The Walking Dead has never really been of the “spoonful of sugar” mentality. When the series is charged with delivering some bad news—say, the death of a beloved character, or…well, no, that’s pretty much the only brand of bad news we get from this show—it generally does so in the harshest, rawest, and most painful way imaginable. Hell, The Walking Dead isn’t even waiting until its return from summer hiatus to hammer home the tragedy; this new trailer from San Diego Comic-Con, teasing the forthcoming seventh season of the series, takes effort to make us weep over the possibility of losing any of the characters threatened with certain death in the final moments of the sixth season finale.
We know we’ll be saying goodbye to one of 11 characters who concluded the season staring down the business end of the nefarious Negan’s weapon of choice. We’ve no doubt all made our top picks for who we hope isn’t the ill-fated party, among the lot of Rick, Carl, Michonne, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, Rosita, Sasha, Aaron, Eugene, and Abraham. But this new trailer forces us through an emotional montage of bittersweet moments from the days of The Walking Dead yore, pulling us out the other side entrenched in dread over the thought of saying a morbid goodbye to any of Negan’s victims.
After the grand conceit in emotional turmoil that is the first half of the trailer, we’re lifted just a bit with a few glances at what’s to come. Most notably, a new character who calls himself King Ezekiel and reigns supreme with a mighty tiger by his side.
No, that isn’t a metaphor. A real tiger. Yes, we’re still talking about The Walking Dead. No, I’m not aware of any behind-the-scenes promotional agreements between the AMC series and CBS’ Zoo.
Perhaps even more hauntingly grim is the midseason trailer for Fear the Walking Dead, which premiered at Comic-Con alongside the promo for its parent series’ next string of eps. While the characters and general ambiance of The Walking Dead have committed almost irreparably to a stasis of certain doom, the younger program seems to be building momentum on its heroes’ (altogether misguided) lasting hope. That we know better makes it all the more mortifying to watch these still-not-all-the-way-destitute wanderers skulk toward demise.
And to make matters worse, no tigers.
Fear the Walking Dead returns to AMC on August 21, and The Walking Dead makes its way back to the airwaves on October 23.
Featured Image: AMC