This article will contain spoilers. You've been warned.
Being a fan of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I'd been eagerly awaiting The World's End's release for a long time. I work for a company whose work revolves very closely around movies, so when the first official trailer for The World's End was released, I was notified instantly and watched it within two minutes of it's hitting the web.
I later stared, in awe, at the 12 glorious pub signs that make up Newton Haven's Golden Mile, wondering how each pub got it's name and if there was a story behind each one. It turns out that instead of a story behind each pub, each one tells of events to come.
As pointed out by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg at the Arclight cinema's Cornetto Trilogy screening, each pub sign holds a clue as to what is going to happen to our heroes at each pub.
1. The First Post
The First Post is named so for the fact that it used to be a post office. It is also the first stop on our protagonists journey.
2. The Old Familiar
3. The Famous Cock
Gary King is the famous cock. Now when I look at this sign, I don't see a simple rooster, I see the rooster's boots and the lapels of a coat, two things Gary famously sports.
4. The Cross Hands
Also note that this is the first fight, first time we see the blue 'blood' from the robots, and this is the first sign "splattered" with blue paint. It turns out that each pub where robot-juice is spilled has blue paint splattered on it.
5. The Good Companions
The parallels that I draw are the fact that this is really the first moment of the night that they've all been close to being on the same page. That, and while four of the men are scared and unhappy about the night's circumstances, one of them is just delighted to be back with his friends reliving old times. Guess which mask is Gary King...
6. The Trusty Servant
Note that this is also where the Reverend Green is ordered to go and get replaced by a robot-version of himself, and he walks to the men's room right as Oliver walks out. This indicates that this is where the real Oliver has been switched with the Blank. From this moment on, you can see the birthmark on his head, though it's well hidden through lighting and the positioning of Martin Freeman's head until Andy discovers it. Now Simon and Edgar explained that the Trusty Servant refers to the Reverend Green, but I think it might also refer to Oliver's replacement robot. This promotional poster for the movie helps with this theory.
7. The Two Headed Dog
8. The Mermaid
9. The Beehive
He reveals the Network's plans to them and tries to convince them that they're in no danger. This reunion with a man they used to look up to and trust is yet another attempt by the Network to 'shepherd' our guys into willingly joining the hive-mind and becoming one of them. A third fight ensues, hence this is the third blue-splattered sign.
10. The King's Head
1. The King here looks a hell of a lot like Simon Pegg, therefore The King's Head is literally Gary King's head.
2. This is where Gary, Steven, and Andy have the chance to get in the car and escape, but Gary gets it into his head that he'd rather finish the Golden Mile alone than run away.
3. It could refer to the head on a beer. Gary pours himself a beer after recovering being hit on the head.
This is the first time during the pub crawl that not all 5 men are drinking, and it is in fact, only Gary who is still participating.
11. The Hole in the Wall
12. The World's End
Something to listen for when you watch next is that when the Network first greets Gary it calls him "Gary King, of the humans" and after it's listened to Gary's absolute inability to lose and argument, it calls him "Gary, King of the humans."
Edgar Wright, after the film wrapped, explained that instead of destroying Earth, it decided to just cut off all our technology, hopefully keeping us from going out into the galaxy and infecting other planets with our stupidity.
Unfortunately for them, the Network's muttering of "Fuck it" right before it beams up out of Earth indicates that it's already picked up on our crude apathy and it's taking some of that back to where it came from.
Our world wasn't destroyed, but the world as we knew it did end. We lost all of our technology, but we did indeed live. So thank you Gary King for annoying the invading force SO MUCH that it decided to let us err as humans. "So... err... ?"