SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you are not caught up on “The Walking Dead.”
“The Walking Dead” Season 8 premiere and 100th episode promise the beginning of all-out war between Rick’s coalition and Negan’s Saviors, but series executive producer Greg Nicotero says that the walker will be the real winners of the battle.
“One of the things that people so often talk about is the fact that it’s not a show about zombies, it’s a show about people,” Nicotero said during filming of the episode back in May. “It’s about the people that are occupying this dead world. And one of the things that is important for us in this episode and even parts of this season is to really highlight the idea that you’re always going to get a sense that there are walkers on the periphery. They’re just waiting for these groups of idiots to kill each other off so they can finish taking over the rest of the world. The zombies are like, ‘Oh, you’re going to let us not do the work and you’re going to do the work for us? Great. We’ll just wait until you’re done and we’ll take over.’ It’s sort of reminding the audience that this is the world.”
The end of Season 7 promised an epic clash would take place in the upcoming season with Rick leading Alexandria, Maggie leading the Hilltop, and Ezekiel leading the Kingdom in a fight for their lives against Negan. With war on the horizon, Nicotero also said the survivors must now focus beyond living one day to the next.
“It’s not about surviving day-to-day,” he said. “It’s about how is society going to persevere next week or next month or next year. We started getting into that last year with Rick and Michonne, like, ‘It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about how we’re going to go on.’ The last speech in the finale was Maggie talking about Glenn and holding Hershel’s watch, which is a little bit of precursor to what we’re doing this season, which is to remind people who Hershel was and who Glenn was and hearing Maggie talking about society and going forward. There’s a specific moment in this episode where a character says, ‘Is hope enough to get us through to the next level?'”
“The Walking Dead” Season 8 premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.