“The Walking Dead” Season 8 begins this Sunday with the show’s epic 100th episode. This section of the comics is called “All Out War,” and that is exactly what’s headed for Rick and Negan.
Season 7 earned a lot of mixed reactions from fans with the group fractured. Many episodes focused on just one or two main characters, meaning several weeks would pass without a sighting of Rick or Maggie or Carol. And that made it impossible to determine how much time was actually passing in the story’s timeline.
But despite those pacing issues, there were some truly brilliant moments throughout season 7. From the intense and brutal premiere to the insane finale, there were deaths and spies and intrigue. And there was a tiger.
Now, as we look ahead to season 8, there is a lot to look forward to. And many questions that still need to be answered. There are no spoilers in this article. We wouldn’t do that without warning you, even if we knew any spoilers to share.
As you may recall from the season 7 finale, Negan was ready. He was going to kill Carl, right in front of Rick and all of Alexandria. He also promised to cut off both of Rick’s hands. To which Rick calmly responded that it wouldn’t stop Rick from killing Negan. And he added, “In fact, you’re dead already.”
Will Rick kill Negan?
If Negan dies this season, there are a lot of people who have good reason to kill him. In fact, some deserve the honor more than Rick does. Like Dwight, for instance. Since Negan literally stole his wife and turned her into little more than a sex slave. Or Maggie, who was forced to watch Negan beat her husband to death.
And yet, it’s hard to ignore Morgan’s philosophy of non-violence. As much as the showrunners give the audience the runaround, they rarely include a character or a scenario that is totally pointless. Morgan’s morality could very well come into play here. After all, what better way to prove his point than to find a peaceful resolution with Negan?
Or, maybe Morgan will be the one that takes him out.
There is a big question about allegiances and who can be trusted.
Eugene says he is Negan. Dwight is not Negan anymore. But one or both of them could be lying. Eugene has always been about survival. He’s willing to do whatever he has to in order to keep going. But this could work either way. Is he ensuring his survival by joining Negan? Or is he attempting to ensure his and everyone else’s survival by only pretending?
Dwight’s shifted loyalty seems sincere. After all, he no longer has anything to gain by sticking by Negan. Unless he’s trying to get back on Negan’s good side. Which doesn’t quite feel like it fits.
Then there are Jadis and her Scavengers. Their alliance with Negan caught many off guard. But her explanation was simply that Negan made them a better offer. Jadis only cares about the bottom line. So if Rick can figure out a way to up the ante, they can win back the Scavengers. Of course, Alexandria can’t exactly trust them again.
And we haven’t even talked about Gregory. But then, what is there to say about Gregory? He ran off. He is very much on a team of one.
There is also Oceanside to consider. Although they were relieved of most of their weapons and have been very clear about their plan to keep to themselves, will they change their minds? They do have the deaths of all their men to avenge.
Who will survive the season?
In a show whose marketing is all about the impending war, it stands to reason there will be a lot of deaths. Just like there is every season.
We’ve reached a point in the show’s run, though, where very few characters are completely expendable. While the season 8 trailer indicated that Rick will survive at least a few years into the future, he might be safe. This has always been his story anyway. But what about Daryl? And Morgan and Carol and Maggie?
After the trauma of losing Glenn twice last season, it seems like we’re pretty desensitized by now. Which is why any potential deaths this season will likely be more significant for how they move the story forward than for who we have to mourn.
But still, if Daryl dies, we riot.
There is a lot coming in the sixteen episodes of season 8. Are you ready?
And where is Heath?
“The Walking Dead” Season 8 premiere, Mercy, airs this Sunday, October 22 on AMC.