Scott Gimple Talks War and Peace With Us in Season 8 of The Walking Dead

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20 October 2017

AMC, Oct. 22, 9:00 PM ET

by Lori Acken

As The Walking Dead heads into its Season 8 premiere — its 100th episode — on Sunday, the zombie hit’s writer/executive producer Scott Gimple reflects, “The seven years I’ve been involved in it feel like just one breakneck season we’ve been working on the whole time. I look at this episode as the beginning of the next hundred episodes. I don’t mean to make such a brash and audacious statement, but story-wise, it does still feel like the beginning.” As the new season ushers in the comic series’ much- anticipated “All Out War” story arc, Gimple shares intel on what’s ahead.

Is The Entire Season “All Out War”?
Scott Gimple: Watching the first four episodes, [people] will be like, “See?!” But as we go into Episode 5, things shift and then start building up again — sort of like taking a pot that’s boiling off of the burner and putting it aside for a minute to set, then putting it on the burner again after adding some ingredients that will make it that much richer.

A More Nuanced Negan
That’s a long-play story. Yes, we’re going to begin to see or hear what made Negan into Negan. We’re gonna see things affect him in unusual ways. But I will say, Lucille will still be in full effect. And he has some one-liners this season that are devastating.

Maggie As Leader
It’s a huge season for Maggie.  [Even though she’s pregnant,] I wouldn’t look at her as a moral compass in any way. … She hates Negan. She hates the Saviors. And she’s also a force to contend with. Maggie is, as far as the confl ict goes, one of the more hawk-like voices that we’ll hear. Can she fulfill the vengeance that she craves?

Rick And Michonne Making War, Not Love
The stakes are even higher for Michonne, in some ways. She was a big infl uence on Rick in getting back into this, and with that comes a sense of responsibility. If people thought that her warrior side was tempered by the relationship with Rick, that won’t be the case this season!

The Wildcards Eugene And Dwight
The number one thing with Eugene — above loyalty, friendship, honor, anything — is survival. Negan offered him safety, and that’s just too seductive. With Dwight, it’s a different story. He wound up with Negan due to a very twisted emotional equation. ... And he finally found himself at a place to aid Daryl and Rick and the “AHK,” Alexandria/Hilltop/Kingdom. He doesn’t care about his own survival. He just wants to see things set right. He wants to see the Saviors done. And yet they’re under the same roof. It’s gonna create a very unusual confl ict.
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