It goes without saying that the long-running zombie series The Walking Dead has covered a variety of time periods. Throughout its run since 2010, the show and its spin-offs have flashed back and forth, making the years in which certain events take place a little jumbled. However, thanks to the recent episode “Here’s Negan“, the timeline for The Walking Dead has been clarified. Now we know when exactly the current episodes of the series are taking place.
The episode “Here’s Negan” takes a prequel approach, giving us some backstory on the character Negan. During the flashback sequence, it’s revealed that Negan’s backstory is taking place in late 2010. This is the same year that fresh grave markers for the Suarez family are seen in Fear the Walking Dead Season 2. So rest assured, we can fully confirm that the zombie virus from The Walking Dead first started spreading in 2010. With that in mind, what about the year the current episodes are taking place?
This is a little more complicated. After all, a variety of time jumps have been used in the series over the last few seasons. Firstly, Season 8 of The Walking Dead is set about two years after the initial outbreak. By the time Season 9 premieres, the series jumps ahead 18 months. Then, in the Season 9 episode “What Comes After.” the series jumps ahead a whopping six years into the future while Negan is behind bars. A variety of months pass throughout the season, and then another nine months pass by the time Negan is released in Season 10. Now that we’re more or less caught up in time, we can figure out when Season 10 is taking place thanks to “Here’s Negan.”
The episode is mostly told in flashback, albeit with a present day wraparound featuring Negan and Carol. As stated above, Negan’s backstory as told in the flashback takes place in late 2010. It’s set 12 years before the present day wraparound, which means that the current timeline for The Walking Dead is set in 2022. As an added bonus, 2022 is also the year that the final season of The Walking Dead will conclude. This means the series has managed to time itself to end in the same year it’s taking place, just as it initially aired in the same year it was taking place.
Clearly, The Walking Dead has had a very bumpy timeline over the years. But it seems they’ve managed to line everything up once again for its final season, so hopefully it delivers.