In just over a week Season 7 of The Walking Dead will finally begin, and our hunger for ass kicking and zombie killing will once again be sated. Over the last six seasons we've joined Rick and the gang on some serious adventures, seen a group of people grow, decline and grow again, and generally watched the world be reclaimed by mother nature and her army of the undead.
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Throughout it all this rag-tag group have almost literally been to hell and back, and as the seasonal cast photos prove, in some cases you can see it written all over their faces. Take a look at images below of the cast throughout the seasons and tell me in the comments which character you think has changed the most:
Whoa. From 'Officer Friendly' to the Ricktatorship in just a few quick seasons. It's big step from Season 2 to Season 3 for Rick, and he just kept getting darker all the way through Season 5. In Season 6 he lost the beard, but gained control of Alexandria, an alliance with Hilltop and unfortunately an enemy in the villainous Negan. With Rick literally on his knees, I think in Season 7 he's finally about to learn that he's messed with the wrong guys.
From annoying little kid who wouldn't stay in the house to full fledged bad-ass, Carl Grimes has really grown, not only physically but mentally as well. Carl has gone through more shit than any kid really should (I mean, he had to shoot his own mother), but he's come through it all and still managed to keep a pretty level head on his shoulders. After losing his eye in Season 6 (seriously, how much more can this kid lose?!), Carl has still managed to contribute to the group more than many others, and we can only hope that he continues to do so again throughout Season 7.
It may have taken Glenn six seasons to grow a mustache, but he's certainly grown in other ways. When we first met Glenn Rhee, who would have guessed that out of all the Season 1 characters he would last the distance? I mean he was a pizza boy, for crying out loud! But as we've learned, it doesn't matter who you were before the apocalypse, all that matters is who you are now. Unfortunately going into Season 7, Glenn is a serious contender for Negan's victim, meaning he may very well leave Maggie a widow, and their unborn child without a dad.
Another character that has been with us for the entire run of the show, and another character who I expected to be eaten within the first season. Instead Carol has become one of the strongest members of the group. Much like Rick there is was a big difference between Season 2 Carol and Season 3 Carol, but it's Season 6 Carol that really changed the most. After having some sort of breakdown or realization over the course of the season, Carol looked pretty done with the world as a whole and was close to death in the season finale. However, hopefully Season 7 proves to be a healing time for Carol as she is transported to a new community with Morgan.
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Daryl Dixon, the redneck bow-slinger the group could depend on. While Daryl's hair has gotten out of control (seriously, please give it a trim this season!), not much has physically really changed with him. Mentally however, we've seen him take steps, especially over the last season to heal from his turbulent childhood and make new friends in Aaron, Eric and even Denise shortly before she died. Daryl is another character looking down the barrel (bat?) at death, though if he survives there's no doubt he'll be out to avenge whatever member of the group Negan did chose to kill.
After losing her entire family except for Glenn, the old Maggie we met back in Season 2 is pretty much dead and gone. In Season 5 we saw her take on an almost political role in Alexandria, working with Deanna, and in Season 6 she prepared for another role as a mom. With Maggie currently being ill, pregnant and facing death at the hands of Negan, her life hangs in the balance. Not to mention that even if she survives Negan, her one constant, Glenn, may not.
One of the strongest members of the group, Michonne never lets the side down. From Season 2 when she looked after a sick Andrea all winter, to Season 5 when she time after time put the needs of the group first - eventually becoming a constable with Rick once they reached Alexandria. In Season 7 she will no doubt do her best to help the team - that is, if she survives her round with Negan.
There's no doubt that the mysterious Morgan has changed considerably since his days in Season 1 and Season 3. Throughout Season 5 he tracked down Rick's group, and in Season 6 made his home at Alexandria. Morgan has a very different philosophy on how to live compared to many of the others in Alexandria, and he found his new way of life tested at the end of Season 6 thanks to the Saviors. Going into Season 7 it looks like he and Carol are about to find a whole new Community - could Morgan opt to stay there over returning to Alexandria?
Much like Maggie, following Tyreese's death, Sasha also has no blood-related family left, and that seems to have hardened her and turned her into a blood thirsty walker-killer. After spending Season 5 as a lone ranger, in Season 6 she seemed to find some peace, as well as happiness with Abraham. Going into Season 7 not only does Sasha face death, but if she survives she could still be left with a dead partner - can she cope with another loss?
Another group member with family dead and gone, Tara has matured since she joined the group thanks to Glenn taking pity on her in Season 4. Since then she has proved her worth, and become not only a capable member, but also one who adds light moments to dark situations with her positive attitude and witty remarks. After her serious injury in Season 5, Tara has since recovered, and as Season 6 came to a close she was out helping on a long supply run with Heath. Unfortunately when Tara returns, she'll be heartbroken to find her girlfriend, Denise has been killed.
Hard man, Sergeant Abraham Ford has had quite the journey through the series. After being on the brink of suicide earlier on in the apocalypse, Abraham has completed turned himself around, and in Season 6 seems to have finally found happiness with Sasha (albeit at the expensive of Rosita's happiness). Though he seems to be planning his future for the first time since the apocalypse started, his plans could be about to be thwarted thanks to the evil Big Bad that is Negan.
I can't really say that I noticed too much of a change in Rosita during Seasons 4 and 5, however in Season 6 the rug was pulled out from underneath her when her partner Abraham decided to break up, leaving her solo. After some stern words from Denise (shortly before she was killed), Rosita seemed to be reassessing her choices, and after what she's about to witness in the Season 7 premiere, I think we'll see a much different person over the next season.
From chronic liar, to man trying to overcome his cowardice. Eugene has certainly hardened up since we first met him in Season 4. Season 6 really showed Eugene's growth, the odds are in his favor to escape with his life, and when he does there's no doubt he's going to really show what he's made of in Season 7.
Father Gabriel was lucky that Rick's gang found him when they did, or else there's no way this cowardly priest would have survived. After betraying the group when they go to Alexandria, he now seems to have realized they're genuinely good people at heart and has earned the trust of Rick and his group.
The Walking Dead Season 7 premieres on October 23 over on AMC