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The Walking Dead is slowly inching towards the premiere of its sure-to-be eventful ninth season. In anticipation of the series' next installment, some Season 9 related content has been making the rounds. Thanks to a new official image, fans are getting a glimpse that involves Norman Reedus' fan favorite Daryl. In keeping with the serious nature of the show, Daryl's expression is intriguing. See it for yourself, via the tweet below:

Given the intense nature of The Walking Dead, it is understandable that many of the series' protagonists would be a bit worried. Not to over-analyze the picture, but Daryl also looks a bit intrigued by what he is seeing. What new challenges are facing the crossbow wielding survivor? Fans will have to brace themselves as they prepare to find out. The image is the first official picture to be released of Daryl in action in Season 9.

As is so often the case with first looks at a new season, an episode's context can bring entirely new meaning to what the picture appears to express. Whatever is happening in the world of The Walking Dead, it expected to be extremely intense. With the AMC series preparing to say goodbye to Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes, a similar feeling is likely being experienced by many of the show's fans as they prepare for the series to go on, without its lead.

While theories are flying about Rick's final episodes, how Daryl will react to the eventual loss of Rick, under whatever circumstances it turns out to be, is certainly a cause for theory crafting. One thing we can rule out thanks to this picture is a dramatic makeover for Daryl. Whether his relationships will remain as steady is another question. The series new showrunner Angela Kang has teased that there will be reverberations from Rick's decision last season's finale to spare a certain villain.

While speaking to EW, Angela Kang teased the complex relationship dynamics that will find Maggie, Daryl, and Rick dealing with where they stand with each other in Season 9. All of which sounds like it has the potential to be pretty dramatic. For now, fans will have the visual of Daryl looking at whatever he is, to work with while they await a season of continued change for the series.

While it is not a lot to go on, this image should be enough to slightly satiate viewers as they wait for The Walking Dead Season 9 to arrive. With Rick set to leave, fans know that at least, one giant goodbye awaits them.

The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season, this fall on AMC. For new television content coming your way in the meantime, check out CinemaBlend's guide to TV's summer premieres.