In just a few weeks Season 8 of The Walking Dead will finally begin, and our hunger for ass kicking and zombie killing will once again be sated. Over the last seven 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.
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. After Negan had Rick at his mercy in Season 7, it seems he'll finally learn that he messed with the wrong guys thanks to Season 8 Rick.
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 8.
Another character that has been with us for the entire run of the show, and another character who many 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 after she came back to the fight at the end of Season 7 it looks like Carol will be fighting on behalf of the Kingdom in Season 8.
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, to heal from his turbulent childhood and make new friends in Aaron and Eric. However, after being captured and tortured by Negan, there's no doubt Daryl is more damaged than ever before. Not to mention the immense guilt he still feels for his part in Glenn's death.
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. Season 7 saw Maggie recover from illness and take control of her new home, the Hilltop. In Season 8 Maggie is sure to be one of the key players in the war against Negan and the Saviors.
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 and Rick formed the ultimate power couple, and in Season 8 the pair will likely kick some Negan ass.
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's found his new way of life tested constantly. At the end of Season 7 Morgan had well and truly broken his no-kill rule, and only time will tell what this means for Morgan in Season 8.
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, only to lose her girlfriend Denise in Season 6. During Season 7 Tara discovered the Oceanside community, which proved to be very important for the Alexandrians later in the season. With war approaching Tara will now be tested as she's put on the frontline against her enemies.
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 during Season 7 she made some bold decisions. After the deaths of so many Alexandrians, there's no doubt Rosita will be a different person in Season 8, but whether that's a good or bad thing remains to be seen.
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, however after escaping death in Season 7 he chose to align himself with Negan's group after he was kidnapped. It now seems like Eugene is on a dark path, but will he see the errors of is way in Season 8 and join Dwight in taking down Negan from the inside out? We certainly hope so.
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's now realized they're genuinely good people at heart and has earned the trust of Rick and his group. Season 7 saw Gabriel become very capable and helpful to the group, and going into Season 8 the priest will probably be a trusted member of Rick's group.
#TheWalkingDead Season 8 premieres on October 22 over on AMC
Which character's transformation surprised you the most?