Unlike the readers of the original comic by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard, The Walking Dead TV series fans are going into season 11 already knowing that this is the end of the road for many of their favorite characters. As the Commonwealth opens its gates to our heroes, the show also reaches the final section of its source material, whose 16-year run came to a shocking, unexpected end with issue #193 in 2019.
While things on the show won’t play out exactly like in the comics, AMC has still cast many of the characters who played a pivotal role in that final Commonwealth arc, including Michael James Shaw (Avengers: Endgame) as military commander Mercer and Laila Robins (The Blacklist) as Governor Pamela Milton, the leader of the massive post-apocalyptic settlement. And like in the comics, she won’t be the only Milton in charge on the show.
In an interview with EW ahead of the season 11 premiere next Sunday, showrunner Angela Kang confirmed that the Governor’s son will be introduced in the first eight episodes of the 24-episode season. “We’ll meet the son first actually,” she revealed.
Kang stops short of directly naming him, so take this next bit as speculation (we’re probably being overly cautious), but it seems pretty obvious that she’s talking about Sebastian Milton, Pamela’s no-good, spoiled brat son. While AMC has yet to announce an official casting for the role, some fans have speculated that Jacob Young, who is set to play a character named “Deaver” on the show, has actually been cast as Sebastian.
So why should you care about Sebastian Milton? Well, he happens to be the absolute coward who killed Rick Grimes in the penultimate issue of the series.
If you followed the comics during their original run, you will likely remember issue #192 for the rest of your life, specifically the final scene in which the detestable prince of the Commonwealth put several bullets into Rick’s chest while he was in bed. It was an unceremonious, cruel end for Rick, who died alone in his room and then turned into a walker that his own son, Carl, had to put down the following morning. It was much less than the hero who stopped a war between the Commonwealth and Alexandria deserved.
Why did Sebastian do it? He was afraid Rick would take over as the leader of the Commonwealth after his mother was arrested for corruption and inciting a war. Without his mommy to protect him, Sebastian couldn’t go on living as a silver spoon douchebag who could get away with anything. Plus, he felt it was his right to rule the Commonwealth once his mother’s time was over, a transition citizens like Mercer definitely didn’t want. Instead, we learn in #193 that Sebastian will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder.
But with Andrew Lincoln’s exit from the show, it’s clear that things won’t go down exactly as they did in the comics. Does this mean that another beloved character will die in Rick’s place in season 11? Well, it won’t be Daryl or Carol since they have their own spinoff series coming up in 2023, and Danai Gurira made her exit as Michonne in season 10. Could the show instead sacrifice Maggie or Negan to play out the dramatic end of the comic?
There’s also the possibility that season 11 won’t go down this path at all, either forgoing it all together or saving it for the trilogy for Rick movies still in the works at AMC. Yes, Rick could still be destined to meet his cold, lonely end if that’s the case.
The Walking Dead season 11 returns on Aug. 22 at 9 pm ET on AMC.