Are 'The Walking Dead' Cannibals on Season 5 Here to Stay? Hold Onto Your Butts...

For some, this summer might have been spent lounging in the sun, frolicking at the beach, and trying to forget that the Polar Vortex ever even happened. For fans of AMC's undead television phenomenon The Walking Dead, it was spent feverishly wondering what really went down at Terminus once Rick and the gang rolled up. Were they left alone to rot in that dingy train car, or was something more ominous at play? Well, if you consider one group of people slaughtering another group of people for dinner ominous, then yes — the Terminus cannibals turned out to be ominous as hell.

I could say that Season 5 of the zombie series started off strong, but that would be a major understatement. Unlike previous premieres, Season 5 held nothing back when it came to revealing Terminus' monstrously evil past and present. Right off the bat it was unsettling, horrifying, and proved that the uninfected humans are, and always will be, way more dangerous than their zombie counterparts. The members of Terminus weren't explicitly outed as "The Hunters" from the graphic novel, but it's clear that that's who they've been molded after. Was that sentiment a little heavy handed? Eh. Did the episode still manage to be amazing? Um, yeah, obviously. Since their striking, albeit brief, appearance, many fans are wondering: Have we seen the last hacked up human torso hanging from a meat hook, or are there more cannibals in store? At least when it comes to main Terminus bad guy Gareth, all signs point to yes.

The most basic reasoning for saying the human-munching-humans of Terminus will still be around for the rest of Season 5 is simply footage released in the trailer that premiered at this year's Comic Con. While neither showrunner Scott Gimple or Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman would officially confirm that Gareth and co. made it out of Terminus, it's clear he'll be a major part of at least the first half of this season.

In the trailer, Gareth's voice narrates, "You all have a choice, all of you. You join us, and we go to Washington, and cure this thing," while he's seen sneaking up on everyone with a gun...

...and then being held captive somewhere in candle light (like did you really think sneaking up on Michonne would be a good idea, Gareth? #smh). Later in the trailer, Rick's voice says to someone, "I don't trust this guy," followed by Gareth saying, "You don't trust us anymore." Hate to break it to you Gareth, but luring innocent strangers into your camp only to try and cook them for dinner tends to instill a sense of mistrust. It's all pretty vague, and who knows if anyone other than Gareth even made it out of Terminus, but still. Will they decide to put aside their dietary differences to join forces with Team Gareth and his cannibalistic cronies? Something tells me their relationship won't make it that far, but we'll see.

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Furthermore, Gareth a.k.a. actor Andrew J. West, gave an interview to Screen Crush and offered a little insight into what drives his character, and hints as to how all that could play out this season.

Gareth is, at the end of the day a very pragmatic person... I’ve never seen him as a sadistic person, or a person who is concerned with vengeance, as much as he is concerned with a pragmatic system for living in the world in which these characters now live, which is radically different from a handful of years ago. So the decisions that he makes are based on this very well-thought out philosophy, which mainly centers on “how do I best survive? How does my group best survive?"

As always with über secret plot points on The Walking Dead, fans won't know anything for sure about the cannibals until it actually airs, but it's safe to say they'll be sticking around for a while. On a scale of one to the Governor keeping his undead daughter chained up as a pet, I don't think they'll be that much of a threat to the main TWD crew, but they'll be sure to cause loads of drama, especially once Father Gabriel makes his appearance. Stay tuned.

Image: AMC (4)