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The Walking Dead: Exclusive season 8 photo shows Rick and Maggie ready for war

Showrunner Scott M. Gimple warns fans to ‘hold on to their seat’

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Gene Page/AMC

Season 7 of The Walking Dead ended with Rick, Maggie, and Ezekiel — the leaders of Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom, respectively — rising up together to form one united front against Negan and the Saviors. And as this exclusive image from season 8 shows, they remain armed and ready for battle.

Following up on our exclusive first photo of season 8 that showed a reunited Daryl and Carol, we now see Rick and Maggie once again working together to bring Negan down. And showrunner Scott M. Gimple promises that the zombie drama will find itself firmly in the “All Out War” arc from the comic book as we head into season 8.

“We have basically set the stage for All Out War,” says Gimple. “Negan’s said it, everybody has seen they’re in it. It will play out quickly and propulsively and attentively and will shift around the focus quite a bit between the different places and battlegrounds and characters and communities.”

Fans should also expect to see a very confident, yet not overconfident, Rick Grimes — a far cry from his submissive start to season 7. “His swagger is definitely back,” says Gimple. “But it’s a measured swagger. It’s a focused swagger. He absolutely has it and you will see it in episode 1.”

Another thing you can expect to see right out of the gate in the season premiere — which also happens to be the show’s landmark 100th episode — is action both fast and furious. “It’s really a lot happening simultaneously,” promises the showrunner. “We just want the audience to hold on to their seat as they’re thrown through this thing.”

Look for the show to debut a season 8 trailer at its Comic-Con panel in San Diego on Friday, July 21. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss for more Walking Dead updates.