One of the biggest question that fans of The Walking Dead have right now, after that intense season 8 premiere, is will mercy prevail over wrath? While the idea seems like the noble path to take, the theme of season 8 is an all-out war, and that’s what we’re expecting. We’ve been warned of major deaths, a lot of blood, and explosions – so where does mercy fit in with all of that?
For Rick Grimes, the answer comes from the spirit of a man at a different place than the Rick we’re seeing now. He’s hell-bent on vengeance at the moment, and rightfully so, but we get a feeling that something big is going to change that. However, we won’t be finding out what that is until the exact moment Scott Gimple wants us to.
When asked by Entertainment Weekly about the different ’emotional stages’ that we saw Rick experience in last night’s episode, and if we should expect to see them continue, Lincoln had this to say.
It’s a brilliant question — a very complicated question as well becaused Scott Gimple probably is a man who keeps his cards extremely close to his chest and there were several conversations where I was saying, “I kind of need to know who I’m talking to,” or “Is this reality?” And he was cagey. And rightly so, because it’s quite exciting. It feels like perhaps there are these variations in a future that’s being offered up perhaps. But I think that the idea is that they are intended to be abstract.
While it’s entirely possible that the statement comes from a ‘variati0n’ of the future that we may never see, we think there’s a lot more to it than that. Especially because some fans have been tossing around the idea that Rick doesn’t kill Negan since last season.
Lincoln also spoke of how that answer may vary for every character, maybe some will lean more towards Mercy while others…can’t find that sentiment in their hearts.
We have these overarching themes sort of sprinkled in that first episode. I wouldn’t want to speak for any other character, but we have this All-Out War and these are the opening gunshots of the most action-packed season that we’ve ever attempted by far. I think you’d certainly have each character question themselves as to why they’re fighting and what would be the cost of this war.
Another important moment in last night’s episode was the scene where Chandler Riggs recreated a scene of Andrew’s in the first episode of the series. If we thought it meant a lot to us as fans, well, it was even more emotional for him.
It was so cool and incredibly moving, and not a little unnerving before shadowing the whole thing. I did get a bit jumpy, I have to admit, but it was such a nice idea. We had a few of those — you’ve got the flowers, there were little sort of references that they could refer to episodes, and certainly that call back is after 100 episodes to that sequence which was one of the first sequences we ever shot — it was particularly enjoyable to watch that.
There were other very emotional moments this season, and Lincoln had a lot to say about them. This season is the most ‘all-out’ that the cast has experienced. There are big deaths, darker places explored than ever before, and more gratification for the cast, crew, and fans than we’ve seen come together before.
It’s bigger than we’ve ever invented. What the writers have tried to do narratively, it’s a roller coaster this season. It’s real life, but it is anchored with I think some of the biggest deaths we’ve ever dealt with. And the second half I think is even darker and deeper and more connected than we’ve ever done. I’ve never been involved in the season that is so all-out. The crew is the glue that has kept this show together and this season they have worked harder than I’ve ever seen any human beings work, and I want this show to be the best ever for them, for what they’ve done. And, of course, the fans. I want this to be the best season we’ve ever done. In my heart, that’s what I want it to be.
So…that major death thing was brought up again, and we aren’t sure we’re ready for it. Especially because we thought Glenn and Abraham were going to be the hardest deaths we’ve had to encounter. While we aren’t getting much in the form of concrete answers, we do know that the reason Rick took that Polaroid will come back to us, perhaps sooner than we know.
Yeah, there is that. That will be answered in a little bit. The cutaway to an important purpose, is all I will say.
We can’t wait to see that important purpose, but we’re making a promise to ourselves that we won’t spend this season wishing for time to pass or to find out more than we’re given in the moment. Instead, we’re taking it one episode at a time, and trying to take in all we can with the characters we love. The Walking Dead resumes next Sunday on AMC.
‘…but I knew him’