The last we left the group, they were in a pretty precarious situation, and was left us like that, in one of the most controversial cliff-hangers of all time. Rick, Carl, Maggie, Glenn, Michonne, Abraham, Eugene, Daryl, Rosita, Sasha, and Aaron were all caught by our new main villain of the next season, and while we know that one of them will die by bat, we don’t know which one it is.
Negan, though he was featured for only the last 10 minutes or so of the finale, already made a splash in the show, and is even considered by some to be the most iconic villain of all the seasons combined. This is most likely due to his notoriety in the comics, but also because of the excellent marketing from TWD; from some pretty fantastic posters, to a rated R version of the Negan bit of the finale, to giving away replicas of the infamous Lucille (the bat used to kill one in the line up).
Just a few examples of some of their posters. (I want that second one on my wall)
Greg Nicotero and Andrew Lincoln separately sat with Comicbook.com and Entertainment Weekly (respectively) to talk about what season 7 holds in the premiere and beyond. They both had much to say about how the tone of the show will be much darker than ever before, but Lincoln said it best:
“We are opening up in a way that we’ve not done before, and it truly is very brave, and is something that I looked forward to in the book. I’ve always thought this is really when it started to get really interesting. Because it’s like, how are these different communities reinventing themselves? And what kind of society have they built? It’s really, really cool. It feels deeper. It’s darker.”
While the show has always been dark, from the moment Rick Grimes leaves his hospital room in the pilot episode, it has proven time and time again that yes- it can get worse then this. We hope that this is the worst it gets (knock on wood) for our beloved team, even though we know now thanks to Nicotero that the person to get axed (batted?) last season is someone who is important enough to change the course of the season.
“That decision was made last year before we ever even got into the finale. That story, that was all sort of broken within the writers room. If you look back at the history of our show, the death of every single character has provided us with an opportunity to change the direction of the show. Even as far back as Shane and Lori and Hershel and Tyreese and Beth. The show is inherently different after each one of those people was killed. In this instance, the introduction of Negan and the death of this person, it really does provide us with a pretty substantial course change because that’s really what the season was leading up to last year.”
The line-up in TWD Season 6 Finale.
There goes hoping that this was all a bad dream, because nothing will ever be the same in this next season. Rick has dealt with blame before, but as a leader, he has dealt with it, and moved on, leading his people to badassery by the end of each season. This time though, the blame is completely on him, as Nicotero explains.
“Listen, Rick Grimes thinks he’s got a handle in things. He thinks he knows what’s in store for him out there. He thinks he knows that he can take on anybody that comes in his way. The truth of the matter is he can’t and he doesn’t. The fact that Rick was overly confident because he underestimated the world and the people out there, they pay for it. It’s a really unique opportunity to change the direction of the show because our world just got bigger and that’s something that we talked a lot about last season. How excited we were to be able to open up the world into the Hilltop and the Sanctuary and the Kingdom and get a much larger view of what the universe of The Walking Dead consists of.”
There is a light at the end of the tunnel though, even though it will not be a very bright one, and unseen for a while. Lincoln assuages all our fears with a message of hope amidst all the turmoil and craziness of this ‘brave new world’ the show will be thrusting us into this season. (Even though we all know that we love it when it hits the fan.)
“This is a very, very dark season but it’s always darkest before the dawn. Hang in there, guys, because it’s alive. It feels like there’s a great shape at the moment that [showrunner Scott M. Gimple] is crossing for the show and it’s very, very exciting. It began a few years ago and it’s turned into much more expansive, courageous, and more adventurous storytelling, both time-wise and location-wise.”
Along with everything else concerning the show and the course it will be taking this season, there will also be the addition of all the new communities and groups who are beholden to Negan and his gang. When asked if the relationship between all these groups in and Negan’s Saviors comprise the main arc of the coming episodes, the actor had this to say:
“Yeah, I think that is very much the dramatic meat of this season. And what you will see is a much bigger universe, an expansion. This world is about to get a lot bigger. That’s what’s about to happen in season 7. Obviously, the fallout from the death is going to make different alignments between the people that survive the death and any other communities.”
The Walking Dead finally returns to our daily lives and ends my fingernail biting habit next Sunday, October 23rd.