Warning! Major spoilers for The Walking Dead comics ahead. Obviously.
The war against the Saviors on The Walking Dead is finally happening! We waited 16 long episodes, but it's finally, really happening! The show writers have been a little cheeky with how they've drawn out the pending confrontation with the Saviors, with many viewers expecting the war to have commenced at least by Season 7B.
Despite the long wait, the show has now finished Volume 19 of #TheWalkingDead comics, 'March To War'— which means Season 8 signals the start of the much-anticipated Volumes 20 and 21, 'All Out War'.
While the show does divert from the comics with a few important details (such as characters and relationships), the two narratives have become far more tied in than previous seasons. Basically, the comics have now become a pretty reliable way to predict what's going to happen in future episodes.
- A Vital Scene Was Cut From 'The Walking Dead' Season 7 Finale
- Here Are All The Scenes In 'The Walking Dead' Season 7 Finale Pulled Straight From The Comics
- Burning Questions From 'The Walking Dead' Season 7 That Need To Be Answered In Season 8
Can The Comics Accurately Predict What Will Happen In Season 8?
While the show is drawing heavily from the narrative laid out in #TheWalkingDead comics, there are of course a few key differences. Some of these differences are due to characters that have completely different storylines in the comics, or never even existed in Robert Kirkman's creation. For example, Daryl, while a fan favorite on the show, was never in the comics. Neither were the Filthy Garbage People. Andrea is also still alive in the comics at this point, and Michonne is involved with Ezekiel, not Rick.
These details aside, the show is still leaning heavily on its source material. We've already seen quite a few nods to 'All Out War Part One' in that Season 7 finale battle, too.
Considering this, what can we expect from The Walking Dead Season 8 given what's laid out in the comics?
5. Rick Will Face Betrayal Once Again
In all the excitement leading up to the Season 7 finale, you may have forgotten that Gregory was going on a little road trip. He was headed over to old mate Simon's place to throw back some tequila and rat out his allies, because that's just the kind of slimy thing he likes to do. Let's just hope he doesn't run into any walkers on the way there (jokes, I sincerely hope he does).
In the comics, Gregory meets with Negan to tell him that the Hilltop are willing to side with him in the war against Rick. Of course, when Negan springs this information on Rick on the battle line, most of Hilltop aren't really down with that plan, despite what Gregory may have told him. Negan doesn't take this too well, and he pushes Gregory off a fence.
Gregory doesn't die, but there is one good thing that comes out of his betrayal: Maggie steps up to become leader of Hilltop. Finally!
4. More Loved Ones Will Be Lost
Ready for some heavy spoilers? I hope you enjoyed AMC's use of that CGI budget in Season 7, because it's time to wave goodbye to everyone's favorite CGI tiger. Shiva is tragically killed whilst saving Ezekiel from a pack of walkers. The only consolation here is that we get to see a tiger being devoured by zombies. You might think that's a little twisted, but let's be honest— there hasn't been an undead chow-down of that scale since Buttons' death:
In all seriousness, Shiva's death will have a big impact on Ezekiel, who, in the comics, blames himself for her death. Can't wait to see how he expresses his grief in eloquent medieval vernacular.
Even more tragic is the loss of another one of Rick's group: Eric, Aaron's doting boyfriend. Because if we've learned anything from this show, it's that no happy relationship lasts.
3. The Saviors Will Attack Hilltop
Good thing Hilltop has such high walls, because they're definitely going to need them. Forces amass at Hilltop in preparation for battle, but the Saviors are one step ahead. They attack in full force, but Rick and his allies put up a good fight.
It's during this battle that Dwight is forced to feign loyalty to Negan by shooting Rick with his crossbow. Don't worry though, Rick survives. We might also get to see Eugene finally kill someone— though his loyalties in the comics seem pretty different to where he's currently at in the show.
2. Zombified Weapons!
Undoubtedly one of the most exciting and fresh additions the writers could bring to the show is the Saviors' use of contaminated weaponry. Negan instructs his army to wipe walker blood on their blades in order to infect anyone they cut— and it works.
This brings up an interesting possibility: the loss of Rick's hand. While this happened long ago in the comics, the show has been teasing Rick's looming amputation for a long, long time. It's possible he'll get cut by an infected blade and — unlike all those other times his hand was wounded — will have to chop off his limb before the virus spreads.
1. Negan Will Be Defeated
After a two-season-long feud with the Saviors, Season 8 will most likely conclude its war the same way the comics did: with Negan's defeat. After slitting the Big Bad's throat, Rick orders that Negan be patched up and kept prisoner in the cell that Morgan conveniently built for this exact situation. Good foresight, Morgan!
This triggers two major changes: the end of the Saviors' reign of terror, and Negan's new home at Alexandria. Looks like ex-cop Rick still loves chucking bad guys in prison!
Will We See The Whisperers In Season 8?
We all know Negan's going to be defeated sooner or later, but the question on every comic reader's mind is this: when the hell are we going to see The Whisperers?
These skin-wearing, walker-liaising weirdos are the next big threat to Rick and his group after the Saviors are taken care of, and are unlike anything we've quite seen before. But will we see them in Season 8?
After Negan gets locked up, the comics experience a two-year time jump. It's possible the show may do the same; however, it might also branch off on a slightly different and more original storyline. Nevertheless, considering the significance of The Whisperers, it's likely that we'll see them in Season 9. Could we'll get a glimpse of them at the end of Season 8, much like Jadis' boots during the Season 7 mid-season finale?
What are your predictions for The Walking Dead Season 8?