When The Walking Dead‘s season 7 premiered, fans sat around their television with alcoholic beverages, kleenex, and Google at their fingertips to try to figure out how to ‘unwatch’ something. We knew it would be brutal, we knew we’d lose characters we love, and we knew we’d be in for something we’d never seen before. We were right, we wish we hadn’t been.
The rest of the season existed in a shadow as well, the characters were pawns in a game, or at least, they thought they were. They didn’t fight at least not at first, instead, they allowed life to happen to them. As the season progressed, we saw the characters in their light and in their dark and we grew to know them more deeply than we had before. They also got to know themselves and what they were capable of.
So when the 100th episode premieres in just weeks, we’re anticipating something huge, and in a recent interview with EW, Danai Gurira said the season opener sets the tone for what’s to come, and that it’s deeply, deeply different than season 7’s premiere.
We don’t tend to tread the same ground twice. It is a deeply different season premiere — deeply, deeply different and unpredictable and very, very rich in the story that’s being told and powerfully acted and all of that.
She also tells us not to get too comfortable in our beliefs that we know what to expect next season. While we do know the premise for season 8, we don’t know the exact layout for what will happen episode by episode. There is still a lot of room for surprises.
That’s what’s amazing about the writers of the show, is that they don’t tread the same ground. So you can’t be prepared for it. If you thought, ‘Well, I’ve seen this, I’ve seen that, so I can be prepared for what’s coming next’ — no, you can’t. You won’t be prepared.
What Danai says next is something that keeps the series so popular and keeps the fans so invested. She mentions that season 8 remains palpably human. Yes, The Walking Dead is about a zombie apocalypse, but it’s about the human fight more than that, or rather, the fight to remain human – where it counts.
We’ve all been knocked clear off our feet, and there’s just so many ways everybody’s story is expanded and deepened and sharpened. And the clashes that we’re in taking turns no one’s going to expect. And at the same time, it remains palpably human, you know?
With every new interview given by the cast and crew, we grow more excited to see the season 8 premiere. The Walking Dead returns on October 22nd on AMC.
‘…but I knew him’