The Walking Dead Season 8 Headed For “Uncharted Waters”


AMC is steering its undead flagship toward “uncharted waters.”

At least, that’s according to The Walking Dead mainstay Andrew Lincoln, who previewed season 8’s back-end in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. Pegged for a mid-season premiere on February 25th, AMC’s gripping zombie drama has dialed the tension up to 11 in the wake of Carl’s impending death – Chandler Riggs’ character, one of the show’s longest servants, suffered a fatal walker bite just prior to the winter hiatus – and Lincoln believes it’s high time for The Walking Dead to start taking risks.

I think, well, why not? We’re eight years, into a big story and I think if there is a future game — which I know that there is — they’re going to have to take some big swings and change things up. Loosening and untethering us from a lot of the story in the comic is one really interesting way of moving the story forward, and perhaps we can look at a bigger story outside of the one that we’ve been focusing on for eight years — which could be incredibly satisfying for Rick’s journey, and the characters that are around Rick, but also for the audience.

As readers of Robert Kirkman’s legendary comic will know all too well, Carl’s death is a major deviation from the source material, so it’s small wonder why some fans have protested the decision. However that may be, Kirkman himself recently went on record to defend Carl’s impending death, believing that season 8’s biggest twist – so far, at least – plays into the long-term plans drafted up by AMC.

For Lincoln, though, the decision to bump off Carl effectively means that all bets are off when it comes to predicting the fate of The Walking Dead‘s core characters:

As soon as it happened, all bets were off. Because there had been a certain sense, I think, over the last couple of years, that people would go, ‘Oh, we are much more associated with the comic book.’ I think that the general thrust of the story was always going to be based upon that with a couple of deviations or inversions or twists or replacements in one character taking that story and this one taking that. But this is unchartered waters for the show. I think it made, certainly for me, a much more challenging and more dangerous back eight [episodes]. I think what they’re having to do is shake it up, in a profoundly new way.

Season 8 of The Walking Dead returns on February 25th, and we know director Greg Nicotero will be the one ushering AMC’s zombie drama back onto the small screen. In light of “How It’s Gotta Be,” Nicotero is in charge of Carl’s swan song, though actor Chandler Riggs is quietly confident that his one-eyed survivor will leave a “long-lasting legacy.”