We’re going to be brutally honest here, as massive fans of The Walking Dead, some of us haven’t been able to stomach watching the series every single week. That’s not to speak for everyone here at FanBolt… but some are still watching weekly, soaking it all in.
Others…well…we’ve been keeping up. Watching highlights, watching episodes late, and reading what would be spoilers if we weren’t actively searching for them. We sort of struggled with how to tune into the series after we lost Carl, but we’ve slowly begun to find our way back.
Tonight, we tuned in as the series aired, for the first time in weeks…and how could we not? Anticipating the deaths of 10 characters was a lot. It took us back to that fateful episode where we weren’t sure who’d die at the hand – or bat – of Negan.
We sat, for over an hour, on pins and needles and then we ugly cried. The episode built tension from the first few moments. It was too happy…there were too many of ‘those quotes’ that make it obvious that doom is on the horizon. We just weren’t sure who would meet that doom, and what it would mean for the rest of the series.
Now…we know, and we’re heartbroken but we’re also looking at the series with different eyes.
Siddiq’s Fight Song
In the last few moments of Sunday night’s episode ‘The Calm Before’, Siddiq gave a speech to the people of The Kingdom and it was exactly what they needed. It was exactly what we needed, too.
While the people of The Kingdom were in ruins, Siddiq stepped up with hope. He, too, was captured and anticipated death – but his life was spared.
He started his speech by saying just that…he had to watch those around him die, but that’s not what he’s going to remember. It’s not what he wants anyone else to remember either.
Instead, Siddiq wants everyone to remember that their friends and family died as heroes. Siddiq told a beautiful story about hope…one that didn’t end the way anyone wished it would, but a story that existed nonetheless. He told a story about perseverance, about fighting until the end…and knowing what that end would bring…yet doing it anyway.
‘In the end, their time was cut short. Ours keeps going. So we have to keep going. For them and for all of us. We need to honor them. We need to honor them, and we need to remember these friends—our family—died as heroes. That’s the story that I want to tell you. That’s the story that I want us all to remember.’
It was a story that reminded all of us that The Walking Dead has been more than a series for us for a long time now. It’s been a place where we found friends and family of our own. We’ve traveled far and wide to conventions to meet our favorite celebrities, we’ve traveled around the world to meet our new friends, and we’ve made memories we’ll never forget.
The series we loved may have been ‘cut short’ in ways we didn’t expect, but it’s still standing – it’s still there, and that’s the story worth telling.
If you’ve been like some of us and drifted away a little bit, we recommend opening your heart back to the series again, and welcoming it back to those heroes who we’ve loved, lost, and are still rooting for today.
The Walking Dead‘s season finale airs on March 31st.