It’s not easy trying to survive in a world overrun by zombies, but Rick Grimes has managed to do just that over five harrowing seasons of AMC’s The Walking Dead. During that time a lot of other characters have come and gone, including some very well-loved members of Rick’s group, and that means that each season has to replenish the ranks with new characters for The Walking Dead‘s audience to fall in love with… before they’re violently killed off.
We got our first look at one of the characters being introduced in The Walking Dead season six when THR released an image of Straight Outta Compton actor Corey Hawkins as Heath, a supply runner living in the Alexandria Safe Zone. For those who have already watched the latest trailer too many times and are eager for more news about The Walking Dead‘s upcoming season, we can now reveal details about more of the characters that audiences are about to meet.
Entertainment Weekly has the scoop on the new characters played by Merritt Wever (Birdman) and Ethan Embry (Grace and Frankie), as well as some fresh stills from The Walking Dead season six. Wever will play another character from the comics: Dr. Denise Cloyd, a medical expert who finds herself thrown into a crucial community position after the events of The Walking Dead‘s season five finale.
Meanwhile, showrunner Scott M. Gimple describes Embry’s character, Carter, as “a combo of a few characters that we actually haven’t hit yet or weren’t able to hit in other characters.” Carter isn’t a new addition to the community, but is “an Alexandrian [who] has been there the whole time, just quite busy.” Carter was seen in the trailer for The Walking Dead season six, challenging Rick’s authority and his ability to help Alexandria survive.
Check out images of these characters below.
Based on what we’ve seen so far, it seems as though The Walking Dead will see a continuation of the power struggle for leadership of Alexandria, as Rick tries to help its sheltered residents survive using the ‘tough love’ approach and others – including his old friend Morgan – begin to doubt Rick’s aptitude for leadership. The walls of Alexandria are secure for now, but too much conflict could shake the foundations of the community irreparably.
As key members of that community, Denise, Heath and Carter could play a pivotal role in deciding the future of Alexandria, which so far seems like the safest place that Rick’s group of survivors have managed to settle in. Will that safety last, or will Rick find himself on the road again with another pile of corpses left behind him?
The Walking Dead season six is slated to begin airing on AMC starting October 11th, 2015.