'The Walking Dead' Season 7 Trailer & Poster Prove Negan And Ezekiel Are Going To Change Everything — VIDEO

As if you needed more proof that Season 7 of The Walking Dead is completely changing the rules of the world Rick and his friends have existed in since the whole zombie apocalypse thing, AMC released a new The Walking Dead Season 7 trailer and poster featuring Ezekiel and Negan in the spotlight. Rick and his crew are nowhere to be seen in the promotional material, aside from brief glimpses of Morgan and Tara. This doesn't mean that Rick will suddenly become insignificant to the plot, but it does signify a new era for The Walking Dead where Negan and Ezekiel will be the men in charge.

You can expect Negan and Ezekiel to be in opposition of each other — the apocalypse has created an unpredictable monster out of Negan while Ezekiel appears to be a more theatrical, but still dangerous in his own way, leader. Negan uses fear to control his followers. His strategy for keeping Rick and company in line is beating one of them to death with his baseball bat Lucille. The need for control appears to drive Negan above all else, and, in The Walking Dead Season 7 poster, he is seen clutching Lucille with one of his favorite comic book sayings ominously printed over the image: "We're just getting started."

After the Season 6 finale, you probably have a good idea about the kind of man Negan is, but the soon to be introduced Ezekiel is more of a question mark (with a tiger). Ezekiel appears to be everything Negan is not: a man who is less interested in conquering than he is in surviving in style. Sure, he refers to himself as a king and his compound is known as The Kingdom, but, in the trailer, Ezekiel does not appear to want to absorb Alexandria into his medieval-themed world. He even has one of his men tell Morgan that his people do not need to know about him. I'm guessing the yet is implied.

I'm not saying there is no reason to be suspicious of Ezekiel, but, for Rick and his friends, Ezekiel is a man in power who has the people and clout to oppose Negan. Like any good king, don't expect Ezekiel to allow his kingdom to be threatened. If Negan encroaches on Ezekiel's territory, there is an excellent chance these two men will wage a war against each other that will make Rick's previous struggles with the likes of The Governor seem like playground disputes.

For the past six seasons, Rick has been in the leadership position. Even though his power was small scale power, it was something Maggie, Daryl, and everyone else Rick picked up along the way respected. Season 7 is snatching the power away from Rick and expanding The Walking Dead world in major ways. Negan and Ezekiel are men who run big organizations. They have established actual post-apocalyptic communities that are nothing like the suburban enclave of Alexandria. As such, they are on an entirely different level than Rick. If they go to war, it is going to be massive and strategically planned.

It's a brave new world in The Walking Dead Season 7, and this time Rick and his friends are not the rulers, they are just the soldiers trying to survive in a war between two powerful kings of the apocalypse.

Image: AMC