Since The Walking Dead makes such a habit of killing off characters (RIP Sasha), it’s no surprise that the show frequently promotes recurring cast members to fill in the gaps.
The latest three actors to get an upgrade to series regular status are Steven Ogg (Simon), Katelyn Nacon (Enid) and Pollyanna McIntosh (Jadis). Last season, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Tom Payne (Jesus), Austin Amelio (Dwight) and Xander Berkeley (Gregory) were promoted, and all four characters are still alive — which should be good news for the new additions.
The Season 7 finale saw Jadis and her band of punk rock Scavengers double-crossing Rick and his allies to align with Negan and the Saviors — and if it wasn’t for the well-timed arrival of Maggie’s Hilltop forces and Ezekiel’s Kingdom army, there would’ve been a lot more gaps in the regular cast that needed filling.
But it was clear from Jadis’ interaction with Negan that she didn’t particularly like or trust the bat-wielding villain — so while their alliance might be convenient now, as soon as it stops looking beneficial, we’re betting that the Scavengers will switch sides again.
Since we know that Negan’s not going anywhere any time soon, it’ll be interesting to see whether Rick will swallow his bruised pride and welcome the Scavengers back into the fold when that time comes — he’s all about second chances, after all.
But what about the other new promotions?
Since the Saviors are gearing up for war, it’s no surprise that Ogg’s Simon will play a more prominent role in Season 8.
So far, the unpredictable henchman has spent his time toying with Gregory and the residents at Hilltop, but perhaps Negan’s faithful lieutenant will be promoted to right-hand man status next season, especially now that Dwight is secretly working against Negan as a double-agent for Rick’s gang.
And Nacon’s Enid has been with the show since Season 5, so it’s about time she got the bump to regular status. The mysterious teen has become one of Maggie’s closest confidants, and her budding relationship with Carl is likely to get more play in Season 8, now that the two of them are on the front lines of the war against Negan.
Series regulars or not, it’s safe to assume that Season 8 will have a pretty high body count as Rick and his allies battle Negan head on.
October can’t come soon enough.