Over the course of The Walking Dead to date, ex-cop Rick Grimes and his ragtag group of zombie apocalypse survivors have been put through the ringer many times. Usually, though, it's not the undead that are the real threat to their survival, but instead those monsters very much still among the living. Rick, Daryl, and co. have tangled with cannibals, outlaw bikers, demented politicians, and a tribe of murderous madmen, just to name a few, and they have always come out the other side.
That pattern of victory seemed to drastically change once Rick's group ran afoul of the Saviors, and their psychopathic leader Negan. Unlike some of their more outwardly dangerous foes, Negan prefers to try and project an air of affable leadership at those he conscripts into service, at least until they do something he considers an unforgivable sin. That's when Negan's main squeeze Lucille comes out to satiate "her" thirst for blood, using the head of whoever crossed Negan for target practice.
After Negan's initial claiming of victims, an emotionally shattered Rick opted to do his best to accommodate his new overlord, encouraging all residents of Alexandria to come to terms with life under Negan's rule. As the first half of Walking Dead season 7 went on, though, it gradually became clear that this strategy of surrender was unsustainable, as one never really knew when Negan's crazy switch would flip, leading to the sudden death or maiming of one of Rick's compatriots. Thus, it's now time to rise up and join the battle against Negan's despotic rule, and a new short video for the second half of season 7 encourages viewers to do just that. Check it out above.
Of course, waging war against Negan is one thing, actually beating him will be a different matter entirely. Even together, Alexandria and the Hilltop Colony are completely outmatched when it comes to numbers, weapons, and really every other type of resource needed for an extended conflict. Negan has more than seen to that. Then again, there is a wild card that has yet to enter into the fray proper, that being King Ezekiel and his Kingdom.
Rick and Ezekiel have yet to cross paths, but based on Walking Dead comic book history, the two will form an alliance against Negan not long after they do. Adding The Kingdom to the ranks may still not equal the Saviors overall armory and savage might, but it'll definitely make a difference, and may very well turn the tide of the coming war for freedom. As confident as he is, Negan better brace himself, as his reckoning may soon be at hand.
The Walking Dead returns for season 7.5 on Sunday, February 12.