In about a month, The Walking Dead will finally be back. AMC's apocalyptic drama is one of the most popular shows on television, making its summer hiatus almost painful for its millions of fans. Season 7 was one of the show's most divisive, with its capsule episodes bringing the pacing of the series to a screeching halt for the first half of the season. But that should change this season, as Rick and his allies are declaring all out war against Negan and the Saviors. But how long will this war last? It turns out that we should reach a conclusion by the end of this coming season. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple answered the question definitively, saying:
The war will absolutely be resolved by the end of Season 8. Absolutely.
Well, that was easy. While it looks like Negan and Rick's big battle will be the focus of The Walking Dead's eighth season, we should get a conclusion by the end of the upcoming season. That is, if Scott M. Gimple's comments to EW are to be believed.
This timeline a great deal of sense, especially considering Jeffrey Dean Morgan's role as the villainous Negan. Morgan is largely a film star, so the grueling schedule of the The Walking Dead's production is no doubt an exhausting process. The series usually films in the dead heat of Atlanta's summers, and there are plenty of action sequences and special affects that go into the epic battles. Fans have long wondered how long he might stay on the show, especially considering Negan's long life in the comics, and now it appears that TWD may be planning his eventual exit.
Ending the war against Negan in Season 8 also makes sense in order to keep The Walking Dead fresh. While the terrifying Season 6 finale was the first time Jeffrey Dean Morgan showed up on screen, Negan was referenced for quite a few episodes beforehand. The villain's presence has been felt for years, and it may be time to bury the hatchet (or Lucille) after Season 8 concludes.
But there's also a major mystery for The Walking Dead in regards to its comic-con trailer. After an explosive tease about the war to come, the trailer ended with an older and gray Rick Grimes waking up. A sizable time jump seems like it could happen at any time, which should change the series as a whole quite a bit. Andrew Lincoln has stated that the time jump will be (sort of) explained beginning in Season 8's premiere episode, so perhaps we'll have answers about the future and the war with Negan shortly.