While at San Diego Comic Con 2016, fans of The Walking Dead had the opportunity to visit an interactive experience booth as well as attend a panel filled with cast members and show runners. If you’ve never seen The Walking Dead, chances are you have at least heard of it considering its massive fan following and viewer count which makes it one of the most buzzworthy television shows currently running. A few months ago, the hit AMC show concluded its sixth season with an enormous cliffhanger that left fans everywhere reeling when new villain, Negan, murdered a member of Rick’s group. The problem? The scene was shot in first person, leaving the victim to be a mystery.
The show’s Friday panel included showrunners Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero, and Gale Anne Hurd in addition to cast members Andrew Lincoln, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Sonequa Martin-Green, Michael Cudlitz, Chandler Riggs, Ross Marquand, and Josh McDermitt and the panel was moderated by none other than the host of The Talking Dead, Chris Hardwick. Fans got the opportunity to be the first ones to see the first trailer for season seven.
As a fan of the show, this has to be one of the best panels that I got the chance to attend for many reasons. Firstly, new cast member Jeffrey Dean Morgan made his debut onto the Hall H Walking Dead panel by mimicking his villainous role as Negan. Morgan even brought out Negan’s beloved weapon, a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire known as “Lucille”, onto the stage, repeating Negan’s speech from the final scene in the season six finale. Morgan lightly swung the bat over the heads of fellow cast members, just as his character does in the scene that has spawned theory upon theory. According to Morgan, he has never been recognized as much as he has since appearing on The Walking Dead. As a prior fan of the show as well as the graphic novels they are based upon, Morgan is more than excited to be a part of the world of The Walking Dead. As expected, he kept a tight lid on which cast members he has spent time with in order to keep the mystery of who Negan killed intact.
Andrew Lincoln, who plays lead character Rick Grimes, described season seven to be a rough start, picking up right from where season six left off and revealing the identity of Negan’s victim. However, he assured the crowd that we would get the best showdown the show has seen since Terminus. This is certainly a tough act to beat, but if anyone could possibly assure us of a thrilling season, it would be the show’s lead actor. Speaking of Andrew Lincoln, he is also the cause of my second favorite part of this panel. If you are not aware, co-star Norman Reedus who plays the fan-favorite Daryl Dixon recently pranked Lincoln by putting glitter into the vents of his car, causing the glitter to fly everywhere when Lincoln was driving. Andrew Lincoln clearly intended to return the favor to Reedus, but it backfired massively when the glitter that Lincoln intended to blow onto Reedus’ face actually flew back into Lincoln’s face, coating his beard and mouth in thick gold glitter. Lincoln did more damage to himself than Reedus, much to the amusement of Reedus.
The third most exciting part of the panel would be the reveal of the season seven promo video. With the help of clever editing and carefully selected clips, the promo gives us no clues as to who was on the receiving end of Negan’s lethal blows. However, fans got their first look at new character, King Ezekiel and his pet tiger, Shiva, as well as his group of followers and compound, known as The Kingdom. Ezekiel is another big character and storyline from the graphic novels that will soon be brought to life on the television show.
Overall, this panel was one of the highlights of Comic Con for me. From Jeffrey Dean Morgan impersonating Negan to the debut of the trailer and the cast antics, The Walking Dead panel was incredibly eventful and a huge treat for the fans. In addition to their amazing panel, fans could also visit the Walking Dead booth which was basically a recreation of the iconic Negan lineup, complete with mannequins dressed to match Negan and the members of Negan’s group that have the potential to meet their demise in the season seven premiere. The setup also included live extras posing as walkers.
For more coverage of The Walking Dead’s presence and San Diego Comic Con 2016, check out our photo gallery and video footage.