AMC released today the official key art for the highly anticipated second half of The Walking Dead Season 8, which returns Sunday, February 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. The art features Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) armed and ready for "The Last Stand." The network has also released the official synopsis for the back half of this season, which you can read below, but be warned, if you aren't caught up with the first half of this season, there will be SPOILERS below.
All out war has had a devastating impact on every person involved. The communities themselves are fractured. Alexandria has been destroyed, the Hilltop finds themselves pinned, and the Kingdom is shattered, half of them dead, the other half controlled by the Saviors. At the very center, Rick, having been distracted by the conflict, has just returned home to learn that Carl, who heroically shepherded the Alexandrians to safety during Negan's attack, has been bitten by a walker. Once his sole motivation in this otherwise stark existence, Rick is forced to deal with this reality. Carl has always been a beacon of hope, a symbol for the remaining thread of humanity, lessons that the survivors around him would be wise to take with them as this war surges onward.
But Rick isn't the only person who's living in peril. Aaron and Enid are in a dire situation at Oceanside, unclear if they're in friendly territory, or if they've just made new enemies. Father Gabriel will do his part in attempting to smuggle Dr. Carson safely back to the Hilltop and a pregnant Maggie is wrestling with the many moral gray areas that come with leadership during war. In a standoff with the Saviors, she must decide how to proceed with the dozens of POW lives she's currently in control of, as well as new complications that come with being a leader.
In addition to the war, Negan continues to deal with struggles within his ranks as workers, traitors, and others' thirst for power cause conflict at the Sanctuary. Having gifted the Saviors a major victory, Eugene's loyalty is repeatedly tested as new obstacles present themselves. As all-out-war consumes us, the line between good and evil continues to blur. People fighting for what they believe in. Everybody working together for something bigger, to feel safe and have a world worth living in.
It will be interesting to see if, in the back half of this season, the ratings continue to decline like they did in the front half. The Season 8 mid-season finale was the second lowest in series history, behind the Season 2 mid-season finale, the first season where the season was split in half, and it dropped a whopping 34% from the Season 7 mid-season finale, despite the shocking reveal that Carl Grimes will in fact turn into a zombie sooner than later. While we wait for more details on the back half of this season, take a look at this new artwork below, courtesy of AMC.