The Walking Dead has always managed to get its fans hyped for new seasons by releasing new and exciting trailers at San Diego Comic Con, but which one was the best?
The summer of 2017 was no exception to the release schedule as the AMC series debuted the first look at its Season 8 and 100th episode to a packed-Walking-Dead-fans Hall H at the massive convention in July. Still, the new trailer doesn't manage to sit atop the totem pole which ranks each season's preview.
Some of the biggest, hype-building looks at new seasons of The Walking Dead have played with viewer expectations to mislead them, others came from the earliest seasons, and some have required a certain level of spoiler-patrol in order to preserve plot points. While Season 8's trailer appears to be falling into the latter, it did manage to pack some exciting beats into its over five-minute running time.
Below, each trailer for each season of AMC's The Walking Dead is ranked from worst to best...
8. Season 4
Season 4 was one of the weakest seasons of The Walking Dead so it should come as no surprise that it's trailer ranks last of the series' eight so far.
The trailer teased an internal conflict at the prison and paired a bunch of dramatic expressions on characters' faces with a speech from Hershel, stressing the problems from the outside getting into their prison community.
Still, void of the conflicts between Rick and Shane or Rick and the Governor, the idea of wondering who was feeding rats to walkers, Tyreese's struggles with living in this world, or training little kids to fight (though Melissa McBride's performances are always worth watching) as the major plot points was the least exciting play on the series by comparison to each of the other trailers.
7. Season 7
The Walking Dead's Season 7 trailer was forced to leave eleven core character out of its teases.
Starting with the eerie tease of each potential Negan victim's story to this point, the Season 8 trailer turned The Walking Dead into the Negan show. For the first time ever, new footage of Rick Grimes was excluded from the trailer as the fans waited to learn who of the line-up would die between Rick, Carl, Rosita, Aaron, Michonne, Eugene, Abraham, Maggie, Glenn, Daryl, and Sasha.
The highlight of the trailer, as clearly expressed during a thunderous Hall H presentation, was King Ezekiel's introduction paired with the roar of his tiger named Shiva. Still, the trailer did little to build on the already peaking excitement for the most anticipated episode of The Walking Dead in the Season 7 premiere.
6. Season 8
The Season 8 trailer for The Walking Dead appears to be heavily reliant on preserving spoilers, stressing an exciting tone fans had been asking for through its preceding season.
The All Out War arc has arrived and Rick's groups will finally take on Negan's Saviors, as teased by the trailer, but the preservation of spoilers substitutes story teases with action beats, making The Walking Dead's Season 8 trailer fun to watch but not exactly fruitful for fans looking for more meat.
5. Season 5
The Season 5 trailer for The Walking Dead relied heavily on misleading the audience in a well done manner to preserve spoilers from the "Screwing with the wrong people," cliffhanger a season before it.
Teasing Glenn's death by baseball bat shortly after The Walking Dead issue #100 had printed, the Season 5 trailer made fans think the people of Terminus would end up teaming up with Rick's group, cutting the villainous Gareth's words into, "Join us, and go to Washington and cure this thing," and doubling down on the effort by having Abraham Ford shout, "We need to leave for DC, now!"
The trailer was explosive and packed with action but couldn't quite earn a spot in the more prestigious half of the ranking.
4. Season 3
Though it ranks third among all eight trailers for The Walking Dead's seasons, the Season 3 trailer is certainly one of the show's best previews.
Starting by showing off Michonne, the character fans were stoked to meet after her mysterious introduction in the Season 2 finale, the Season 3 trailer cruises through the first communities being built on The Walking Dead. For the first times, the characters were looking to stop solely surviving and settle down.
The group's efforts would be tested, though, as the Governor's highly anticipated introduction came in this trailer with the exciting words, "Welcome to Woodbury."
3. Season 6
The Season 6 trailer for The Walking Dead is one of the best evidences of the what the team at AMC is capable of.
Not only would Season 6 come out swinging in its early episode but the trailer does the same -- in a very misleading way. Heading into the sixth season, fans of The Walking Dead were expecting some inner conflict at the Alexandrian community as Season 5 left off on Rick and Morgan's reunion at the same moment Rick executed Pete Anderson in front of the whole town.
Season 6's trailer not only showed that the Rick Grimes who kicks ass and takes names was back but portrayed the character as one who would possibly do too much to protect his family. Morgan's "I know Rick. I can stop him. We have to!" stands out as the biggest misdirect of the action-packed trailer which brilliantly used Hozier's "Arsonist's Lullaby," a song which would be featured in the Not Tomorrow Yet episode late in the season.
2. Season 1
Taking a zombie story and turning it into a compelling, character-driven drama... That's exactly what the very first trailer for The Walking Dead does.
"All I am anymore is a man looking for his wife and son," Rick tells Merle. "Anybody who gets in the way of that's gonna lose."
Though the show was considerably different in terms of its mythology and production value in its first season, the showrunner at the time Frank Darabont managed to create suspenseful beats both during the series and in this trailer. It is all topped with the ironic tone of "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore," by the Walker Brothers.
The Season 1 trailer introduced the key elements fans needed: the characters, the world, the zombies, and the stakes.
1. Season 2
The trailer for The Walking Dead's second season took all of the momentum built by the unforgettable six-episode first season of the series and built on it.
Each of the show's core characters were tossed not only into further danger than the season which preceded this trailer but forced into new relationships and decisions which would become the driver of the season.
While elements such as the search for Sophia and much of Hershel's barn are absent from the trailer, there are also exciting bits which did not make the cut of the season's 13 episodes. It was the first trailer fans watched knowing the characters and built an exciting reason to jump onto The Walking Dead train as both zombies and living characters emerged as threats.