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The second half of The Walking Dead is finally upon us. In one week from now, we’ll be reintroduced to Rick’s group of survivors, and the various enemies they have to dispatch. While the first half of Season 6 was relatively slow, all signs point to the back half being a bloodbath where we will lose a few of our favorite characters. Danai Gurira, who plays the group swordswoman and moral compass Michonne, recently opened up about what we can expect to see in the final few episodes of Season 6:
It’s so full of many different things. It’s a really full meal. There is an experience that they’re starting to go through that they’ve never experienced before, and it is new territory for them, though their response to it is based on a lot of what they’ve learnt in their past experiences. But they are stepping into newer territory than they realize. There’s also very specific character growth and experiences and arcs that are surprising — and I think very intriguing — that also occur in the midst of the larger arc, which is a very macro and ethic transformative experience for the group.

This statement, given to Entertainment Weekly, sure makes it seem like the crap is going to hit the fan in the next few episodes. I’m both excited and scared.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Danai Gurira’s statement is the fact that the group of survivors are facing something they’ve never had to before. Through The Walking Dead’s six seasons, our group have overcome a ton of challenges. After surviving a winter without a home and the Governor’s assault and destruction of the prison they were scattered to the wind. Somehow, they all united by following the signs for sanctuary in Terminus, which turned out to be a death trap run by cannibals who wanted to devour them. Still, the group managed to escape and eventually kill Gareth and the rest of the Terminus residents in Father Gabriel’s Church. And now they’ve landed in Alexandria. What else are these people supposed to deal with?

Negan’s impending introduction is sure to be the shakeup that the cast has been hinting at. Earlier in this season, we learned that Negan’s group was offering protection for a large group of survivors. They clearly had the supplies and manpower to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps the new territory for Rick’s group is finding a foe that is evenly matched by them; another hand full of people who are as deadly and capable as our heroes have grown to be through The Walking Dead’s run.

Only time will tell exactly how the back half of Season 6 will change the characters and The Walking Dead as a whole. All of the actors and show runners seemed to be united in thinking that we’re going to be seeing a gruesome and game changing turn of events, so I’m eager to tune in when the show returns.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC on February 14th.