There’s less than a month to go until the premiere of the second half of season 7 of The Walking Dead on AMC, and in typical fashion, the network is releasing teasers, imagery, and details ahead of time to whet fans’ appetites.
Backlash surrounding the season 6 cliffhanger may have convinced showrunners to spill a few more beans this time around. The result? Three paragraphs worth of detail about what’s to come for Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the gang. Note: There are spoilers ahead.
The synopsis hints that more groups and characters will be introduced this season, and that the world is “much bigger than anything they’ve seen so far.” It suggests that the episodes will center on Rick’s attempts at rallying the groups to take down Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors. But with both Ezekiel (Khary Payton), the leader of the Kingdom, and Gregory (Xander Berkeley), the head of the Hilltop, wanting to avoid bloodshed, much of the season might focus on Rick’s attempts to convince them to join the fight, which could be unsuccessful. “The lengths Rick and the group will have to go to in order to find weapons, food, and new fighters is nothing short of remarkable,” reads the synopsis.
The most interesting part of the synopsis is the mention of “treachery from people we trust.” Could one of the core group members turn against the rest?
“No amount of planning will prepare the group for all-out war with Negan and his army,” the synopsis concludes. This implies the season might be far less about blood and gore and more about survival, scavenging, and forging relationships. Focusing on those aspects of the story is what made the early seasons of The Walking Dead so endearing to viewers in the first place, so this statement might reassure fans that the show is returning to its roots, and leaving extreme violence behind to an extent.
The show’s ratings have fallen quite dramatically, presumably due in large part to backlash against some of the recent extremely violent scenes. December’s midseason finale was still tops among the 18-49 demographic with 10.58 million viewers, but that’s down 27 percent from last year, reports Variety.
AMC also released three new photos from the first episode, but they don’t reveal much. Above, there’s Rick standing with a purpose in the middle of the road (with a gun in a holster around his waist, so that’s a good sign). Below is Rick with his core group, seemingly outlining his plan; and accompanied by Michonne (Danai Gurira), Aaron (Ross Marquand), Tara (Alanna Masterson), and a partially covered woman who appears to be Rosita (Christian Serratos) as they make their way through a field.
The second half of season 7 will premiere at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, February 12, on AMC.