While it's true that season 6 of AMC's monster hit The Walking Dead wasn't quite as well received as season 5 - with Glen's fake-out non-death and the season ending cliffhanger drawing particularly high amounts of fan scorn - that isn't likely to stop the the show's millions of diehard viewers from continuing to tune in every week for each new installment of season 7.
The Walking Dead has always had its ups and downs, but when it fires on all cylinders it can produce some of the most compelling dramatic TV out there. Season 7 of the show will reportedly aim to mix things up even further by introducing two new characters into the mix that aren't taken from Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman's comic book source material.
Here's the skinny, according to Mike Ausiello of TVLine:
"Episode 6 will introduce two new characters who don’t sound to me like anyone in particular from the comic-book series. (Correct me if I’m wrong — and we both know you will.) Naomi is a grandmotherly type who, having lost so many loved ones, is now willing to do whatever it takes not to have to bury any more. (Maybe she’s being introduced to counsel Carol about the awful necessities of the post-apocalyptic world… ) On the flip side is Jennie, a sunny-side-up kinda teenager — oh, Caaarl! — who sounds a lot like Beth 2.0, “kind, with a world-weary toughness."
The Walking Dead has of course introduced show-specific characters before - most notably, fan-favorite badass biker Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus). However, the vast majority of its major players have been directly based on and/or inspired by characters created within Robert Kirkman's long-running comic series, with the caveat that some have been considerably altered on their journey from page to screen.
With that said, one wonders whether newly invented Walker survivors Naomi and Jennie will be used to further a storyline taken from Kirkman's books or to perhaps kick-off a plot arc not previously played out in print form. After all, Kirkman has never made it a secret that he enjoys surprising those who both watch and read The Walking Dead by subverting their built-in expectations of how the televised stories will progress and which characters will live or die at a particular time. In the mean-time, fans can feel free to balance their questions about these new characters with their ongoing worries of which beloved member of Rick's group won't survive a date with Lucille.
The Walking Dead season 7 premieres this October on AMC.