The end of The Walking Dead begins at the beginning. "I've heard a lot of stories about when the world fell. There were more dead than the living, and it started to look like the world would go cold," narrates 11-year-old Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) in the opening minutes of "Lockdown," the October 2 final midseason premiere. "It felt like it was almost there. Almost. Some people survived by connecting with each other. Making found families. Others gave into the darkness. That was a long time ago. And it's now. Will it be tomorrow?"
AMC Networks revealed the first minutes from the final episodes in a sneak peek aired during The Walking Dead: The Final Episodes Preview special, which you can watch below (via @TWDPromos on Twitter).
Footage from past seasons of The Walking Dead shows Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) waking up in the walker apocalypse and the survivors he met along the way. Families forged in the 12 years since the outbreak, and the others who gave into the darkness of a world gone cold: Shane. The Governor. Negan. Alpha.
In the present, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) clear walkers as Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) hunts their group of Commonwealth dissenters. Commanding a squad of armored and heavily-armed soldiers, Hornsby orders Daryl and Maggie's group surrounded: "This ends here."
"How many you think they've got?" asks Maggie. "No matter," Daryl answers. "We're gonna take 'em out, one by one."
The full scene airs when The Walking Dead returns with its last batch of eight episodes Sunday, Oct. 2 on AMC and AMC+. (A two-episode premiere is available that same night only on AMC+.)
"We talked a lot about how far these characters have come. Where do we think they land? What do we think the story as a whole has been?" executive producer and showrunner Angela Kang said Sunday on Talking Dead. "We, obviously, didn't know exactly when the story was going to end when we all started, and people joined along the way, and we've kind of figured it out."
In these last eight episodes, Kang said, "There's a pretty clear emotional thrust to it, and we really focused a lot on making sure there are fun twists and turns and action and adventure. But really, we wanted to capture the heart, because I think that that's a really important part of the show."
The Walking Dead: The Last Episodes begin October 2 on AMC and AMC+.