After a rocky season seven that found the show hemorrhaging viewers, The Walking Dead returns on October 22nd with its 100th episode which promises to kick the story into hyperdrive. While plenty of aspects about the latest season are kept under lock and key, we know that the upcoming episodes will largely comprise the "All Out War" storyline, which runs for 12 issues of the comic and covers the ongoing conflict between Rick and Negan’s forces.
Meanwhile, the season eight trailers have already given audiences plenty to be excited about, including action scenes that top anything we’ve seen on the show before, along with a huge flash-forward that could alter the entire season.
But of course, if you want to get the best idea of what’s to come in The Walking Dead, you only need to look at Robert Kirkman’s ongoing comic, which is still about 60 issues ahead of the TV series.
While the show has introduced a slew of original characters that often take the story in different directions, The Walking Dead always manages to circle back around to source material. Therefore, we’ll be predicting what the show will and won’t use from the comic book this coming season.
While some of these predictions have already been confirmed through the trailers and officially released statements, others are outright speculation based off what we hope the show will do to stay on the right track.
Here are Season 8 Predictions From The Comic.
With Alexandria, the Kindgom, and the Hilltop all aligned in open rebellion against the Saviors, it’s only a matter of time before Rick brings the fight to Negan’s turf and mounts an attack on the Sanctuary.
In the comics, this takes place in the first two issues of "All Out War", with Rick making a show of strength outside Negan’s gates before opening fire and drawing a hoard of walkers to the stronghold. Though the skirmish is short-lived, Rick’s group manages to force Negan into hiding, buying the allies more time to continue their plotting.
After everything we’ve seen from the season eight trailers, it looks like we can expect a similar move in the show. With Rick’s group reveling in their minor victory at Alexandria, it would only make sense for them to continue the momentum and mount an attack of their own. And fast.
Though Gregory was MIA during the season seven finale of the show, even those who haven’t kept up with the comics can assume that the cowardly leader is on his way to treat with Negan at the Sanctuary.
In the comics, when Rick makes his first stand at Negan’s doorstep, Gregory appears and tries to convince his followers to stand down. But the move proves futile, much to Negan’s disappointment, and he pushes Gregory from the balcony, effectively setting him free.
But do we really think Negan will go this easy on him in the series? While Gregory does survive well past the "All Out War" storyline in the comic, his role is significantly reduced until the former leader is eventually killed off for betraying Maggie.
We’re wondering if it’s even worth keeping this minor character alive after he betrays his own people and fails to help Negan in the process.
Despite Rick’s group procuring guns from Oceanside at the end of last season, Negan’s forces are still far better supplied, meaning that the allies will have to get creative when it comes turning the tide of war in their favor. The obvious solution: use walkers as their weapon.
We’ve seen the group successfully herd a massive group of walkers before, and from the trailers, it looks like they’re up to their old tricks again. Daryl is shown cruising around and setting off a number of pre-planted bombs — possibly as a means of attracting walkers — while the remainder of the group is seen driving around in vehicles modified to double as barricades.
In the comics, the group simply opens fire to draw a mass of walkers to the Sanctuary, but it will require a little more strategizing for Rick’s group to realistically pull this off in the series. And we wouldn't be surprised if this takes up the majority of episode one.
Though Rick’s group does indeed take a number of casualties throughout "All Out War" — including the deaths of Holly, Denise, and Eric, among others — for the most part, the allies retaliation against the Saviors goes surprisingly according to plan. Negan attacks when and where Rick anticipates, while Dwight works from the inside to prevent Negan from ever gaining the upper hand.
But we don’t have to be geniuses to know that things will not be carried out so cut and dry in the show.
Negan is already suspicious of both Dwight and Eugene, not to mention that he also has the Scavengers on his side. Whether or not the junkyard gang will continue to do Negan’s bidding has yet to be seen, but from the season eight trailer, we’ve already seen that Rick is being held hostage by Jadis at the junkyard, possibly at Negan’s command.
With Rick being captured by the Scavengers and locked into a shipping crate at the junkyard, Negan appears to get his hands on another one of the allies, as seen in the season 8 trailer first released at Comic-Con.
During Rick’s initial attack on the Sanctuary in the comics, Holly decides to improvise and drive a car through Negan’s gates, allowing the herd of walkers to surround the stronghold. Negan takes her prisoner, and -- falsely assuming he’s captured Rick’s girlfriend -- surmises that he's just won the war in one fell swoop.
Of course, Holly has been long dead in the show, though in the trailer, we’ve already seen Negan taunting Gabriel in an unknown location while zombies bang on the walls from outside. Might Gabriel sacrifice himself to breach the Sanctuary gates? Either way, Gabriel ends up at the mercy of Negan at some point this season.
On the TV series, Eugene is straying further and further from his comic book counterpart. While the character is now one of Negan’s right-hand men — rising all the way to the rank of the Saviors Chief Engineer — in the comics, he remains by Rick’s ride for the majority of "All Out War," manufacturing bullets for the allies until he is ultimately captured by the Saviors.
However, Eugene’s time in the Sanctuary is short-lived, with Dwight and Carson helping him escape before Negan can utilize his prowess. What’s more, Eugene boldly refuses to make bullets for Negan. Even when the ruthless leader threatens to castrate him or iron his face, Eugene refuses to betray his allies.
This is worlds away from the Eugene currently in the series, who has refused to help assassinate Negan or escape from the Sanctuary on multiple occasions. At this point, it would be hard to believe that Eugene would pioneer such a large scale betrayal so long as Negan is protecting him.
After the allies lead an attack on the Sanctuary, retaliation from the Saviors is imminent, and -- as Rick points out in the comic -- Alexandria is at the greatest risk. Despite this, Rick decides to return to his community only to be greeted by a number of grenades being lobbed over the walls by the Saviors.
With Alexandria no longer of any value to Negan, there’s a good chance that he’ll simply try to destroy the town from outside the walls. It's during this counter-attack that Holly and Denise are killed off and Heath loses his leg in a grenade explosion. But since those characters are either already dead or currently MIA, it’s possible that some other members of Rick’s group will meet their demise.
Hopefully, TV Rick won’t be stupid enough to retreat to the one place he knows Negan will attack first. Either way, there’s a good chance his group will have to retreat to the Hilltop at some point, just as they do in the comics.
After the allied forced retreat to the Hilltop to make their final stand, it becomes clear to Negan that he’s on the losing side; his numbers are dwindling, there’s dissension in his ranks, and every assassination attempt he tries to carry out on Rick proves futile. Therefore, the two leaders gather outside the gates of the Hilltop to try and settle things diplomatically.
Rick proposes that they join forces by setting up a safe zone between their communities and establishing a barter system, to which Negan miraculously agrees! But before the two men ever get a chance to hash out the details, Rick slices Negan’s throat, marking the beginning of the end of the war.
However, we will likely never see this particular scene taking place in the series. Even if Negan does find his back against the wall, admitting defeat just isn’t his style, and he’s more likely to fight to the death than admit Rick Grimes got the better of him.
Since many of the characters that are killed off during the "All Out War" storyline have already met their demise on the show — including Holly, Denise, and Richard — it’s anyone’s guess who will get the ax this season. Hopefully, after a few bloated seasons that introduced one new group after the next, the show will continue to clean house and refocus the plot on the characters that we actually care about.
Aaron’s boyfriend, Eric, seems like he may be one of the next to go. In the comics, the character is shot in the head during a skirmish with the Saviors, leading Aaron to pledge that he won’t stop until every last one of Negan’s men is dead.
With the character on the show getting more screen time the last few episodes, Eric’s days certainly seem numbered. Not to mention that the relationship between Eric and Aaron never felt fully realized, and his departure can finally make way for Aaron’s relationship with Jesus somewhere down the road.
Since many of the events of "All Out War" have already been sprinkled throughout season seven, we can assume that the show will advance beyond the Negan storyline before season eight wraps up. After all, we have already gotten a glimpse of Old Man Rick in the trailer (more on that later).
After the time jump, some of the newest characters to be introduced in the comics are Magna and her small band of survivors. While we have no idea if this character is or isn’t slated to appear this season, we can only hope that the writers hold off on introducing audiences to an entirely new group so soon.
With the Scavengers still playing a part and the role of Oceanside still up in the air, the show really needs to clean house during the next 16 episodes.
Not to mention that two new male characters named Dillion and Abbud are already slated to appear, which is enough new blood for a show that’s becoming inundated with secondary characters.
After everything that Negan has done to Rick’s group, if the war doesn’t end with these two men ending up in an epic fist fight, then the entire season will be for naught.
In the comics, a brutal fight ensues outside the gates of the Hilltop, with Rick tricking Negan into a truce right before he nicks his throat. Of course, Negan is none too happy, and the ruthless leader manages to do some permanent damage to Rick before passing out from the blood loss. This includes snapping Rick’s leg at the kneecap, resulting in Rick having to use a cane for the rest of his life.
Since we’ve already got a glimpse of the cane in the season eight Comic-Con trailer, we can guess that things may play out in the similar fashion. While many fans have speculated that the flash forward may still be a dream sequence, the addition of a cane is a pretty specific thing to include if it’s all in Rick’s mind.
If the series begins to flash forward to the events after "All Out War", we may get a glimpse of how characters other than Rick are adjusting to the new world. While Pirate Michonne may sound awesome to those who haven’t kept up with the comics (she basically already looks the part anyway), it also means that the character wouldn’t play as prominent of a role in the story while she’s off transporting goods to and from Oceanside.
Since Carol has taken on many of the traits of Michonne from the comic, it’s possible that she may return to her life of solitude after the events of the war and become a seafarer. Since Michonne is also the one to fire up a relationship with Ezekiel in the comics, this is another arc that could come to fruition in season eight, considering that Carol and Ezekiel have already had a few heart-to-hearts with each other last season.
By far the most surprising reveal in the season eight trailers was that of Old Man Rick, hinting that the TV series will indeed jump a few years ahead following the events of "All Out War."
What’s more, both Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman have confirmed that the aged Rick will make an appearance in the season opener, hinting that the events of the war may be viewed through a retrospective lens.
This would be an interesting change of pace for the series, which has been criticized for moving too slowly for extended periods of time - ever since the gang settled down at Hershel’s farm in season two.
While some believe that the sequence may be another dream sequence — noting how the shots almost directly correspond with Rick waking up in the hospital in season one — the correlation probably has more to do with the season eight opener also being the landmark 100th episode of the series, as a number of other nods to the pilot episode can be seen throughout the season eight trailer.
Though TV Rick has promised time and time again that he’s going to kill Negan no matter what happens, readers know that if the show plans to mirror the comic book then there’s a jail cell waiting for Negan underneath Alexandria at the end of the war.
This change of heart in the comic comes from Rick wanting to start over and build a civilization without any of the ugly parts — including public execution... and we also can’t help but think that he secretly enjoys the opportunity to watch Negan rot while his community flourishes.
While we could possibly see Rick rethinking his position after he’s won the war, we seriously doubt that all of his followers will go along for the ride. Here, even Maggie agrees to let Negan live without much of a fuss, claiming Glenn would’ve done the same. Which we seriously doubt.
While the Negan storyline hasn’t exactly been the most popular arc of the show to date, the character is easily the biggest antagonist the show has seen -- soon to eclipse even the Governor in episode count and overall damage done to Rick’s group. Therefore, it could be a massive mistake to totally tie up the Negan storyline without at least setting the stage for the next enemy to come.
While the showrunners haven’t officially announced when the Whisperers will be making an appearance on the show, Scott Gimple has said that aspects of the Whisperers could show up before they do in the comic timeline. With the new antagonists making their first appearance only four issues after the time jump, we can’t help but think it would be an intriguing cliffhanger to get fans excited for a totally new threat in season nine.
Which comic book moments do you hope make it into The Walking Dead this season? Let us know in the comments!