First up were Greg Nicotero, Andrew Lincoln, Lennie James, Tom Payne, Katelyn Nacon, and Robert Kirkman.
The first question goes to Lincoln about his range of emotions and the challenges presented in Season 7.
"Last season, a new character took over as lead of the show pretty much," Lincoln said. "You've gotta go somewhere to get somewhere. They had to break me down in order to come back stronger than ever before. Where we left last season is an indication of where we go this season. This is the payoff of last season, in Rick's terms."
"They keep pushing and pulling and hurting this man in new and unimaginable ways," Lincoln said.
"All joking aside, if we gave Andy about 35 seconds, he could do it," Kirkman said of Lincoln crying.
What kind of special effects and interesting zombie deaths can we expect?
"There's some great stuff coming up. Not a ton in the first episode because we're setting the stage for our war where we left at the end of last year," Nicotero said. 'The first episode has a lot of interesting nods to previous seasons. If you watch it and you know the show pretty well, you'll recognize them -- as much as me shooting shot for shot a sequence that was in an earlier episode."
"The new fans and the new people who are gonna watch the show will get a completely cinematic experience," Nicotero said. "In terms of the walkers, we did some really great really cool stuff. There's some great tribute walkers in the first three or four that I'm really excited about."
What does it take to deliver the intense performances?
"We left that snot in for a very specific reason," Nicotero said. "There were previous instances where the snot was erased."
"We just got lucky," Lincoln said. "It's one of these parts and environments that's gold because you get to flex your muscles...you get to deal with big issues in life and death. You get to exercise, as an actor, in a crazy crazy place...This season, more than any other, I've been really, really nervous before shooting certain scenes which is a testament to the writing."
"Zero," chance Kirkman develops a zombie show on Amazon. "I definitely wouldn't say I've had my fill...for now any projects I have will end up over there."
What makes their characters want to survive so badly?
"I think when you face a threat, I don't think that any character set out thinking they're going to survive," James said. "People have evolved. If you go back to the first season and look at who those characters were in the beginning. You would not have picked out Carol as the one that's most likely to survive, the one that Morgan describes as 'our greatest warrior.'"
"Particularly in the case of Morgan, he believes that every day in life is a punishment for what he hasn't done," James said.
Payne says the writing forces him to evaluate his character and his will to survive as he is often on his own. Nacon says Enid always focused on simply surviving, somehow. "The main thing that was keeping her going was her parents death," she says, but meeting Glenn changed that. "That's changed a lot for her. Not only does she live for her parents but she lives for these people like Maggie."
More of Enid's background coming?
"I would love that," "I don't think necessarily this season, I think it's more seeing her progressing into an adult...when we first saw her she's this angsty teenager...now we're seeing her as a strong warrior and she's trying to implement herself into the community in a bigger way and get ready for battle. I hope that one day we willl earn more about her past. There's a lot we don't really know. There's a lot I still don't really know!"
JSS has evolved for Enid. She has to survive for the people around her.
Mental state heading into Season 8?
"I think he is ready for battle. I've always said Rick is very much like a shark....I think giving him something to do with his grief and pain is essential and I think kicking Negan's ass is as good a reason as any," Lincoln said. "I think he's very focused, I think you saw him, mirroring in the beginning of that season, a couple inverted Rick. He's a man that is willing to die. He's free. I'm willing to put everything on the line but I will never bow before you again. It's basically a polar opposite Rick that begins this season. I'm so happy to be playing that man and not last season's Rick. Ninja cat is in the house is all I'm saying."
"I think for Enid, she's taking on a lot of what Glenn told her," Nacon said. "There was a really cool moment of a scene that got cut out but she pretty much says, 'You remind me of my dad, my dad was an a--hole,' but stil that was a very, very weet moment for Enid. She had locked herself away from people for so long..."
How has the look of the show evolved over 100 episodes?
"It is interesting having directed the 100th episode because it was my 20th that I had shot, our style, we've really tried to sort of change up the style. We wanted to be fresh. We used a lot of zoom lenses. There's not a tremendous number of crane shots," Nicotero said. "We've been going for really evocative frames without discovering things, without dolly set ups and things like that...these have been the hardest episodes that we've ever shot, this season, because of even the story telling. Traditionally, we have, this season, been completing a lot of character storylines in one or two episodes instead of letting them play out of the entire season. It's a very different way than we tell stories...we're constantly aware of what we've done in the past and trying to top ourselves."
"It's been eight years and we don't want fans to feel the show is feeling any fatigue."
Lincoln can't answer how it has evolved visually because he doesn't watch. "It's still just as cool as it ever was," Lincoln said. "Everybody who has worked on it, and the creator of the show, has worked on film. The intention of the show was to make a long running movie..."
Rick recently said he might be willing to follow Maggie. Does he mean that?
"He's getting tired," Lincoln said. "He's not a politician. He's a gent. He's a sheriff's deputy...That's probably one of his strengths as a leader. He listens to people. He takes council, he usually ignoers it, but he does listen to people...Maggie is different. Deanna spotted her as a future political leader, somebody who can run things. She's industrious. She's loyal, respected... I think Rick is very much... He just wants it done and then peopel can take over."
Rick does always get roped back in, though. "He wants peace," Lincoln said. "He had a taste of it and then this g-----n Negan guy showed up! I hate Negan. I love Jeffrey, but I hate Negan."
What are Nicotero's thoughts on Lincoln's PaleyFest suggestion for Rick's death?
"It's great, it was very well written in his head," Nicotero said. "Sometimes we talk about things and we're like, maybe we shouldn't say it, wait for the right time but he was too excited."
Any regrets or changes they would make to their characters' journeys?
"Morgan didn't put a bullet in his wife's head," James said. "I think he'd be a different man today."
"The whole dilemma, the crux of the dilemma in Morgan's life was pulling that trigger. And it didn't pull it for the right reasons and he should've pulled it," James said. "Good question, either answer."
Comic moments they wanted to see but didn't get them?
"I stopped when they chopped my hand off," Lincoln said. "That is the one thing I've been campaigning for for a long time, for them to chop my arm off."
Nicotero reveals they buried Hershel's prop leg. "I remember reading those and I remember being horrified by just the brutality of those. Clearly, we've shied away from some of those moments and I remember when we shot the bit with Shane coming back and there was discussion, talking bout Carl shooting versus how he got killed. In the show, Rick kills him and then Carl shoots him as a zombie.
"In the comic book, Carl shot him and killed him," Kirkman chimes in. "Rick digs him up and puts him out of his misery."
"I remember thinking that it was very powerful that Carl was the one that killed Shane and it changed," Nicotero said. "What it ended up as in the show was equally powerful because of what Andy and Jon did."
Rick's beard situation?
"That was me before make-up," Lincoln said of Old Man Grimes appearance. He didn't like wearing it. "I don't think he's aware of the fact but he's let it all hang out, so maybe he's just letting all hang out."
Next to the conference are Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Melissa McBride and Austin Amelio.
How does TWD reflect society then and now.
"I think both Republicans and Democrats, nobody has addressed the zombie problem in this country," Alpert jokes.
"I think, obviously, the show deals with people's fears," Hurd said. "It's a show that allows people to identify with those fears...see if the person they identify with has the answers or not. We're all looking for answers. I don't know that the show provides them but it's certainly a provocative look..."
How does Jeffrey feel about Lucille's comic death?
"I hope the show varies enough that we don't have the death of Lucille in the show," Morgan said.
What can we expect from Austin Amelio and Norman Reedus in Season 8?
"In Season 7, Daryl comes in and he gets an understanding of what I'm going through but it's still very much... we're sussing each other out the whole time. I think that'll continue for a while," Amelio said
"It's a cat and mouse game," Reedus said. "You have sympathy for each others' characters...you go back and forth, can you trust him? Can you not trust him? Is he on our side?"
How did they celebrate 100 episodes?
"We kept working. It's huge for us," Reedus said. "We are a really tight family there and thanks to you guys and thanks to everybody else we're still rolling. It's a win win."
"It's a big thing for a show this day and age to get a full year order, much less 100 episodes. I'm a new guy but you can't be more proud," Morgan said. "It's a pretty cool thing."
Reedus equates looking back at old episodes like bad haircuts in high school.
What draws Carol to Daryl?
"I think there's a, from the very beginning, they shared a certain suppression they felt in one another. Throughout the apocalypse together with this family they have allowed each other the room to express themselves and to grow and a self respect and mutual respect for lack of a better expression."
What have people's reactions to Negan been like for Morgan?
"Most people are kind of taken aback by Negan's charm," Morgan said. "There is some wisdom to him that this world needs. His introduction, as brutal as it is, and what's to come this year, I think you find out more and more about Negan and who he is."
What are Daryl and Carol's mental states?
"Revenge, pretty much," Reedus said. "We always have a plan. We have one of those Rick Grimes plans...I think there's some varying. A little bit of going rogue here and there, possibly. It's a one track mind for Daryl."
"Just fighting," McBride said. "Revenge. Fighting."
What was the Robot Chicken special like for them?
"It was cook-y and fun," McBride said.
"Negan is kind of out there anyway so it was great fun for me," Morgan said. "I can't wait to see it."
"It was a guy that ran a store in the apocalypse that sold eyepatches," Morgan said of a character that stood out but it didn't make the cut of the episode.
Is there one takeback or regret their character would like to have back?
"There's one in this season for me that's pretty gnarly," Reedus said. "I guess blowing up the bikers with the bazookas kind of started the whole thing but that was fun. That's the good thing about this show. There's so many regrets as you're moving through it."
"I think attacking the Saviors at the satellite kind of set things off but who knew," Hurd said.
"For me it was the Carl cut his arm off to Rick scene," Morgan said. "As a dad, too, you can't help but think about that kind of stuff...That being said, I don't really take it back. It was important for character development!"
"I wish Carol had not been so snotty to Mrs. Neidermeyer about the pasta maker," McBride said. "She should take that back."
"I would've liked to have done less popping out from behind trees," Amelio said. "And shooting people."
What advice would Carol have for Sophia now?
"There's really nothing now Carol knows that the early Carol didn't know," McBride said. "I don't think she ever had the faith that she would manifest that in her life and it took the apocalypse to happen. I think this Carol would just say, 'Hang in there, have faith in yourself, and trust.'"
What's it like to bring so many different kinds of people together?
"It feels so good. I meet people who will go to some of the conventions and people that met each other from around the world that never would have if they didn't have this show in common."
"I tweeted out a link to a person's hospital bill, a little kid something bad happened to him,...and by the time I got home I had raised all the money. From then on, I tried to do things like that all the time. The weird part is when they argue. You can post a picture of a kitten and people will be like, 'Dogs are better!'"
"It's why we have the hashtag, '#TWDFamily,'" Hurd said, noting the family extends beyond the people on the show or this panel, but includes every fan.
Will Carol be tough or scared this season?
"We'll see her fight but she has to," McBride said. "She may not want to."
Will Negan and Carol share the screen?
"I do like cookies!" Morgan joked.
Are they excited to use the F-word on the series?
“F--- yes! F---in’ f---! It’s a year f---in’ late! That’s was all i got on that. I’m real excited. I think we should’ve had that rule," Morgan said. “You only get two in a year so we’re gonna be fighting for them.”
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead's sibling series Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season on October 22, 2017. The Season 8 premiere will mark 100 episodes overall for the popular AMC series. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.