When season seven of The Walking Dead premieres in the US on October 23, we're finally going to learn which character new villain Negan killed. It's a secret the show is determined to keep until then, which made the panel at Comic-Con a little awkward. The future was not a big topic of discussion. Much like the latest trailer for the season, none of the actors were able to talk about the upcoming season. The reason is because any mention of something that happens after that final moment with Negan could confirm that their character isn't the one who dies. So while their commitment to keeping the surprise fresh is formidable, it was also frustrating.
"Your frustration will be over soon," promised creator Robert Kirkman. "It's worth the wait. It will be a fantastic premiere and a fantastic season."
While generalisations were the order of the day, Kirkman does have something to back up his promises. When the show kicked off back in 2010, Kirkman decided to take The Walking Dead comic in directions he specifically didn't think they'd ever do on television. But now the show has caught up to that point of the comic, and they're actually doing it all. Hence Shiva, the tiger featured in the new trailer.
Much of the discussion focused on what we've already seen in the most recent season, such as Abraham's reasoning to break up with Rosita and settle down with Sasha ("He finally sees a tomorrow and a tomorrow after tomorrow," Michael Cudlitz said.). Steven Yeun also discussed his reaction to reading The Walking Dead #100 where Glen was killed by Negan. (He was worried but also found it important and impactful. Of course, we don't know if the show will stay true to that.) Everyone talked about how emotionally draining shooting that final scene with Negan was.
The panel also showed three "signature walkers" for season seven. There's one they call "Crispy Blister", who looks like a pizza that's half burned. Another is inspired by Lucio Fulci's Zombie. And then another they called "Hitchcock", because he's a larger gentleman who has had his eyes and lips pecked away by birds.
Beyond that, we learned more about the prank wars between Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln than anything else. The story that Reedus filled Lincoln's car's AC vents with glitter had recently circulated; Lincoln tried to get his revenge on stage by throwing glitter in Reedus' face, only to get it stuck in his own beard.
It was a little moment of levity in a panel where the fact that one of the characters will be dying horribly as soon as the season begins hung over the proceedings.
"It's a really shitty start to the season but hang in there," said Lincoln. "It will be worth it. We're heading to one of the greatest showdowns since Terminus."