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The Walking Dead: Andrew Lincoln talks darker season 7

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AMC

Things do not look good for Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead judging by the season 7 clip AMC released last week. And star Andrew Lincoln confirms that the proverbial stuff is about to hit the fan.

“We are opening up in a way that we’ve not done before,” says Lincoln. “And it truly is very brave, and is something that I looked forward to in the book. I’ve always thought this is really when it started to get really interesting. Because it’s like, how are these different communities reinventing themselves? And what kind of society have they built? It’s really, really cool. It feels deeper. It’s darker.”

The good news is that while Lincoln says that things are about to get even worse, he also hints that there is indeed a light — however faint — at the end of the tunnel. “This is a very, very dark season but it’s always darkest before the dawn,” he says. “Hang in there, guys, because it’s alive. It feels like there’s a great shape at the moment that [showrunner Scott M. Gimple] is crossing for the show and it’s very, very exciting. It began a few years ago and it’s turned into much more expansive, courageous, and more adventurous storytelling, both time-wise and location-wise.”

Assuming season 7 follows the storyline set up by the comic book on which the show is based, Alexandria will soon be under the thumb of Negan, but will have allies in other communities like the Hilltop (which we met last season) and the Kingdom (which will be introduced in season 7). So will the relationship between all these groups in relation to Negan’s Saviors comprise the main arc of the coming episodes?

“Yeah, I think that is very much the dramatic meat of this season,” confirms Lincoln. “And what you will see is a much bigger universe, an expansion. This world is about to get a lot bigger. That’s what’s about to happen in season 7. Obviously, the fallout from the death is going to make different alignments between the people that survive the death and any other communities.”

Not only are we treading into darker and deeper waters — beginning with the gruesome conclusion to last season’s cliffhanger — but the show will eschew playing it safe and instead continue to take creative risks and challenge its audience. Says Lincoln, “If we can’t be bold and brave now, in season 7, then we’re not doing it right.”

Check out an exclusive Jeffrey Dean Morgan video below, and for more Walking Dead scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.