Being as how season 4 of The Walking Dead just came to an end last Sunday, I figured it would be a while before I started speculating about season 5. They haven't even started filming yet, for crying out loud. But AMC went and forced my hand by releasing a wonderfully upsetting poster for season 5, and now I can't help thinking about what it all meeeeeeaaaaans.
Spoilers for season 4 ahead -- along with a roundup of knowns and unknowns about season 5.
Here's where the finale left things:
• Rick, Michonne, Carl, Glenn, Maggie, Tara, Sasha, Bob, Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene are trapped at Terminus.
• Beth, Tyreese, Carol, and Judith are AWOL.
• At this point, most viewers think the Terminus residents are cannibals.
Creator Robert Kirkman says the mystery of Terminus definitely won't drag out when the series returns:
Who the people of Terminus are and what their deal is will be dealt with fairly quickly when we come back for season five.
The cast has dropped a bunch of teasers about what's next:
Some characters like Tyreese, despite all the things that are thrown at them, are able to remain humane. Other characters like Carol - not so much. That’s someone who has definitely gone down a dark path. -- Kirkman
We know that there is no way it's not going to be an explosive beginning to Season 5. -- Lauren Cohan (Maggie)
I would pretty much guarantee that we're going to see a completely different Rick Grimes in Season 5. One who just is willing to do anything and would never question any motive or any decision. He just goes into it head first. -- executive producer Greg Nicotero
Carl [is] in a pretty bad position locked in this train car at the mercy of other people, and that could lead to him being tested in other big ways. There's a lot of changes left for that kid to go through. -- Kirkman
It's gonna be messy. It's gonna be brutal. It's gonna be thrilling, how these guys get out of this scrape. -- Andrew Lincoln (Rick)
Now, let us feast our eyes on the poster:
That is just beautifully done, isn't it? Rick dramatically lit by that stained glass window, seemingly struggling with what it takes to survive in his hellish world.
So what will this new, willing-to-do-anything Rick be faced with in season 5? Well, let's run down what we know about the cannibals from the comics (potential spoilers ahead!):
• The Hunters were a group of five men and one woman holed up in an isolated, fenced-in country home.
• When they ran out of food, they resorted to cannibalism -- starting with their own children.
• The Hunters ate Dale's leg in the comics, and they also shot (but did not kill) Glenn.
• Rick's group eventually overcame The Hunters, and when their leader begged for his life, Rick and the group brutally slaughtered them all.
From The Walking Dead Wiki:
The execution of the Hunters was one of the most violent actions of the Rick's group up until that point, and brought considerable unease and internal conflict among them in Issue 66. It effectively became a turning point for the survivors in the way they communicated and handled other survivor groups, as they had become hardened from their prior bloody experiences with The Governor and the Woodbury Army.
The TV show definitely doesn't tend to follow the comics line for line, but I'm guessing we'll see some version of this play out in season 5. Of course, there's always the chance that Terminus isn't filled with cannibals after all ... but I'd be pretty surprised if it ends up that they were grilling venison on that big-ass BBQ.
Do you think season 5 will include a cannibal showdown?
Image via AMC