When Walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman tweeted a response to a fan theory last week, he created a stir among viewers. What appeared to be a joke tweet was just ambiguous enough to leave some fans wondering if Kirkman might be serious. On Tuesday, however, the creator of the hit show clarified, making sure his followers are aware that he was joking.

A long-running, though somewhat fringe, fan theory about Walking Dead is that Rick is actually still in his coma after being shot in the first episode, and that the events of the zombie apocalypse are all a dream the protagonist is having. This isn’t an unusual fear for television viewers, who’ve previously found themselves disappointed with a series that ended in a similar manner.

TV Tropes even lists ‘All Just A Dream’ as a major trope, with hundreds of examples. It’s generally considered a writer cop-out, a way to avoid actually wrapping up a storyline, and a major disappointment.

On Friday, Robert Kirkman responded to the theory, linking an Uproxx article that described the idea. He denied it, assuring viewers that the events of the show are really occurring.

Then, Kirkman seemed to directly contradict that, in a second tweet that suggested that many of the events of the show did not, in fact, occur.

Perhaps he thought the joke was obvious, and certainly many followers did, laughing along, but a number of fans were left wondering whether to take the tweet seriously.

On Tuesday morning, though, Kirkman popped back onto Twitter to reassure his fans that, despite his teasing question mark in the controversial tweet, he was, indeed, joking.

It’s not the only Walking Dead rumor to be dispelled this week: on Monday, Norman Reedus, who plays fan favorite Daryl Dixon, spoke out to deny a rumor that he had begged producers not to make his character gay. Fans of the show will surely be relieved on both counts.

[Photo Source: Gage Skidmore]