The first 7 photos from the final episodes of 'The Walking Dead'

Norman Reedus and Ross Marquand The Walking Dead season 11c
Norman Reedus and Ross Marquand play Daryl and Aaron on "TWD."Jace Downs/AMC
  • AMC released the first photos for the final eight episodes of "The Walking Dead."

  • The show returns to TV on October 2 at 9 p.m. ET. The first two episodes will be available on AMC+.

  • During the show's SDCC press conference showrunner Angela Kang confirmed the smarter walkers, seen in the 11c trailer, are a throwback to season one.

When "The Walking Dead" returns to TV, our survivors will be in conflict with the corrupt Commonwealth group and its army.

The Commonwealth The Walking Dead season 11c
The Commonwealth story is the last arc from the "TWD" comics.Jace Downs/AMC

"When we start the final block, our people are going to be in conflict with the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth is a society that kind of tends to drive people apart," showrunner Angela Kang told fans during the show's San Diego Comic-Con panel, which Insider attended.

TWD 11c Michael James Shaw as Mercer
Michael James Shaw plays Mike Mercer on "TWD."Jace Downs/AMC

Mercer may be the leader of the Commonwealth army, but it looks like he'll be helping Daryl's group. Like many, he's not happy with the way things are in the Commonwealth.

"This is about our people coming back together," Kang told the Comic-Con crowd. "The gang is together with their goal in mind as they're charging forward to the finish,

Margot Bingham and Josh McDermitt as Max and Eugene on "TWD."
Margot Bingham and Josh McDermitt as Max and Eugene on "TWD."Jace Downs/AMC

That's good news for long-term fans. For much of season 11, so many of the survivors have been split apart. The show has been at its best when they're together as an ensemble.

Kang also teased there will be "really emotional big twists and turns."

Daryl Dixon and Father Gabriel on TWD 11c
Norman Reedus and Seth Gilliam on "TWD."Jace Downs/AMC

Father Gabriel has long outlasted his comic character's death. Will that change in the final eight episodes?

Kang said she's trying to stay true to the spirit that was laid out by Robert Kirkman's comic "while also paying attention to all of the characters who are here and have their own lives in the series."

Carol's back in the kitchen TWD 11c
Melissa McBride plays Carol on "The Walking Dead."Jace Downs/AMC

Carol is one of those characters who also outlived her character's death in the comics.

It's not just the Commonwealth that the survivors need to worry about. If you watched the latest trailer, Aaron said he heard stories about a breed of the undead who "can climb walls and open doors."

TWD 11c Ross Marquand plays Aaron on The Walking Dead final season
Ross Marquand plays Aaron on "TWD." Is he aiming at one of the living or the undead in the above shot?Jace Downs/AMC

The faster walkers were hinted at recently on the series finale of "The Walking Dead: World Beyond."

During the show's press conference, which Insider attended, Kang confirmed the smarter walkers are a throwback to the ones on season one.

Norman Reedus and Ross Marquand The Walking Dead season 11c
Norman Reedus and Ross Marquand play Daryl and Aaron on "TWD."Jace Downs/AMC

"In some ways it's a throwback to some walkers we saw back in the very, very first season of 'The Walking Dead,' but not everybody ever encountered those walkers," Kang said. "It's almost like it was a variant that just was regional."

"Any time there's a change to the rules that means that our people just need to be that much more on their game because they're realizing that the methods that they use to survive don't quite work the same way," Kang added. "So our survivors, being very, very smart, they're gonna try to adjust to that. But that'll just be one of many of the conflicts that they're dealing with in the final block of episodes."

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