Walking DeadAfter happily guzzling from AMC's Walking Dead marketing firehose all summer long -- seriously, that was an impressive amount of buildup they did for season 4 -- rooting out teasers for the second half of the season has been no easy task. The network's gone pretty quiet (although I expect we'll be bombarded with promotions as we get closer to the midseason kickoff), but never fear: I've located some juicy info to get you all pumped up for the show's return on February 9.

Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple and creator Robert Kirkman have shared a few intriguing new details about what we'll be seeing when season 4 comes back on the air, and better yet, there's a new mid-season premiere trailer clip to obsess over.

Stop reading now if you want to remain 100 percent un-spoiled for the second half of season 4!

So the big unanswered question from the midseason finale is whether or not baby Judith's still alive. All we saw was a bloody car seat, which implied ... well, who knows, right? She could be totally fine, or she could be zombie chow. We don't know, but Gimple is teasing that the next leg of the story will involve Rick mourning the loss of his daughter. Is that because he actually confirms her death or just assumes she couldn't have survived? We'll have to wait to find out, but his emotional devastation will lead to Carl taking over the role of leader as they struggle to survive:

It’s going to hit [Rick] in a way that we haven’t seen before. If it’s just the two of them, [Carl is] going to have to step up quite a bit because circumstances are wildly different and a lot will depend on him in terms of them just surviving. They don’t have an awesome, dual-layer fence and brick buildings to hide behind. They’re out in the world.

That's an interesting turn of events, because the first half of the season had Rick taking away Carl's gun in an attempt to pull him back from the stone-cold killer he was turning into at the end of season 3. Of course, once Carl got his mitts on some weaponry, he basically smoked like five hundred zombies in one badass shooting spree, so he's clearly a mini-soldier in the making. If Rick's totally checked out because he's despairing over Judith, I'd guess Carl's going to evolve pretty quickly.

Plus, I get the feeling Rick will be struggling with other issues, too. In the comics he had an infection that led to a serious medical condition while he was on the road with Carl, and you get a hint of that in the teaser trailer.

Check it out:

As for whether the show plans to introduce the next comic book villain (Negan, who was responsible for a beloved character's death in a scene so horrific I practically had to lie down after I read it), Kirkman says the answer is "not quite yet":

I definitely do think there needs to be some kind of space from a Governor into a Negan. You have to have something of a break in there. So I wouldn’t expect him to be showing up — definitely not in season 4. I don’t know. I wouldn’t expect it too soon. But we are all very excited about the prospect of bringing that guy into the show. The plan is that we will see him eventually.

Man, I can't wait to see what they do with the final half of the season. Just two months to go!

What do you think about the idea of Carl having to step up in this way? Do you think it will progress his character to a harder, potentially more villainous personality?


Image via AMC