When last we saw Rick Grimes and his band of survivors on The Walking Dead, they had banded together their allies for a war on Negan and the Saviors. The Season 8 premiere will likely see the first organized conflict between these powerhouses. Before you watch the episode, here’s a reminder of who’s on which team, and what’s at stake.
The Good Guys, aka The Militia
Rick and his core group of survivors include Michonne (now his girlfriend), his son Carl, Daryl, Carol, Morgan, Rosita, Tara, and Maggie. There’s also Aaron and Gabriel, a priest whose cowardice makes him hard to watch, though he’s slowly been transformed by the writers into an almost-likable dude.
This core group enjoys an alliance with members from the Alexandria group, located where Rick and his gang now live, the Kingdom, led by Ezekiel, and Hilltop, which splits its leadership between Jesus, Maggie and Gregory.
The Bad Guys
Negan and his band of Saviors, mostly gangsters motivated by fear of their leader, operate like a cult. Negan’s right-hand men are Simon and Dwight, though Dwight has been working with Daryl to slowly stage a coup against Negan, who coerced Dwight’s wife into sexual servitude. Eugene, once an annoying loser living with Rick and the gang, is now an annoying loser living with Negan and the Saviors.
Two other groups, though not as outright evil as the Saviors, have made trouble for Rick and the Militia in the past. The Scavengers, led by Jadis, are up for grabs if Negan decides he needs more manpower, and Oceanside, left without weapons in the wilderness, has good reason to screw Rick over, given that he left them exposed in a fight against Negan last season.
The Big Questions
Gregory was planning a roadtrip to Negan’s compound when we saw him last, but he wasn’t in the Season 7 finale. Because Gregory has had trouble ceding control of Hilltop to Maggie and Jesus, he may be the source of some drama in Season 8.
Negan discovered in Season 7 that Maggie, Glenn’s wife, is still alive, so he probably has some plot in the works to kill her. Maggie, as you may remember, is still pregnant.
The last anyone saw of Shiva, Ezekiel’s tiger was a bloody shot of fur, so fans are still debating whether everyone’s favorite post-apocalypse kitty will live to fight another day.
Heath disappeared without any explanation in Season 7, and we still haven’t been told what the keycard Tara found means, if anything at all. For now, there’s a keycard for a door in Tara’s pocket, reading “PPP,” and it’s anyone’s guess as to what it will open this season.
The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
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