Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus has promised plenty of “closure” when the show’s eighth season returns this week. The All Out War arc pitting Rick’s alliance against Negan’s Saviors dominated the first half of the season, with the good guys scoring first blood by luring a herd of the undead right to the door of Savior headquarters. Naturally, the remaining episodes weren’t all smooth sailing and Team Negan hit back with a vengeance by peppering Rick’s community with explosives. As if that wasn’t enough trouble for the bearded protagonist, the midseason finale revealed that Rick’s son Carl was suffering from a fatal zombie bite.
In between all of the flying bullets and gushing blood, the first half of The Walking Dead season 8 set up a plethora of intriguing plot threads. Aside from the obvious question of which team will ultimately win the war, storylines currently in need of resolution include how Rick will react to his son’s bite, how the Hilltop and Kingdom can bounce back, whether Morgan can resolve his moral struggle, what will become of the Scavengers and the fate of Aaron and Edith. Over at the Sanctuary, a huge question mark still hangs over whether Eugene will eventually redeem himself and Gabriel is also, somehow, still hanging in there.
According to Daryl Dixon himself, Norman Reedus, fans can expect these questions and more to be answered in the forthcoming 8 episodes. Speaking with EW, Reedus claims:
“It’s all resolution. It’s all the tying up of these ends of what’s laid out in front of us in all these different directions. There’s a lot of closure coming in the back eight, which is great. There’s been all this action and all the fighting and all these different factions that have been splitting off in these different directions, and it all kind of comes together in the end with closure in several different avenues. Some wrap up the way you think. Some wrap up not the way you think.”
Reedus’ comments will likely be reassuring for any fans who might have been unsure as to whether The Walking Dead would be able to wrap up its huge Savior conflict in the remaining episodes. If the actor is to be believed, the focus of this block will be primarily on resolving plots instead of setting up new ones. This echoes the sentiments of current showrunner Scott M. Gimple, who previously stated that the All Out War arc from the comic books would be covered completely in season 8.
Perhaps the most intriguing element of Reedus’ comments is his teasing promise that not everything will go exactly as fans expect. Although Carl’s bite was undoubtedly the most shocking moment of season 8A, there were rumors that Chandler Riggs would be leaving the show even before the season premiere had aired. As such, The Walking Dead would need to pull off something truly massive if it were to deliver a genuine and completely unexpected shock.
Exactly which stories Reedus believes will wrap up in a surprising way remains to be seen, but the ultimate fate of Negan could be a prime contender. Although no one really believes that the season will end with Negan beating Rick, taking everyone’s stuff and living happily ever after with his numerous wives, it’ll be interesting to see whether Rick carries out his promise to kill Negan, or whether he chooses a more merciful path.
The Walking Dead season 8 returns February 25th with ‘Honor’ on AMC.
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