"If there is a God, he will have to beg for my forgiveness." An eerie message defaces a subway tunnel in the latest cryptic teaser for the final season of The Walking Dead. Aired during Sunday's extended Season 10 episode "Splinter," where Princess (Paola Lázaro) struggles with memories of her traumatic past as she plots her escape from the white-armored soldiers, the teaser is the latest to hint at the New World Order still to come in the eleventh and final season. Previous teasers include an intimidating interrogation room, scoops of ice cream flavors, and a cake on display inside a bustling bakery.
The last stop is the new civilization that has already made contact with Eugene (Josh McDermitt), the leader of an expedition with Princess, Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton). The group showed up for their railyard rendezvous with Eugene's radio friend, Stephanie (Margot Bingham), but were instead apprehended by a small army.
Filming on the 24-episode final season has been underway since early February, making Season 11 the first full season of The Walking Dead to film under the same health and safety protocols that made the six-episode extended Season 10 possible. What starts as a scary road show leads to the discovery of a sprawling civilization when the final season kicks off this summer on AMC.
"We've got a year to go and so we've never shot for this long. So it really does feel like that's kind off in the future. And I just feel like I'm putting my head down and thinking, okay, we've done just the first couple of episodes so far. So we've started, but we've just scratched the surface of Season 11," Ezekiel actor Khary Payton told ComicBook.com about the three-part final season. "And I feel like this last season, it really is going to be a journey because we're starting off still in this world of pandemic and COVID. And eventually, we're going to find our way out of it during this shooting season. And so it's going to feel very different by the end of it."
As for the looming series finale, Payton said, I guess I've always felt like I've been living on borrowed time anyway because Ezekiel was supposed to die a couple of years ago." In the comic books, Ezekiel is a victim of the Whisperers; Payton's version of the character escaped that fate but is now sick with thyroid cancer.
"And so every year that I get another reprieve, I feel like I'm just going to enjoy the moment," he said, "but I also know that at any moment over the last three years or so, it could have been taken away so the end is always close."