_Spoilers below for The Walking Dead's Season 8 premiere, so be sure to watch before reading on. _
While Season 7 of The Walking Dead started off with two of the most important deaths in the franchise's history, Season 8's debut managed to keep everyone within Team Family alive and breathing. (The Saviors were not so lucky.) According to star Andrew Lincoln, however, fans shouldn't get too comfortable, because this will not be a season free from big characters meeting their maker. Here's what he had to say about what we can expect from the remainder of Season 8.
That answer is both exciting and disheartening in equal measures. On the one hand, shocking deaths and dark storylines have always been hallmarks of The Walking Dead's storylines, and there's a perverse sense of anticipation that builds during the extended periods between one major character getting killed off and the next.
On the other hand, there are probably swaths of fans who actually don't want to see any more of the big characters biting the bullet, as it were. But when a show is heading into a narrative arc being dubbed "All Out War," one can't get too comfortable thinking that everyone is going to come out of it cleanly and without life-stopping injuries. Even though Rick & Co. are getting rejuvenated and bringing the fight to Negan's crew, there are no guarantees that confidence and assertion are the keys to staying alive across an entire season.
But which characters are the most in danger of getting taken out of The Walking Dead's universe? We can assumedly take comfort in Rick, Carl and Maggie living on to see another day, but it's certainly possible that everyone else is in danger of meeting the Grim Reaper in Season 8. That means Daryl, Carol, Morgan and even Negan himself, who seems to have Father Gabriel unwittingly trapped in a precarious situation at the end of the episode. And whoever gets killed off apparently opens up another dark pathway for these characters to go down.
When talking to EW, Andrew Lincoln commented on the titular-esque line about mercy prevailing over wrath, hinting that each character will be viewing this overall war in different ways, which could very well play into someone's final days.
Even though previews for Season 8 play up the general idea that Rick's big plan isn't about exacting revenge on Negan and the Saviors, a character like Daryl is most definitely intent on getting payback for the suffering he went through while inside The Sanctuary. And that could be just the kind of decision that gets him killed. Or someone else that isn't Daryl, of course, since he was partly responsible for Negan bashing Glenn's head in.
For now, we're crossing our fingers that whatever deaths The Walking Dead delivers in Season 8, that no one wants to riot. Check out new episodes every Sunday night on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. Check out our thoughts on those flash-forward sequences, how the premiere is setting up Rick's eventual death, and the funniest moments from the Season 8 premiere. After all that, head to our fall TV premiere schedule to see what other shows are on the way.