‘The Walking Dead’ Season 7 Episode 1 Premiere: Scott M. Gimple Talks A Different Kind Of Death In Season 6, ‘TWD: The Journey So Far’, And The Hilltop/Alexandria Relationship

The Walking Dead season seven premiere is less than a week away. It will pick up right after season six where someone did die by way of Negan’s bat, Lucille. The AMC hit TV show has had a major rap sheet of significant deaths as of late. Even The Talking Dead after show, hosted by Chris Hardwick, would highlight these demises and would even spoof walker deaths. This coming Sunday night Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, will be “making a point” with Rick’s group.

This event was touted by Scott M. Gimple as a death much more different than previous Walking Dead shows, so fans should expect something different, according to an interview via Entertainment Weekly.

The Journey So Far Takes A Drastic Turn

On Sunday AMC aired The Walking Dead: The Journey So Far which highlighted special moments of the cast regarding significant points in the series. Of course, both the cast and crew do refer to Rick’s group as a journey of sorts up until this point in Season 6/7 where they encounter Negan, which is where this journey will take an unfortunate turn.

Gimple talks about the challenges that the group faces now that they’ll be under the thumb of Negan and his group of Saviors. The showrunner starts off by saying how the Alexandria group has a “key into a new world” in the latter half of Season 6 and Jesus even expresses that their world is about to get bigger. He wasn’t lying, as their encounter with Negan was that of a rude awakening considering Rick’s overconfidence.

“So, that place they thought they lived in is shattered. And the people that they even thought that they were — they’ve achieved a certain level of peace with the world, of confidence in their abilities, of knowing what they can do and If we stick together, we can do anything — that does not prove to be true.”

The Walking Dead even had a TV promo reinforcing “Whatever you had going for you, that’s over.”

Negan’s Victim’s Purposeful Death

Gimple talked about the significant difference in this death compared to others. Most died by the mouths of walkers, the Governor took out Hershel, but Negan’s victim’s death is supposed to be “extremely purposeful.” The show is demonstrating consequences that will occur if they do not do what the leader of the Saviors tell them to. They lose their power and the question remains on what’s left to do, “how do they go on?”

“They’re under someone’s thumb now, in every way. And the consequences of that, of trying to defy him, are laid out in front of them in just the most horrible way.”

The defiance was already laid out in The Walking Dead’s 2016 New York Comic-Con sneak peak, “Right Hand Man”, where Rick outright defies Negan by threatening him. That was nipped in the bud rather abruptly as Rick was “escorted” to the RV.

There were moments in Season 6 where they worked as a team to defeat all obstacles and, according to Gimple, the group figured they can do anything as long as they could do it together. That was quickly put to a halt in the Season 6 finale. Rick’s confidence was being slowly broken down over time as they encountered people in The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere that are too numerous to handle, and a new and undesirable reality they must accept, or else.

“It’s a bigger group and they are fertile and they are relentless and ruthless. And the death is evidence of that. But they’re moving into a whole new reality. And it’s not the reality they want to live in but they have to.”

The Hilltop Relationship With Alexandria Post-Lucille

Keep in mind, the Alexandrians made a deal with the Hilltop in aiding them in ridding their lives of Negan and his people. That didn’t go over well, apparently, and now this changes things, especially should the Hilltop citizens and their leader, Gregory, find out there was more to Negan’s group than just that single outpost that Rick overthrew.

What if it gets back to Negan that a deal was made between Rick’s group from Alexandria and Gregory’s people? Gimple really opens up with these questions that can leave The Walking Dead fans pontificating the consequences should Negan ever find out and how he may ascertain this knowledge during Season 7.

“But, ultimately, the Hilltop has new information, too. They didn’t know that there were more Saviors. They thought that that outpost was the Saviors. It’s not, so they suddenly go, “Oh s—, we’re in a whole different world, as well.” It makes their situation incredibly fraught.”

That being said, there is a cause for concern for The Hilltop as well.

Find out for certain on AMC’s The Walking Dead season seven premiere on Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. EST.

[Featured Image by Matt Cowan/Getty Images]