The Walking Dead season 8: Episode titles and synopses revealed, Rick's survival teased, and everything you need to know

Fast Facts:

  • The Walking Dead season 8 release date: October 22, 2017 (US)/October 23, 2017 (UK)
  • Directors: Greg Nicotero (more TBA)
  • Cast: Lauren Cohan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Seth Gilliam, Danai Gurira, Lennie James, Andrew Lincoln, Alanna Masterton, Melissa McBride, Josh McDermitt, Chandler Riggs, Christian Serratos 

Update: October 3, 2017 - AMC reveals TWD’s season 8’s first three episode titles and synopses

We’ve not long to go now (yay!), which means we get treated to a smorgasbord of tasty teasers to get us primed for the season 8 premiere.

To tantalise us this time, AMC have released the synopses and titles for the first three episodes – and they hint at what’s to come. Naturally, there’s possible spoilers for The Walking Dead season 8 coming up, so look away now if you like your TV unspoiled...

Episode 1 is called Mercy, and is described as “Rick and his group, along with the Kingdom and Hilltop, have banded together to bring the fight to Negan and the Saviors.” Episode 2, The Damned, will see a plan involving Alexandrians, Kingdommers, and Hilltoppers “unfold”, and Rick will encounter a “familiar face”. Finally, episode 3 is entitled Monsters, and states that “conflict with the Saviors leads to unintended consequences for the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and Alexandria”, adding “morality proves tricky in wartime.” Uh-oh. 

So: what do you think? Who will Rick encounter? Are the "monsters" the zombies, the Saviors, or something else entirely? And who, exactly, might betray their friends to save themselves…? (Although with Josh McDermitt already stating that Eugene’s “Team Negan” for season 8, maybe that mystery isn’t so hard to solve after all…)

Update: September 28, 2017 - could the show survive without Rick?

If there’s one thing The Walking Dead has taught us, it’s that anyone - and I do mean anyone - could be the next character to kark it… especially when there’s 20 regularly recurring characters and a madman like Negan on the loose.

And even though Andrew Lincoln’s been leading the charge as Rick Grimes since the very first episode, he’s open to the idea of the show moving on without him.

“I was talking to James Badge Dale about acting, and we were just talking about completing stories,” Lincoln told EW. “I think that there’s an innate feeling and certainly in me that I love doing a play or doing the film because you get to put a period on the end of it and you get to do it nightly, which is really exciting. 

“TV is different. The format is different because it is about sort of a continuum. But, you know, there is a sense to me that really needs some… it sounds like I’m in a shrink’s head, but there is a completion thing that I think I deserve for doing it for so long. And also probably the audience would like some completion.”

Don’t panic - that doesn’t necessarily mean the show’s coming to an end anytime soon. He has, however, been reflecting on his own role on the show, and that of leader Rick… and he thinks the show could definitely keep running without him, perhaps with Grimes Jnr, Carl, taking his father’s place.

“It’s beautifully set up for that — for the camera to be certainly his story, and then it just shifts off. If ever there was a landscape or an environment to do that, it’s our show. But whether or not that’s this season… well, you have to find out, don’t you?”

“Andy is the leader of this show and his dedication to the show is absolutely inspiring,” added show creator, Robert Kirkman. “Everyone just looks up to him and he’s a huge part of this show. But we have a very strong ensemble, and there’s a lot of characters that could carry the show. The Walking Dead is a story very much about a world and a bunch of people inhabiting that world.

“However, I don’t think we have to worry about that any time soon.”

“We lose terrific actors and terrific characters because that’s part of the narrative,” said showrunner Scott Gimple, “and we’re always forced to go on and figure out a way to make the narrative work and to make it the best show possible after losing people. So I don’t think any show is more prepared, sadly, to lose people than The Walking Dead is. 

"As the show goes on and on and on, who knows? But I’m also certain that we will do it in a way that only adds to the narrative and only makes the story richer for losing these incredible people.”

Update: September 30, 2017 - this new teaser shows there’s guns for everyone in season 8

Cast your mind back to season 7, and you’ll remember that Negan wasn’t so keen on anyone outside of the Saviors holding onto firepower, so it’s good to see that in the latest The Walking Dead’s latest teaser, Team Rick is busy reacquainting themselves with an impressive range of weapons, big and small.

There’s also rallying cries from Rick - not much surprise, there - and cautious words from King Ezekiel - also not much of a surprise, let’s face it - but it’s good to see the Alexandrians, Hilltoppers, and Kingdom united and ready to take on Negan… and yes, he is still hanging out with his ‘ole pal, Lucille. 

You can watch the new teaser yourself over at ComicBook.com. Not long to go now, eh?

Update: September 26, 2017 - we won't have to wait long for an Old Man Rick explanation

It might have been some time ago now, but The Walking Dead fans haven’t forgotten about the trailer that dropped at San Diego Comic Con 2017, nor the fact that - for reasons that have yet to be explained - Rick’s looking older than ever and inexplicably rocking an old-man beard (see above).

Fan theories are rife - has Rick been in a coma all this time? Is this how Rick looks after the comic book time jump? - and while showrunner Scott Gimple likes to keep us guessing more than most, he has promised that we won’t have to wait too long for the mystery to be solved. 

“I will say that we won’t know exactly what that’s about after the first episode,” Gimple told EW. “But we will know it about halfway through the season. We won’t quite know what it’s about, and then we’ll get an answer to that about halfway through. It’s something that’s going to play out.”

And while we’re on the subject of Comic Cons… remember Merle Dixon, Darryl’s less-than-doting older brother? Well, in a Q&A session at Salt Lake Comic Con (thanks, ComicBook), Michael Rooker - who played the older sibling, until his (un)timely death - insists Merle wouldn’t let Darryl sit around feeling sorry for himself for long.

“If you know anything about Merle and Daryl’s relationship, Merle would say, ‘Get over here! Now you go back out there and you go and you find this Negan guy, and you kick his little tail. Go on!’”, said Rooker. “And I’d kick him out of the house and make him go fight Negan again. I don’t think he fought Negan — he never fought Negan. No, no. Daryl would win. Don’t you think Daryl would win? Oh, yeah.”  

Darryl didn’t have much of good time of it in season 7, so it’ll be interesting to see exactly how he dishes out his revenge. More Easy Street, perhaps?

Update: September 26, 2017 - more action than the A-Team

Brace yourself: The Walking Dead season 8 is going to be one of the series’ most action-packed ones yet. Talking to EW, Seth Gilliam - who plays Father Gabriel - compared season 8 to an episode of the A-Team.

“It’s like a Schwarzenegger versus Stallone action thing from the ’80s,” said Gilliam. “I think there are, like, 10 explosions an episode. Every time you turn around, somebody’s shooting something or blowing something up. There’s some serious action that I don’t think we’ve seen on television since The A-Team went off the air.”

And he’s not the only one saying it. In the same interview, Austin Amelio - who plays Dwight - added: “It’s a f —ing in-your-face action-packed IV of adrenaline. Season 7 was the ramp-up and now this is the blastoff. The stuff that’s happening is insane!”

Update: September 25, 2017 - F-bombs are coming!

So far, Negan’s on-screen language has been notably less, uh, 'colourful' than that of the comics, but it seems things are about to change. Well. A little bit, anyway. According to ComicBook.com, FX and AMC may be loosening up on Negan’s plentiful F-bombs.

“You get a specific number of curse words you can say, and then there’s a list of what you can and can’t do,” showrunner Dave Erickson said. “I think it was our script coordinator who told me there was an email had come up; there had been a memo saying we could now say ‘f---’ twice over the course of an entire season … I don’t know at what point AMC corporate decided to allow it, but they did.”

I wonder will happen to force those Negan - or someone else, perhaps? - to use those two swears…

Update: September 10, 2017 - Maggie’s baby won’t be born in season 8

The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple has intimated that season 8 will take place within six months of season 7’s finale. Well, maybe.

Gimple has confirmed that Maggie’s expectant child will not be born in season 8. As she’s not showing yet, she’s probably not much more than three or four months along - which means that she has roughly five-six months to go (yup, even though we found out she was pregnant 30+ episodes ago!). And Gimple’s statement is a clear one: "Maggie’s baby will not be born in season 8." 

Now, this can mean one of a number of things; either Maggie’s baby isn’t born by the end of the series because it takes place over a short period of time before her due date, or it's born off-screen and there’s a time jump of several years which means we're introduced to her child in season 8, or... something tragic happens to the unborn baby, which means its never born at all.

If the show follows the comic book it may be the time jump option, but given Gimple rarely gives us a straight answer, it’s hard to know whether he’s talking literally or not. Particularly as he also added “but anything’s possible,” just to confuse us some more. Argh.

Update: September 5, 2017 - official synopsis released

It’s here - the official synopsis for The Walking Dead season 8. If you’d prefer your shows unspoiled then you should probably skip this bit, but if you’d desperate for a tease or two, read on...

Last season, Rick Grimes and his group of survivors were confronted with their deadliest challenge yet. With the comfort of Alexandria, they let their guard down, only to be reminded how brutal the world they live in can be.

Feeling powerless under Negan’s rules and demands, Rick advocated the group play along. But seeing that Negan couldn’t be reasoned with, Rick began rallying together other communities affected by the Saviors. And with the support of the Hilltop and Kingdom, they finally have enough fire power to contest the Saviors.

This season, Rick brings “All Out War” to Negan and his forces. The Saviors are larger, better-equipped, and ruthless — but Rick and the unified communities are fighting for the promise of a brighter future. The battle lines are drawn as they launch into a kinetic, action-packed offensive.

Up until now, survival has been the focus of Rick and our group, but it’s not enough. They have to fight to take back their freedom so that they can live. So that they can rebuild. As with any battle, there will be losses. Casualties. But with Rick leading the Alexandrian forces, Maggie leading the Hilltop, and King Ezekiel leading the Kingdom — Negan and the Saviors’ grip on this world may finally be coming to an end.

Okay, so there’s not much there that we didn’t already know - the Comic Con trailer told us most of this already - but this is the first time TWD has officially confirmed that Maggie’s leading the charge in Hilltop… interesting.

Update: August 24, 2017 - brace yourself, season 8 will "thin the herd"

I’m still coming to terms with who we lost in The Walking Dead season 7. So confirmation that season 8 will “thin the herd” only makes me want to cry. Again.

Talking to ComicBook, Steven Ogg - who plays Negan sidekick, Simon - said those exact words: “Thin the herd”. Now, naturally, he didn’t divulge on who exactly will be 'thinned', but given who we lost last series… well, it could be anyone, let’s face it. 

Team Negan or Team Rick - who do you think will suffer the greater casualties in season 8? Will we lose more of Rick’s stalwarts, or will one of the newbies - Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Gregory (Xander Berkeley), or Jesus (Tom Payne) - fall? Time will tell, I guess. Get the tissues ready...

Update: August 15, 2017 - the premiere will be the 100th episode… and they're planning 100 more

(Image: © AMC)

The Walking Dead’s Tom Payne (Jesus, to you and I) thinks the opening episode of season 8 will be a tasty sample of what’s to come.

"It's been just crazy action, and really exciting to film and to read and to be involved in," Payne told IGN. "Scott Gimple's spoken a lot about the 100th episode [which just so happens to be S8’s premiere] being a jump off for the next hundred episodes. Season 8 certainly starts with a big bang and then continues to ramp up, which is really exciting. 

“I know the audience will be really happy with certainly how it starts, because they're taking the fight back, and then every single episode in the first half there's a moment which makes you go, 'Wow, oh my god, I can't believe that.'"

Payne also drops a timely reminder that it’s not Rick and Negan who are squaring up this season...

"I think there's some really strong work from certain characters this year who have been given amazing character arcs to go through. There's just an insane amount of action, and different dilemmas," added Payne. "There are characters who are involved in war, so what is the right thing to do during war? Is it just kill everyone? In every war, there are casualties who maybe shouldn't have been. There are dilemmas that I hope the audience is involved in as well in watching it, and there are choices to be made of how to move forward at certain stages. I'm excited to see what the audience thinks of decisions that certain characters make."

Update: August 18, 2017 - the cast is "really happy" with season 8… and they reckon we will be, too

The Walking Dead isn’t known for pulling its punches, but even the steeliest heart stuttered at what transpired for Rick and company in season 7. If you’re worried that season 8’s going to be just as grim, I have good news - word has it, things will be a little better going forward… at least, that’s what Norman Reedus thinks.

"It feels like our original show again," Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon, told CNet. "I didn’t love last season, shooting it. I didn’t see anyone. I was crying all the time. I was naked and eating dog food. It was just no fun. This season feels like our show again."

"[Daryl] goes very, very dark," Reedus told Comicbook. "He does certain things that he can't go back from. He goes to a very, very dark, dark place. It's a combination of hatred. It's a combination of self-loathing. It's different from when he first started on the show. He has a big chip on his shoulder. He thought people wouldn't like him. He didn't give a shit. He hates you, too. It turns now into he kind of hates himself. He hates the world that we're in, and he doesn't lose the fight in him, but he definitely no longer sees anything good in the world, that's for sure."

"I think season 8, that we're getting into now, it's completely different, first of all," added Jesus actor, Tom Payne. "I always told myself I wouldn't say what I've heard other cast members say every other year, which is, 'Oh, the next season is gonna be this! And the new episode is so many superlatives and so many words you use!' And I'm like, 'Come on, you can't say the same things every year!' 

“But then I had to bite my tongue and says, 'Well, actually...' Season Eight, the first few episodes are out of this world amazing. We've all been getting them and going, 'Wow, okay we thought that was amazing!' and then the next episode is amazing. The audience is going to be very happy with the direction we're taking. We're all really happy." 

***Original article continues below***

The Walking Dead season 8 - everything we know so far

The Walking Dead season 7 left us on the brink of all-out war between Rick’s motley crew of survivors and Negan’s savage Saviors. While the show has some way to go to match the Lucille-swinging brutality of the Walking Dead season 7 premiere, things are bound to get more explosive and tense as The Walking Dead season 8 kicks off. That’s without even mentioning the Z-word.

Can’t wait until the October 22, 2017 release date? We’ve got you covered: Feast your eyes (not literally, mind you) on a bevvy of set photos, trailers, confirmed cast, posters, and more. It goes without saying there are bound to be potential spoilers ahead, so if you don’t want anything ruined then make like Glenn’s skull and split. (Sorry to bring that up again).

The Walking Dead season 8 release date is only months away

The Walking Dead season 8 still has its home on AMC in the US and Fox in the UK, with the premiere airing October 22, 2017 in the United States and a day later on October 23, 2017 across the pond. As of writing, there are no plans to do a Game of Thrones season 7-style simulcast so, if you’re wary of spoilers and you live in the UK, then avoid everyone for a whole day. Or take a break from social media, your call.

This season will once again use the two-part 16-episode format of previous years, with the first 8-episode run scheduled to conclude on December 10/11, 2017. The show will then return for its remaining 8-episodes in spring 2018 if past seasons are anything to go by.

Season 8 started filming in Atlanta, Georgia on April 25, 2017, as confirmed by Negan himself, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, at WalkerStalkerCon. As far as we know, filming is still ongoing. However, tragically, production was halted on July 12, 2017 for five days after stuntman John Bernecker died following an accident on set.

The Walking Dead season 8 trailer - where can I see the first bit of footage?

The first Walking Dead season 8 trailer is a doozy. Released at SDCC 2017, the five-and-a-half-minute long trailer features Old Man Rick (WTF?), Negan in a typically sweary and menacing mood, and enough bullets to down an army (good, thing too). There’s so much going on we’ve wracked our brains and come up with the 6 best moments from The Walking Dead season 8 trailer

With a first trailer that long and revealing, don’t expect a second full trailer just yet. October isn’t far off, though, so you can bet your bottom dollar (or whatever currency they use in Alexandria – Rick’s beard hair?) that we’ll be getting some juicy episode previews and maybe even a little something extra on Old Man Rick by the time October rolls around.

If you’re dying for something – anything – more you’ll be glad to know AMC have released a recap of the previous 99 episodes, walkers and all. Fondly reminiscence about the time Rick didn’t have a beard and when they were inexplicably stuck on that farm for a whole season. Good times.

The Walking Dead season 8 cast - who's still alive?

The Walking Dead season 7 saw some big casualties from Rick’s gang: Glenn and Abraham were the two big names to meet their makers right out of the blocks in the season 7 premiere, and Sasha later sacrificed herself for the greater good to get the drop on Negan’s men. She’s definitely not returning; she’s gone to the great big spaceship in the sky (aka Star Trek: Discovery). Alexandrian turncoat Spencer also met a grisly end at Negan’s hand to send a message to Rick. He’s not the first and he certainly won’t be the last.

Mercifully though, a large amount of the Alexandrians remain intact (for now). Rick, Daryl, Carol and the other main players from the Saviors and the Kingdom are all returning. So, too, are the junkyard Scavengers and Pollyanna Mcintosh’s Jadis, despite them betraying Rick during the Walking Dead season 7 finale. That’s not going to be a happy reunion.

While no new characters have been officially announced yet, ER’s Maria Bello revealed last year (via ScreenCrush) that she’ll have a part to play in The Walking Dead season 8 – so don’t be surprised to see her show up at some point. We’ll also be introduced to two new characters: say hello to Dillon, a sarcastic twenty-something (the role I was born to play, baby), and Abbud, a nervy lone wolf. The more the merrier, I say.

The Walking Dead season 8 spoilers are floating around

The Walking Dead season 8 spoilers, like the best walkers, never really die. The cast and crew can try their absolute best to stop them, but there are spoilers (and comic fan theories addressed by the showrunners) that have been revealed. Let’s look at them...

That Old Man Rick tease at the end of the Walking Dead season 8 trailer sure has got people speculating. It doesn’t help that showrunner Scott M. Gimple has been pretty candid on whether there’ll be a time jump. Fans of the comics will be ‘expecting’ the time jump, according to Gimple – and, let’s face it, a gap of a few years might freshen the show up a bit.

Talking of freshening things up a bit, Rick has no more time for Negan’s games. An Instagram shot went around the web right around the time filming began on the Walking Dead season 8 premiere showing Rick right at the door of Negan’s Sanctuary. Is an all-out assault coming? Talk of a time jump and a sudden assault by Rick seem very convenient, that’s all I’ll say. If nothing else, it’ll be nice to start season 8 off at a brisk pace after the lethargic last eight episodes that preceded it.

That’s not all. Spoiler-y set photos surrounding the season 8 mid-season finale (H/T ComicBook.com) sees Alexandria go up in flames. Rick, known for leaving destruction everywhere he goes, is nowhere to be seen, but Negan and Carl have a big old face-off. Now that’s how you enter a mid-season break…

The Walking Dead season 8 poster is just a giant face-off right now

The closest thing we’ve had to a proper Walking Dead season 8 poster is this giant face-off poster released by Fox UK. No Nic Cage here, though. Just Negan and Rick giving each other a serious case of side-eye, with Michonne, Ezekiel, and Daryl looking ready for action. Eugene is looking very brooding in black too. Whose side is he on?

Season 7 saw its official character posters and promo art released roughly 4-6 weeks before its October air date last year. If that’s any indication then we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of Negan, Rick, and the rest of the cast in poster form come September – especially as Game of Thrones season 7 will have clocked off by then.

The Walking Dead season 8 set photos see Carol and Daryl reunite

Entertainment Weekly have released a pair of photos to sate our need to get eyes on the survivors. Daryl and Carol are finally (properly) reunited in the first official image – complete with Daryl’s motorbike – and, in the second, Rick gives Maggie a reassuring look and a shoulder pat. What a pure boy.

Norman Reedus has also shown himself larking about on set with Andrew Lincoln because you’ve gotta have a few rays of sunshine when everything is so dark and dreary.

Ready to get back at it! 🦅

A photo posted by @bigbaldhead on Apr 7, 2017 at 11:22am PDT

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