It's been a hell of a ride for Walking Dead fans over the last eight weeks, and as the first half of the season has drawn to a close, we're now more fired up than ever for the gang's biggest battle yet.
The format of much of Season 7 has certainly been different than what we were used to watching, but it was still jam packed with all the goodness we've become accustomed too. In fact, much like every season, Season 7 has had a ton of of references, Easter eggs and tributes sprinkled generously throughout.
Take a look below at some of the biggest callbacks we've seen throughout the first half of Season 7:
1. The title cards decayed once more!
As is tradition with The Walking Dead, a new season means a title card which is slightly more decayed than the season that preceded it and Season 7 did not disappoint.
2. Abraham said his last words in gesture form in Episode 1
Abraham was an endlessly quotable chap, and in his last moments he used his last words to tell Negan to "suck my nuts." But while those words were legendary to say the least, he also made a very heartfelt gesture to his partner Sasha which said more than any words ever could.
Abraham's peace sign gesture was something the couple had done between each other for long before they ever got together, first back in Season 5, as well as shortly before the start of their relationship in Season 6, Episode 11.
3. Negan was essentially set up as a wannabe God
Negan is obviously one of the scariest villains we've seen in the series so far, and the show has even set him up as a sort of God-like persona. People are forced to bow before him, he basically made Rick recreate a biblical passage from Genesis, and even seems omnipresent with all of his followers claiming they're "all Negan".
4. Tribute zombie in Episode 2
Any long-time fan of The Walking Dead who also enjoys horror films will be familiar with the series long running 'tribute zombies' easter eggs. Usually made by director and special effects master Greg Nicotero, a 'tribute zombie' is walker whose appearance is based on a character from a horror film. During Episode 2 "The Cell," Nicotero paid tribute to the 1984 cult classic Night of the Comet with a walker who looked exactly like a character from the film.
5. A possible Trump-inspired walker in Episode 3
Now this is yet to be confirmed or denied, but during Episode 3 (which aired just prior to the US election), there was a walker briefly feature who bore a strong resemblance to now-President-elect Donald Trump. The timing is awfully perfect, so we're just going to go ahead and say this was a sly nod on the part of the props and makeup department.
6. There was a parallel between Rick and Negan in Episode 3
During Episode 3, Daryl was held prisoner at Negan's base and forced to eat dog food. This was in stark contrast Season 3 when a desperate and hungry Carl Grimes attempted to eat a can of dog food, only to have Rick smack the can out of his hand. It was cunning to show Daryl being fed dog food in Episode 3, and served to reveal just how different the leadership style of Negan and Rick is — one actively trying to save his people from being dehumanized, and one doing the exact opposite.
7. A Season 5 call back in Episode 4
Negan paid his first visit to Alexandria in Episode 4, and while he was there he tested out his newly-reclaimed firearms by shooting a gun straight through a window. Aside from the fact that that's a giant pain in the ass in the world where all the glaziers are probably dead, it was also a nice callback to Season 5 and the broken windows theory.
During Season 5, Episode 14 Rick told Jessie (RIP) about the theory which basically states that if you keep the windows intact, you keep society intact. Of course, Rick himself put this theory to the test when he tackled Jessie's husband Pete through a glass window in the next episode, and for a short period Alexandria descended into something less than civilized. And now that Negan is destroying windows, could it indicate that Alexandria's civilized ways might fall again?
8. An Episode number easter egg!
The Walking Dead frequently used to reference the season and episode number through the show, and after a bit of an absence the easter egg popped up during Season 7 Episode 4 in the form of a house number!
9. A tip of the hat to Denise in Episode 4
Shortly before Denise died she had a scuffle with a walker in order to get supplies from a cooler trapped in a car. While she almost lost her life, she lucked out by finding a can of Orange Crush soda — Tara's favorite. Unfortunately though Denise was killed before she could deliver the fizzy treat, and instead it reappeared when Negan chugged a can in Episode 4.
10. Enid held onto her biggest memory of Glenn - green balloons in Episode 4
It may have seemed a little odd that Enid was so concerned with keeping her green balloons from the Saviors back in Episode 4, but actually it was because of their connection to Glenn. The pair had discovered the balloons (left by Rick to signal their success with the walker relocation) when they were making their way to Alexandria after Glenn's alley/dumpster, and used them to signal to the residents of Alexandria that they were alive. It was also the moment that Glenn told Enid some home truths, and basically became a surrogate father/brother to her.
11. Tara remembered Glenn in Episode 6
During Episode 6, Tara and Heath were off on a rather unsuccessful scavenging mission when Heath claimed that there was nothing left to scavenge and that they should return home. But Tara told Heath "rule number one of scavenging: There's nothing left in the world that isn't hidden" recalling Glenn's words to her and Maggie back in Season 5. What made Tara's words even sadder was that at this point in the show Glenn was already dead, but Tara had no idea.
12. Nicotero cameo in Episode 7
During Episode 7 a familiar face popped up when Greg Nicotero made a cameo as a walker outside Negan's Sanctuary. However it was only the special effects master's head who actually appeared in the episode, resting atop a spike and acting as a warning to anyone trying to sneak into the compound.
13. A nod to Deanna's favorite saying in Episode 7
There were a few times through Deanna's time on the series when she wrote or said the phrase "dolor hic tibi proderit olim," which we only learned just before her death meant "someday this pain will be useful to you."
When Spencer found the note in Latin which lead to the caches of supplies in the woods, Deanna's favorite saying popped up again when Spencer spoke about how much loathed learning Latin in school, but his mother always told him "someday this pain will be useful to you." Wise words.
14. Maggie paid tribute to Glenn in Episode 8
If you've watched The Walking Dead for the entire seven seasons, you'll remember that in earlier seasons Glenn often wore a baseball cap, including when he first met his future wife, Maggie. Now it seems like Maggie is paying tribute to her late husband by donning a similar hat in a subtle, but sweet homage.
15. Daryl saw Dwight's carving again in Episode 8
Way back in Season 6, Episode 6 Dwight and Daryl met for the first time in the burned forest, and while Daryl was with Dwight's group he makes Dwight hand him a figurine that Dwight had carved. Later in the episode Dwight took all of Daryl's belongings but forgot to reclaim the figurine, however it looks like when he was hauled off to the Sanctuary Dwight finally got the carving back.
16. Hershel's Spaghetti Tuesdays got a call back in Episode 8
Way back in Season 4 Hershel Greene declared that from now on the group would celebrate Spaghetti Tuesdays every Wednesday, and while Negan would have had no idea about this cute little moment, in Episode 8 the Big Bad coincidentally whipped up a big pot of spaghetti to eat while he waited for Rick Grimes — surely a sweet nod to Hershel via the crafty Walking Dead writers, right?
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 9 and the second half of Season 7b in February, 2017.