the start of Season 7, Glenn and Abraham are killed by Negan when he reveals himself as a leader of The Saviors. This event is an example of when The Walking Dead franchise spent massive screen time on something that occurred in a shorter period. After less than a month, Alexandria takes back the authority from Negan and takes him as a prisoner. 

Apocalypse Year 3 And An Explosive Goodbye

Apocalypse year the Walking Dead

The Walking Dead Seasons 8 and 9 have a massive gap between them. This fap is filled with Fear The Walking Dead seasons 4 and 5. Season 4 unites the characters seen back in the previous three seasons. The show starts with the events right after The Savior’s defeat. As for Season 5, it jumps to the end of this year and paves the way for The Walking Dead Season 9 beginning. 

Season 9 reveals the death of Rick Grimes when he blows him up as a sacrifice to save the others. The final episode shows unknown entities airlifting him while his friends think Rick died. Right after that, the next episode takes us forward six years, where Judith is now as big as Carl Grimes. Meanwhile, The Walking Dead’s spin-off features one of the most significant dramatic events when a few nuclear warheads detonate near Morgan. 

The World Beyond And The 6-year Gap

The Entire Walking Dead Timeline Explained (So Far)

The World Beyond is a franchise spin-off that focuses on the events after the ten years of the virus outbreak. That puts its time zone right after the apparent death of Rick Grimes. The show focuses on a pseudo-government that tries to hold peace in the world of zombies. The biggest twist is that these guys have the helicopters branded with the same logo that airlifted Rick. 

The Walking Dead missed quite a few things in the 6-year gap, and it slowly explains that. Michonne realizes she is pregnant and gives birth to R.J., Rick’s child. Later in the season, she takes an isolationist approach within Alexandria to keep everyone safe. Negan, imprisoned for seven years, makes an emotional bond with Judith and saves her life, which earns him a place beside Michonne. In the meantime, Daryl spends his time in the woods and keeps searching for Rick’s body but never gets his hands on it. In fact, he meets and bonds with a woman named Leah and her dog. 

Everything About The Year 13

Walking Dead Season 10

Year 13 came in with the most significant and violent war in The Walking Dead’s history. The survivors were left devastated when Whisperers attacked them. At the end of Season 9, the massacre proves how deadly Whisperer War was. The Walking Dead Season 10 showed how all the surviving communities came together and, with the help of Negan, defeated Whisperer. At the end of the season, survivors won the war, but their position was much more vulnerable than ever before. 

Segmented Final Season Of The Walking Dead 

The Entire Walking Dead Timeline Explained (So Far)

The Walking Dead’s final season came in three segments. In the first part, we saw how Maggie was exposed to the community of Reapers. Later in the season, she took the opportunity and went to the Reapers’ site to defeat them and claim the supplies Alexandria needed. But that didn’t go as planned. During their journey, they lost multiple people. After reaching the Reapers’ camp, Reapers attacked and killed the survivors. That’s when Daryl got to know that Leah was a reaper. Finally, Daryl kills Leah and takes the supplies back home to Alexandria.

The Nuclear Detonations And Commonwealth Problem

Cast members of the walking dead

Fear The Walking Dead shows how difficult it was for Morgan and his friends to live in the period of nuclear detonations. Texas became an irradiated wasteland where radioactive walkers now patrol the city. Season 7 of the spin-off shows the remaining remnants of Texas. As for Alexandria, Commonwealth came forward as the biggest problem. Commonwealth was a functional city ruled by evil leaders that had plenty of resources. The city promised to deliver everything the old world had to offer, but on the contrary, it attacked Alexandria and transformed it into a town-sized prison. But Alexandrians never held back and kept fighting off the evil rulers. 

Global Growth In The Future 

The Entire Walking Dead Timeline Explained (So Far)

Throughout their journey, Alexandrians longed for peace and an ideal leadership settlement. At the end of Season 11, Ezekiel was seen as the leader of the Commonwealth creating an ultimate democracy working for the betterment of people. Even if The Walking Dead franchise is now over, more spin-offs would inevitably help the franchise grow using the stories of Negan and Maggie.

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