[SPOILERS up to the Season 5 premiere and “speculation” that might be spoilers if true]
There are a lot of rumors swirling around about who left those signs for Morgan on Walking Dead. We’re compiling them here and are interested in what you think. (PS: If you haven’t seen the episode yet, you can watch it on Amazon Instant right here!)
First, if you look at the sign when Rick wrote “NO” over sanctuary, you’ll see there was little foliage overgrowth. By the time Morgan reaches the sign, there’s A LOT of foliage all over the sign. So it’s likely Morgan reached the sign months after Rick and company moved past it.
So… Were those X’s in the tree left by Rick’s group or by someone following Rick’s group?
One other mention we’d like to make… In Season 3, Episode 12, we can see what might be the mark used in Morgan’s drawing on the wall (the episode was called “Clear.”) A similar sign was Morgan’s way of indicating when an area was zombie free, or “clear.”
So, without further adieu, here are some theories on who might be leaving that sign.
Some people posit that it might be Rick, leaving signs for Morgan in case he’s following them. Rick encountered Morgan on the episode “Clear,” so maybe he knew that Morgan used those signs. Or, maybe he just likes to leave the sign indicating when an area has been cleared of zombies, as a sort of way to keep his head on straight.
Other people are suggesting that Carl is leaving the signs, for one of the same reasons that Rick might be. Carl is a popular theory because alert viewers state that we never actually saw Rick look at the board or study it, whereas Carl studied it for a long time. But is Carl too short to leave the sign? Could it be Michonne?
3. More Terminus
For a completely different theory, maybe the signs are left by stragglers from Terminus, to help people from their team (or new food sources) follow them. A big deal was made about Rick clearing out all the Terminus survivors, and then he never did. So maybe they are now hunting Rick’s gang and Morgan is hunting them.
One reason this theory is popular is due to this photo, which shows the original guy that Terminus kept locked up sporting a tattoo on his head similar to the sign. There are disagreements as to whether it’s the same sign, though.
4. Hash Hare Mark
Alert readers and viewers have pointed out that this might be a “hash hare mark.” This is a game where a “hare” goes out a day ahead and leaves marks on trees or on a trail and the “hunters” try to follow and find him. Hares can leave multiple trails, only one of which is the true trail.
A mark very similar (maybe even exactly the same) as the one on the trees is called a “check.” This mark indicates that a trail is about 100 yards away. You can find more details here.