The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus Previews Paranoid and Claustrophobic Season 10

The Walking Dead goes “full paranoia” in Season 10, says star Norman Reedus, who warns the infectious fear caused by Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers will put even the aligned survivors at odds.

“It’s the group eating itself and having to deal with the consequences of just being trapped in all different directions. You can’t tell who’s on the good side, who’s on the bad side,” Reedus told EW. “Some people are playing other people for the wrong reasons and it’s kind of the breakdown internally, which is causing everybody to make these decisions that are just horrible, actually.”

With tensions at an all-time high over the neighboring Whisperers — who threaten deadly consequences for anyone who dares cross into their marked territory — there’s an unsettling feeling of distrust permeating throughout the communities.

“So we have some people that are on this mission for revenge, some people that are haunted by visions of the past. Then you have some characters that are in totally different circumstances that they’ve never been,” Reedus teased. “How can you trust in them? Then sometimes you think that you can’t, and then you can, then you can’t. It’s a real feeling of paranoia and claustrophobia this season.”

It’s a new set of circumstances for the survivors, and one forcing Reedus’ Daryl Dixon to step up.

“Daryl’s got the ghosts of all these other characters that used to be on the show, they’re haunting him. He’s finding himself being in these roles of decision-making for a group. He’s got people to protect. It’s a much different Daryl than we’re used to seeing,” Reedus said. “He just makes decisions based on whatever he felt he wanted to do or whatever. You saw last year, where Daryl’s visiting Hilltop and then Alpha knocks on the door and says, ‘I want my daughter back, who’s in charge here?’ Nobody says anything, so Daryl was like, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’

That Season 9 standoff at the Hilltop ultimately culminated in the death of temporary leader Tara (Alanna Masterson) alongside nine other victims, slain by a vengeful Alpha. Daryl is begrudgingly living by her rules — “No reason to start sh-t if we don’t gotta,” he tells Carol (Melissa McBride) — and his role as protector now includes Alpha’s defecting daughter, newest Alexandrian resident Lydia (Cassady McClincy).

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“Then he’s put in this position of protecting other people, not just himself,” Reedus said. “So you’ve got a bunch of scared people making all these decisions in the wrong direction and Daryl’s running, trying to fix things and keep the group together. There’s the risk/reward and the threat that they bring. It’s almost like a virus that’s coming into town and people are getting sick and it’s a whole other thing.”

The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.