I knew that Hershels watch meant something I just didn’t realize how much

We all know The Walking Dead has had its share of references and Easter Eggs over the years, but this week at Walker Stalker Con, executive producer and special effect genius, Greg Nicotero, revealed another major, ongoing Easter Egg.

While other Walking Dead Easter Eggs have been cool, this one has been going on for all FIVE seasons:

The Walking Dead repeatedly references time.

Some eagle-eyed viewers might have already noticed the focus that the show puts on time and timepieces. Time is, after all, as one Reddit user pointed out, something which maintains civilization. But, in a world where civilization as we know it has ended, is time keeping a useless activity, or does its sentimental importance still make it worth while?

Check out how the reoccurring theme of time and watches has continually popped up over the last five seasons:

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Season One: Time as loss and dissolution

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In Season one, the group questions what the point of Dale still winding his watch is, considering time no longer really matters. Dale then drops this paraphrased William Faulkner quote on us:

I like what, um, a father said to son when he gave him a watch that had been handed down through generations. He said, “I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire, which will fit your individual needs no better than it did mine or my father’s before me; I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you may forget it for a moment now and then and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it.
Wow, if you remember this theme of time being loss and dissolution while watching the rest of the series you’ll soon realize this quote was actually pretty apt.

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Season Two: Times are changing

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Hershel gives Glenn his pocket watch, which is a family heirloom, symbolizing his acceptance of Glenn into the family:

No man is good enough for your little girl…Until one is.
The pocket watch was given to Hershel by his father, whose own father had passed it to him. He had kept the watch until he pawned it to pay for his drinking habit. His wife bought it back and waited until he sobered up to give it back.

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Season Three: The timer went off!

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This one is quite nice! After Glenn is given the pocket watch it helps him later understands why Hershel gave it to him, and tells Hershel that he wants to marry Maggie. Hershel gives Glenn his blessing and Glenn cuts the finger off a walker to get a nice wedding ring for Maggie. True love.

It’s also worth noting that since Season three, Steven Yuen’s name has appeared alongside the pocket watch in the opening credit sequence.

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Season Four: Time to go

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Just before Carol is exiled, she gives Rick the watch that her dead husband gave her, to replace Rick’s father’s watch which he had let Sam borrow (the blond, hippy guy who we didn’t see for the remainder of the season). Giving the watch to Rick just before she was to leave the group was not only a nice gesture but symbolic of her cutting all ties with her former self (the woman who was so scared to be alone she stayed with an abusive husband) and with the old world, she’s now in a place where time doesn’t matter.

As the Glenn flees the prison in the second half of Season four, he makes sure to take Hershel’s pocket watch with him, one of the only items any of the group bothers to grab before running.

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Season 5 promo: The time has come

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See the chain in Ricks hand in the Season five promo poster? That’s Hershel’s pocket watch making another appearance. ( Homage to the whole cast missing Scott Wilson )

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Season Five: Time heals all wounds

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At the very start of episode one we see Rick using a chain to carve a shiv. Greg Nicotero explained:

He’s using Hershel’s watch with the chain…And then when he leaves, Maggie gets it, so of course if you see, Maggie has the chain with the watch. And of course the time is 5:01 on the watch, because that was episode 501……So if you look at any of the stuff in the show…even when Carol picks up Rick’s watch off the table, it says 5:01. Every episode that we shoot we adjust the time on the watches and the clocks to whatever episode it is we’re shooting.
Yep, and the theme continued in episode one, with Carol finding Rick’s father’s watch in a pile of stolen belongings which the Termites had probably taken from Sam, who we saw killed in episode one.

In episode two of Season 5 we finally see Rick reunited with his newly found watch. Rick offers Carol back her watch in return, however she refuses to take it, reaffirming that the old Carol is gone.

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Keep your eyes on the hidden meanings– there are easter eggs everywhere!!

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