The long summer wait between seasons is almost over. And what a long and cruel few months it has been for fans of The Walking Dead, as they have waited for the conclusion to the season 6 finale cliffhanger that teased the murder of one (or more) of the regular cast members. Fortunately, the answers will finally be revealed in just four short weeks.

Next month, AMC is returning with the seventh season of their hit show and it’s primed to be one of the most watched (and scrutinized) season premieres yet. Viewers were last left with Rick, Glenn, Michonne, Maggie, Carl, and other long-time series regulars at the mercy of the new villainous character, Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The season ended on a cut to black, with the sounds of his barbed-wire baseball bat brutally beating one of the victims to death.

The brutal and visceral ending left The Walking Dead’s audience in shock for months. With a little over a month until the show’s return, the network has released individual character posters to promote the upcoming season premiere across Variety, ComicBook.com, and EW. The portraits come in two versions, the first is a simple black and white layout. In these pictures the cast are more empowered, with the actors confidently engaging the camera. For example, we see Carol wielding a knife, Tara aiming her gun for the kill, and even Eugene looks ready for a fight.

While the alternate character posters are meant to serve as the yin to former’s yang. The portraits have a red glow and are tighter head shots, which contribute to an overall sense of paranoia and claustrophobia. All of the actors in these photos are clearly missing the confidence from the black and white pictures. The blood red filter is also a distinct cue to the viewer that there’s violence pending and all of the characters are clearly feeling dread.

However, there is also something else in Hollywood called a “red herring.” While all the characters are in serious peril at the beginning of next season, these versions could be used to simply throw conspiracy theorists off of the trail. Particularly, because not all of the main cast has their own posters…as of now. Luckily, viewers will be getting all the answers to their questions in just four short weeks.

The Walking Dead returns for season 7 on Sunday, October 23 @9pm on AMC.

Source: Variety, Comicbook, EW, TV Guide, CBR