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Tom Payne on Season 8 of The Walking Dead: ‘An Insane Amount of Action’

While we’re still several weeks away from the season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead, the cast has been busy filming the series, attending conventions, and preparing for the big 100th episode.

With the 100th episode comes reflection. Reflection on past seasons, characters lost, and difficult decision making that has led to both positive and extremely negative outcomes. In addition to the reflection, there’s also the opportunity to look ahead at what comes next.

Tom Payne recently sat down with IGN for an interview and the entire thing is incredible, however, the two takeaway points we liked the most were what Tom says about the season opening and what he says about character arcs and the decisions the cast will face in season 8.

About the 100th episode which stands as season 8’s opening, Tom says he feels that fans will be pleased with the crazy action that continues. This isn’t an episode to just mark 100, it’s an episode to build the next 100.

It’s been just crazy action, and really exciting to film and to read and to be involved in. Scott Gimple’s spoken a lot about the 100th episode being a jump off for the next hundred episodes. Season 8 certainly starts with a big bang and then continues to ramp up, which is really exciting. I know the audience will be really happy with, certainly how it starts, because they’re taking the fight back, and then every single episode in the first half there’s a moment which makes you go, ‘Wow, oh my god, I can’t believe that.

About those decisions that the characters have to make, well, he’s excited to see what viewers at home think of decisions the characters have to make through the difficult times to keep themselves and each other moving forward.

I think there’s some really strong work from certain characters this year who have been given amazing character arcs to go through. There’s just an insane amount of action, and different dilemmas. There are characters who are involved in war, so what is the right thing to do during war? Is it just kill everyone? In every war, there are casualties who maybe shouldn’t have been. There are dilemmas that I hope the audience is involved in as well in watching it, and there are choices to be made of how to move forward at certain stages. I’m excited to see what the audience thinks of decisions that certain characters make.’

It’s not a surprise that characters will face turmoil and lives will be lost this season, but it seems to hold more weight now than ever. What they’re dying for is a chance for life, and while that may have been a core part of the series from the beginning, it means so much more now.