Leaving us all hanging with that WTF season 6 cliffhanger, (opens in new tab) has come good by unleashing a pretty action-packed first (opens in new tab). Things start off slowly, before all hell breaks loose and we're tossed into a world where zombies are the least of anyone's worries. Running at a whopping three minutes - well 90 seconds when you cut through all the recycled footage - we've gone through it frame-by-frame for any clues about the upcoming season.
1. Negan's victim will be unveiled
Well, no shit. Spending 90 seconds taking a trip down memory lane (looking remarkably like the opening credits to an '80s sitcom), the trailer reminds us why we love all of Rick's gang and is a surefire way to get everybody jacked up and clawing for answers. Nobody wants to remember the nice things! It WILL ONLY MAKE IT HARDER when the bat falls and we get to see Negan's victim. Oh, yeah. That was probably the whole point. Interestingly, the trailer manages to tease the reveal without giving anything away. There’s no shots of any of the potential victims in any other scenes meaning there’s no way we can say for sure who will survive. Sneaky.
2. The Saviors are a pretty miserable bunch
Villains like to laugh maniacally and be in love with pain, rubbing their hands with glee every time a plan comes together. But The Saviors look... pretty depressed. Can you blame them? They're a bunch of extortionists led by Mr. Charisma himself, Negan. He thinks that scarring someone's face with an iron is a way to ‘teach them a lesson’. In the comics, most of his crew were forced into the group, and then forced to do loads of stuff they'd rather not. While Dwight's a particularly unique brand of douche (Denise *sob*) you've got to feel for his girlfriend, Honey, who cautions here: "Whatever he's [Negan] done to you, there's always more." But what?
3. The rest of the gang are keeping busy
The trailer doesn’t forget the rest of the main characters who weren't included in Negan's line-up though. Aside from road-rager extraordinaire Carol (more on her later), Morgan's back on his do-gooder crusade, promising someone he won't let them die, while Tara and Heath are out exploring and come across someone who wants to fill 'em full of lead. It looks as if Tara's out for blood in the trailer. After what happened to Denise she might be on the warpath - we still don’t know if she knows Denise is dead - so maybe the person getting their face smashed in with a rifle is Dwight. Please, let it be Dwight.
4. The gore looks like it's gonna be upped A LOT
We've seen a lot of stomach-churning incidents on the show before. People turning other people into tasty culinary treats; unfortunate souls getting eaten alive by zombies; zombies eating the corpses of recently-deceased pregnant women. Yes, we've seen it all. Or so we thought. The showrunners have now seen fit to bring in some farmyard animals. You can add 'Pigs eating people' to that list. Besides that vomit-inducing visual, the fact that we're now entering the show's seventh year means the undead are even more hideous to look at.
5. Carol's continuing on her whacked-out journey
After starting out as a battered housewife, Carol Peletier underwent a transformation. No longer scared of her husband, or anyone for that matter, she took this apocalypse seriously. She's now one of the group's most skilled shooters and doesn't take crap from anybody. Until she had that mini-breakdown toward the end of season 6 and went on a Savior-killing rampage. Where's that left her? Well, she's not at risk from Negan's swing, we know that. "I don't know what's going on in the most wonderful way," she says cheerily, with an expression on her face that suggests she’s discovered an abandoned candy factory and eaten everything.
6. There's finally going to be a serious car chase
The biggest action beats in the trailer feature cars smacking into one another. Could it be Carol? It's possible she's involved (we've seen her handle herself in that capacity before), but there's actually many different shots scattered across the trailer showing most of the main cast in, on or around cars. The longer spans depict a skirmish on the road that looks pretty epic. Whoever's in that sky blue car is getting the brunt of it from what appears to be one of Negan's military trucks.
7. The Hilltop's going to come under fire
Rick's plan to eliminate Negan on behalf of The Hilltop hasn't gone exactly to plan. One of his own is about to bite the big one, leaving their new chums out on a limb. By the looks of things that limb is on fire. There's several cutaways to Hilltop members fighting hordes of zombies while the outer perimeter burns. One quick shot of their leader Gregory opening his curtains to a blaze suggests his time might be up. Perhaps Maggie will replace him as leader, like in the comics?
8. Holy shit, that's King Ezekiel and his pet tiger Shiva!
Once Negan was confirmed for the show, it was just a matter of time before the yin to his yang was introduced. King Ezekiel leads a community of survivors who reside in an old high school. They tend crops, live harmoniously, and somehow scrounge up enough sustenance to feed A TIGER. Yes, that's Ezekiel's pet Shiva, from his pre-apocalypse days as a zookeeper. The pair debuted back in issue 108. It's since been confirmed that DC animation alum Khary Payton plays Ezekiel in the show. Now that he's on board, this means only one thing...
9. We're headed to war!
The evidence is all there. Add together all the elements and you're staring at a scenario straight from the comic books, a story arc entitled " (opens in new tab)". We know now that The Kingdom, Ezekiel's community, are in the mix and more than ready to handle themselves thanks to their armored gear. The Hilltop's seen better days and no doubt needs support from an outside party. Rick's gang can't do squat until they retreat to lick their wounds. When they're all together, there's a chance Negan will get overthrown for good. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.