Now the nation's stress levels and blood pressure is slowly returning to normal after a traumatic climax to the sixth season of The Walking Dead, it's a good time to look ahead at where the story could go from here. Are you ready?
I must warn you, there are mild spoilers ahead from the last episode of Season 6, as well as some teeny, tiny spoilers delved from deep in the magical pages of the comic. So, read on at your own peril.
A New World To Explore
Toward the end of the final episode, while Morgan was searching for Carol, he encounters fellow survivors who offer help. The question is; who the hell are they? Well, they could be part of The Kingdom, a giant safe zone that features heavily in the comic.
The TV series showrunner Scott Gimple was posed this question by ComicBook.com, who asked him directly whether The Kingdom will feature in Season 7. However, Gimple was deliberately keeping his cards close to his chest. He said:
"Those guys may or may not have been from The Kingdom. We may or may not see The Kingdom. If we do see The Kingdom, it'll be a big reveal and it'll be another new world to inhabit and explore."
The world Gimple refers to is a community of survivors who reside in a college campus in Washington DC., spearheaded by the ever-so-slightly-domineering "King" Ezekiel, a former zookeeper who has a trained tiger named Shiva as a pet.
Interesting, Ezekiel and his colony share a hatred of Negan and the Saviors, which could render them useful allies with Rick; in the comic, Paul Monroe links the two groups in the hope of defeating Negan and crew.
The graphic novel, created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore, depicts the settlement as the second biggest after the Hilltop colony. This means should it enter the show, it'll give viewers plenty of rich new material to choose from.
'I'd Want To See That Tiger'
Any addition to the series would also add some interesting characters. Ezekiel is a bit of an enigma; flamboyant and reserved in equal measure.
More interestingly, we could see a tiger, and I mean an actual TIGER on the series if The Kingdom does feature. In the interview, Gimple refused to be drawn into speculation on this. He added:
"Can we have a real tiger? That's a great way to put the questions to me because it sort of corners me into a spoiler. I would say, in a really cheeky way, that we can have a lot of things and people are gonna have to wait and see. If I were just watching the show - I'd want to see that tiger."
Interestingly, in 2014, series creator Robert Kirkman mused on Shiva joining the cast, and whether CGI or a real tiger would be used. At the time, he said producers "might have to go with a real one."
Anyway, it looks like we may have to wait until a little closer to The Walking Dead's return in October this year to find out whether Ezekiel and his tiger will join the show. Grrrrrreat.
Do you think the survivors offering help were part of The Kingdom?