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Themes: Foreshadowing

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Foreshadowing is a literary technique that is a recurring theme in The Walking Dead. It is when an event that has yet to happen is referenced, usually in a way only the reader/viewer can pick up on.


Comic Series

  • Andrea says that it's good to practice shooting in case they're attacked by other group of survivors in the future, foreshadowing that the prison will be attacked by Woodbury(Comic Series)
  • Hershel Greene says that he thinks he may have seen his daughter Maggie for the last time after she leaves the prison after the initial attack, foreshadowing that he will die in the assault. (Issue 45)
  • Spencer Monroe was seen praying in the church for "The strength to do what must be done." This was foreshadowing Spencer betraying Rick Grimes by pleading with Negan to kill Rick and make himself the new leader of the Alexandria Safe-Zone(Issue 108)
  • Alpha killed twelve people by decapitating them in Issue 144. This foreshadows her death, which was also decapitation. (Issue 156)

TV Series

  • Glenn Rhee explains to Rick Grimes that he saved him because someone may do the same for him. Ultimately, it is Rick who does this when Glenn and Maggie Greene are taken to Woodbury. (Days Gone Bye, When the Dead Come Knocking)
  • Jim digs multiple graves near the Atlanta camp before a walker attack claims several camp survivors. (Vatos)
  • When Rick tells Dr. Edwin Jenner that he is grateful after he opens the doors of the Center for Disease Control to release the group, he tells Rick "the day will come when you won't be", foreshadowing all the horrible events to come. (TS-19)
  • When Lori is talking with Hershel Greene about their children, Hershel tells her that she should be grateful she doesn't have a daughter because they are a handful. Lori does end up having a daughter. (Secrets, Killer Within)
  • After arriving on the farm, while talking about Sophia Peletier, Andrea believes they won't be able to find her alive, to which Daryl Dixon replies saying, "It's not mountains of Tiber, it's Georgia. She can be hold off in a farm house.". Indeed, Sophia is later found in the barn on Hershel's farm. (Save the Last One, Pretty Much Dead Already)
  • Rick explains to his son Carl that people, in particular Rick and Lori, will die and there is no way he can ever be ready for it, foreshadowing Lori's death.  (Better Angels, Killer Within)
  • When Dale Horvath warns Lori about Shane and his belief that Shane murdered Otis, he says that sooner or later, Shane will kill someone else. 4 episodes later, Shane kills Randall and attempts to murder Rick. (Nebraska, Better Angels)
  • After Shane breaks the window at the public works station during his fight with Rick, the reflection of Shane's battered face in the window he breaks seems to make him resemble a walker, foreshadowing his death and reanimation 2 episodes later. (18 Miles Out, Better Angels)
  • Merle Dixon proposes an idea to take the the prison and move Woodbury there. After the fall of the Governor, Rick takes in all the Woodbury citizens. (Hounded, Welcome to the Tombs)
  • Caesar Martinez tells Daryl that the Governor and Rick will not work anything out. (Arrow on the Doorpost)
  • When Rick and Clara are wandering the woods together, they pass a dead beetle being swarmed by ants, in a fashion similar to the way that the prison was swarmed by walkers. (30 Days Without An Accident, Too Far Gone)
  • Beth Greene tells Daryl she is glad that she didn't say goodbye to her boyfriend Zach and that she hates saying goodbye. Later, she doesn't get to say goodbye to her father Hershel. (30 Days Without An Accident, Too Far Gone)
  • When Philip Blake, Martinez, Pete Dolgen, and Mitch Dolgen are out on a run, they come across mutilated bodies with signs hanging on them informing of their crimes. One body is decapitated with the word "Liar" written on its sign, foreshadowing Hershel's death in the same manner in the following episode and what the Governor says before committing the deed. (Dead Weight, Too Far Gone)
  • Michonne threatens to kill the Governor while she and Hershel are held hostage. Later, she mortally wounds the Governor by stabbing him through the chest while he is strangling Rick. (Too Far Gone)
  • Lizzie Samuels' death and Mary's evil secret were both foreshadowed in paintings found by Michonne: one of flowers, hinting at Lizzie's death when Carol tells her to look at the flowers; the other of a woman who bore a very high resemblance to Mary but with her eyes scratched and crossed out. (Claimed, The Grove, A)
  • Beth says to Daryl he'll miss her when she's gone, hinting at her later disappearance and subsequent death. (Still, Alone, Coda, Them)
  • Rick demonstrates a cone-shaped trap he set for rodents. At the end of the episode, Rick's group is trapped in Terminus. (A)
  • Martin tells Tyreese that he is a good person and that is why he will die. Tyreese later dies, and a hallucination of Martin reminds him of what he said. (No Sanctuary, What Happened and What's Going On)
  • Rick tells Gareth what weapons he buried in the duffel bag, saying that inside is a red-handled machete, which he will use to kill him with. Later, Rick kills Gareth by hacking him multiple times with the red-handled machete. (No Sanctuary, Four Walls and a Roof)
  • Shortly before his death, Bob Lamson warns Rick that someone is going to die when he tries to negotiate with Dawn Lerner to exchange two of Dawn's men for Carol Peletier and Beth. Later in the episode, both Dawn and Beth die as a result of the negotiations gone wrong. (Coda)
  • Dawn states "One of yours for one of mine" during the negotiation between her and Rick. Soon afterwards a member of both factions die as Beth and Dawn are both shot in the head. (Coda)
  • While the group is making their way to Shirewilt Estates, Tyreese is the only one to glance at a skeleton on the ground, foreshadowing his immediate death. (What Happened and What's Going On)
  • As the supply runners enter Aiden's van, the song "Internet Friends" by Knife Party plays and the lyric "Now, you're going to die" can be heard. Both Aiden and Noah are devoured by walkers in this episode when a herd shows up during a supply run. (Spend)
  • Michonne asks Heath if he has ever been covered in so much blood, that he didn't know if it was his blood, or his friends', or walkers'. This foreshadows what happened to Glenn later in the episode, who was covered in so much blood, he didn't know if it was his, Nicolas' or walker's blood. (Thank You)
  • Carol tells Sam that if Sam tells his family about Carol sneaking into their house then he will end up being devoured due to fear, which eventually happens in No Way Out. Also, at the start of Start To Finish ants are seen swarming a cookie on a plate, foreshadowing all of the Anderson Family being swarmed during No Way Out. (No Way Out)
  • Glenn finds pictures of smashed in heads in The Saviors' compound, fitting the M.O. of their yet to be introduced leader, who later in "Last Day on Earth" kills someone with Lucille. (Not Tomorrow Yet), (Last Day on Earth)
  • Rick is told by a Savior that it his last day on earth, which mirrors how it is one member of Rick's group's last day on earth (meaning they die). (Last Day on Earth)


  • As Hannah runs through the neighborhood looking for her children, a bicycle can be seen at the side of the road, referencing her eventual fate as the bicycle walker. (A New Day)

Video Game

  • While driving Lee Everett to prison, a police officer tells him, "People will give up and go mad when they believe their life is over.", foreshadowing the chaos that is to come. (A New Day)
  • Shawn Greene argues with his father about repairing the fence, foreshadowing that it will break. (A New Day)
  • Hershel tells Lee that he will have to depend on the honesty of strangers. (A New Day)
  • When speaking to Kenny while pushing Duck on the swing, Kenny will ask you if you're on his side. If you respond "I'm not choosing sides", Kenny will say "That time is coming", foreshadowing that Lee will have to choose sides in the future. (Starved For Help)
  • Mark foreshadows his own fate before stepping foot on St. John's Dairy Farm. (Starved For Help)
  • Mark foreshadows Larry's fate in the meat locker. (Starved For Help)
  • After Larry's death, Lee can say that Kenny talks a big game but could he have done it if it were Katjaa or Duck. Kenny says that it would never happen. This foreshadows that either one of them would have to put Duck down in the next episode. (Starved For Help)
  • Jolene mentions that with the St. John's Dairy Farm operating, Clementine has nothing to fear from bandits. This is foreshadowing that the bandits will be a problem for the survivors in the future. (Starved For Help)
  • Katjaa says she loves Duck more than life itself, which foreshadows her suicide due to her son's death. (Long Road Ahead)
  • Ben Paul tells Lee that he will "punch his own ticket" if a walker gets a hold of him, foreshadowing him bring grabbed by a walker and his attempt of suicide. (Long Road Ahead)
  • Christa says that Kenny is "on the edge" and that she is afraid of being there when he "falls over" since she cares about his relationship with Lee. This foreshadows that Kenny and Lee's relationship will be tested once more. (Around Every Corner)
  • When interrogating Clementine about the radio, Christa explains to Clementine that the man on the radio does not want to help her find her parents. This foreshadows that his true intentions will be revealed. (Around Every Corner)
  • Ben says that he has a bad feeling about the group's raid on Crawford, foreshadowing that night's events and his possible death. (Around Every Corner)
  • Molly says to take care of Clementine as she leaves the mansion, foreshadowing that Lee will lose her the next morning. (Around Every Corner)
  • If Lee takes Clementine to Crawford, he can say to her that he will teach her things like in school. This foreshadows how he teaches her how to get out of the jewellery store which is symbolically the classroom. (Around Every Corner)
  • Lee can comment on a rat he sees in the sewers and how he hopes to not die due to a "god awful disease", foreshadowing him being bitten by a walker and dying from the infection. (Around Every Corner)
  • During the stand in the mansion, Kenny asks everyone how many bullets they have left. Lee says five, Ben says two (Determinant) and Christa says four. The numbers are the numbers of chapters that character had left in the game; Ben dying in two chapters, Lee within five and Christa and Omid becoming separated in four. Interestingly, Kenny is the only one to not state his bullet count, likely due to his departing chapter differing depending on players choices. (No Time Left)
  • If Clementine states that she's never shot a rifle, Peter Joseph Randall tells her that the gun's recoil "would probably knock you on your ass." This foreshadows the instance during the walker attack at the Moonstar Lodge as Clementine grabs a hunting rifle that Carlos dropped and attempts to shoot it, with the force of the gun sending Clementine to the ground. (All That Remains)
  • When talking to Clementine, Luke says that family is important and is something that a man would travel miles for. This foreshadows William Carver coming and reclaiming the group, particularly Rebecca, who may be carrying his child. (A House Divided)
  • When alone with Clementine in the cabin, Carver notes how the white King on a chessboard is three moves from defeat, foreshadowing his own defeat in the next episode. (A House Divided)
  • When the group are sitting around the campfire, Luke and Bonnie have hazard signs around them, foreshadowing their deaths the next day. (No Going Back)
  • When talking to Kenny about Jane's attitude towards him, he tells Clementine that "It feels like another Lilly situation to me." Later on, Clementine will have to make a choice between siding with Kenny or Jane, much like how Lee had to make a choice between siding with Kenny or Lilly in Starved For Help. (No Going Back)

Social Game


Survival Instinct


Novel Series

  • Tyreese foreshadowed the Governor's death by saying to him and Lilly Caul that Brian will "die by their own swords."
Abstract BetrayalCliffhangersDenialDepressionDistrustDiscriminationEnvyFearForeshadowingForgivenessHumanityHumorHopePrideRegretReligionRevengeSacrificeSanitySecrecyTeamwork
Realistic AmputationsCannibalismHeroismLeadershipNicknamesPunishment

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