There are popular TV shows, and then there's AMC's The Walking Dead. The apocalyptic drama has enthralled audiences for eight years, as fans watched endless amounts of gory sequences, character deaths, and the occasional cannibalistic villain. But The Walking Dead is going into a state of transition, as Season 9 is making some major changes. There's a time jump to play with, and both Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan are departing their roles as Rick and Maggie respectively. The first images and footage from Season 9 have recently hit the web, and they tease big things for the show's supporting characters. Most noticeably Carol, who is finally finding love.

After eight season on The Walking Dead, Melissa McBride's Carol is one of the few characters left from the original Atlanta Group. Carol's arc in the series has been one of the most transformative, as the cookie lady has become a deadly and morally conflicted presence within the group. After her abusive husband died in Season 1, fans have been waiting for Carol to experience a more healthy relationship. She had a brief flirtation with Axel in Season 3, although he was promptly shot in the head in the process. Fans have also watched Carol's fascinating relationships with Daryl, Morgan, and Ezekiel, and now it looks like the latter will be her actual love interest. The King has seemingly found his lady, and it should be interesting to see if the Kingdom leader has dropped his cartoonish act, and gotten real with both Carol and the rest of the communities. What's also interesting about this photo is that its outside The Sanctuary. The communities seem to really be working in tandem, but how long will it last?

The first images from The Walking Dead Season 9 also include this one of Rosita, who is spray painting a message on a former street sign. Rosita has had a fascinating few seasons, as she mourned the loss of her relationship with Abraham, while also mourning his death at the hands of Negan. Rosita was ultimately able to survive the war against The Saviors, and reconcile her relationship with Eugene in the process. This first image shows Ro Ro as strong as fiery as ever, and rocking some badass new braids. Where Rosita goes next narratively is up in the air. Does she still want to kill Negan? Have her and Eugene become friends again? We'll just have to wait for The Walking Dead to return and answer our questions.

Another Walking Dead character who is rocking a new look is none other than Father Gabriel. A survivor who has also gone through an intense transformation, Gabriel spent the second half of Season 8 in captivity with The Saviors, catching a near-fatal infection in the process. While his life was ultimately saved, Gabriel has lost much of his eye sight. He's looking especially creepy with his white eye and preacher's hat, and should have a fascinating role in uniting the various communities in peace. That's always been Gabriel's goal, and the uneasy alliance between Alexandria, The Hilltop, The Kingdom, Oceanside, and The Sanctuary is going to be difficult to maintain. Especially while Negan is still alive

All will be revealed when The Walking Dead returns to AMC for Season 9 on October 7, 2018. In the meantime, check out our fall premiere list to plan your next binge watch. Plus our Amazon premiere list and superhero premiere list to ensure you don't miss a single episode of your favorite show.

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