The first half of The Walking Dead was not like any before. The group we had come to know for six years prior was scattered, bullied, and slaughtered through the eight episode run which closed out 2016.
When the show returns in mid-February, it will feel like it used to, when The Walking Dead was universally loved and kept fans hooked through its admirable ensemble cast and brutalities of the zombie apocalypse. This all comes from Daryl Dixon actor Norman Reedus who shared the same grief over Season 7’s first half with fans according to his recent chat with EW.
“I was saying that about the first half,” Reedus said. “I think part of that chatter you’re talking about came from me. But you know, it’s true: You can’t make everybody happy about everything. But we try, and you have to keep the story moving forward at all times or you just tell the same story over and over again. But I know new actors that came onto this show that were like, “Man, I miss the old group,” and they were playing new roles this season. So I know that everybody felt it, but people think we’re headed to the left, and we go to the right. So that’s just how we keep people on their toes. But I’m happy that we’re back on that first track again, you know?”
When The Walking Dead returns, it will do so with a notalgic feeling.
“You know, this show always feels like the show to me when that group is working in unison, and that first half was very hard for us to film,” Reedus said. “It was just rough. We were all separated, and we just kind of missed each other. We missed having the feeling that we had when we started this thing. I mean, I know the show evolves and all of that stuff, but man, that first half was rough, so I’m excited that we’re all back together. I know everybody’s excited.”
When interviewer Dalton Ross compared the gang’s reunion to the early seasons of The Walking Dead which hooked fans to the AMC series, Reedus agreed with it.
“That’s what we miss doing,” Reedus said. “So it was nice to have that gang back together, for sure.”
In fact, Season 7B of The Walking Dead is all about groups coming together. Rick will have to rally the Hilltop and Kingdom communities with his Alexandria Safe-Zone soldiers in an effort to take on Negan and the Saviors when the show returns.