The full-length trailer for The Walking Dead season 9 offers fans their first extended glimpse at life after the all-out war between Rick and Negan. After two seasons dominated by the battle between the two sides, AMC’s hit apocalyptic drama is finally ready to move on to new narrative territory. This revamp couldn’t come at a better time either, with Walking Dead season 8’s ratings steadily plummeting, after season 7 had already seen huge drops from season 6’s numbers take place.
The marketing for season 9 so far has been dominated by images of new location Washington, DC., although it still remains to be seen exactly when the characters will head to the U.S. capital. One presumes that by the time they get there, any semblance of the government will be long gone, with walkers having overtaken the seats of power that existed prior to the collapse of society. Interestingly, a teaser released yesterday for season 9 also hinted at the creation of a survivor settlement in Toledo, Ohio. It seems that the world of The Walking Dead is about to expand in a big way.
With the highly anticipated panels for both The Walking Dead and its spinoff Fear the Walking Dead – which of course recently saw longtime main series character Morgan Jones (Lennie James) join the cast – now in the books, AMC has released the official trailer for season 9. The trailer serves to preview what fans can expect from this latest batch of episodes, including a new conflict between the communities. Season 9 sees the arrival of new showrunner Angela Kang, and she doesn’t seem to be wasting any time shaking things up.
It seems fitting that the framing device for the above trailer is Rick having what appears to be a self-congratulatory conversation with Negan, as the former Savior leader lounges inside his prison cell. While Rick looks to have united the different groups to an extent, it seems he’ll soon find out exactly just how hard it can be to lead that many people, all while trying to make sure everyone involved is happy. Negan solved that problem by ruling with an iron fist, and using intimidation tactics to keep all his disparate subjects in line. Rick has gone the opposite route, but it doesn’t look like his benevolent leadership style is going to prevent violent disputes from taking place between various factions. Negan seems be way ahead of Rick in realizing that his makeshift utopia will soon crumble.
As teased near the end of season 8, Maggie also looks ready to try and usurp Rick from his role as top authority figure among the survivors of the latter’s war with Negan. While Maggie doesn’t look like she’s willing to topple Rick from power using violence just yet, it’s certainly possible that she’ll reach that point before the end of season 9. Of course, with both Lauren Cohan and Andrew Lincoln soon set to exit The Walking Dead’s cast, the winner of their contest for control may not even be who ends up in charge in the end.
The Walking Dead season 9 premieres October 7 on AMC.