In a little more than a month, The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season, complete with a new showrunner and the looming exit of two its biggest stars. It's been dubbed a bit of a new era for the series, and now AMC has dropped a fresh batch of photos to give us a new peek at exactly what that will look like.
As the Comic-Con trailer revealed to us last month, Season 9 arrives with a bit of a time jump, revealing a world in which Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and the other leaders of humanity are trying to build a better, more stable community for themselves in the wake of the battle with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Rick sees it as a chance to build new community, rather than divide and tear down, and as a result everyone is working together to secure their respective homes, grow food, and generally protect each others.
Tensions quickly begin to rise, though. As new showrunner Angela Kang has already laid out, Season 9 will reveal a world in which the resources our heroes so readily scavenged for years are beginning to run short. There are fewer bullets, fewer sources of reliable fuel (gasoline doesn't last forever), and fewer places to find food. In a world picked clean, Rick and his friends will have to fend for themselves, and as often happens on The Walking Dead, that leads to questions about leadership. Of course, it doesn't help that Negan, now locked away in a cell, still has Rick's ear.
The new photos don't reveal anything staggering that the trailer didn't already show us, but they do allow us a moment to steady what some of the new status quo looks like. Maggie has had her baby, and is now ready to take a place of leadership in the community. Ezekiel and Carol (Melissa McBride) are officially a couple. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) has some new names to complement his crossbow. And, of course, the gang is trading in their cars for horses and a covered wagon they seem to have snagged from a museum. Everything generally looks pretty peaceful, but we all know that won't last.
The Walking Dead, which will see off both Lincoln and Cohan as stars this season, returns October 7 on AMC. Check out the photos below.