The Walking Dead Team Talks Season 7 Premiere: 'It's Very, Very Gruesome'

Season 7 of The Walking Dead will have its lighter moments, promises showrunner Scott Gimple, but the resolution of the “Who did Negan kill?” cliffhanger won’t be one of ’em.

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“We spared no drop of awfulness, no iota of misery, no scintilla of pain,” Gimple told Michael Ausiello at TVLine’s Comic-Con studio presented by ZTE.

Even Negan’s portrayer, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, described filming his first two episodes of the AMC smash as “a tough deal.”

Yet while no one in the room would answer the question, “Who’s here just for show?”, Gimple did offer up one of the larger themes in Season 7. “How do they live under the thumb of Negan — and still live?” he previewed. “It isn’t all misery, but they want to win back their lives.”

Cast members Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira, meanwhile, weighed in on last season’s budding love affair between Rick and Michonne — but stayed cryptic about how much of that dynamic will be explored when the show returns. (Heck, neither one would deny that either Rick or Michonne dies within the opening moments of the premiere!)

The Walking Dead returns for Season 7 Sunday, Oct. 23, at 9/8c on AMC.

Press PLAY above for the full video interview, then share your thoughts below!