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6 Things We Learned From New York Comic Con’s Walking Dead Panel

By on October 12, 2014

Rick and Daryl | The Walking Dead

For several years running, The Walking Dead has had New York Comic Con’s largest, wildest and most popular panel.

NYCC’s largest hall (with a capacity of 3,500 to be exact), was filled about an hour before the con even officially opened for the day. Walking Dead’s most rabid fans turned out loud and proud of the series and cast during the panel, which featured a sneak peek at the premiere and a question and answer session.

Moderated by nerd kingpin Chris Hardwick, the panel featured showrunner Scott Gimple and Executive Producers Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkland, and Greg Nicotero. Cast members Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohen, Steven Yen, Melissa McBride, Chad Coleman, and Sonequa Martin, among others were also present to talk about where their characters have been and where they are going in season five.

Yesterday, ScreenSpy made it a stop on our coverage circuit and now we’ve got some exciting season five scoop. What was discussed? Midseason premiere dates, comic convergences and this season’s biggest theme. Here’s what what we learned.

1. The show’s midseason return date has been set. Expect to have the gruff band of zombie apocalypse survivors back on your screens starting Sunday, February 8. For international fans the show will re-launch only a day after on Monday, February 9.

2. Tonight’s season five premiere picks up right where season four left off. And we mean right where it left off. Unlike last season’s time jump, everyone is preparing for battle, but their opposition may be one step a(head). Literally.

3. Despite that difference, much of the show’s tone has remained untouched. The grit and darkness of the first two minutes of the premiere will  leave your jaw hanging open (or stomach turning). People will die. Limbs will be flayed. Guttural screams will echo and fill your heart with fear.

4. Speaking of tone, the storylines this season will continue to diverge a bit from the comics, however, Kirkman promises that more than any season before it, five will feature content directly from the comics.

5. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a lot of pain, surprise and shock while watching this year. Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd said the upcoming season was “utterly relentless and totally heartbreaking.” Episode seven in particular will be “really devastating,” Kirkman teased.

6. The season won’t be all dark though. The characters have new missions and goals that help guide and motivate them. With that comes a renewed sense of hope and sense of adversity. We’ll get to see this manifest in different ways for each and every character.

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