The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang confirmed the significance of the letter “A” on the show, in a blog discussing Easter eggs from the Season 9 trailer. The trailer dropped a month ago at SDCC during TWD’s Hall H panel discussion, and confirmed, among other things, that the show would follow in the footsteps of the comic and complete the two-year time jump that follows All Out War and precedes The Whisperer War.
The trailer showcased this progress in various ways – all of the known communities (Oceanside, Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Sanctuary) are shown having advanced – presumably using the pre-industrial handbook given to Maggie by the enigmatic Georgie in Season 8 – and teams head to Washington D.C. to pillage artifacts like covered wagons in order to put them to use once more. There were also several callbacks to some of last season’s most significant loose ends, and one in particular stands poised to be more of a game-changer than anything seen on the show thus far. While fans collectively went bananas over the final shot of the trailer that heavily teased the Whisperers, the real eye-catcher was the brief shot of Jadis with a helicopter above her in the background. Presumably it’s related to or the same chopper that she tried and failed to hail last season.
Related: The Walking Dead Season 9 Trailer: A New Journey Begins
Angela Kang participated in a Q&A on Skybound’s TWD blog and provided context for some significant shots and Easter eggs, including Jadis’ appearance. While of course she didn’t explain the aircraft’s background, she did confirm the significance of two symbols painted on it – three interlocking rings and a conspicuous letter “A.”
Jadis has a new hairdo and clothing, but it looks like she might be up to her old tricks with the walkie and the helicopter. Or is she? And speaking of the helicopter, you might also notice the three rings symbol that’s appeared on various items at the Heaps before, and the ‘A’ we’ve seen crop up periodically. Yes, there is a meaning to both things. No, I won’t spoil it right now!
While the interlocking rings only started appearing in Season 7 when fans met Jadis and first visited the Heaps (it’s on the lid of the applesauce she eats after Simon guns down her people), the letter “A” has a much longer history on the show. It first cropped up in a significant way in the Season 4 finale aptly title “A”, painted on the train car that served as Rick & Co.’s simultaneous prison and family reunion site at Terminus. It can be seen in various other capacities related to the Terminus storyline, but it also showed up on Daryl’s Sanctuary prison uniform, painted on a fence in Alexandria that’s in Carol’s eye line after she thwarts a raid by the Wolves and, of course, Jadis writes it on the shipping container she uses to trap Rick in when he comes to meet with her in Season 8’s “The King, The Widow and Rick.”
At first glance, these instances feel unrelated, but Kang’s quote would seem to suggest otherwise. Whether the ultimate significance of the letter will turn out to be thematic or somehow connected to a narrative thread remains to be seen. Since the first half of Season 9 will see the departure of two major characters in both Rick and Maggie, it feels like the appropriate time to introduce a degree of inter-connectivity between prior seasons and storylines, even if it turns out to be loose.
More: Lauren Cohan Says Maggie Won’t Die
The Walking Dead returns for Season 9 on Sunday, October 7th on AMC.