The seventh season of The Walking Dead may be drawing to a close, but showrunner Scott Gimple has assured fans that the entire series still has a long way to go before ending.
Addressing a crowd assembled at the opening night of PaleyFest in Los Angeles, Gimple acknowledged the fact that the first episode of season eight will be the show's 100th episode.
“Episode 801, the first episode of Season 8, is going to be the 100th episode,” he told the crowd, adding: “The first episode is, I think less about that we reached 100 episodes. It's more about setting up the next 100.”
Considering its full season run usually spans 16 episodes, another 100 would bring The Walking Dead to season 13 which corroborates creator Robert Kirkman's confirmation that he wants the show to last for at least twelve seasons.
While this is no confirmation of the show's future, it's almost impossible to think that AMC wouldn't let it run for as long as producers wanted considering its status as one of the most-watched TV shows across the globe.
Gimple went on to tease what fans can expect in the approaching season seven finale which apparently won't feature as brutal a cliffhanger as the one doled out at the end of season six.
“The end of this season is very much the end of a chapter,” Gimple elaborated. “It's very much a conclusion that promises this epic story ahead. And the first episode of Season 8... It's about setting up this gigantic, epic tale to come, not only in Season 8, but beyond.”
The most shocking Walking Dead moments
The most shocking Walking Dead moments
1/10 Sophie's a walker (season 2, episode 7)
Much of season two's opening half is spent looking for Sophia, the missing daughter of Carol (Melissa McBride). Turns out she was locked up in Hershel's barn as a zombie all along.
2/10 Shane reanimates without being bitten (season 2, episode 12)
When Carl (Chandler Riggs) guns down a deranged Shane (Jon Bernthal) to protect his father, the shock arrives when he manifests into a walker despite not being bitten; turns out everyone's infected with the virus and will turn whichever way they die.
3/10 Axel's bullet to the eye (season 3, episode 10)
A character introduced in the show's prison arc, Axel is a reformed prisoner who strikes up a friendship with Carol - until he's gunned down mid-sentence.
4/10 Carl kills Lori after she gives birth (season 3, episode 4)
Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) goes into labour at the very moment a zombie siege breaks out at the prison. Unfortunately, she doesn't make it through the procedure with her son Carl being the one to put a bullet to her head.
5/10 The Governor slays Hershel (season 4, episode 8)
The Governor makes his dramatic return for a showdown at the prison after he captures Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Hershel (Scott Wilson). Rick reaches out, attempting to reason with him - but The Governor starts a war when he proceeds to decapitate poor old Hershel instead.
6/10 "Look at the flowers" (season 4, episode 14)
In a standout episode from the show's fourth season, Carol is forced to take drastic measures when young teenager Lizzie murders her sister Mika in the belief that she'll live on as a zombie. Realising Lizzie's depraved mind would endanger those around her, Carol puts a gun to the young girl's head and, telling her to "look at the flowers," pulls the trigger, fighting back the tears.
7/10 Carl's bullet to the eye (season 6, episode 9)
Season six returned from its mid-season break in typically dramatic fashion when an iconic moment from the graphic novels came to life: Carl takes a bullet to the eye.
8/10 Beth is killed (season 5, episode 8)
Upon being kidnapped, Beth (Emily Kinney) is taken to Grady Memorial Hospital managed by Atlanta Law Enforcement. Forced to reside there against her will, the group - including Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus) - eventually find her - only for her to be accidentally shot in the head by her captor. The worst thing? Her sister Maggie (Lauren Cohan) had just arrived outside.
9/10 Negan kills Abraham
Season seven opened in brutal form as we discovered it was Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) at the opposite end of Negan's baseball bat. "Suck my nuts," the soldier growls as the Saviours' leader brings Lucille raining down on his head until nothing remains but a pulpy mess.
10/10 Negan kills Glenn
Negan decides to punish the group once more after getting clocked round the face by Daryl. Without expectation, he thwacks Lucille round the head of poor Glenn. With his eyeball popping out of his head, he manages: "I'll find you, Maggie before Negan proceeds to finish the job ending the former pizza delivery boy's life.
The Walking Dead continues tomorrow (19 March) in the US with its UK premiere arriving the following evening (20 March) at 9pm on FOX.Reuse content