In a different interview than the one in which Scott Gimple essentially revealed with regard to Glenn’s death that he doesn’t understand how cliffhangers work, The Walking Dead showrunner was less ambiguous in ruling out another popular fan theory.
The theory, which Cindy floated yesterday based on a few Norman Reedus Instagram photos, essentially posited that Rick had been bitten on the hand in the last episode in an altercation with a few walkers, which is why he was repeatedly grabbing at his hand in the last half of the episode. The photographs from before the season also reveal that someone lost a hand, and the ring seemed to align with the hand of Rick’s.
It would make sense, too, that Rick would lostehis hand because he had done so in a much earlier storyline in the comics, although Robert Kirkman has conceded since that he regrets that decision. Moreover, The Walking Dead producers decided against it on the series because of the expense involved in a removing the hand of the lead character for the rest of the series (or as long as Andrew Lincoln was on the show). Lincoln, for his part, lobbied to have his hand chopped off, but the folks upstairs weren’t listening.
Anyway, Rick’s hand is just fine, as Gimple noted in that interview with TVLine:
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something definitive: Rick is OK regarding that cut. His hand will survive. There will be a bandage. There will be some ointment involved. But he’s going to walk away from it.
That also seems to confirm another obvious point: That Rick is also going to walk away from the walkers who were encircling him in the RV at the end of the episode.
It also seems to suggest that you can’t be infected by zombie cooties. Surely, the blood of walkers got into that cut while Rick was mowing them down, but that’s apparently not enough to cause an infection, although Gimple doesn’t directly answer the question about the possibility of being infected by zombie guts in an open wound:
It’s entirely possible, but we haven’t really gotten into it on the show.
That’s too bad about Rick’s hand, though. It might have lessened our invariable disappointment over the survival — however brief — of Glenn.
It does raise another question, however: Whose hand is that?