With Rick Grimes' time ending on The Walking Dead, fans are preparing for the end of an era on AMC's long-running, zombie-stomping, apocalypse-surviving series. The network is doing its best to prepare fans with new promos, teasing Andrew Lincoln's final episode.
But with Rick's departure looming, it's becoming apparent that Negan's return will also be a huge factor, as evidenced by this new spot hyping the series' return next month. Take a look above!
Series showrunner Angela Kang previously teased the conflict between Negan and Rick would take a different direction in Season Nine on the show's preview special last month.
"We talked about it in the writers room, just this idea of, when a war ends — and then you have people who are soldiers in the war, generals — what happens when there’s no real transition? Because it’s an apocalypse," Kang said.
Much like in the comics, Rick will visit Negan in the makeshift prison they've made for him, teasing why he would taunt the former leader of the Saviors in such a way.
"I think in a lot of ways, Rick goes down there and it’s part therapy and part gloating. They’re just trying to work their way through it," Kang said. "They both feel in some ways like dinosaurs after the war. As Rick is trying to figure out what’s the next step, what’s the next mission, Negan kind of needles him, but Rick needs to be able to justify, ‘This is why I kept you alive, it’s so that we can have a future.’"
But that won't be the only conflict Rick faces in the coming episodes, as he'll also have to deal with possible mutinies from Maggie and Daryl.
Maggie actress Lauren Cohan is also departing the series soon, but she'll have issues with Rick before either of them bow out.
"She said [in the Season 8 finale] that she was going to just wait for the moment to make it right. That’s still in her. It isn’t necessarily the driving force when we meet her, but it’s still in her," executive producer Scott Gimple told TV Line. By the time the season premieres, Maggie will have experienced a major change.0comments
"She’s become a mother," Gimple said, "so from an emotional standpoint, as far as any sort of reset or even exacerbation of what she was feeling, that baby is a big part of it."
The Walking Dead Season Nine premieres October 7th on AMC.