For Walking Dead fans, Season 9 is going to be one of the roughest years yet, as we all know star Andrew Lincoln will be saying farewell within the first eight episodes. The actor, who got emotional when talking about his exit during San Diego Comic-Con, is still more than anxious for fans to see the completely revamped society that exists following the big time jump. But though things may look better, Lincoln says that it'll be as hard as it's ever been for the survivors, due to dwindling supplies and new arrivals.

The world is deteriorating. Food is scarce -- the Hilltop's the main sort of food source -- communications are breaking down, we don't have gas anymore and we're on horseback. And we've run out of bullets. So there is an enormous pressure on this group. Rick Grimes has got a long game, and he knows that unless we trade, unless we look after each community, it's going to fall apart. And that's where we meet a fellow band of warriors just as it's about to kick off. It's a fragile peace.

It's a rite of passage for Walking Dead fans to discuss how and where Team Family and other survivors get enough food to keep everyone from starving, since the topic of food supplies only comes up when the plot needs an additional shade of hopelessness. The Hilltop did change things up, as it provided land for farming and other things, and advancements made during the time jump probably increased that production somewhat. But now it'll be back to the more dire straits when Season 9 kicks off, and finding sustenance will become a major issue.

Food is hardly the only thing people need in this universe, also, so we can expect trouble to come from every angle where the protagonists show weakness. If they're out of bullets and on horseback, that means they'll get into a situation where guns and automobiles would be the only ideal tools. If communication between communities is breaking down, that means there will be some lapse in passing on information that will result in a major death or two. Or even more, if Andrew Lincoln is referring to the Whisperers when he talks about that "fellow band of warriors" in his interview with EW.

Lincoln also may have been talking about the other new Season 9 characters who aren't responsible for immoral murders and unique skin-wear. Here, I'm referring to Nadia Hilker's Magna, whose introduction in Season 9 will come along with those of Eleanor Matsuura's Yumiko, Lauren Ridloff's Connie, Angel Theory's Kelly and Dan Fogler's Luke. Getting a quintet of fully weathered survivors at this point in the post-apocalypse isn't a regular occurrence, and we're still not sure if the TV show will keep them allies or make them rivals. But however it goes, it's not like getting five more mouths to feed will be helpful for anyone on the food front.

However it goes, Rick knows that the one true way to a prolonged civilization is by making communities work together in all ways possible, even if some of those communities are housing evil tyrant bastards that other leaders want nothing to do with. But how successful will those tactics be if Rick ends up getting killed off (or whatever happens) so early in the season? I guess we'll have to watch to find out. And if cheering for Jerry helps make everything go smoother, I can take that duty on with vigor.

The Walking Dead will return to AMC for Season 9 on Sunday, October 7, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what else is coming before and after that date, head to our summer premiere schedule and our fall premiere schedule.

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