As the series often does around this time each year, The Walking Dead has promoted four recurring characters to series regulars, although being a series regular means neither that the character is safe nor that the character will see significantly more screen time (Alanna Masterson (Tara), Christian Serratos (Rosita), Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel), and Ross Marquand (Aaron) are all series regulars, but do not often figure heavily into most of the series’ storylines (in fact, each of them often disappear for episodes at a time).
The four new regulars are Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Tom Payne (Jesus), Austin Amelio (Dwight) and Xander Berkeley (Gregory), which suggests that the series will — as expected — branch out more into the Hilltop Colony and into Negan’s territory next season. It also figures to spend time in The Kingdom with — at least — Morgan and Carol, although no one has been named as their leader Ezekiel yet.
The extra locations — in addition to their Alexandria homebase — will allow the series to spread out their characters, as the number of series regulars now counts 20, although one (or possibly two, if you believe some wild unconfirmed rumors) won’t make it beyond the seventh season premiere thanks to Negan.
One recurring character who was not elevated to series regular is Katelyn Nacon, who plays Carl’s love interest Enid, last seen stuck inside of a closet. Let’s hope she meets a better demise than death by boredom.
The Walking Dead returns in October. A seventh-season trailer will be shown at Comic Con later this month.