The Walking Dead Season 7: What We Know So Far
With one of television's biggest weekly audiences, The Walking Dead is coasting along, possibly past the point where the only thing likely to end it is an actual worldwide apocalypse where the dead rise up and turn humanity into a grungy skeleton of what it once was. But, instead of having the "Which one of your friend group would be Rick?" conversation, we're going to look into our barb wire-wrapped crystal ball to look as far as we can into the future, focusing specifically on Season 7 of The Walking Dead, which nabbed its renewal when Season 6 was just three episodes deep. It's finally here!
Spoiler warning for anyone who isn't caught up on The Walking Dead or read through the corresponding arc of the comic book series, as updated episode info is on this first page, along with other related details.
What's Coming Up On The Walking Dead Season 7?
For next week's episode "Say Yes," The Walking Dead will send some out to search for supplies and guns, so that Rick can gather more people for his anti-Negan cause. One character is forced to make a decision that causes a a conflict with morals. That could mean anything at this point.
What Happened During The Most Recent Walking Dead Season 7 Episodes?
The Walking Dead's Season 7 premiere did exactly what it was supposed to do as far as answering the big question of who Negan killed, and it was done in a truly unsettling manner, with both Abraham and Glenn taking Lucille to the dome. Rick was put through some mental torture from Negan to further break him down to a point when the only option is obeying. It worked, for now, and the group is now a shadow of its former self.
For "The Well," the show visited The Kingdom and introduced viewers to the wise and boisterous King Ezekiel, a leader who uses optimism to keep his community happy. Morgan and Carol are welcomed, and while Morgan takes to the serenity of The Kingdom, Carol is wary, until Ezekiel shared his story with her and won her over. (At least partly.) Now she's living just outside, while Morgan has taken on an apprentice within.
The introduction of The Sanctuary was the main thrust of "The Cell," where viewers got to learn a little bit more about Dwight and a lot more about Negan's full grasp of mental torture. Daryl is being held in a windowless room, forced through sleepless days by loud music and a dog food-filled diet. But no matter how much Negan and the Saviors break Daryl physically, he won't join them. After we learned about Dwight's history with Negan, and how it connected to Sherry and Dwight's facial scars, it's clear that Negan's methods could come back to haunt him.
"Service" was a super-sized episode that needed every extended minute for all the great comic moments, as this was Negan's first visit to Alexandria. He and his Saviors were mental menaces, of course, parading a mute Daryl around like an organ grinder's monkey, making leering gestures and comments towards the women, and taking more than they needed from the town's infirmary and armory. Things almost got hectic over some missing guns, but no one was punished too horribly. Rick, who got to hold Lucille for a while, made a big confession to Michonne, who had her own interesting developments. And Father Gabriel proved his rise in worth with some quick thinking.
Taking viewers back to the Hilltop Colony, "Go Getters" caught viewers up with the post-premiere goings-on of Maggie and Sasha. The former is healthy, with her grief turning to anger, while the latter is much the same way. Maggie has a confrontation with the pigheaded and cowardly Gregory, who stole Glenn's pocketwatch from his grave, while Sasha sends Jesus off on a mission to find The Sanctuary. Little did he know going into it that Carl had the exact same plan, as the teenager is sick of Negan's rule and wants to do something about it, and not even smooching Enid could change that.
In last week's "Hostiles and Calamities," Eugene took center-stage for a trip to the Sanctuary that went surprisingly better than he could have hoped for. He won Negan over with a plan for the walker fence, created some poison pills, watched a man burn to death and then aligned himself with Negan's rule. Elsewhere in that setting, Dwight took a whooping for Daryl's escape, though it was later revealed that Sherry was the one who let him go. Sherry is also now gone, leaving behind only a note to tell Dwight he'd lost his way. And that note was the one used to get Dr. Carson burned to death, with Dwight double-crossing the physician.
When Will The Walking Dead Season 7 Premiere?
For the past four years, The Walking Dead has kicked its seasons off on the second Sunday in October, just in time for AMC's Halloween-themed marathons. At Comic-Con in San Diego this summer, it was announced that Season 7 would debut October 23, 2016. Get those costumes ready, kiddos, because Halloween Monday is going to be full of chatter about whatever happened on the show.
What Have We Seen From Season 7 So Far?
Below is the first trailer that was released for Season 7, with the trailers released afterward barely doing more than showing Negan and other characters who weren't in danger of being killed. But now that the premiere is out, you can go and watch it right now on AMC's website for free without a subscription. That probably won't happen with other episodes, so take advantage.
Other than that, though, there has just been a full shot of King Ezekiel, as played by Khary Payton. But we expect there will be much more to come as far as footage goes in the weeks leading up to the premiere, even if a lot of it just reuses dark and blurry footage from Negan's big scene.
What New Characters Will Be Introduced In Season 7?
When Season 7 is unleashed upon viewers, there are definitely going to be new survivors coming into contact with Rick and the rest, with some sharing virtuous ideals and others...not so much. First up, we know we're getting a lot more out of Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan, so that counts. (More on him later, though.) Some characters' live-action existences have been revealed, while others hinted at by casting calls remain a mystery. Let's go through some of them.
Aside from the foul-mouthed tyrant Negan, arguably the most important character we'll likely meet is "King" Ezekiel, as seen above looking oh so sharp on his throne. Rumor has it Episode 3 is when viewers will first get to see his home zone, dubbed The Kingdom, which was seen in small chunks during the trailer. That's also where those armor-laden guys that Morgan met in Season 6 come from. Without getting too deep into where Ezekiel's story goes, we can just say he's another man-in-charge, and a very likable one at that. He has a tiger named Shiva, too, which showrunner Scott Gimple was keen on using for the show. An animatronic tiger was reportedly seen on set during the early weeks of Season 7 filming, and Shiva's CGI-and-practical-puppet presence was confirmed at Comic-Con. (And thereafter rewarded by PETA.)
A recent casting notice shared that a new character named "Jennie" would be introduced in Episode 6, and that she would be a perky teenager who has remained optimistic, despite all of the awfulness surrounding her, but she isn't as naive as that description might imply. Also during Episode 6, we'll get to meet another older survivor by the name of "Naomi" that has watched just about everyone she knew and loved die, which gives her an unexpected edge and grip on survival. There's someone named "Rodgers" coming, too, and he'll be a horseback-riding hardass who is determined to keep everyone he knows safe; this is most likely The Kingdom's Richard from the comics.
It's unclear if any of the others will correspond to comic characters, but speaking of, there are a couple of Hilltop Colony residents that viewers will hopefully get the privilege to meet soon. One is the local blacksmith -- yes, a blacksmith -- named Earl, who's a genial guy that makes weapons and could possibly play a role in Carl's future. Karen Ceesay's Bertie, who has already made an appearance, is probably a stand-in for the comic character Brianna, who becomes one of Maggie's closer friends; but if she isn't, then expect that character to pop up. The Saviors also bring out some more noteworthy characters as time goes by, such as Mark, who suffers a facial fate similar to Dwight, and Amber, the girl on the other side of that awfulness. There's Carson, another higher-up in the villainous group who has a pretty important function at some point in the future. (Not vague at all.) And there's another memorable (and dark) scene in the comics that involves a douche named David, so he might show up.
The trailer shows us some of these new faces, especially through the Kingdom residents and Negan's Saviors. But it's unclear if any of these will remain notable or if they're largely just background actors.
Rick and Carl
What Happened In Season 6: Rick spent the jumbled first part of the season working with the half-riotous Alexandrians trying to drive away the massive walker herd (that eventually invaded Alexandria anyway) while also developing a relationship with the widowed Jessie. Rick accepts full leadership duties when Deanna bit it, and went on to start up a relationship with Michonne after Jessie died. In the time after his grief-fueled walker-stomping marathon, Rick learned more about the outside world and set his sights on Negan. And as that gut punch of a final scene showed us, Rick has now finally come to the understanding that Negan's Saviors are far more numerous and crafty than he ever could have imagined.
Carl, meanwhile, tried to be friends with the apathetic Enid, which only sort of worked, and became short-lived enemies with Ron, whose attempts to hurt Carl were fruitful when he (non-fatally) shot the younger Grimes in the eye. He is part of Negan's final line-up, but he's the least likely one to take any damage.
And in Season 7? From Rick, we can definitely expect a lot of drama with Negan, and not always of the "guys standing around having conversations about their feelings" kind of drama. Though that does indeed happen, since Negan likes to talk a lot. Rick will likely find more allies for his cause outside of what he's used to, and though things might not always go his way, sometimes that can have its advantages. Expect him to kick things off as a pretty broken individual, though, as he'll have just lost one of his closest compatriots.
Carl will continue on a path to being a more interesting character, now that he's been changed by his injury. We can expect him to mesh with Negan in a completely different way from other characters, although their comic relationship will take some detours, as other characters may get parts of that storyline.
What Happened In Season 6: Carol was barely the same person from one episode to the next in Season 6. The den mother-half of her personality fully gave way to the warrior side as she heroically took control during the Wolves attack. Though she initially threatened and denounced Morgan for his pacifist attitude toward killing, Carol's emboldened attitude eventually gives way to Christian guilt as she starts regretting her immoral actions, eventually leaving the group behind because of it. She started smoking after being judgmental of Shelly about it early in the season, and also had the sweet beginnings of a romance with Tobin. But by the time the season finale ended, she was the subject of multiple gunshots and just wanted to be left alone, despite Morgan saving her life by breaking his own moral code.
And in Season 7? Having no direct comic book counterpart, Carol has an undefinable future. I'm betting she shows off another couple of facets of her personality and kicks some ass, though. When she's healed up, that is. Somebody find another doctor!
What Happened In Season 6: Daryl spent the furcated first half of the season on a side mission with Abraham and Sasha in which he was kidnapped by Dwight and had his crossbow and motorcycle stolen. When the first wave of Saviors arrived, Daryl blew them to smithereens, but that was one of his only great moments. Otherwise, he got the runaround by Jesus and then again got handled by Dwight, who shot him. Daryl's chances in Negan's line-up aren't great, but it's hard to believe he'll go out like that.
And in Season 7? As with Carol, Daryl is living a life that has no comic book ties other than occasional story elements ported from other characters. I couldn't have guessed this season went the way it did for him, so I'll just expect him to get a robotic arm and find his calling as a French chef.
Glenn and Maggie
What Happened In Season 6: This has arguably been the biggest season yet for Glenn and Maggie, though a lot of that had to do with the couple being apart for most of the season thanks to Glenn's death scare. (The less said about that, the better.) Still, Maggie revealed that she is pregnant, so her maternal skills will grow just as her take-no-shit attitude and leadership responsibilities within the Hilltop Colony. And Glenn sort of took on a guardian role to Enid there at the end, which Maggie also adapted to. But when the finale was all said and done, Maggie was suffering from some unknown pregnancy issue that will be resolved, and hopefully in a positive way, early in Season 7. Meanwhile, Glenn got on Negan's radar by breaking out of the lineup to defend his wife.
And in Season 7? Maggie will have a lot going on next year, if everything goes according to plan, with Hilltop's slimy Gregory as her biggest scene-sharer that isn't Glenn or Rick. And then there's that whole "maybe gonna have a baby" thing happening. Glenn...well, Glenn is probably going to go out on runs and make Maggie worried, because that's how he rolls, assuming he's still breathing enough to roll. And there is no guarantee that he will be breathing, since he hasn't been seen on the set that much, and his death would hit the hardest from a narrative standpoint.
What Happened In Season 6: Michonne wasn't at the center of any major narrative threads in Season 6, and was primarily used early on in assimilating Alexandrians to Rick's way of life and taking out walkers. A conversation with a dying Deanna seemingly unlocked something inside her, though, and we got a legitimately happy (and not necessarily clothed) Michonne when she and Rick hooked up. She also killed Ron, which makes up for any lack of plot she suffered on the way to being kidnapped by the Saviors.
And in Season 7? If Michonne and Rick indeed continue their courtship, and the quiet and understated character does find some peace within herself, we might soon see her return to the mindset where hanging up her sword is a life goal. Not that the ever-present threat of Negan and his Saviors will allow her to do so.
The Other Good Guys
What Happened In Season 6: Morgan, having learned that rehabilitation is better than murder, is the odd man out in Alexandria, but he sure knows how to build a jail and kill people when he doesn't want to. Abraham and Rosita split up, since he's all into having babies with Sasha now (which makes him the biggest choice for who Negan killed, except for Glenn...and maybe others). Eugene finally stood up for himself and decided to put his smarts to work by making ammunition and biting crotches. Tara made out with the late Denise. Father Gabriel gave in to the fact that he has to do what it takes to survive now. Spencer...can't scurry across a makeshift tightrope very well. Aaron is still great, as well as a chum of Maggie's, but he might die. Heath is slowly learning how to keep up with Rick's people, but he isn't given much to do. The turtle-eating Enid left Alexandria "for good" and then found Glenn and came back with him and is currently stuck in a closet. Anyone who didn't get mentioned here did even less.
And in Season 7? That's too many predictions to try and make! Morgan will probably have a more noteworthy go at things than everyone else, but his arc is nothing like it is in the comics, so maybe I'm just hoping he gets meaty stuff. Abraham is also a loose cannon, plot-wise, and his assumed show exit could happen at any time, or not at all. Everyone else will assumedly continue doing their relatively important side character business. (Really hoping Eugene gets the chance to follow his comic counterpart's arc.)
What Happened In Season 6: Existing mostly in foreshadowing throughout the second half of the season, Negan made his grand entrance in the Season 6 finale, where he obliterated someone's skull with his bat Lucille. I mean, we don't know whose skull it was, since it ended on a cliffhanger. (And not a very popular one, either.) But hot damn was Jeffrey Dean Morgan's performance spot on, especially when he's just casually saying the most horrifying things. He made the scene less frustrating just by being so damned intimidating. Plus, an even bigger and more uncensored take on his big introduction is on the Blu-ray set for Season 6, so that's something hopefully being taken into consideration when his scenes come up in the future as well.
And in Season 7? Negan will be the overarching antagonist in Season 7 and beyond. While he's technically just a man that you can walk up to and kill, you wouldn't think that from his domineering presence, and it will definitely take a lot of planning and subservience for Rick & Co. to reach the point where they might come out on top. No guarantees, though, because this leather jacket-wearing mofo is not in the game of being defeated. And Season 7 will kick off by returning to that murder (or murders, if they want to go the extra mile) and giving audiences the gory massacre that we all wanted from the finale. And you can definitely expect to find some of Negan's key comic book moments being filmed uncensored for Blu-ray extras, because there is justice in this world.
The Hilltop Colony
What Happened In Season 6: After the wily Jesus found Rick and Daryl (and then made them look like goons a couple of times), they took him back to Alexandria, where he alerted everyone to another community in the area called the Hilltop. There's a decent number of survivors there, and they're all led by a man named Gregory, played by Xander Berkeley. Gregory hasn't gotten much attention just yet, though we've seen him get stabbed and be not quite a gentleman to Maggie. The Hilltop has a lot of food, as they have the land to grow things, which makes them a good commodity for both the Alexandrians and the Saviors, with the former clearly better for everyone than the latter.
And in Season 7? That's when this "safe" haven should really get some attention, as it and Alexandria eventually join forces against Negan and the Saviors. While many living there are pawns, we will learn that Gregory is something of a two-faced King, and it's likely some of Rick's group will relocate to the Hilltop, altering the social landscape in notable ways. This location really opens up the narrative for some characters, such as Maggie and, as previously noted, will almost certainly introduce some other new faces.
What Else Can We Expect From Season 7?
Remember how Season 6 started off with those wild time jumps and then became Alexandria vs. The Saviors in the second half? Well, we can probably expect Season 7 to do some similar structural and tonal shifts as Negan settles into the show as a full-time menace. Jefffrey Dean Morgan called it a total reset from past seasons, since this will be the first time that Rick doesn't just feel helpless, but is actually completely helpless in the near future.
Executive producer and special effects wizard Greg Nicotero seconded those thoughts, saying the coming year will be completely different from those past, since viewers have never yet gotten to witness a dynamic quite like the one that develops between Negan and Rick, as well as some other characters. If the show matches the comics even remotely, then Negan is going to be all anyone is talking about from fall until spring, no matter who did or didn't die.
Another interesting tidbit that has come out is that The Walking Dead will apparently be heading to the beach to do some filming for Season 7, specifically Jekyll Island in the Golden Isles. No details have been revealed about that just yet - other than one scene involving a walker torso in a wading pool - but we have to assume this will tie into the backstory of one of the many new characters being introduced. And if not that, then the TV show could be jumping ahead into the comics story to bring in another new location, or perhaps just the character Siddiq, whose journey began in Miami.
Who Died In Season 6?
To be clear, a lot of people died in Season 6, from some undeveloped Alexandria residents to a shitload of Saviors. (I mean seriously, dozens of those guys.) But here we're talking about the most noteworthy exits, although it does kick off with one of those undeveloped folks.
Carter was introduced in the first episode, and because he was played by Ethan Embry, it was assumed after his casting was announced that he'd play a big part in how the season played out. But, instead, he tried to challenge Rick's plans and later ignorantly found himself walker chow. Rick then got to have the last word, through a quick stab.
Nicholas, unlike similar small-time characters, will never be forgotten, since his was the death that led to weeks of fans wondering what the hell happened to Glenn. He went from shit-talking coward to someone resembling a brave person, but when the cards fell and he and Glenn were cornered, he chose to take his own life, with a gracious and verbal suicide note of "Thank you."
Eastman, played by the great John Carroll Lynch wasn't someone we knew before Season 6 began, and he's someone who didn't make it past a single episode. But he was notable for being the person who taught Morgan that all life is precious, leading by example, since he was also one whose past contained a deeply dark incident. His death was partly on Morgan, as Eastman's attempt to save him ended in Eastman getting bitten.
Deanna started the season mourning her husband and dealing with a community in flux after both Reg and Pete's murder, and made it halfway through before getting bitten during the first stage of the herd's takeover. She gave a bunch of people advice and then, instead of committing suicide, decided to die by screaming as zombies ate her. She returned in reanimated form and her son got to kill her. Closure.
Savior Bud, played by Christopher Berry, first appeared in a group of Saviors intending to rob Daryl, Sasha and Abraham in the post-midseason finale scene. This continued in the midseason premiere, where the charismatic villain drew some great tension out before exploding along with the rest of his crew, thanks to Daryl's new toy.
The Andersons admittedly weren't great when they were on the show, particularly Sam, and their deaths were really welcomed when they came during the attempted escape through walking disguises. Jessie and Sam got eaten by walkers, and Ron shot Carl in the eye and Michonne stabbed him. It was a great comic moment done well in live-action.
That Wolf Guy seemed like he was going to usher in a crazy wave of oddball villainy when he showed up at the end of Season 5, but he basically just led one ambush, became Morgan's prisoner, and then kidnapped Denise. Though he was this crazy guy who killed everything, he somehow had a change of heart and helped Denise when it was called for. What a turd.
Denise was introduced in the beginning of the season as the town's medical person, and she certainly got to use her skills in her time on the show, since someone was always hurt. But she wasn't destined to make it very long, as she became the victim of the crossbow-wielding Dwight. Her death was one of the show's creepiest, as she kept talking garbled gibberish with a crossbow bolt through her brain. Her death was also the one that Abraham experienced in the comic books.
Where Can I Watch Season 6 Of The Walking Dead?
There are currently no methods that will allow anyone to watch the entirety of Season 6, at least not through any subscription-based streaming services. Considering all five previous seasons are available for streaming on Netflix, we will almost definitely see Season 6 going binge-friendly later this year, possibly around August 23. That's when Season 6 will hit Blu-ray and DVD, complete with an alternate cut of Negan's big scene that features all of the F-bombs and other assorted swear words that viewers can handle. Along with all the usual commentaries and featurettes, of course.
And never forget that AMC loves to marathon the shit out of The Walking Dead, so your chances of catching all 16 episodes from now until Season 7's premiere are greater than Rick's chances of surviving his next round of lovemaking with Michonne.
There you have it. Keep checking back for updates and visual treats as they're released, and we'll see you guys when Season 7 takes over our waking thoughts.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.