The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: 10 Great Examples Of Foreshadowing That Paid Off

The Walking Dead plans its arcs months or years in advance. What examples of the show's foreshadowing really paid off later down the line?

Despite the fact that the premise of the series is a simple horror-themed zombie survival story, The Walking Dead is one of the most complex and detailed TV shows ever made. The characters are well developed, the stories are compelling, and often times the character and story arcs are planned for months or years in advance.

Because the writers are so intense when it comes to the journey that they want to tell on screen, it comes as no surprise that the show is stuffed with moments of clear foreshadowing that pays off in fantastic ways further down the line.

Carl’s Dream

negan saves judith in the snow storm in the walking dead

As Carl lays dying of his walker bite, he explains his dream of the future with everyone living happy and in peace, working together to create a better world.

And the very last dream of the future that the episode shows is of an older Judith walking up to Negan and Negan happily welcoming her, which seems to herald the impending unusual but still loving relationship that the older Judith winds up having with Negan.

She’s Probably Holed Up In A Farmhouse Somewhere

Rick Grimes Kills Sophia in The Walking Dead

Sophia going missing was an enormous driving force behind the first half of season 2’s storyline. When the group is debating over how to handle the situation, Daryl seemingly tries to keep hope alive for Sophia’s safe return by saying that she’s just lost and is probably seeking shelter in a barn somewhere.

And in one of the most memorable moments of The Walking Dead, Sophia is the last walker to come out of Hershel’s barn.

Noah’s End

Noah Gets Destroyed on The Walking Dead

Shortly before Noah dies, he starts taking an interest in architecture and asks Reg to start teaching him so they can plan for the future (which also seems to be some foreshadowing for Reg’s impending doom).

RELATED: 10 Horror Movies Starring The Cast Of The Walking Dead

But if that weren’t enough, when Noah takes off with Tara and the rest of the run crew, the heavy metal music that the group plays in the van quite clearly says “now you are going to die” in the lyrics.

She’ll Get To See What This Place Will Become

Cailey Fleming as Judith in The Walking Dead

Perhaps this line was meant to signal Deanna Monroe’s eternal optimism more than anything else, but when Rick and the group first arrived in Alexandria, Deanna takes notice of Judith and says that she envies her because she’ll get to see what this place will become.

Clearly, Judith is still a pretty young kid, but Deanna’s words wind up being exactly correct, as she stays in Alexandria and gets to see what the community has evolved into.

Prey In A Snare

The Terminus building in The Walking Dead

In the season 4 finale right before Rick, Michonne, and Carl arrive in Terminus, Rick gives Michonne and Carl a lesson on how to properly snare rabbits in a trap. He explains that setting the snares up along a natural pathway and hiding the noose so the rabbits can’t see it until they’re already caught is the trick to catching them.

Rick’s explanation is essentially the exact same strategy that Terminus used to draw people in, taking advantage of the natural paths that people follow, and hiding signs of danger until they’re already caught.


The Governor in The Walking Dead

In one particular episode, the Governor and his goons are walking through the woods and they stumble upon a decapitated body with a piece of cardboard that has “liar” written on it nailed to its chest.

In the very next episode, the Governor’s crew attacks the prison, and Rick makes a desperate plea to them, trying to convince them that they can all live together. The Governor whispers “liar,” and then brutally beheads Hershel with Michonne’s sword.

Michonne’s Interest In Art

Michonne with Carl in the background in The Walking Dead

In the eleventh episode of season four titled “Claimed,” Rick, Carl, and Michonne find themselves in a house, and Michonne walks through it looking at the artwork. The first that she takes a long look at is a painting of two rabbits, the second a sunflower, and the last is of a blonde girl with a braid splattered in red paint.

These seem to tell the tale of Lizzie Samuels, with her mutilation of rabbits heralding the danger she posed, and then Carol telling her to look at the flowers before killing her in the fourteenth episode of the season, “The Grove”.

Beth Telling Daryl She’d Be Gone One Day

Daryl carries Beth's dead body in The Walking Dead

After the Governor’s attack on the prison, the entire group is left scattered and doing anything to survive, and Daryl and Beth managed to make it out of the battle together and have been on the road ever since. Beth decides that she wants to have her first drink, and that’s the driving force behind the narrative of the episode.

RELATED: The Walking Dead: 5 Ways Carol Is Different In The Comics (& 5 She’s The Same)

In the end, Beth tells Daryl that one day she’ll be gone and he’s going to miss her terribly, which ultimately does come true soon afterward.

“The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”

Jenner in The Walking Dead

In the season 1 finale of The Walking Dead, it looks like the entire group is going to be trapped in the CDC when the facility self-destructs. After some convincing, Dr. Jenner opens the doors to let the group out. Rick says that he’s grateful for it, and Jenner tells him that the day will come when he won’t be.

The season 7 premiere where Negan brutally kills Abraham and Glenn is titled “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” seemingly proving Dr. Jenner’s words right.

Glenn Seeing The Pictures Of Lucille’s Damage

glenn walking dead

Glenn’s death was one of the biggest and most memorable moments in the comics, so although many fans suspected it was coming, the TV series clearly wanted there to be a significant amount of buildup towards it.

One of the most direct foreshadowing moments of what was to come for Glenn came when Rick and the group were attacking a Savior outpost and Glenn sees some Polaroid pictures of the damage that Lucille has done to other people’s heads in the past.

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