AMC has published character bios for the ensemble cast of The Walking Dead Season 10, previewing new paths for Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Carol (Melissa McBride), Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Judith (Cailey Fleming) and many others.
In Season 10, Daryl trains fighters from the Alexandria, Kingtop and Oceanside communities, who have coalesced into a well-oiled militia ready to protect their people from the threat of the nearby Whisperers. Daryl begrudgingly adheres to the border established by Alpha (Samantha Morton), reasoning there’s “no reason to start sh-t if we don’t gotta.” Carol struggles with these rules, having traded in her life as a queen for a hardworking life at sea — far from memories of son Henry (Matt Lintz) — but Alpha’s looming presence will see Carol seek revenge on the woman who murdered her child.
Meanwhile, Michonne worries fear and paranoia stirred by the Whisperers will drive the communities apart once more; as both leader of Alexandria and mother to Judith and RJ (Antony Azor), Michonne is taking careful steps to ensure her people’s safety while preparing her children for a future in a dead world. This means keeping the long-jailed Negan on a short leash: the former Savior leader enjoys more amenities and freedoms after risking his life to save Judith from a harsh blizzard, and during the day is released from his cell to perform chores — all while under constant supervision.
Ezekiel, still reeling from the loss of son Henry and his split from wife Carol, now serves as leader of the blended Kingtop — the result of a merger between the shuttered Kingdom and the Hilltop colony, once overseen by Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Her departure handed responsibilities to Jesus (Tom Payne) and then Tara (Alanna Masterson), both interim leaders who were among the earliest victims of the Whisperers.
Also adjusting to a new way of life is Alpha’s daughter, Lydia (Cassady McClincy), a former Whisperer troubled by the distrust exhibited by some of her fellow Alexandrians. This comes as the community — traumatized by Alpha’s act of terror that left ten victims’ decapitated heads gruesomely displayed on the Whisperer border — contends with a growing sense of paranoia caused by Alpha’s imposed rules.
Although a lone wolf at heart, Daryl is loyal beyond measure. Watching Carol struggle with her grief and anger causes Daryl great concern while his sense of duty to the communities is heightened with the rules imposed by the Whisperers. He inherently understands everyone has done, and has to continue to do, horrible things to survive. Daryl’s insight of knowing when to evade or attack, observe or act, listen or command illustrates not only his fighting style, but his strength of character as well. How will Daryl’s wisdom serve him and those around him? Will the walls begin to close in, making him once again feel trapped and claustrophobic? Will he revert to his caged animal approach to survival? Or will he accept this new normal and perhaps start living beyond today?
Carol continues to be devastated by the death of her son Henry. Haunted by loss and to further guard herself, Carol left her husband Ezekiel. She is in a push/pull state of wanting to separate from everyone and everything, and seeking revenge on the mother that took her child. What is she capable of doing in order to erase the events of her past? What more is she willing to leave behind and how might her actions affect the ones she loves?
Michonne continues to be the strong strategic thinker she has been since before the post-apocalyptic world. Her pendulum has swung from staunchly independent to a pessimistic protector to having faith in humanity, but always squarely grounded in what is for the greater good and safety of her family and the communities. Michonne innately knows Alpha has all the power and that they must abide by her rules, for now, because revenge will get everyone killed. Michonne wants to dismantle Alpha’s power. She is teaching Judith how to strategically attack an enemy. She must equip her daughter and her son for their future in this dead world.
A kid warrior beyond her years, Judith is every bit Michonne’s daughter from the way she handles her sword to the way she handles people. She is also her brothers’ keeper, approaching the future with Carl’s wisdom and RJ by her side. Rick, too, is a part of her daily life as she shares her version of stories she’s heard to keep his memory alive. Her history is never forgotten. She embodies the past, present, and future. Will she have to grow up too soon or will she be able to remain a kid for a little while longer?
Negan is coming to terms with his post-Sanctuary life. He has been granted some small freedoms, but struggles to find his place within the community, particularly when the increasing threat of the Whisperers causes paranoia and suspicion to seep in. Negan wants to lay low and not become the focus of anyone’s rage, but what is a bad guy to do when he isn’t allowed to be good? Will he find redemption? Regardless of the situation, whether he has the upper hand or not, Negan is always ruthlessly vocal and honest.
Aaron has not healed from the loss of Jesus and the tragic events of the fair. He will not let his guard down again. He has become a strong leader and no longer has the talk first mentality. Raising Gracie has filled him with purpose and fight as he trains the militia to protect their communities. He realizes there is no right or wrong in this world, just protecting your loved ones at whatever the cost. His survivor’s guilt now has an outlet for release.
Not her mother’s daughter, Lydia tries hard to assimilate into her newfound community. Like Negan, she feels she will never be accepted without questioning eyes upon her. Like Daryl, she is trying to unlearn her neglected animalistic upbringing. Will she find her voice as she traverses life between these two ways of survival?
Rosita has given birth to a baby girl named Socorro (aka Coco), which means “help.” And nothing could ring more true for Rosita. She is learning it takes a village to raise a child. Rosita is trying to find the balance between being a vigilant soldier, a responsibility in which she is skilled and confident; and adjusting to being a new mom, an unfamiliar and unknown role.
Gabriel is in a position of power he has not been in since the world and his parish fell. He trusts himself and the communities trust him. He believes in the charter and he holds great hope for the future of the joined communities. He is in a relationship with Rosita and is navigating the parental waters with Siddiq and Eugene. As Alpha tightens her hold, Gabriel’s compassion is tested and his moral compass challenged.
As the sole survivor of Alpha’s wrath last year, Siddiq is suffering from PTSD. He is privately trying to piece back together his sanity while tending to his newborn and the increasing medical needs for Alexandria. Faced with a memory that never ends, he questions what is happening around him, inching further down the rabbit hole of depression and anxiety.
Still in love with Rosita, Eugene is once again the odd man out in vying for her affection and attention behind Gabriel, with whom she is in a relationship, and Siddiq, the father of her child. Eugene is lonely and wants to be in a relationship. He analyzes his actions with Rosita with the same vigor he problem solves for the communities. Both involve many people with different opinions. Both are life and death. His decisions could severely alter everyone’s way of life.
Ezekiel is a former shadow of himself, having lost his family and the Kingdom. Everything he has built is gone. He has let go of the pretense and presence of being King. He is unsure of his purpose and does not know if he will find hope again. His community is unraveling and looking towards him for help, but is this a weight too great to bear?
Ezekiel wasn’t the only one who lost the Kingdom, Jerry lost it too. Now Jerry is trying to hold on to Ezekiel, who is disappearing within himself. Without the King, Jerry tries to remain positive, hoping to create a new home at Hilltop for his family and the others displaced from the Kingdom. There is no doubt, Jerry wants his leader to return.
Yumiko respects and upholds the wartime rules the communities have in place to protect themselves from the Whisperers. As tensions rise, Yumiko’s inner circle expands as she aims to protect the communities. She finally has a home and will fight to protect it and everyone in it, but her approach proves to be more complicated than she images.
Magna does not like what she is seeing and she certainly does not like the Whisperers imposed rules. Her gut instinct is to take care of herself and her immediate loved ones first and foremost, even at the expense of others within the communities.
Connie is a stealth fighter and remains ever dedicated to protecting her sister. She is open to accepting a new way of life and building friendships within the communities, but her focus on the Whisperers does not leave room for much else. Does she have tunnel vision in her mission or is it an excuse for her to distance herself from an expanded life.
Alden is on a mission to avenge Enid’s death by attempting to fortify the communities with an impenetrable defense. Knowing defense is only one aspect of an attack, Alden is reactive and proactive in his thinking.
Alpha is playing the long game for keeps. Her reign of terror is calculated. Worst of all, she has the patience to see it through to the end, and the horde to back it up. You cannot question or escape what she is going to do. She believes primal instincts are the only way of survival and must prove the communities’ humanity of the past has no use in this world. She is calm and steady, as a leader should be, to keep her flock in line.
Beta is a Whisperer to his core, perhaps even more so than Alpha. Meeting Alpha in the post-apocalyptic world gave Beta an identity and a way to survive he never could have imagined without her. As Alpha’s unwavering right hand man, all he does is in her name.
The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD Season 10 intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.