‘The Walking Dead’ Stars: Penultimate Season 9 Episode Ties Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding

After the Walking Dead Twitter account compared Sunday’s penultimate Season Nine episode to Game [...]

After the Walking Dead Twitter account compared Sunday's penultimate Season Nine episode to Game of Thrones' Red Wedding — in which numerous characters are graphically slaughtered — The Walking Dead stars agree the comparison is on point. "Such a crafty question," Yumiko star Eleanor Matsuura told SYFY WIRE at PaleyFest. "It is appropriate, because a fair happens, and a fair is a big event like a wedding … so I guess that's similar … literally, I can't say anything."

Ryan Hurst, who plays towering Whisperer lieutenant Beta, was less reserved: "Well, if you read the comic, you know that there is some death that is going to happen on the show at some point. That's about as much as I can tell you," he said, proudly teasing the body count is a "solid tie" with Game of Thrones.

When King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) rallies the communities of Kingdom, Hilltop, Oceanside, and Alexandria at the fair, the survivors are all smiles — but a deadly plot put into motion by Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers threatens to drive the survivors apart just as they come back together. And the fallout, agrees Connie star Lauren Ridloff, sees "The Calm Before" on par with shocking Thrones episode "The Rains of Castamere."

"As you know, the Red Wedding for Game of Thrones was huge, so I think the Fair of this episode is going to be huge as well, so I think that's a good teaser," Ridloff said through an interpreter. Asked if there's pressure living up to that comparison, Ridloff answered she's "feeling pretty confident."

"We have our own story to tell," she said, "and I think fans are going to really appreciate the huge story that is going to be coming."

One turning point will irreversibly change Yumiko, who recently assimilated into Hilltop with her tight-knit group comprised of girlfriend Magna (Nadia Hilker), Connie and sister Kelly (Angel Theory), and Luke (Dan Fogler).

"Actually, in the next couple of episodes, I do think that Yumiko does go through massive changes," Matsuura said.

"I don't want to give away too much, but I know that since we joined at Episode 5 to where we are at the moment with Yumiko, she's already been through so much. I think it's okay to say that I go off on a bit of an excursion in this upcoming episode. I physically go on a journey, but also emotionally, Yumiko is in a very different place by the end of the episode."

The Walking Dead 915, "The Calm Before," premieres Sunday, March 24 at 9/8c on AMC.


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