While still on hiatus, The Walking Dead debuted its first trailer for Season 8 at San Diego Comic Con 2017, and it was filled with brand new footage for the upcoming war against Negan — as well as some pretty neat callbacks to previous seasons. If you haven't had the chance yet (God knows under which rock you've been hiding these past couple of days!), here's your chance:
We've already done an ultimate breakdown of this trailer, but that's not why you're here; you're here for the delicious spoilers from Robert Kirkman's comic books that made into the trailer. We're going to break down every scene that referenced a moment from the comics, laying down the facts and predictions for what's to come when #TheWalkingDeadSeason8 premieres.
Please note: this article contains heavy spoilers about The Walking Dead comics, as well as plot theories for The Walking Dead TV Show.
Rick, The Shiny
Kicking off with a mild reference, that image of Rick with the sun shining behind him from the trailer has a doppelgänger in Issue 144 of the comics. It comes during a pep talk that Jesus gives Rick, boosting his leadership skills in preparation for the upcoming "All Out War" arch. It may not be a plot-twisting image, but it does set #RickGrimes up as the savior of the Survivors pretty poetically.
Shitting Pants, Shitting Pants
In the trailer, #Negan is talking to Father Gabriel — who looks like will be captured, similarly to Holly in the comics — and clearly trying to scare the heck out of the priest. However in the comics, Negan uses this "shitting pants" line to Dwight, right before the Walkers storm into the Sanctuary.
I Herd The Dead Are Coming
In a redo of how Rick and his gang got rid of the walker herd in Alexandria (guiding as many walkers as they could far away from the town), the Survivors will guide yet another herd of walkers in Season 8. This time, they won't be doing it to get the walkers away from a place, but into the Saviors' Sanctuary. The plot was used back in Issue 116 in the comics, and it worked perfectly — keeping Negan and his Saviors busy and sequestered — for a while.
Negan will fail to see the true danger until the last minute, when one of the Survivors (in the comics it was Holly; in the show it might be Father Gabriel) rams a truck into the Sanctuary fence, allowing the Walkers through.
Not Tomorrow Yet — Again
Back in Season 6, Episode 12, Rick and co. pulled an all-hands-on-deck attack at one of Negan's outposts — although, back then, they didn't know it was just an outpost. Next season, in order to defeat and damage Negan in as many fronts as possible, the Survivors will once again attack some outposts.
The good news is, this time Rick knows who and what he's up against, so some outposts will fall. The bad news is that not everyone is quite as fit to lead as Rick is, which means some Survivors will fall prey to the Saviors.
The Eye Of The Tiger
#TheWalkingDead Season 7 may have suffered from some terrible CGI moments, but the one that really mattered was so nicely done that it won the hearts of the fandom. Shiva inspires fear when she needs to, and takes her sunbaths as she pleases, but maybe Season 8 will be the tigress's last. Well, don't panic just yet; we're faced with a couple of choices here. In scenario number one, she helps Michonne (or maybe her TV counterpart in the Kingdom, Carol) and Ezekiel fight off some Walkers.
But, if the signs are pointing to the right direction (i.e. the low budget and badly done past CGIs), Shiva will bravely face her death rescuing Ezekiel from walkers. In the aftermath of his failure at one of the outposts, he manages to escape, but is surrounded by Walkers. Shiva comes to the rescue of her keeper, sacrificing herself so that the King may survive.
A Casualty Of War
In the trailer, Aaron is seen running into an outpost, talking to Enid, explaining a plan to someone, and finally with bloody hands and a long face. Of course, he could be forlorn because he dislikes all the violence and killing, but there might be another underlying reason for Aaron's sulking. In the comics, during "All Out War," he loses his beloved Eric during an assault to an outpost. Aaron deeply feels this loss, but ultimately it emboldens him even more in search of revenge.
Biting The Bullets
Eugene has become Negan since last season and, whether this is for real or an act, the fact remains that the only person able to make bullets now serves at Negan's behest. But, let's not forget the bullet recipe Eugene gave Rick way back during the Season 6 finale; it's never been used, and there's no better time for it than an all out war. In the trailer, Rosita and Michonne are seen driving to a building that really resembles Eugene's bullet factory (the one he found with Abraham's help). In the comics, Negan captures Eugene in this factory (not in Alexandria, as per the show), so there might be a battle for the bullet factory this season. Although Eugene gets to call dibs on this one, and dibs is dibs.
Blue Pill Or Red Pill?
Right now fans are split about that closing scene in the trailer. Seeing Rick, clearly aged, with a cane and waking up was a much too good meta-moment to ignore. Since the beginning of The Walking Dead comics, fans have wondered if all these adventures Rick undergoes aren't the product of his imagination, while he's in a coma after being shot. And when producers toy with their fans in this way — teasing at a long since debunked theory — it's all fans can do but wonder.
Well, let's get our shitting pants back in the closet, folks. This is not a comatose Rick Grimes; this is a post-war Rick, who had the chance to grow old and build the future he'd promised Coral... I mean, Carl. After "All Out War" (literally) comes "A New Beginning," with new characters, bigger and better developed communities and a brighter lifestyle. The reason I know this is future Rick and not a seven-year dreamy one? The title card for the show at the end of the trailer is back to being unscathed and unmarred:
If this doesn't scream a new beginning to you, then take a moment and read our post on The Walking Dead title card theory.
Of course, with the introduction of the Scavengers last season, and characters such as Daryl, Tara, Carol and Morgan who aren't in the comics at this point (or have never been), the show is bound to deflect from the comics in some ways. But these comic book #EasterEggs mean that the producers are keeping it close to the source material still, and that we'll get to see some of Maggie and Rick's empowering speeches when The Walking Dead Season 8 debuts in October.
Did you catch these comic book references in The Walking Dead trailer? Do you have another to add? Share it in the comments!