'Walking Dead: World Beyond' has a Rick Grimes connection: The Three Rings

Here's everything we know about the mysterious new villain of the Walking Dead universe.

The Walking Dead Three Circles Helicopter

Just like witches at black masses, war pigs are circling AMC’s Walking Dead universe. We have a lot of questions about the mysterious three rings symbol and how it connects the original Walking Dead to the upcoming World Beyond spinoff.

On Sunday, AMC announced The Walking Dead: World Beyond, the third show in its Walking Dead universe. Taking place in the near future, the series follows the first generation of survivors born into the zombie apocalypse as they grow into adults in a dangerous but familiar world.

Looming over the show is a mysterious, militaristic organization. Without a name, they are only identified by their use of three interlocked rings as their “symbol.” What the rings actually stand for remains to be seen.

However, the “Three Rings” didn’t come from out of nowhere. Below, we breakdown the “Three Rings” to figure out just what their deal is, and whether or not they’re hiding someone familiar.

Three Rings: An army with one name

As of now, there are no names we can give the “Three Rings.” They are, however, led by an individual Elizabeth, played by Emmy-winner Julia Ormond. What Elizabeth’s motives are and the true extent of her role is shrouded in mystery. But she is the only real figurehead we’ve seen thus far.

The Walking Dead World Beyond Trailer
Julia Ormond stars in 'The Walking Dead: World Beyond' as "Elizabeth," a figurehead for the unnamed "Three Rings" army.

The Three Rings and “The Future”

One thing that the Three Rings (?) is obsessed with: The future. It’s a word used by Isabelle, a character introduced in Fear the Walking Dead keeps saying about the mysterious organization’s goals.

“Everything I do is to ensure there’s more than stories left after I die,” Isabelle says in her appearance. “It’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than you, it’s bigger than all of us. We are a force who are not living for ourselves or for now. We have the future.”

When the Three Rings appeared first appeared on Walking Dead

The first time fans saw the Three Rings happened in Season 9, Episode 5 of The Walking Dead, the last to star Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes. Presumed dead after falling over into a muddy riverbank, Rick is saved by Anne/Jadis, who had been involved with an unknown party in a human trafficking operation to recruit survivors, usually marked “A” or “B.” (And what happens to those, survivors, A or B, is totally a mystery.)

When Anne picks him up in a helicopter, it’s in an “A” helicopter. And the last time we saw Rick he’s being carried in a helicopter, with Anne. {He’s getting a series of movies … eventually.)

Rewinding back to Season 8, the character Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) appeared to broker some partnership with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who at the time was running Hilltop. Due to her cleanliness, access to electricity, overall je nai-not phased by the apocalypse-sais quoi, and cryptic talk about rebuilding “the future,” there is healthy speculation that Georgie was, or is, involved with the Three Rings in some way.

All we know is that in Lauren Cohan’s goodbye letter to Hilltop (IRL, Cohan had signed up for a series regular role in the now-canceled ABC series Whiskey Cavalier), she was happy with her infant son Herschel with wherever it was Georgie took her.

The Walking Dead Three Rings Rick Grimes
In Andrew Lincoln's final appearance in 'The Walking Dead,' he is rescued by Anne/Jadis, who takes him away in a helicopter bearing the "Three Rings" symbol.

Then…

Later in Fear the Walking Dead, the show introduces Isabelle, played by Sydney Lemmon in the episode “The End of Everything.” A soldier for this army (they may have the name “CRM,” based on documents seen in the episode), Isabelle warns that the group represents “the future” and that anyone who meets them should be very afraid. They also keep their identities hidden, which they consider “operational security.”

Based on their access to weapons, helicopters, radio equipment, and electricity — again, supported by Georgie in The Walking Dead, who talked about having vinyl record players — we can wager that the Three Rings have way more resources than any antagonistic group we’ve seen in the series.

Fear the Walking Dead Isabelle Sydney Lemmon
Sydney Lemmon, as "Isabelle," in Season 5, Episode 5 of 'Fear the Walking Dead.'

What this means for, ahem, the future of Walking Dead

The Three Rings, the Future, CRM, whatever their name is, will obviously have a major role in The Walking Dead: World Beyond. The other two shows have only planted the seeds. Now what’s next is to see what those seeds will grow when World Beyond debuts in 2020.


The Walking Dead: World Beyond premieres “Spring 2020.”

Media via AMC