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The Walking Dead‘s new series regulars could be a bad sign for our heroes

Take heart, fellow fans of The Walking Dead — the show’s return in October may still seem like it is ages away, but at least a juicy morsel of casting news just dropped in our laps. Let’s chew on it together, shall we?

As you well know, Season 6 ended with an unnerving cliffhanger by which the new big bad on the block, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) bludgeoned an as-yet unseen member of our favorite zombocalypse-surviving posse to death.

More: TWD fans figured out who died in the S7 finale — and there are two victims

Naturally, fan theories have since run rampant on the internet with speculation over whether or not we will lose Rick, Michonne, Glenn, Daryl, Aaron, Rosita, Carl, Maggie, Eugene, Abraham or Sasha.

Or, perhaps, more than one of Rick’s crew will succumb to Negan’s barbwire-covered baseball bat, Lucille. Could it be?

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but there’s truly no way to know for sure until the series returns to AMC in the fall. Until then, anything we hear about the fate of our survivors is little more than conjecture.

But here’s something we can be sure of: We’ll be seeing a lot more of Negan in the near future — according to E! News, Morgan’s character has been upgraded to series regular. Not to sound too excited, but yesssssssss. Morgan is a phenomenal actor, and he has already brought a gritty new dimension to the show.

More: 9 things to know about The Walking Dead‘s new threat, Negan

He isn’t alone in being bumped up to a more permanent fixture, either. Tom Payne, who plays Jesus, Xander Berkeley, who plays Gregory, and Austin Amelio, who plays Dwight, have all been added to the regular roster with the familiar faces of TWD we know and love.

The Walking Dead cast additions
Image: Gene Page/AMC

So what does this mean for our heroes? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, while these actors are wonderful additions to the show itself, these characters probably spell bad news for Rick and the gang who live in and bring TWD world to life.

After all, two of the four (Negan and Dwight) are decidedly nefarious characters. At this point, Gregory is questionable but pretty sketchy. And as for hot Jesus, he seems OK… for now.

Many of the OG cast members have hinted that our heroes are in for a rough go of things now that Negan has entered the picture, and these cast additions could be indicative of that shit-storm.

In response to fan reaction over the Season 6 cliffhanger, The Walking Dead comic creator Robert Kirkman addressed readers in a recent issue, teasing, “The only thing I can PROMISE you is that that the season seven premier is going to be awesome, and every minute of the season six finale was important and was setting something up that you probably won’t see coming… be afraid… be very afraid. And excited!”

More: Who’s alive, who’s not and who’s barely hangin’ on after TWD Season 6 finale

Yikes. Please excuse me while I go bite my fingernails down to the nubs in nervous anticipation. But seriously, someone remind me to take half a Xanax and diffuse some calming lavender oil when Season 7 returns on Oct. 11.

What do you think the new series regulars mean for the show?

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