As the ranks of the show's new Alexandria/Hilltop society and AMC's The Walking Dead series continue to grow, the tensions simmering between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) since his season 8-ending decision to spare Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) appear ready to boil over in a big way. As we can see from this official teaser for the upcoming season (first airing during Sunday's episodes of Preacher and Fear the Walking Dead), communities may be forced to take sides in their "Leadership Clash" – while a greater threat waits from the outside:
"We're seeing graffiti in the Sanctuary for the first time since the war: 'Saviors Save Us.' After all the misery we saw at the Sanctuary when the Saviors were in charge, this is a surprising message for our people to see in the aftermath of the war. 'We Are Still Negan' is a nod back to the way the Saviors used to call themselves Negan, written in response to the call for help. In working on this story, the writers' room discussed the appeal of authoritarian governments as a reaction to chaos and war.
Andrew Lincoln picked up on that immediately when he saw this moment in the script and said, 'Well, it's the rise of fascism, isn't it?' (Read that in a British accent.) We don't tend to write in reaction to current events because we start breaking our stories 10 months or more before the season starts to air, but we do look to history for lessons about how civilizations react to war, pestilence, natural disaster, etc. This season, we're reflecting the way the characters in the comic book looked to the past to create a future, so it's especially valuable for us now!" – Angela Kang, Showrunner
When The Walking Dead returns on October 7th, Rick and Maggie are going to be welcoming a number of new faces before their respective exit, including: Nadia Hilker as Magna, Angel Theory as Kelly and Lauren Ridloff as her sister Connie (first deaf character in the series), Eleanor Matsura as Yumiko, and Dan Fogler as Luke.
Other additions to the cast include: Samantha Morton's deadly Whisperers leader Alpha; Ryan Hurst as Whisperers second-in-command Beta; Brett Butler as "salt-of-the-earth" Hilltop resident Tammy Rose (clashes with Carl and Maggie in the comics); John Finn's Earl is the Hilltop's blacksmith and Tammy's devoted husband. (he winds up serving as a father figure and mentor for Carl); Rhys Coiro's Jed is described as a rebellious Savior who refuses to fall in line with the new community; Zach McGowen's Justin is a hostile Savior who isn't interested in working together with other communities; and recently-announced Cassady McClincy's Lydia, daughter of Whisperers' leader Alpha and a member of her mother's roaming band of walker-disguised survivors.