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When The Walking Dead came to an end for Season 7, fans were left with a cliffhanger that wasn't filled with doom and gloom for our main characters. The first trailer for Season 8 points to a lot of fantastic action in the new episodes, as well as a very peculiar plot twist that will feature what looks like an aged Rick Grimes. As it turns out, showrunner Scott M. Gimple has something to tease about old Rick in the season premiere. Gimple had this to say:
We will not get the definitive answer as to what that's about in the premiere. That won't come until about halfway into the season.
Apparently we'll have a bit of time to wait before we find out what's up with old man Rick. There are plenty of theories about how Rick happened to end up with grey hair and beard, ranging from a time jump to a dream sequence. We'll just have to keep spinning our theories until around midseason. That said, Gimple did confirm to TVLine that old Rick will appear in the Season 8 premiere. We'll get to see him; we just won't exactly know what's going on with him.
Of course, The Walking Dead comic fans have some pretty clear ideas about what the sight of old Rick may mean for Season 8, as there is a similar twist that occurs in Robert Kirkman's comic series. That said, Robert Kirkman has already said that things may not be as they seem to comic readers. After all, the twist came much later in the zombie apocalypse comic timeline than the show has reached just yet. The show has definitely taken liberties with the source material in the past, but this would be a pretty big jump. All things considered, it's sounding like all fans are going have to wait until midseason to find out what's really happening with old Rick.
Fortunately, the trailer indicates that we'll have plenty to occupy us in Season 8 without spending every second pondering the mystery of old man Rick. The Season 7 finale left the Alexandrians in a sticky situation. Although they did team up with the folks from Hilltop and the Kingdom (complete with Shiva) to fight off the Saviors and the Scavengers, Negan wasn't scared away permanently. There's going to be a war in Season 8 that should be much more engaging than the status quo of Season 7. In Season 7, there was a total power imbalance, with Rick spending much of the season following Negan's orders. Now, Rick and Co. are fighting back.
Sadly, we still have a while to wait before we get to see Rick and Co. back in action. The Walking Dead won't return to AMC until Sunday, October 22 at 9 p.m. ET. In the meantime, however, you can get a zombie apocalypse fix with Fear the Walking Dead, which will be back for the second half of Season 3 on Sunday, September 10 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule for all the other small screen dates you could possibly need.