AMC has released a teaser for upcoming The Walking Dead season 9, before the first full trailer arrives during the show's panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 tomorrow. Despite the teaser's short runtime, there seem to be a lot of clues for what to expect next season.
The Walking Dead's ninth season has already been party to rumors and speculation. The crew has undergone a massive shakeup, with former showrunner Scott Gimple stepping into an all-over role at AMC, and writer Angela Kang taking up the showrunner mantle in his place. Maggie Rhee actress Lauren Cohan sparked speculation over her character's fate when she accepted a smaller contract for season 9 after committing to the upcoming Whiskey Cavalier pilot. And, of course, reports of Andrew Lincoln leaving the series after season 9 have dominated news and fan theories alike. This short teaser provides a little insight as to where season 9 will be taking these popular characters.
Despite her reportedly smaller role in season 9, Maggie is a definite focus in the teaser, which can be viewed above. She can be seen hanging out with Daryl and discussing the future of the survivors' groups with Michonne. Michonne makes it very clear that the survivors need to find a way to establish long-lasting rules going forward. This could be in reference to Maggie, Daryl, and Jesus' anger toward Rick at the end of season 8, in which they disagreed with Rick's decision to spare Negan's life. The comic books follow a similar story, in which Maggie chooses to enforce capital punishment in the Hilltop, instead. Starting with her nemesis and former Hilltop leader, Gregory.
While Maggie was the focus of the clip, there are a lot of important clues that point to a very different setting and reality in season 9. The survivors are back outside, living in tents in the middle of the woods. It has been previously announced that Alexandria will need to rebuild following Negan's attacks during All Out War. It's likely the survivors' compromised living conditions will bring them face-to-face with new groups (like Magna's) and new enemies (the Whisperers, perhaps). The clip also prominently displays a signpost pointing in the direction of each allied group, which is a strong indication of the allied network of survivors formed in the comic books. And, last but not least, fan favorite Jerry seems to finally have a girlfriend.
The full The Walking Dead season 9 trailer will be released tomorrow, July 20 during the show's panel.