There are only two weeks to go before the season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead, so naturally the show is taking the stage at New York Comic Con -- notably the The Theater at Madison Square Garden a few blocks away from the Javits Center.
Scheduled to be in attendance: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Tom Payne, Katelyn Nacon and Austin Amelio; plus surely franchise creator Robert Kirkman and other executive producers.
CBR is there live, so keep hitting refresh for the latest details.
Moderator Chris Hardwick introduced the panel with an incredible retrospective of the last seven seasons, starting with the pilot. Fans cheered as long-dead favorites like Sophia, Laurie, Glenn and Daryl's short hair flashed on the screen. Of course, this is The Walking Dead, so it was equal parts nostalgic and heartbreaking. Just look at the flowers, everyone.
After the cast was introduced, Chris Hardwick pointed into the audience and yelled, "Oh my God, that is the best thing I've ever seen." Then he plucked a child cosplaying Jadis' spiked walker and brought him up on stage. After a few pictures with the smallest biggest TWD fan in the world, Hardwick asked the cast and producers about the inception of the comic. Dave Alpert was surprised when the comic reached 100 issues, and expressed his utter joy that the show had replicated that milestone with 100 episodes.
Then we got some real good news for fans hoping for a crossover between Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead. Robert Kirkman adamantly said that there would be no crossover episodes, but...
We want these shows to have their own legs and have their own stories and be their own... There are two Walking Dead shows. There is one character that is going to go from one show -- that I will not name -- and appear in the other show -- that I will not name.
You heard it hear first -- we WILL see a future version of a character from Fear The Walking Dead OR learn about the backstory of a character on The Walking Dead.
Then Hardwick turned his attention to the actors, and asked Lincoln how this season compared to last. Lincoln expressed his utter glee that Rick was no longer in a subservient position to Negan and more than ready to lead a charge against Negan. Then he tried to show the audience how to do the worm, but was unsuccessful.
As for whether or not we'll get to see some of Negan's backstory, Jeffery Dean Morgan had this to say:
I think this year we get to explore little slivers...but we get to see some slices of kinda what Negan's past is other than that, Robert wrote an awesome comic book that's out, like, today. It gives the whole backstory to Negan, and no I don't know if we're every going to do it, but I hope so.
Hardwick wondered what a lot audience members have also wondered, what is it about Negan that makes people love him?
I think that Robert created this guy that it's hard to not like him regardless of what he does. That there is a sense of humor and charisma he has that is unlike anybody in this apocalyptic world ... he's so different than everyone else that you see in this world that is hard to hate him. And he's smart!
As for Morgan and Carol's parallel journeys, Melissa McBride emphatically shouted "YES!" to thunderous applause. Lennie James wasn't quite as enthusiastic.
Morgan's stuck, he's stuck because he knows exactly what he's gotta do to protect the people he cares about, but it means going against his own code. So, yeah, he's stuck. In a weird way, he has to go to war to find any peace...
James complimented the writers for keeping Morgan's argument that they should be fighting for a way to live, not just survive very prominent in the show.
Morgan's argument is about how we live and it's an important conversation to have. They've kept him trying to argue that point. He's fighting for it because otherwise what's worth fighting for. The big battle that we're having with Negan is because we're saying we don't wanna live like that.
Katelyn Nacon hinted that Enid would continue to grow and break down her walls as she'd opened a little in Season 7:
She's definitely in a very different place when she first came into the show. She was very wounded... not letting anyone in. I think with the character Glenn coming into her life and Maggie and Carl, they kind of broke down those walls. Just Survive Somehow has a bit of a different meaning now. It's Just Survive Somehow because of [all the other people in her life].
As for Daryl, Norman Reedus talked about his desire for vengeance, but simultaneously how great it was that Team Alexandria is a strong unit again.
Like Andy said, the band's back together to kick that guy's butt. This season is two big teams against each other all out 100 miles an hour the whole way. He's going a bit rogue at times and he wants revenge.
The Q&A managed to answer a burning question that fans of TWD Telltale Game have been desperate to know: will Clementine and Javier ever be worked into the AMC show? Unfortunately, Robert Kirkman answered in the resoundingly negative -- "No." His reasoning was based on the desire to maintain the integrity of each iteration of The Walking Dead:
I think if we cross pollinate too much it takes away from what makes The Walking Dead special across all the different [mediums].
As for fans wondering or worrying about when the end of show will occur, he had some positive, if enigmatic words:
I know what we're building to, but I can barely see it from where we are now.
The Walking Dead premieres October 22nd at 9pm on AMC.