While the infamous cliffhanger concerning Negan’s victim from the season 6 finale still stings for some, that isn’t stopping most fans from beginning to get hyped for The Walking Dead’s season 7 premiere. Far and away the highest rated drama currently on TV, The Walking Dead always carries with it a certain level of expectations going into each new season, but it’s fair to say that season 7 may just be the most anticipated yet.
After all, fans know for sure that one major member of Rick’s group will soon be revealed to have died at Negan’s hands, but will they be the only heroic casualty in the near future? A little less than three months remain before viewers receive the answer to that question, yet speculation about who met their maker at the business end of “Lucille” continues to run rampant, and still reigns as a popular topic across the pop culture spectrum.
Say what you will about the cliffhanger itself, but it’s hard to deny that it accomplished the goal of getting people talking, even months after the fact. To keep those people talking, AMC has released six new images from season 7 (via EW), each shining a spotlight on a different Walking Dead character.
The first features Morgan (Lennie James), whose future is uncertain at present, considering that he ultimately had to break his rule against killing human beings in order to save Carol (Melissa McBride). With his philosophy usurped, one wonders whether Morgan will be able to maintain his seemingly tenuous grip on sanity, and avoid needing to “clear” once again. The second image is of Carol herself, who is set to join Morgan in meeting up with Ezekiel, tiger-toting ruler of The Kingdom. Luckily for them, Ezekiel is much more benevolent than Negan.
The third image is of Jesus (Tom Payne), who was introduced last season and sought to create a mutually beneficial alliance between Alexandria and the Hilltop Colony. Image four features Negan, looking as badass as ever, and ready to bash in some more skulls. Image five is a cool shot of some walkers, who still obviously remain a threat, despite the current focus on a living adversary. The sixth and final new image is of King Ezekiel on his throne, although his pet tiger Shiva is sadly not by his side.
Of course, none of the above images include any of the characters at Negan’s feet in the final scene of season 6. The Walking Dead’s producers continue to guard the identity of Negan’s victim as if it were a set of nuclear launch codes, and there’s no reason to expect that to change anytime soon. Still, in this age of spoilers, there are worse things to experience than a genuine surprise.
The Walking Dead returns for season 6 on October 23, 2016 at 9pm.