The Walking Dead's long-awaited return arrives on AMC Sunday, October 23, and fans are rarin' for it. The seventh season of the Emmy-winning series promises new characters, squishier zombies and, of course, a resolution to the endless anguished torment of wondering whose cranium got cracked with a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat on the last episode of season 6.
But before we get the payoff we've all been waiting for, let's look back on who was where the last time we checked in with the survivors of the zombie apocalypse.
Swing and a Hit
We'll just start with the obvious: In case you somehow missed out on the biggest cliffhanger of last season's finale (not to mention the entire history of the series), most of the Walking Dead cast ended season 6 on their knees in a forest clearing, watching newly arrived villain Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) beat an as-yet-unrevealed member of the crew to death. But while that might be the most immediate problem facing the Grimes gang at the moment, let's not forget about …
Maggie in Distress
Midway through last season, we learned that Maggie (Lauren Cohan) had a bun in the oven — but something seemed to be going very wrong with the baby when we last saw her. In fact, it was a quest to get Maggie to the Hilltop colony doctor that got the Alexandria natives into their current mess, as Negan's goons closed off the roads and effectively corralled them like sheep to a slaughter. If Maggie survives Negan's entrance, she'll still be in serious trouble, unless she gets medical attention ASAP.
Carol on the Run
The good news is, Carol (Melissa McBride) was not among the potential victims of Negan's murderous debut. The bad news is, she won't be baking her famous cookies again anytime soon. Overwhelmed with guilt about the lives she'd taken, Carol fled Alexandria before things went south in season 6, and ended up seriously injured by the one surviving member of the Saviors she gunned down on the road. Teasers for the upcoming season have revealed that she'll survive long enough to see the Kingdom, but mentally? She's in rough shape.
Eugene Found His Mojo
Lots of our heroes wrestled with their demons during season 6, but Eugene (Josh McDermitt) emerged from his own crisis of character with a survivor's mindset and a lot of exciting plans — including a scheme to manufacture ammunition (which is in short supply after the end of the world as we know it). He also possesses the wherewithal to bite a bad guy in the wiener when necessary. In short, he's poised to be a major player come season 7 … assuming that he survives Negan and his baseball bat.
The Knights of the Zombie Apocalypse
The most intriguing new characters on The Walking Dead hail from the aforementioned Kingdom, a survivors' colony whose members were responsible for saving Carol and Morgan (Lenny James) at a critical moment late in season 6. These guys clearly follow a different code than the Alexandria crew — for one thing, they've got a King instead of a Ricktator — and they're going to be an integral part of whatever comes next for our heroes, who definitely need some new allies if they want to best the Saviors once and for all.
Tell Us: Who do you think dies in the season 7 premiere?
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
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