After three seasons of pregnancy (in which technically only a few months passed), Maggie will finally bring little Hershel into the world by the time the Season Nine premiere of The Walking Dead arrives. Like Robert Kirkman's comics, the baby will arrive off-screen during a time jump. However, motherhood will be ever-present and have a resounding effect on the Hilltop's leader.
"You see her as a working mother," new showrunner Angela Kang told Us Weekly. "She is an incredible leader of Hilltop. When we start off the season, Hilltop is in the best shape of all the communities. She really came in and her background as a farmer's daughter is so valuable in the apocalypse. She has built Hilltop from what it already was into an even more thriving and dynamic community, but she's actively mothering this beautiful child that we've all been waiting for, the son of Glenn. You see her balancing the things the way that working mothers do. I myself am a working mother and many of our viewers are. You figure out how to juggle. That's part of her life."
The baby isn't the only change headed to the Hilltop during the time jump. In the wake of Georgia coming to town, the community and its surrounding allies will have evolved into more equipped apocalyptic zones. This means there are new methods of transportation.
"They move to a more horse-driven culture so that changes some things about the way they go about the world," Kang said. It's a page pulled straight from the comics. "They're conserving their bullets much more so they're dealing with hand weapons, which means that their fights with zombies are generally at closer range and a little scarier. We see that some of the stories that we ended with last season, there are some lingering after effects to that."
The approach to Season Nine appears to be one which is character-driven as the never-ending zombie drama pushes through its 116th episode. Questions of why the characters fight, survive, and live for each other will be coming into play. "There will definitely be things like that," she continued. "I think that's very true to life, part of the understory to what's happening in The Walking Dead."
Fear the Walking Dead returned for the back half of its fourth season on Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season on Oct. 7, 2018. For more updates and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!