Naturally, at the top of every mind is who did Negan kill, which will be revealed in the first episode. But that doesn’t stop the three-minute trailer from twisting the knife deep into the hearts of viewers by showing each potential victim’s face accompanied by clouded flashback scenes. There’s Glenn and Maggie staring lovingly into one another’s eyes, Rick embracing a young and once innocent Carl, Daryl feeding little Judith, glimpses of that budding romance between Abraham and Sasha — the list goes on. Throwing one last bit of salt into the wound is a clip of Rick saying, “As long as it’s all of us, we can do anything.” Clearly, the group will soon be at least one person short of “all of us.” (And the latest theories suggest it may actually be two.)
We got a glimpse of some of the new characters that will be introduced, including those from the community known as The Kingdom, particularly “King” Ezekiel, a key character from the comics. No one who was kneeling before Negan is seen in the rest of the trailer footage; naturally, that would spoil all of the anticipation over who remains alive. We do, however, catch back up with characters like Carol, Morgan, and Dwight, who we know has been promoted to a series regular, as well as Tara, who appears to have become a badass fighter, and Enid.
Earlier this week, we found out some additional great news that sets the bar high for episode one: Greg Nicotero, co-executive producer, director, and special make-up effects supervisor, will be directing the episode. Along with directing that final cliffhanger season six episode that had viewers reeling, Nicotero has also directed some of the best episodes of The Walking Dead, including Judge, Jury, Executioner from season two, when Dale meets his unfortunate end, and This Sorrowful Life (season three), when Merle and Daryl go head-to-head in an emotional brotherly meeting.
During the Comic-Con panel, Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer, pointed to some “nonhuman” characters entering the fray this year. From the trailer, we know that at least one will be Ezekiel’s pet tiger, Shiva.
Season 7 of The Walking Dead will premiere at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 23 on AMC, and will contain 16 episodes — the first eight to air consecutively this fall, followed by the final eight commencing in February 2017. Die-hard fans might also want to check out a Preview Special, set to air on August 14. A two-hour retrospective that currently has the working title The Walking Dead Recap Special will air on October 16.
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