Warning: spoilers for the Walking Dead comic books below!
We've got a long six months ahead before The Walking Dead returns for season eight. In that time, we've got plenty to ruminate on. Everything that happens in the season finale, from the general slowness of the season to Daryl's mysterious wooden soldier find, is fodder for critical thinking. Taking all that into consideration, showrunner Scott M. Gimple has given us something else to mull over: a season eight time jump.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gimple admitted there may be a small temporal shift in the near future. When asked if season eight would kick off with a leap forward, he said, "I won't be specific about that, but there will be no mind-blowing temporal shifts. But there might be a bit of a jump, but I don't think it'll be 'oh my god'-level." It may seem like nothing, but we have to consider that Gimple could be downplaying what's ahead.
How could a time jump manifest on the show? Well, we could miss part of the war with the Saviors by skipping the beginning stages and jumping to the dire consequences of the battles somewhere in the middle. There's also a chance we could make progress and skip through the end. Or perhaps we'll leap backward, in the same way the finale featured the profound return of Abraham, just before his death.
And then there's the massive time jump that happens in the comic books. After the "All Out War" with Negan ends, the story springs into the future - two years into the future, to be exact. Without giving too much away, Alexandria has been rebuilt, Hilltop has a new leader, and a new enemy emerges. It's possible this could happen sometime in season eight or at the very end.
All theorizing aside, if there's any time jump that's absolutely necessary, it's a time jump from right now to season eight's October premiere.