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The Walking Dead season 7 producer reveals how Rick and co have changed and what it means

If you're wondering what's in store for Rick and crew when The Walking Dead season 7 returns to television on February 12, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd has some insight to share. Speaking with SFX magazine, Hurd said that several of our heroes have blood on their hands - and given the intense season premiere, I have to wonder if she means figuratively or literally.

Take Daryl for example. "There’s no question he’s been changed," Hurd explained. "He feels guilt. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t in the world of Negan. If you do nothing people die and if you do something people die. So when Daryl rose up after Abraham was killed, and Negan then killed Glenn... Negan may very well have always intended to kill Glenn. That doesn’t change the fact that Daryl is feeling that guilt."

Hurd said that Carol too feels the weight of her conscience. We've seen how she keeps a list of the people she's killed and how reluctant she can be to resort to violence (despite having a massive kill count for a "good guy," second only to Rick). Hurd said Carol will be doing a lot of soul searching in the remainder of season 7, but until then, it's "better to just be a hermit."

And what about our fearful leader, Rick? The implication of the mid-season finale was that he would stand up to Negan and the Saviors, but Hurd played coy when discussing the former police officer: "We’ve seen Rick give up command before," she said. "In the third season we saw him become a farmer. We also saw how, in order to save Carl, he had to bite a man’s throat." In other words, Rick has the capacity to fall back and let someone else take the wheel, but also the capacity for violent uprising if need be.

And don't think you know what's coming if you've read the comics. "It’s a bigger world out there," Hurd said. "Once again, there’s a lot that’s from the comic book and there’s a lot that’s not."

It won't be long until we get to see for ourselves what our not-so-merry band of survivors will do in the face of Negan and the hordes of undead roaming the earth. But I feel confident that no matter what happens, it's gonna be bloody.

Read more about what's next for Rick and co. in the latest issue of SFX magazine, on sale now. Buy future issues here.

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Images: AMC / SFX Magazine

Sam is a former News Editor at GamesRadar. His words have appeared on Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.