The Walking Dead season 9 will focus more on rebuilding civilization than communities fighting one another, now that Negan has been neutralized. AMC's hugely popular zombie show has thus far thrived on thrilling and horrifying audiences in equal measure, but season 8 ended with the bold move of Rick Grimes deciding to let Negan live, and declaring that the fighting is over and that it's time to rebuild.
Of course, with The Walking Dead it's natural to see doom on the horizon. The eight seasons of the show so far have seen Rick and co. bounce around from one nightmare to the next as they fight for survival in the zombie apocalypse, and the season 8 finale also implied that trouble is already brewing in the form of a budding civil war in Hilltop.
Walking Dead fans who are feeling starved for news can find an oasis in the most recent fan mailbag over at Skybound, the home of all things Walking Dead. In response to fan questions about whether or not we'll get to see the Hilltop survivors using Georgie's book to begin the process of rebuilding civilization, Skybound's insider confirmed that we'll see the communities of survivors focus on building up their settlements rather than fighting one another in season 9:
"While some of the communities will experience more growth, each one still has a lot of work to do... Those civilization blocks [Georgie] gave to Maggie will definitely play into the rebuilding of the Hilltop and beyond... We will see a lot more rebuilding than the typical altercations between communities. Our heroes will also be on the road a lot more than recent seasons."
The promise of characters getting back on the road is perhaps even more exciting than the promise of an end to warring between the communities. While The Walking Dead has frequently been mocked for over-indulging in scenes of people walking slowly in a line through the woods or along train tracks, travelling through a country in the grip of a zombie apocalypse is fraught with danger and excitement, and some characters (looking at you, Daryl) thrive in those kinds of storylines.
Here's a quick summary of the other teases offered by Skybound's insider in the latest fan mailbag:
- There will be some "really adorable" Rick/Michonne scenes.
- King Ezekiel's path will be different from the comics.
- Daryl will have a bigger role than he had in season 8.
- Father Gabriel will help Jadis integrate into the group.
- We'll get to find out more about the mysterious helicopter.
- A hint for the season's BIG storyline is "Time."
The Walking Dead season 9 will premiere in fall 2019.