With The Walking Dead being based on such well-loved and rich source material, fans of both the comic series and the TV show are constantly theorizing on which characters and storylines from the comic will be adapted next. And with just weeks to go until the Season 8 premiere, AMC might have just revealed that a key character (and fan favorite) from the comics is about to join the show.
Warning: Spoilers for The Walking Dead comic series, and possible spoilers for The Walking Dead TV series below.
During the newly released sneak peek of the Season 8 premiere episode, the footage hinted strongly at a new character. And while we don't really see the character in question, we do hear him. Take a look below:
The sneak peek leaves a lot of unanswered questions. And given that the footage is an almost shot-for-shot remake of the opening scene of the series' premiere, many are wondering if Carl is hearing things and that the legs he sees could belong to a walker (mimicking Rick shooting the little girl walker in the premiere). However, if we trust that Carl is more or less sane we can unpack some of the clues given in the scene.
The man speaking is clearly at his wit's end, relying on appealing to Carl's humanity to save him. To do this he quotes his mom:
"... I'm just going to say something my mom used to say and hope for the best here. Whatever you have of good, spend on the traveler. My mom said that helping the traveler, the person without a home, that's everything."
He then later drops another one of his mom's common sayings — "may my mercy prevail over my wrath" — before actually revealing it came from the Qur'an, the main religious text of Islam. In fact, both of these quotes actually come from notable Islamic texts, and it was this knowledge that may have confirmed that the stranger is actually a character named Siddiq.
Siddiq, who is Muslim, joined The Walking Dead comics in Issue 127 as an ally, and later resident, of Alexandria. Going into Season 8, the show will be adapting comic storylines from around Issue 117 onwards, so although it would be a little early for Siddiq's introduction, it wouldn't be totally crazy for him to join the show now. This is especially true considering that he makes his way into the comic series in an arc that has already been significantly altered on the TV show: that of the fishing community of Oceanside.
In the comics, Siddiq is an invaluable member of Alexandria, leading the construction crew and fighting on the frontline when needed. He's also a character in Telltale Games' The Walking Dead: Michonne, which follows his actions before he appeared in the comics.
It was already heavily hinted that we'd meet Siddiq in Season 8 when it was revealed that a Muslim character named "Abbud" would be joining the show. Abbud was described as "an innately likable Muslim American whose nerves are, let’s say, jangled, because he's flown solo for too long in zombieland" — definitely a description that fits what we heard in the promo above. The Walking Dead casting calls are well known for using fake names, and given Siddiq is the only Muslim character in the comics (the TV show has at least one other), it would make sense that Abbud will be renamed Saddiq on the show.
But if all of this hasn't convinced you that Siddiq will join the show in Season 8, there's one more piece of evidence that surely will. While we only heard Siddiq's voice in the sneak peek, we likely already got a glimpse of him in the full length Season 8 trailer. Just as the trailer speeds up (when when the Dropkick Murphys' song starts playing) there are a flash of images, including the one of the man above (played by Avi Nash). While he looks ragged and dirty, he doesn't appear to be part of the Saviors, leading many fans to theorize that he's Saddiq.
Whether Saddiq is closely adapted to his comic counterpart remains to be seen, but given the rate that the TV series kills off its characters, it's just great to be able to look forward to some new characters joining the fight!
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Season 8 on October 22.