To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead — the series’ 100th episode — Yahoo TV will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the season opener.
In the middle of Rick’s deep despair and hopelessness after the murders of Glenn and Abraham, he dropped a bombshell: he told Michonne he knew he was not the father of baby Judith. Judith’s father, Rick said, was his ex-best friend.
It’s a question fans had debated since we first learned in Season 2 that Rick’s wife, Lori, was pregnant. Most of us probably assumed we’d never get an answer to the question of Judith’s paternity, but we did, at the most unexpected time and place and manner. Good one, Walking Dead writers.
We all have plenty of questions we’re dying to get answers for in Season 8, and while we expect some answers are a sure thing, we also anticipate some might not come for a while. Or maybe ever. Or maybe five seasons down the road, when Judith’s in whatever passes for kindergarten in the apocalypse (or maybe high school, depending on that time jump that’s coming… keep reading).
Here, a roundup of our burning questions for Season 8. Any other big TWD questions that remain unanswered for you? Share ‘em in the comments.
1. Is Eugene committed to being a Savior forever?
When last we saw Eugene, he was assuring Negan, after the Saviors’ ill-fated trip to Alexandria in the Season 7 finale, that his loyalties were firmly with Negan and his group. On the one hand, this development is not surprising; Eugene has never kept secret the fact that he lives in fear, and that that fear motivates him. Getting assurance of safety from the man who brutally killed his BFF Abraham in front of him is, then, a powerful inspiration for Eugene to continue behaving as though “he is Negan” indefinitely.
On the flip side, Eugene has also shown random acts of bravery, like when he admitted he was the one who created the bullet Rosita used to try to kill Negan, and when he agreed to (try) to lead the Saviors away from sick Maggie and the rest of the gang in the Season 6 finale. Eugene genuinely cares about his friends in Alexandria. And seeing Sasha’s selfless act had to make an impact on him. So, is he truly on #TeamNegan? Will he try to make his way back to his friends? Will he attempt to play double agent in the impending war between the communities?
One thing’s for sure: the man who has figured out a way to manufacture bullets would seem to be quite the potential MVP in Season 8, something that will likely occur to both Negan and Rick.
2. Where is the second suicide pill Eugene made?
He gave Sasha one of the two suicide pills Negan’s wives commissioned. Where’s the other one? Is he hiding it inside Grimblygunk? If he does still have the pill, who’s he saving it for: Negan? Another Savior? Himself, should Negan stop believing Eugene is truly one of the Negans?
3. Are Jadis and the Heapsters going to remain allied with Negan, or will they flip flop in the upcoming war?
So far, Jadis and the Heapsters don’t really seem to have a dog in this fight, beyond making the best business decision for themselves. So, though they turned on Rick in the season finale, if Rick can come up with a better offer than whatever Negan gave them, perhaps the Heapsters can be lured back to Rick’s side. We’d love to see a whole army of Winslows, that spiky walker Rick battled, and the Heapsters have a junkyard full of materials to make that happen, so here’s hoping the same idea pops into Rick’s head.
Also, we still know very little about the Heapsters, and what motivates them aside from cutting a good deal. But we do know it’s not so difficult to land on Negan’s bad side, and there are any number of scenarios in which we can envision the Heapsters and the Saviors being on the outs.
4. Enid has hinted at some secret past alliance — what was it, and will we find out about it?
Remember Season 6’s “JSS,” the episode that began with the brutal backstory of how Enid’s parents were killed, and she was forced to eat turtles to survive? That’s also the episode where the Wolves attacked Alexandria, and while she was sitting in the Grimes living room, helping Carl protect Judith, she told Carl the town was too big to protect. “There are too many blind spots,” she said. “That’s how we were able to…”
Enid’s voice trailed off before she finished that sentence, but who is the “we” she was referring to? And what is it they were able to do? It’s clearly something involving Alexandria and how vulnerable it is. It also suggests Enid may have been a part of some other group at some point, one that may not have been a friend o’ the Alexandrians. Enid’s shyness and reluctance to fully immerse herself into life in Alexandria stemmed from the tragedy she suffered with the death of her family, but what if there’s more to it? What if she was part of some community that had plotted — or is plotting — against Alexandria? She hasn’t been recognized by the Saviors or the Wolves, so maybe she was involved with a group we have yet to meet… like the Whisperers, the villains who cover their faces with walker skin and terrorize Rick and company in the comic book?
5. Have we seen the last of the Oceanside community?
We’re almost certain the answer is no, but when and why might they reappear? Rick and the other communities are going to need as many people as they can gather to take on the Saviors in Season 8, but a) Oceanside leader Natania already refused to allow her people to join in Rick’s fight against the Saviors in Season 7, when b) Rick and his group took Oceanside’s gun supplies.
Perhaps Natania’s mind could be changed by hearing about how the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and the Alexandrians joined up to run Negan and his people out of town?
6. Is Dwight really ready to ally himself with #TeamRick?
All signs pointed to yes at the end of Season 7, if you believe that little wooden soldier — with the words “Didn’t Know” written on it — that he left in Alexandria. But Dwight has tried to defect from the Saviors before — when he and Sherry met Daryl, in Season 6’s “Always Accountable” — and it didn’t take. It did get him a hot iron to the side of his face and the chance to see his wife become Negan’s wife, so, even though Dwighty Boy seems genuinely determined to thwart Negan’s rule now, there are probably a few things that could persuade him back to Negan’s side. Like…
7. Is Sherry still alive?
She fled the Sanctuary after helping Daryl escape, and she knows her vengeful apocalypse hubby, Negan, will be hot on her trail. And in her Dear Dwight letter, she said she doubted she’d be able to survive on her own. If she has survived, will she return, either to be with Dwight because she loves him, or because she’s too afraid to continue trying to make it alone? Or has she joined another community, one that we might meet? Maybe she’ll turn up as a walker?
8. Where is Heath?
We saw him last in the Season 7 episode “Swear,” when he and Tara were on a two-week supply run that wasn’t proving very successful. In the middle of a walker attack, the two were separated, and Tara ended up at the Oceanside community. Heath ended up… okay, yes, starring on the ill-fated 24 reboot on Fox — at least his portrayer, Corey Hawkins, did, which is why Heath disappeared from TWD. Tara later found a few clues when she returned to the scene, including tire tracks, Heath’s glasses, and some sort of electronic pass with the letters “PPP” on it. Showrunner Scott Gimple recently said Heath will be a part of the show again at some point, but probably not in Season 8. Probably not…
9. What caused the virus that sparked the apocalypse?
Yeah, it’s something we all wonder from time to time, but as The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has said, it’s not something he plans to focus on. And we get it: knowing what started it would necessitate focusing on trying to find a cure for it, and that would take the story and its focus in a very different — boring? — direction.
Still, we all would like to know at some point, right? But we accept that Season 8 is very unlikely to be that point, if we ever find out at all.
10. Will Morgan be able to keep his sanity during the war with the Saviors?
He was sane as Rick’s first post-apocalypse friend, then he slipped into “Clear” mode. He was saved by his friend Eastman and Eastman’s no-kill philosophy, but then he had to kill to save Carol’s life, and chose to kill Richard to avenge the senseless death of Benjamin. And Morgan continued to fight the Saviors in the season finale, after being convinced by Carol and Ezekiel not to go off on a Saviors Clear-ing adventure by himself. But we know he’s not in his most stable frame of mind, with past horrors — like the death of his son Duane by the zombified wife he refused to kill — still eating at him. With the onslaught of violence that promises to come his way during all out war in Season 8, will Morgan be okay with having to kill in self-defense, or is it the thing that might push him into madness forever?
11. Will Daryl ever find romance?
He’s evolved, he’s matured, he’s significantly more social and slightly less surly. Sometimes. But he’s also still traumatized by Glenn and Abraham’s deaths, and the role he feels he played in Glenn’s murder. And he’s still furious and vengeance-minded when it comes to Negan and the Saviors, so it’s a pretty safe bet all Daryl’s attention will be devoted to that in Season 8.
But there is talk of a time jump during the season, so who knows what place we might find Daryl in then — maybe his bachelor days will be behind him?
12. Carol and Ezekiel: do they have power couple potential?
We’re going to conclude that Carol’s fling with Tobin was just that — a fling. But there is definite chemistry between her and King Ezekiel, and since they promise to be spending lots of time together as they prep for and carry out war battle plans, those sparks seem to have the potential to result in a romance. And it would be fitting — Carol is the queen of everything.
Then again, shippers, dare to dream. A flashforward could also land on Daryl and Carol, post-war, happily ensconced in full-on #Caryl-dom, too, right?
13. Did Gregory go to the Sanctuary to ask Simon to help run Maggie out of the Hilltop?
We know Gregory packed his ditty bag and was off on some sort of mission, and since it’s a given that he was up to no good, we’re gonna assume the Sanctuary was his destination — and that trying to stop Maggie from fully usurping his power as Hilltop leader is his agenda.
But if that is the where and why he embarked on a trip, we also have to wonder if he fully thought it through. Because while Negan and Simon are likely to want to keep someone as easily controlled as Gregory in charge at the Hilltop, they’re probably not gonna be so happy to find out Gregory was complicit in hiding Maggie, and the fact that she’s even alive, from them all this time. And Negan already had Gregory stabbed before…
14. Will we find out Negan’s backstory? And will Negan die, or survive as he has so far in the comics?
In the comic book, Negan remains alive, even after Rick and friends defeated him in the “All Out War” storyline. Whatever the outcome of the war in Season 8, will Negan survive it?
And much of the character’s backstory — the comic book version of the character, anyway — was revealed in the Here’s Negan special comic that is being released in a bound volume on Oct. 4. Will some of those details — like how Lucille got her name and how Negan developed his philosophy for survival — be incorporated into the Jeffrey Dean Morgan TV series version of Negan, too?
15. Will we ever see Maggie’s baby?
Scott Gimple has confirmed Baby Rhee will not be born during Season 8, but does that mean Maggie won’t have the baby until Season 9? Or does it mean there will be a flashforward, and when we join the story, Baby Rhee will have already been born? Perhaps we never see Maggie’s baby as a baby — maybe we meet her as a toddler, or a teen?!
Hey, Old Man Rick looks pretty gray in that Comic-Con trailer.
The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.