'The Walking Dead' Season 9 New Characters Offer Hope & Despair For The Survivors

AMC

After eight seasons, The Walking Dead is already pretty packed with memorable characters. But the world will only continue to get bigger this season, and ahead of the premiere on Oct. 7, The Hollywood Reporter noted how 12 new characters on The Walking Dead Season 9 will change the dynamic of things. Although the undead have taken over the earth, more and more survivors are coming out of the woodwork. Some of these characters are part of communities that viewers are already familiar with, like the Sanctuary and the Hilltop. But other characters will introduce a brand new group to The Walking Dead. And, as to be expected, not all of these fresh faces will be on the side of Rick — or humanity.

More living humans sure sounds like a good thing during the zombie apocalypse, but anyone who watches The Walking Dead (or just lives life) knows that people can be majorly bad news. Rick is already trying to keep the existing communities of Alexandria, the Hilltop, Oceanside, and the Sanctuary united, along with subsuming The Kingdom survivors. And while some new characters will help in this pursuit, others have a very different plan. Because even though they don't appear in any of the Season 9 previews, the Whisperers are coming to The Walking Dead and comic book fans know just how evil this group is.

amc on YouTube

When it comes to the Whisperers, AMC hasn't released any photos or video of the actors in character. But viewers have gotten quick glimpses of the other new characters in the previews. So whether they're friend or foe, here are all the new people to know when Season 9 premieres. Mild spoilers based on the comics follow.

Magna

AMC

Nadia Hilker was prominently featured at the end of the full Season 9 trailer as Magna. In the comics, Magna leads her own group of people who wind up in Alexandria and align with Team Rick. So if the AMC series follows its source material, she's a person worthy of trust.

Luke

AMC

Dan Fogler of Fantastic Beasts portrays Luke this season. He's part of Magna's group and it will be interesting to see if Luke is more fleshed out on the TV show since AMC probably didn't cast a J.K. Rowling-approved actor for nothing.

Connie

AMC

Connie is another member of Magna's group. Actor Lauren Ridloff (who was just nominated for a Tony for Children Of A Lesser God) is deaf, which is a departure from the comics. Connie will be the first deaf character on the TV series and she communicates through American Sign Language.

Kelly

AMC

In the comics, Kelly is Connie's boyfriend. But the TV show did a gender switch with Kelly being Connie's sister with Angel Theory portraying her. According to her website, Theory also has hearing loss and Kelly will help interpret for her sister.

Yumiko

AMC

Eleanor Matsuura portrays Yumiko, who is the last member of Magna's group to be announced. Yumiko and Magna date in the comics, but it's unclear if they'll be in a relationship on the show.

Tammy Rose

AMC

While you have to squint, Brett Butler is next to Norman Reedus' Daryl in the above photo. The Grace Under Fire actor portrays Tammy Rose, a member of the Hilltop community who does not agree with Maggie's leadership.

Earl

AMC

John Finn portrays Tammy Rose's husband Earl, the blacksmith of the Hilltop. In the comics, Earl is also the blacksmith, but he's not married to Tammy. Comic Earl also has a good relationship with the main characters, but it's unlikely the TV version will have the same temperament since Tammy's husband in the comics is Morton and he doesn't get along with Rick.

Jed

AMC

Even after the war in Season 8, the Sanctuary still exists. Some Saviors are grateful to Rick, but not everyone has warm, fuzzy feelings toward the new leader. Rhys Coiro's Jed is part of that latter group. Jed appears in the trailer fighting Aaron and holding a knife to Carol's throat. This character was created for the TV series, so he might not last long with actions like that.

Justin

AMC

Zach McGowan's Justin is another angry Savior created for the show. His lifespan may be even shorter than Jed's since he fights Daryl multiple times in the trailer and Henry also takes him out with a move that would make Morgan proud.

Alpha

Jesse Grant/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Those new Saviors certainly aren't good guys, but Samantha Morton's Alpha will be the true villain of Season 9. (So yes, there are two J.K. Rowling-approved actors this season.) Alpha is the leader of the Whisperers and there's genuine reason to fear her appearance on the show.

Beta

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Ryan Hurst of Sons Of Anarchy portrays Alpha's second in command, Beta. And with his large stature, he ensures that Alpha stays in power.

Lydia

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Even though Alpha is cold and unfeeling, she does have a daughter — Lydia. Cassady McClincy plays Lydia and it will be interesting to see what the show does with her storyline since she can't interact with Carl like she did in the comics.

With Andrew Lincoln leaving after this season and Lauren Cohan only being in a limited number of episodes, you might be grateful for some fresh meat. And even if you aren't, the zombies will be.