The Walking Dead’s timeline has been the topic of many debates among the fandom. How long was Rick in that coma? How much time did they spend at the prison? What year is it in the Dead universe anyway? Reddit user Evorush came up with a detailed (and quite awesome) timeline that counts the number of days since the outbreak hit with key turning points like the fall of Hershel’s farm and Negan’s baseball bat massacre. So, it looks like we finally have a Walking Dead timeline that works… or do we? Let’s have a lot of fun and examine some of the gaps in time that seem spot on and others that may be a bit more ambiguous.
“Days Gone Bye” — Day 59
The Walking Dead’s pilot episode starts several weeks after the apocalypse took place, with Rick waking up from his coma. Realistically, he would have been covered in his own body waste and probably dead, but this is a world with walking corpses so let’s go with it. Morgan told Rick that the water resources had been gone for about a month when they met, so fans know at least that much time had passed prior to Rick waking up. There’s no history on exactly where the virus began, but it certainly wasn’t a thing when Rick got shot. It would make sense for it to take around a month for the virus to become widespread and lead to the loss of water, power, etc., would happen.
“TS-19” — Day 64
This one also checks out because things moved pretty quickly heading into the season one finale. Rick found his family around Day 61, wasted another day messing with the Vatos (Day 62), and then the camp was overrun that night. The next day was spent arguing before deciding to go to the nearby CDC, the same day Jenner recorded his video saying it had been 63 days since the virus went global. Their dream of safety lasted only one night before things literally blew up in their faces on Day 64.
“Seed” — Day 300
The season three opener showed Lori with a full-term pregnancy. Rick opened season two by telling Morgan that they lost Jacqui at the CDC two days prior, which puts him at day 66. So, this means a little less than eight months passed, with them at Hershel’s farm and wandering the streets all winter long. This makes sense considering the group spent around 2-3 weeks on the farm looking for Sophia before the walker herd destroyed everything and put them on the road for another 6 months.
“Infected” — Day 500
This early season four milestone was confirmed in an AMC tweet (as reported by Digital Spy), so it’s accurate. The group spent a good amount of time at the prison, to the point that they started domesticating animals and growing crops, after their initial encounter with The Governor. And, Judith’s appearance actually helps this time because she not quite a year old.
“The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” — Day 598
Wait a minute. This is the infamous Lucille head-bashing from season seven, episode one. Things don’t move at the glacial pace that we see it as viewers, with long seasons and breaks, but this is quite fast. This timeline suggests that the final Governor battle, fall of the prison, time on the road, Terminus, Grady Hospital, the introduction to Alexandria, the massive walker herd, Wolves, the rebuilding of Alexandria, AND buildup to Negan took place in around four months.
Google says it would take around 208 hours to walk from Atlanta to Alexandria, so eight hours of walking per day equals almost 26 days. They were essentially starving and moving slow due to a lack of energy and had a baby in tow, so it took longer to get to Alexandria. And, they were at Alexandria for quite some time before the walker herd (and Negan) became an issue.
The time-jump between the season six mid-season finale of the herd and the opening of “A New World” was several weeks alone, according to a 2016 Hollywood Reporter interview with Scott Gimple. So, that’s a least a month or two of time. This is supported by Alexandria’s cleanup and additional expansion, which takes some time when you build things the old-school way.
This is the moment where things get quite complicated and Chandler Riggs growing up super fast doesn’t help.
“The First Day of the Rest of Your Lives” — Day 610
This suggests that the first phase of All-Out War took place over 12 days and it honestly makes sense because not a lot happened in season seven until this episode. Things slowed down significantly during this time period as small, almost daily steps were made towards preparing for the war. This day may be off by a couple of months due to the prior timestamp, but it’s still a good guess at how long it took for the Alexandria battle to pop off.
“What Comes After” — Day 1207
Per AMC, season eight started around Day 621, so this timeline puts Rick’s “demise” came about a year and a half later, which seems slightly too short. Season eight’s final push for All-Out War took place over the span of a couple of weeks before a confirmed 18-month time-jump between seasons eight and nine. So, this would have started season nine at around Day 1175—for this particular timeline. At this point, the bridge project hadn’t begun. An episode two conversation with Rick and Negan marked the doomed project at Day 35, which equals day 1210. And, a couple more days certainly passed in Rick’s remaining four episodes.
“The Storm” — Day 3500
There’s a confirmed six-year time-jump (approx. 2190 days) after Rick’s exit, so the remainder of season nine supposedly takes place over about 100 days. During this time, the Whisperers made their debut and the plans for the fair were underway. Rosita tells Siddiq she is pregnant in episode nine and by this Season finale she is visibly pregnant in the wintertime, so this again makes sense in terms of number of days.
The best part about Walking Dead timelines is it’s all incredibly subjective and no one really knows what’s going on anymore (except AMC… maybe). The characters are way past keeping track of the days gone bye, but a discussion on how much time has transpired on this show is always worthy of examination.
Image Credit: AMC/The Walking Dead