The Walking Dead season 11 finale: How did the last ever episode end?

The Walking Dead has come to an end after 11 seasons and 147 episodes.

While the world of the programme will continue to be explored in a series of spin-offs, the main show drew to a conclusion in a finale that aired on Sunday (20 November).

As was expected and hoped for by viewers, the finale featured showdowns, nostalgic callbacks and returning faces.

But how did The Walking Dead end?

*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*

The series tied up the Commonwealth storyline by sparing the life of Pamela Milton (Laila Robins), the villainous governor who was happy to let her people die while she was holed up in a gated community.

All the characters, with the help of Pamela’s one-time compadre Mercer (Michael James Shaw), banded together to imprison Pamela. They also detonated the horde of walkers – who had developed the ability to fight back – that had overrun the Commonwealth.

Three characters who don’t make it out alive are Luke (Dan Fogler), Jules (Alex Sgambati) and, most notably, Rosita, who is bitten by a walker while trying to save her baby daughter, Coco. One year on, Rosita’s memory lives through baby Rosie, who belongs to Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Stephanie (Margot Bingham). The family live in the newly built Commonwealth that’s led by Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Rosie’s uncle, Mercer.

Daryl (Norman Reedus), who has been living life in the frontier, decides to set off on his own mission, without Carol (Melissa McBride), who stays behind at Hilltop (which is thriving more than ever). Maggie (Lauren Cohan) too announces her own decision to explore the wider world – something we know will bring her to New York with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

But it’s the return of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) that will most excite fans. We briefly catch up with the pair, who are on their own respective adventures.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in ‘The Walking Dead’ (AMC Studios)
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in ‘The Walking Dead’ (AMC Studios)

We see Rick stood on a beach, wearing a jacket emblazoned with a Civic Republic Military logo. As a CRM helicopter finds him, he tosses a rucksack onto a nearby boat in a clear attempt to hide it from whoever is after him.

This same bag is later found by Michonne, who reads a letter written by Rick in which he remembers all of his friends, dead and alive.

But before then, Rick is intructed to surrender by the person flying the helicopter.

“You’ve been located and are instructed to surrender,” a voice rings out. “Remain in place with your hands up – c’mon Rick. It’s like she told you. There’s no escape for the living.”

Instead of looking scared, Rick smiles as he shields his eyes from the glare of the helicopter in front of a ravaged cityscape.

‘The Walking Dead’s Michonne (Danai Gurira) returns in the finale (AMC Studios)
‘The Walking Dead’s Michonne (Danai Gurira) returns in the finale (AMC Studios)

Meanwhile, Michonne, kitted out in a fancy armoured suit and still hunting Rick, rides a horse into the biggest horde of walkers the show has ever seen as every single character from the show’s history flashes on screen, repeating the words: “We’re the ones who live.”

The final shot is reserved for Judith (Cailey Fleming) and RJ (Anthony Azor), who sit in a sunny Hilltop. Judith tells her younger brother: “We get to start over. We’re the ones who live.”