You've heard it before and you'll hear it again. Every eight episodes of The Walking Dead, the AMC series likes to reinvent itself. Heading into the back half of Season 7, the mantra will hold true once more.
Showrunner Scott Gimple promised as much in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com following the midseason finale a few weeks ago.
"I will say 7B’s vibe is very different from 7A’s vibe," Gimple said. "The ending of 7B is very different than the beginning of 7A."
"It’s just a very, very different half season than the half season that preceded it," Gimple went on. "Even with structure, what we’re doing right now with the episodes and seeing where everyone is at, the structure is very, very different than the back half. There’s a lot more variety to the structure.”
The question remains, though: How will the back half be different from the front half we've already seen?
First of all, the style of storytelling will certainly see some changes. While the first eight episodes saw the main characters scattered through the apocalypse with singularly focused episodes (which fans like to call "bottle episodes"), the back half likely will not follow that format. The group has reunited to close out the first half with Rick Grimes finding Maggie at the Hilltop with Daryl Dixon at her side.
The first half ended with the first sign of hope which fans were anxiously awaiting.
Rather than dealing with Negan's oppression as the first half of Season 7 did, the back half will tackle Rick's effort to take on the Saviors. It is time for Rick to be introduced to King Ezekiel. He will rally Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom and begin in a march to war with the Saviors. A complete flip from his pitiful broken self introduced in the Season 7 premiere.
More specifically, there are a few iconic comic book moments we expect to see when the show returns, such as Rick's first encounter of Ezekiel, Dwight's true allegiance being revealed, and a major sacrifice from Sasha.
However, the pacing of Season 7 will be the biggest change which will put frustrated fans at ease. Negan and his attitude will show no signs of slowing down but it's also the story ahead which will involve every character introduced on the series.
It's unlikely that weeks will go by without Carol, Morgan, Daryl, Rick, Maggie or other characters being featured in episodes.
"I will say episodes eight through sixteen -- I’m more excited than I’ve ever been before, just where the story is headed," Gimple said. "Eight and nine are unbelievable. Unbelievable. They’re some of the best episodes I’ve read and when I was filming, it just got bigger and more epic and more insane every day that we shot.”
MORE WALKING DEAD:
Who Is Creeping On ASZ? / Did The Whisperers Arrive? / Gallery Of Negan's Midseason Finale Kills / Important Fat Joey Detail You May Have Missed / New Season 7B Key Art / Andrew Lincoln Is Unhappy About Unhappy Fans / Violent Takes Were Removed From Midseason Finale / Cudlitz Reunites With Lucille For Christmas / Negan's Backstory Expanded
The Walking Dead returns for the rest of its seventh season on February 12, 2017. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.