We are now seven weeks away from the premiere of the tenth season of The Walking Dead, which ironically is set about ten years after the zombie apocalypse began. In other words, the timeline for fictional series — which debuted in 2010 — is currently running parallel to reality’s timeline. In describing the upcoming season, AMC also acknowledges Rick Grimes, but suggests that the future of The Walking Dead is one inhabited by a “new generation” of survivors who essentially have Rick Grimes to thank for their survival:
The Walking Dead is a story that started 10 years ago with one man trying to find his family. That family grew and gradually communities took shape. They fought and survived, thrived and gave birth to a new generation. It is a tale of humankind and there are more stories to tell.
Interestingly, that tracks with the end of Robert Kirkman’s comic books, which lays out a world in which zombies are no longer a threat, but in which civilization owes its survival to Rick. Of course, in the tenth season of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes is still very much alive (although, no longer a part of the series), and while zombies are still a threat, the much bigger one are other humans, specifically The Whisperers, who wear zombie masks and use zombie hordes as both weapons and as a means of protection.