Alliances are made. Battle lines are drawn. The Walking Dead declares an All Out War!

Halloween has almost arrived, so naturally The Walking Dead returns with all-new episodes. Tomorrow, Season 8 begins, so Negan and the Saviors better be on the lookout as Rick’s Gang teams up with The Kingdom and Hilltop Colony in a fight to the finish. A major wildcard is the all-female group from Oceanside. Whose side will they assist? They could be a major swing factor in declaring the victors.

Picking up the pieces from last year, Eugene has become a Savior(!?), Carol is no longer a loner, Maggie is a strong (and pregnant) leader at Hilltop and Dwight might just finally turn the tables on his boss. “Mercy,” the first episode of Season 8, promises an action-packed storyline that’s ripped straight out of the graphic novels. This is great news, as last season seemed to crawl to a halt at times, becoming slow and predictable.

The season premiere also signifies a milestone, as it’s the 100th episode of the TV show. That’s big news, especially since networks were initially hesitant to air a program that prominently featured Zombies. Robert Kirkman (along with everyone from Skybound Entertainment) deserves a pat on the back for producing basic cable’s top-rated program (even if the ratings are declining), which has provided plenty of quality entertainment for the whole Zombies In My Blog crew.

After watching the Season 8 Preview Special, Executive Producer Scott M. Gimple declared the thee episodes that follow the season premiere will be taking place at “breakneck speed,” which also offers “the most consecutive action-oriented” episodes of the series. Color us (undead) intrigued. Gimple also revealed Negan’s backstory will be explored, which doesn’t sound that promising. We’re not big fans of flashback (or dream) episodes, which has us nervous about the reveal of Old Man Rick (but we’ll hold that conversation for another time).

A thinning of the (acting) herd is needed, as there are too many characters to make them all feel meaningful to the main storyline. With so much action promised for this season, we can only expect more than a few familiar faces will be written out. It’s just too easy to predict the death of the Saviors, so how about the minions of Hilltop and a much-needed departure for Gregory? That’s a safe bet. Throw in Father Gabriel Stokes for good measure — since he’s finally manned up, his character arc has ended. Aaron’s time has come. And apparently, Maggie’s baby will not be born this season (no more kids on the show, please!), so we’re guessing Maggie will be on the short list this year, as well. Who else should be killed off this season? After serving his ultimate purpose, Dwight will definitely bite the dust, along with his boss. Lucille shall be destroyed, as will all the walls enclosing the Sanctuary.

Along this journey of watching the show, we’ve made a few accurate predictions without first having read the comics, but we unfortunately already know that Shiva won’t survive the oncoming battle (should the filmmakers follow the script of the comics). Hopefully the big cat will get some great action scenes before it’s all said and done.

We’ve enjoyed the first 100 episodes. We’re hoping for another great 100. Long live The Walking Dead.