When The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season this fall, things won’t be as we left them, as the new run will kick off with a time jump. After the defeat of the Saviors and with Negan safely locked up, Alexandria’s had time to thrive and, despite the lack of resources, Rick and his people have turned the place into a peaceful agricultural community, complete with horses as transport instead of cars.
Due to this, the characters have had to get more creative when it comes to weapons. While talking to AMC, incoming showrunner Angela Kang revealed that Daryl Dixon will find himself with a couple of awesome new knifes that’ll come in handy when going against a walker horde. Before fans break out in a sweat, though, don’t worry, Daryl’s faithful crossbow will still be around. It’s just that he’ll be needing something more suitable for quick combat.
“Since our characters are being more stingy with their bullets this year, we wanted to make sure Daryl had a good secondary weapon for hand-to-hand fighting (a crossbow is difficult to reload, so it’s not good for quick combat). Norman helped to custom design a pair of knives that he can use for two-handed combat. They’re saw-backed Bowie knives with finger rings that allow you to quickly twirl the knives into different positions (you can grip them in either direction).”
Of course, we’re expecting to see more of Daryl than usual in season 9, as the long-running zombie show will lose two of its biggest stars this year. For one, Lauren Cohan’s set to bow out of her role as Maggie Rhee, though the actress has hinted her exit will be open-ended in order to leave the chance of a return. What will definitely be a final farewell, however, is Andrew Lincoln’s upcoming departure in the first half of the season.
As there’ll be no more Rick to be at the center of the series, it was reported that Reedus was getting himself a pay boost and star billing. However, this was later denied and it’s been said that The Walking Dead will become more of an ensemble piece instead. Either way, we’ll see how things change when season 9 hits AMC on October 7th.