WASHINGTON, October 22, 2017 – Tonight marks the 8th season premiere, and 100th episode, of The Walking Dead, the gritty drama that follows Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his band of “survivors” through a post-apocalypse Zombie world. Since the shows first episode on Halloween, October 31, 2010, we have seen characters come and go, live and die, love and hate as they searched for a safe and secure home.
What we have learned is that fear is greater than the things that we fear. And we have learned that the real villains are not dead and lumbering, but alive and vile.
The Walking Dead Season 8 premier, Mercy
Tonight’s premiere, “Mercy”, may offer little. The official synopsis for Mercy reads,
“Rick and his group, along with the Kingdom and Hilltop, have banded together to bring the fight to Negan and the Saviors.” Heading into the new season, fans are more than ready for the beloved All Out War story from the comics to be adapted for television.
Busy as bees, the first few moments of tonight’s premier show Rick standing over Glenn’s (Steven Yeun) grave and the Survivors getting ready for battle. Rick’s battle cry promises the death of Negan:
“When I first met him, Jesus (Tom Payne) said our world was going to get a whole lot bigger. Well, we found that world, we found each other, and that bigger world is ours by right.”
And they are going to take it, or die trying:
The villains of The Walking Dead we love to hate:
Rick and the survivors have faced villains great and small but all equally vile:
Season One and Two:
- Shane, Ricks partner turned nemesis for Lori’s affections and leadership role of the survivors
- Ed Peltier, Carol’s (Melissa McBride) abusive husband
- Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), psychotic brother of Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus)
- Tomas, leader of the prison gang
- Andrew, Tomas’ right-hand man
- Ceaser Martinez, a guard at Woodbury and leader of the River Camp
- The Governor (David Morrissey), the disturbed, weird leader of Woodbury. Giving him top villain status, he is also the beheader of Herschel Greene (Scott Wilson)
- Mitch Dolgan, the Governor’s brutal right-hand man
- Joe, leader of the Claimers, one of the most savage groups the Survivors have encountered
- Mary, vicious mom, and her spawn Gareth and Alex, the leaders of the cannibals at Terminus
- Police Officer Gorman at Grady Memorial Hospital
- Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino), child turned killer
- The Wolves, cold-blooded, psychotic killers.
- Nicholas, more coward than a villain, he is responsible for the death of many including the heart-rending and brutal death of Noah. He also almost got Glen killed on three different occasions.
- Police Officer Dawn Lerner, the authoritative leader of Grady Memorial Hospital and murderer of the beloved Beth Greene
- Peter Anderson, the abusive husband of Jessie turned killer when he murders Reg, Deanna Monroe’s gentle architect husband.
- Martin, a resident of Terminus who captured Bob, barbecuing and eating Bob’s leg before him.
But it is Season Six’s villain, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), leader of the Saviors, that is proving to be the biggest, baddest, most psychotic of them all. Negan has killed many. He is sadistic. He punishes his followers with a hot iron pressed to the side of their face. First, he beat Abraham to death with Lucille, then turned it on Glenn, one of the shows most heart-wrenching moments.
Executive producer Robert Kirkman has said that the Saviors’ leader will change the nature of the already ruthless show: “Negan is kind of an atomic bomb that’s going to be dropped on the show, and the show will probably never be the same after that. So buckle up, I guess?”
It’s an all-out war on The Walking Dead
In Season 8 the survivors will declare that the Future is ours. The World is ours. And its gonna be an all-out war. But who will survive?
Tonight will place a few in some life-threatening situations from the first shots fired:
“War has its casualties, so, I think it’s safe to say that a couple people will go on each side, but you just have to wait and see, buddy, because I don’t want to ruin it,” Nicotero told ComicBook.com.
Right now, in most danger is Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) , however, he seems able to escape the most harrowing of situations. Has his luck, and prayer, run out? We may very well see the end of Gregory, the wimpish leader of the Hilltop. In the comic book, he aligns with Negan and promises to betray Rick. Good reason for him to die. That and his death allows Maggie to take on this prime real estate.
Eugene (Josh McDermott) has gone over to the dark side, aligning with the comforts offered by Negan. His days may be numbered, and if not tonight, the question is when.
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