Here Are The Walking Dead’s Grown-Up Kids From The Finale’s Cut Ending

Well before the series finale of The Walking Dead aired this past weekend, we learned there was originally supposed to be another ending in place. Now, post-airing, we know that the cut ending was at least somewhat more similar to the comics. Though that may be a reach, given how much had to fundamentally be changed from the source material with all the casting alterations. Still, they’re similar thematically.

We now know exactly what the alternate ending was supposed to be, and who was supposed to be in it.

The ending, described by Insider, was actually the following, which featured a comics-style massive time jump into the future, aging up all the current children in the show to be in their 20s or so:

“After Daryl rode off, we cut forward to the Freedom Parkway, outside Atlanta — where the iconic shot of Rick rode down from the pilot. See an ethanol-modified van, with a young woman and man in the front seats (in their twenties). And through the scene, we come to realize it’s adult RJ and Judith. Other adult versions of the kids are in the back — Coco, Gracie, etc. They’re out there, looking to escort any survivors back to their communities. Continuing the legacy of their parents. As RJ speaks over the radio, he finishes with: “If you can hear me, answer back. This is Rick Grimes.” (Which, of course, is his name — and the line Rick said in the pilot.) Then we end with the voice of a survivor answering back: “…Hello?”

In fact, the full lineup was supposed to be an aged-up Judith, RJ, Coco, Gracie and Herschel, all the main kids minus I guess Lydia (who’s a good bit older). And we actually do have a photo of what those actors looked like playing the adult versions of those children. I am sure they are extremely bummed this got cut:

There are some fun details in there other than the obvious things like Rick’s hat. Coco is wearing Eugene’s bolo tie, for one.

As for why it was cut, that should be fairly obvious if you saw the actual ending or know what AMC has been planning this whole time. Instead, we got a tease for Rick and Michonne’s new show, and a montage about the full cast. AMC is expanding the world of The Walking Dead and they did not want to lock themselves into something 10 years-into-the-future time jump with this finale idea, even if it’s similar to the comics which had a large time jump that feature and adult Carl, and sounds a lot more like a true series finale.

Reportedly the spin-off Dead City may have something to do with Maggie trying to find Herschel in NYC, so showing him safe and sound in the future would obviously undercut that. And I would not rule out AMC doing a “Judith Grimes” or “RJ Grimes” show in the future, or using those characters in some other way going forward so they didn’t want to commit to actors for this one scene.

While I understand why they chose not to have this scene, I do feel like it would have solved the main problem with the series finale in that it did not remotely feel like a series finale. Too much has been sacrificed from the final season to get us these spin-offs, so they had better actually be good and worth it. And yes, I do expect some sort of “Children of the Walking Dead” show in the future at this rate, so this may not be the last time we see these kids grown up like this anyhow.

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