If like me you have seen the trailer for series 8 of The Walking Dead then you will know they have teased Rick waking up in bed with his grey hair cut and a beard which people have been speculating could mean that he was in a coma and dreamed up the whole thing.
If The Walking Dead was all just part of Ricks dream
The Walking Dead would be something completely different in my opinion if it turns out it was all just a dream. I mean it would jump from a zombie horror drama to just a plain drama. Zombies is the part of this type of genre that makes it more interesting!
Just the events that put Rick into a coma in the first place could be enough to put most normal people into a place where they have to deal with things like post traumatic stress disorder.
Now think about how he could adjust if what he thought was real was all just a dream that he has now woken up from. He killed his best friend Shane and he lost his wife Lori. It seems he was now at a point where he can just move on with Michonne and think about returning to some kind of relative normality in Alexandria before Negan entered the picture. If you suddenly wake up and realise that was all a dream, real or not, I feel like experiencing everything Rick did you would become a completely different person.
I can imagine one of the main things Rick would feel is relief, but would his dreams of moving on with Michonne be a sign that his marriage with Lori was destined to dissolve anyway?
Although the idea of this does fascinate me I still feel like that the idea of it all being a dream would be such a disappointment in an odd kind of way, because after 7 seasons we are now invested so much into The Walking Dead world that I think the general reaction would along the lines of “WTF?!? We watched 7-8 seasons to get to this?”.
Aside from spoilers from the comic explaining why this is not the case here are some my opinions on why this wouldn’t make sense.
It’s too early for such a major spoiler
As someone who has watched enough films and TV series’s, something like this would most likely be either a big reveal at the end, or a major plot point at the start which gradually explains how the character got where they are.
I know bugger all about this kind of thing in reality, but after going through so much over 7 seasons it would seem like an odd place to suddenly learn that it was all just in Rick’s head after all.
Much of The Walking Dead universe doesn’t happen from Rick’s perspective
For us to see what Rick is experiencing in his coma then seeing everything play out that he isn’t part of seems odd unless we’re seeing it played out as a story told to Rick from a third party.
The only other reason I see this could make sense is if he somehow just forgets due to the effects of his injuries.
If you break everything down like this then I predict there would be a large number of plot holes.
A zombie apocalypse drama is just less predictable and more interesting
Part of what makes The Walking Dead series good is the unpredictability and chaos of it.
Otherwise what you’re left with is something like the film Sucker Punch which is not a step up for The Walking Dead.