The Walking Dead is a show that has to juggle a lot practical considerations, from the conditions that come with its rural shooting locations, to all the gore effects required to make all of those zombies work, to managing a massive ensemble cast. It also, more than perhaps many other dramas, has to deal with the passage of time in ways that we viewers aren't always able to follow that well.
Time definitely passes on the show. We know this because we've seen the characters, not just the actors, age. We've also seen things like infrastructure deteriorating around our heroes, the further decay of the walkers and, over the last three seasons in particular, the growth of Rick Grimes' daughter Judith. The show has been clear in its intention to depict the gradual passage of time in a way that makes sense for the series, but what it hasn't done quite so clearly is let the audience in on exactly how long its timeline is. Now the show's official Twitter account is clearing that up a little.
In a post on Tuesday, the Twitter account posted a humorous side-by-side of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) when we first met him and Rick Grimes as he was seen during the show's eighth season. The meme also included an actual number of days that have passed.
So, if this number is correct (and this is just the Twitter account, so it's very possible this was just a random, semi-accurate number thrown out there for laughs, though it is the official Twitter account), the events of The Walking Dead have all unfolded in a little less than two years so far. This fits relatively well with the range of age we've seen in Judith since she was born, and with the crumbling infrastructure. Of course, it can't account for Carl (Chandler Riggs) growing like a weed, but hey, the show's been on for eight years and Chandler Riggs is 19. There's nothing the producers can do about teenagers being teenagers.
This is an interesting little factoid to chew on, but of course it won't matter too much anymore by the time Season 9 kicks off. The new season of the show is also meant to jump-start a new era, and as such will jump forward in time by something like a year and a half, to a point when the characters are running out of things like bullets and gasoline and relying instead on melee weapons and even wagons to get around. Time will certainly still be a concern for The Walking Dead, but it might not be too long before viewers once again have no idea how much of it has gone by.
The Walking Dead returns October 7 on AMC.