The growing community of Alexandria in The Walking Dead may take a hit in season 8 as one cast member teases that the upcoming season will "thin the herd."
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) came to Alexandria with a somewhat small group of survivors. Since then, the cast of the show has grown to include pre-existing members of the community, as well as new arrivals. Recent seasons have also established the presence of other communities that act both as enemies and allies to Alexandria. Characters from these communities played important roles in season 7, particularly Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Gregory (Xander Berkeley), and Jesus (Tom Payne). Characters associated with Negan's Saviors, such as Dwight (Austin Amelio) and Simon (Steven Ogg), have also risen to prominence.
In an interview with ComicBook, Steven Ogg, who was promoted to series regular for season 8, discussed working on the show and stated that The Walking Dead will soon "thin the herd." Of course, the Canadian actor offered no specifics as to who would die.
In season 7, four major characters were killed off. Rick's group faced what was arguably its greatest setback ever with the shocking and controversial deaths of fan-favorite characters Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz). Later on in the season, Spencer (Austin Nichols) was killed by Negan while trying to betray Rick. Spencer was the last surviving member of the Monroe family, as his father, brother, and mother were all killed in previous seasons. Finally, Sasha committed suicide in the season finale to keep Negan from using her as leverage against Rick. Sasha turning into a zombie is what turned the tide against the Saviors.
Considering what the characters have lost in season 7, fans are surely wondering what beloved character the show will kill off next. It's also possible that "thinning the herd" could instead refer to characters outside of Rick's group, including Ogg's character, Simon, who has served as Negan's loyal right-hand man since the character was introduced.
Since season 8 will begin the "all out war" storyline, we can expect a story with such a title to include losses on many sides, especially if the people of Alexandria will be fighting with the Saviors across multiple episodes.
Season 8 of The Walking Dead premieres Sunday, October 22, on AMC.