Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers about some characters fates in both the TV show and comic series.
In what should come as no surprise to fans that have followed both The Walking Dead TV show and the comic book series, showrunner Angela Kang – while speaking with Deadline – has promised more deviations and unexpected twists from the comic book story line for the second part of Season 9.
As always, the show does plan to use the comics as a basis for many plot points, despite tackling those same issues in different ways and, many times, with different characters. “As with every season of the show, there’s a certain amount of stuff from the comic that we follow relatively faithfully, but really more in terms of orange cones in the stories, is kind of how we think about it,” explained Angela Kang.
Kang elaborated, “Like, oh here are these moments that we want to try to adapt, but a lot of times the routes that we take go into different directions.”
These different directions are sometimes by choice and sometimes by necessity. For those who have followed both the TV show and the comic book series, you know well that many who are alive in the comics are not in the show, and vice versa. Carol was famously killed off early in the comics, while Carl is still alive and well and Rick is still the focal point, despite him leaving the show halfway through the first part of Season 9. Also, Daryl doesn’t even exist in the comics!
Continuing to explain the changes in the upcoming second half of Season 9, Kang said, “The array of changes and the timeline we’re in are completely different, and so there are obviously going to be some deviations. So, there are some familiar markers to those who know the comics very well, but I’ll say that there are some other surprises coming up along the way as well.”
Unfortunately, Kang was tight lipped about what those surprises may be, leaving fans to wait to experience them when the show plays out in February 2019.
Kang was more open about other aspects of the show though, stating that some characters that have left or are currently dead could reappear in future episodes. “Because of the expansion of the universe, and because of time jumps, we passed seven and a half years off screen on the show. That allows for stories to go back in time, so there’s an opportunity for seeing characters come back because of these things that are built into the story.”
Is Kang hinting at future episodes involving the now deceased Jesus, killed in spectacular fashion in the amazing mid-season finale introducing the Whisperers, and possibly Maggie, who left the show around the same time as Rick but whose whereabouts so far have only been mentioned in passing?
While many were angry that Jesus was killed off while still being a strong central character in the comics, Kang explained that, “Every season we lose beloved characters and it’s just a part of the story. In this case it has a lot to do with kind of, the character that Jesus is, and what he stood for in the show. There needs to be a big loss in the introduction of this new threat to our communities.”
While still unable to confirm that Lauren Cohan will be back to reprise her role as Maggie, Kang did say that she is, “very hopeful that Maggie will be back with us.”
As for new characters, Kang spoke about Samantha Morton, who will be joining the show as Alpha, the harsh leader of the Whisperers. “I can’t wait for people to see the work she’s doing. There’s some really cool stuff with her coming up.” As for those who may be afraid that Alpha’s introduction will come near the end of the season, Kang added that, “We will get into some meaty stuff with her early in the back half of the season. “
Kang acknowledged that there are many fans asking for the infamous heads on a pike scene, but was again tight lipped as to whether that specific shot will appear on the show.
Looks like Season 9B is shaping up to be a roller coaster of emotion, violence, new character introductions, old character’s back stories and more. Check out the Deadline article for the complete interview and check out The Walking Dead when it returns to AMC on February 10th, 2019.
Are you excited for Season 9B? What back stories do you hope the show will cover? What did you think of Jesus’s death? Let us know in the comments!