The Walking Dead celebrated the big game Sunday with a Super Bowl-themed teaser ahead of next Sunday’s mid-season premiere return.
The teaser sees veteran survivors Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira), King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Carol (Melissa McBride) prep for battle alongside rookie Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming), against the deadly defense of the Whisperers under head coach Alpha (Samantha Morton).
Its the latest tie-in with the sporting event to launch from AMC, who this weekend hosted a Walking Dead-themed pre-Super Bowl party attended by Reedus, Negan star Jeffrey Dean Morgan and director-producer Greg Nicotero.
Picking up where the mid-season finale left off — moments after Jesus (Tom Payne) became the first victim claimed by the Whisperers, humans sporting skins made of walker flesh — the first episode of 2019 sees Daryl, Michonne, Aaron (Ross Marquand), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), Magna (Nadia Hilker) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) attempt to make it safely to Hilltop amid this new threat.
“You know, every season we lose beloved characters, and it’s just part of the story,” showrunner Angela Kang previously told Deadline of the decision to kill Jesus when introducing the Whisperers.
“In this case, it has a lot to do with kind of, the character that Jesus is, and what he stood for in the show. There needs to be a big loss in the introduction of this new threat to our communities. It’s a marker of how serious this problem is, and there’s a lot of story that comes from this loss. With that, I have to say that I think Tom Payne as Jesus really did a great job playing what was an incredibly heroic end for this character that has been very fun to write for over the years.”
The Walking Dead Season Nine continues with new episodes Sunday, February 10 on AMC.