After a seventh season of the popular zombie show that underwhelmed many of its fans, The Walking Dead is back just in time for Halloween with its eighth season. Season 7 kicked off with the murder of two beloved characters and then showed Negan completely break down Rick Grimes through the entire season until it seemed hope was lost. However, as the season seven finale revealed, things are looking up for Rick and the people of Alexandria as well as Maggie and the residents of Hilltop. It is time to start The Great War.
The Great War sees Alexandria, The Hilltop and The Kingdom go to war with Negan’s Saviors. According to reports, this season will be action-packed and should be a considerable improvement over the slower seventh season. It also looks like it will be very bloody, and knowing The Walking Dead, there will likely be some surprise deaths along the way. Producers of The Walking Dead always keep mum on upcoming details, but interviews with the cast and crew have revealed many things. Here is a look at what we know about Season 8 of The Walking Dead and rumors that we hope are true.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead for TWD comics and TV.
15. FACT – RICK IS ACTING LIKE A LEADER AGAIN
After Negan broke down Rick for most of Season 7, by the season finale, the former cop was back to his old self again. Over the course of the show, Rick has gone from an honorable police officer to a ruthless leader that will kill and die to protect his new family. While many characters began to distrust Rick’s decisions last season – because he seemed beaten down – by the season finale, he finally prepared to take Negan to war.
The big confrontation at the end of last season and the great speech that peppered through the trailers for Season 8 shows that Rick Grimes is ready to stand up to the evil that threatens his group and fight once again. Rick is taking command, and Andrew Lincoln said his character would fight to the death if needed.
14. RUMOR – JESUS TAKES ON A MUCH LARGER ROLE
Jesus first appeared on Season 6 of The Walking Dead and was immediately a popular character. The chase that he led Rick and Daryl on and the daredevil attitude he displayed made it look like he was going to be a massive asset to Rick and Alexandria. However, once Jesus introduced Rick and company to the Hilltop community, he became just another member of the growing group, the character deserving so much more.
In the comics, Jesus is a hugely important person and one of the most valuable fighters against Negan. Jesus revealed more about himself last season, and there should be plenty of chances for him to become more valuable once The Great War begins. His character deserves to be one of the key players in the upcoming battle.
13. FACT – CAROL IS BACK
Carol is a fascinating character. She is drastically different than she was in the comic books. Anyone who read The Walking Dead comics knows that she felt almost hopeless throughout the entire series until she walked into a zombie and allowed it to kill her. Andrea took her fate on the TV show, and Carol seems to have taken over Andrea’s traits from the comics. However, Carol looked like she was giving up in Season 7.
Melissa McBride talked about her character of Carol heading into Season 8 and said that fans would see her fighting once again. As fans of The Walking Dead know, when Carol is ready to fight, bodies will start to pile up. However, McBride also said that it doesn’t mean Carol wants to fight, so there might be a slight reluctance in her that could prove fatal down the line.
12. RUMORS – NEGAN WILL NOT DIE
Most fans of The Walking Dead TV show who never read the comics are ready to see Negan die, meeting the same fate as past villains like The Governor. That is because fans of the show are trained to believe that everyone not named Rick Grimes is evil and deserves to die. However, as the comic books reveal, there is a lot more to Negan than what fans of the show have been led to believe.
As a matter of fact, not only did Negan not die in the comic books, but he became an essential member of the story down the line. That may seem hard for fans of the TV show to believe, but there is hope that the producers will develop Negan’s character so that fans see how valuable he can be. The only way this can happen is for Negan to live.
11. FACT – THERE WILL BE BLOOD
Death is not a surprise at all on The Walking Dead – or a spoiler for that matter. The Great War is precisely what it sounds like. This is a war where Rick brings the battle to Negan, and Negan brings it right back to Alexandria, The Hilltop and The Kingdom. This fight is a bloody encounter where Rick and company kill just as many people as Negan and the Saviors do. There will be a ton of killing, and as such, there will be some significant deaths.
Last season already showed that The Walking Dead wouldn’t pull punches. The season started out with the deaths of two major characters and the season finale saw the death of a third. These were heroes that fans have grown with, and now they are gone. That will not end with Season 8, and the war will bring devastation to everyone.
10. RUMOR – A MAJOR LONGTIME CHARACTER WILL DIE
However, when it comes to the deaths of characters – even essential characters – rumors are floating around that one of the top characters will die in Season 8. That happened in the seventh season when Glenn – a character from the very first season of the show – died in the premiere. There won’t be a significant death like that in the very first episode of Season 8, but there are rumblings that someone important will die.
As always, two significant characters always cause fans to speculate on their fate. The first is Carol, who died way before this in the comic books. The other option is the one that everyone threatens to riot if he dies. Daryl never existed in the comics and is always a solid bet to finally meet his end on the TV series.
9. FACT – MAGGIE BECOMES A LEADER
Maggie has always said that she believes in Rick Grimes. However, as she slowly takes control of The Hilltop, Rick said a significant thing. He said that he believes in and will follow Maggie. In the comics, she becomes a strong leader, someone equal to Rick when it comes to leading people into the future. That will start in Season 8.
Maggie has already started to come out of her depression concerning the death of Glenn and has begun to understand that people will follow her. She realizes how important her role in the community is. Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick, says that Maggie will end up a better leader than Rick ever was because she is loyal and respected. That will all start to develop this season.
8. RUMOR – SHIVA WILL LIVE
When The Walking Dead was coming to a head in the prison scenes as they battled with The Governor, there was a scene from the comics that fans feared would play out on TV – and likely cost them vast numbers of viewers. That was the scene where The Governor shot Lori as she ran with her baby in her arms. Both died instantly, with Rick and Carl running for their lives. It didn’t happen that way, and Baby Judith lived.
Another death in the comics that could prove devastating for fans involves Shiva, the tiger companion of King Ezekiel. While not killed by bullets, Shiva gives up her life to save Ezekiel, which causes his character to start to face a crisis of faith. However, there have been rumors that Shiva will not meet that fate on The Walking Dead this season. Shiva is a fantastic creation, and hopefully, if she does die, it is with more dignity than in the comics.
7. FACT – RICK WILL SURVIVE THE GREAT WAR
There is a shot at the end of the first major trailer for The Walking Dead Season 8 that had a lot of fans who never read the comics speculating on what it meant. That scene showed Rick Grimes waking up in bed, with a grey beard, and a cane beside him. Was this the long-proposed rumor that the entire series was a dream? Was this a sign that there will be a tremendous time jump to an old Rick, showing the future?
Honestly, anyone who read the comics knows precisely what the cane means regarding how Rick looks. For those who haven’t read the comics, there will be no spoilers here, but it is clear that Rick lives as evidenced by this scene. The question remains, who else lives through The Great War, at what cost, and how will they go on once the war ends?
6. RUMOR – GREGORY WILL MEET HIS END
Fans last season saw that Gregory from The Hilltop was not only cowardly, as was evident since he made his first appearance, but he is also devious and untrustworthy. He almost let a zombie kill Maggie, just to keep his control over The Hilltop. He has been dishonest and backhanded and has made many decisions that prove that he is only looking out for himself – even if it means giving up and handing everything, including his people, over to Negan.
Readers of The Walking Dead know what he has planned and what lengths he will go to hold onto his control and leadership. They also know that his actions toward Maggie in Season 7 just scratches the surface. In the season finale, Gregory sent one of his men on a mission, and that will not end well for Gregory if the show follows the comics.
5. FACT – THE ZOMBIES START TO PLAY A LARGER ROLE AGAIN
The Walking Dead comic books showed a fascinating thing when it comes to the zombies and The Great War. Rick Grimes has proven through the series that he and his group have figured out ways to use the deadly zombies as both a weapon and as a distraction when they need to achieve a goal. Expect more of that in Season 8 of The Walking Dead.
When asked about the reduction of the zombie threat in the seventh season of the show, showrunner Scott Gimple made it clear that just because Negan is the big bad right now in the series, the zombie threat has not ended. Fans of the comics know how vital the zombies will be, and Gimple made sure everyone knows that they are not going anywhere.
4. RUMOR – EUGENE WILL FINALLY BECOME A HERO
When it comes to some of the characters, The Walking Dead has inserted some twists and turns that make it look like they could end up anywhere before the series concludes. One example is Morgan, and actor Lennie James said that longtime fans would get a chance to see an evolution for many of the characters concerning how they will survive and how some will die.
That brings things to Eugene. When the character first arrived on the show, he was a scared and quirky individual who needed Abraham to protect him. After Abraham was gone, Eugene started to find his place when he proved he could help keep Alexandria armed. However, he ended up with Negan midway through the season and fans wondered if he would remain there or if this is all a setup to make Eugene a hero in the end. We’ve heard the latter is the case.
3. FACT – SEASON 8 WILL BE MUCH MORE ACTION PACKED
Ross Marquand, the actor who plays Aaron, said that The Walking Dead Season 8 would be like Die Hard with zombies. He said that the first four or five episodes of the season are like four or five small action movies with exciting moments, tons of “old-school” action, and he said the dominos set up in Season 7 would have a giant cannon shooting them down. That also ties in with what Norman Reedus (Daryl) said.
According to Reedus, every single episode of Season 8 is “full-on” and will fly at 100 mph. He said that this season takes what fans of The Walking Dead enjoy and it packs in everything. He also said something ominous, implying that some characters’ storylines conclude in one or two episodes instead of stretching through the season.
2. RUMOR – THE WHISPERERS
This is a rumor that is based merely on the comic books and one statement by showrunner Scott Gimple. According to Gimple, The Great War against Negan will end in Season 8. This means that Season 7 was the setup to the war, showing how formidable Negan is. Season 8 will be the beginning, middle, and end of the war. If that is true, fans will need to know what to expect when Season 9 rolls around.
For fans of The Walking Dead comic books, the next big villain comes in the form of another group – this one called The Whisperers. For those who don’t read the comics, there are no spoilers here, but there is a good chance that The Whisperers will make their first appearance in Season 8! Of course, only fans of the comics might understand when it happens.
1. FACT – EPISODE 100 IS A LOVE LETTER TO THE FANS
Fans who have watched The Walking Dead since the first season will get a real treat with the 100th episode of the TV show. When asked about the specific episode, director Greg Nicotero said that the entire 100th episode is a love letter explicitly made for the longtime fans of the series. This is the premiere episode of this season and will feature what Nicotero calls throwbacks to previous episodes.
One shot that is in a trailer shows Carl laying down and looking under a car, the same shot from the first episode of Season 1 when his dad did the same thing. That is just scratching the surface as Nicotero said that Episode 100 is going to be exciting and rewarding as they reward fans for their long-term support.
What have you heard about The Walking Dead’s new season? Are you pumped? Let us know in the comments!
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