Spoilers for The Ninth Season of The Walking Dead
The front eight episodes of the ninth season of The Walking Dead were packed with huge developments. Maggie had Gregory executed; Rick Grimes exited the series (for his own spin-off movies); Maggie Rhee left (for now); there was a six-year time jump on top of a year and a half time-jump; and Jesus was killed when The Whisperers were introduced.
However, two mysteries that have been introduced but not explored too deeply are actually related. We have seen two characters now, Michonne and Daryl, marked the the X scars in the exact same spot.
The other major mystery involves Alexandria’s isolationism. Why won’t Michonne let Magna’s group stay in Alexandria? Why does The Hilltop resent Michonne so much? Why will Michonne not join the fair along with The Kingdom? Why has Alexandria walled itself off from everyone else?
It turns out, according to showrunner Angela Kang, that those two mysteries are related and will be further explored in the back half of the season. From Cinemablend:
“So, the scars. Clearly, our group has been through some stuff in the six years that we’ve jumped. I will say that within the back half, we will start to learn more about what the story was. There will be an answer for the audience in terms of what was the origin of these scars and what kind of led Alexandria a bit down the path that it’s been on. It’s what’s exciting about the six year gap is there’s some opportunities to play with time and maybe see some of what that story was in the future. So that’s kinda what I’ll say.”
“It’s definitely something that is a big part now of the backstory of Alexandria and the people there. It’s something that looms large in their minds and has obviously had an effect on them. Because six years is a long time, so stuff had to have happened. So they’ve all been through a lot, some more than others.”
In the meantime, there are no shortage of fan theories guessing as to the origin of the scars. Some believe that Michonne and Daryl gave them to themselves to honor the passing of Rick. Others believe that Maggie may be responsible, which may be why she decided to join Georgie’s group and why Daryl and Michonne didn’t feel comfortable at The Hilltop; others have even suggested that a Fear the Walking Dead character is responsible.
A more farfetched theory suggests that they’re scars from kidney removals, which sounds implausible until we remember what Michael Cudlitz — who directed the season’s seventh episode — said, “We will discover where those Xs come from. It’s a really f**ked up story. It’s a big, really f**ked up thing that happened during that break.”
We’ll get to the bottom of the mystery when The Walking Dead returns in February.