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Making Sense Of The Official ‘The Walking Dead’ Universe Timeline

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Earlier this week, The Walking Dead made official how much time has passed on the show, tweeting out a picture of Rick Grimes on Day 0 side-by-side with a picture of Rick Grimes on Day 632.

My first reaction, to be honest, was to be appalled. There’s no way that only a year and eight months has passed in the eight years since we began watching The Walking Dead, right? Twenty months? That’s it? How is it possible that so much has happened in only 90 weeks?

But putting aside the aging of the actors — Carl, in particular, who should have only been 13 on the series when he died — the rest of the timeline unbelievably seems to work, even taking into account the six-month time jump between seasons two and three. Here, however, is how Carl should have looked when he died at age 13, i.e., when the real-life Chandler Riggs was 13 years old.

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The timeline also means that everything between the prison and the end of the All Out War happened in under one year, Day 300 to Day 632. They find the prison on Day 300; they discover Woodbury three days later; they live in the prison, vanquish the Governor, and see the prison fall over the course of seven months; Grady Memorial Hospital and Terminus happens over the next two weeks; and they arrive in Alexandria about 100 days before the current point in the series. Moreover, nearly the entire length of the All-Out War — two and a half seasons in real time — took place in basically a month, from Day 598 when Glenn is killed until today, Day 632.

It explains exactly why Maggie never showed because she was barely pregnant. It also means that Rick’s facial hair grows really fast. Rick had this beard on Day 514:

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He had no beard on Day 538.

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And three months later, he not only had another bushy beard, but it was completely gray. The stress of the apocalypse can do a number on a guy.

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It also means that Judith Grimes is a little more than one year old, although the twins who play her — Chloe and Sophia Garcia-Frizzi — are actually four years old (they have been playing Judith for three seasons now).

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So, while the actors have changed more than they should have over the course of two years, the timeline otherwise tracks. But how does it work within the Fear the Walking Dead timeline? In that respect, it seems to work, too, if you consider that the entire first three seasons of the series takes place within two months, from the outbreak until the damn explosion at the end of season 3.

It means that the time jump between seasons three and four is about two years and that it took Morgan almost six months to walk from Virginia (Day 632) to Texas (Day 794). That tracks, too. Traveling from Mexico to Texas and setting up the Dell Diamond baseball field could all be accomplished within two years.

One more note of interest: If you’re wondering why everyone is in jackets, flannel, and long sleeves at the end of season 7 it is because it’s the dead of winter in Virginia, where high temperatures, on average, are 47 degrees.

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Meanwhile, with AMC eyeing to run the series for at least another decade, The Walking Dead might actually make it to Year 5 over the course of 18 years.

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