‘The Walking Dead’ season 8
Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) return this October for ‘The Walking Dead’ season 8. AMC/The Walking Dead

The plot of “The Walking Dead” season 9 will not be about the conflict between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan). The season 8 finale appeared to tease this storyline of a civil war within the ranks of the heroes, but Executive Producer Scott M. Gimple has confirmed that that is not the case.

In an interview with TV Line, Gimple explained that Maggie’s motivation right now is to make Hilltop flourish, and she isn’t operating from a “I wanna get Rick!” mindset. There is a conflict between the two characters, but that is only centred around the question of whether or not Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) should be kept alive.

There has been some concern about Maggie, mostly because Cohan hasn’t signed her contract to reprise her role, and the negotiations are still ongoing. Gimple promised to tell everyone what’s going on on that front very soon.

Another important character who will be coming back is Dwight (Austin Amelio). Gimple confirmed that the character is alive, but he didn’t share any more details about the character as that would be a spoiler. The return of Dwight is sure to generate a great deal of conflict, as he shares a complicated history with the heroes.

Gimple also teased the plot of the next season. Over the years the heroes have managed to learn how to survive in the zombie infested post-apocalyptic world. Now, they will have bigger ambitions. What they are looking to build is a civilization. How exactly they will do that, and what new challenges they will face while doing it remains to be seen. The fans can certainly expect continued threats from other groups of people.

Negan too will play a role in the next season. Whether or not the character’s storyline will mirror the one in the comics remains to be seen.