New <i>Walking Dead</i> Images Promise Rescue Mission &amp; Bloody Merle

As the clock ticks down to the return of The Walking Dead on Sunday, The Huffington Post reveals two more photos from the midseason premiere, "The Suicide King."

One provides a glimpse of Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) during an armed assault on Woodbury, presumably allaying any fears that latter might not escape The Governor's version of Thunderdome. (Really, though, did you think they'd kill off Daryl?)

But never mind that one -- shots of the armed, wide-eyed survivors are a dime a dozen on this series. The one we're really interested in the grisly image of Merle (Michael Rooker) with his metal-sheathed stump covered with what we can only hope is zombie guts. Given is icy stare, however, we probably shouldn't discount the possibility that he's shoved his bayonet through a member of Rick's group, or even one of the Woodbury residents, last seen calling for Merle's death as a traitor.

"There will always be death in The Walking Dead, so I don’t think anybody should get comfortable," showrunner Glen Mazzara recently teased. "The Governor and Rick are gearing up for war, and without sounding silly, there will be blood."

The Walking Dead returns Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.

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