Winter is coming to The Walking Dead.
Leaked episode titles and descriptions hint at the coming conflict with the Whisperers and a “ferocious blizzard,” pitting the survivors against on-screen snow for the first time in The Walking Dead’s nine-year history.
The titles and episode descriptions were first compiled by spoiler group The Spoiling Dead Fans:
- Episode 11 Title: Bounty
Director: Meera Menon
Synopsis from Zap2it: The savage group led by Alpha confronts the Hilltop in a harrowing attempt to retrieve her daughter; a supply run for the Kingdom turns into a dangerous quest.
- Episode 12 Title: Guardians
Directed by: Greg Nicotero
Synopsis: While one community struggles to ease tensions that threaten to divide from within, the true nature of another group comes into focus; a mission to rescue a friend has deadly consequences.
- Episode 13 Title: Chokepoint
Directed by: Liesl Tommy
Synopsis: Daryl's daring rescue mission forces Alpha to unleash a group of her own to retrieve what belongs to her, even if the price is paid in blood; the Kingdom's plans to reunite the communities are put in jeopardy.
- Episode 14 Title: Scars
Directed by: Millicent Shelton
Synopsis from Walking Dead Brazil: An outsider's arrival forces Alexandria to rehash devastating old wounds; eye-opening secrets from the past are revealed.
- Episode 15 Title: The Calm Before
Synopsis from Sky Network: The fair at the Kingdom is underway, with all four communities coming together in celebration for the first time in years; while some pacts are renewed, other deals will come at a much steeper price.
- Episode 16 Title: The Storm
Synopsis from Showcase: In the aftermath of an overwhelming loss, the communities must brave a ferocious blizzard; as one group deals with an enemy from within, another is forced to make a life or death decision.
The Walking Dead creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman said last year it would be “impractical” for the television show to recreate the comic book’s snow-covered scenes due to budgetary limitations.
“We saw a little bit of that in the comics,” Kirkman said during Walker Stalker Cruise 2018.
Kirkman compares walker behavior to alligators, capable of surviving extreme temperatures by entering a mini-hibernation.
“The idea was that they would kind of freeze in place and be preserved over the winter, and when things thawed out, they’d just kind of come back to life and go about their business,” he said.
“So yeah, we haven’t been able to do that in the show because it’s impractical to cover Georgia with snow in the summer time. Don’t quite have the budget for that.”
In 2015, then showrunner Scott Gimple said the decision not to replicate the harsh weather explored in the books is “a hard one and one that we struggle with.”
“In the comics, the seasons have been represented — not all the time, but there’s been some really notable moments in the snow and even in autumn really. That’s a challenge for us, we’re thinking about it and figuring it out,” Gimple, now Walking Dead chief content officer, said at the time.
“Nothing could be further from winter than our shooting schedule. That’s a challenge, and there are certain things we balance. Just being able to make the show is a challenge.”
He later admitted in 2016 he would be “shocked” if the television series never pulled it off. “It would be special if we did it,” Gimple said.
“If we can CGI a tiger,” Kirkman added of the former CG-animated companion to King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), “we can CGI some snow!”
As the Walking Dead Universe expands — Gimple is now overseeing numerous offshoots, including a television movie trilogy for Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and other spinoffs — director-producer Greg Nicotero is hopeful for a winter-set spinoff embracing the cold.0comments
“The one thing that the comic book does great [is] when they introduce the cold weather and the winter,” Nicotero told Fandom last year.
“I had even written some webisodes that took place with a frozen zombie herd. And I think that our hopes are — my hopes — would be that we would get into an entirely different location, like a cold weather scenario. Because frozen zombies are f–ing awesome. Until they thaw out and then you’re screwed. Because they would freeze and thaw out, and they would be fine.”
The Walking Dead Season Nine resumes with new episodes tonight at 9/8c on AMC.