Those Alexandrians better get battle ready because something wicked this way comes. When The Walking Dead returns for season six, there will still be walkers a plenty, but a new, greater evil is closing in—one that star Lauren Cohan(Maggie) warns will require all hands on deck. That's right, the Wolves are coming.
Only hinted at in season five (you remember, the Wolves are the sickos carving "W"s into the heads of the dead), this new enemy isn't meant to be taken lightly. "Like their name suggests, they are feral and they are heartless," Cohan warned E! News as she readied herself for hosting duties at the Courtyard @ New York Comic-Con live stage. "Unbelievably, they are actually humans, but there's nothing human about their behavior, which is bad, bad news."
To stand their ground against the demented new baddies and the hordes of walkers, it's going to take every last Alexandrian to get themselves into fighting shape, something that Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was certain last season would be next to impossible considering they've been safe behind the walls since the beginning of the outbreak. Cohan admitted it won't be easy for all, but there's still hope.
"You don't know if you can swim until you jump in the water, and so we're going to see some people that are sort of paralyzed by it and some people [where] that survival instinct kicks in when it needs to, just like it does for everybody," she said. "They've been very lucky to be this sheltered...I have my fingers crossed for them," she added with a laugh. "Because we need it. Come very soon after this first episode, we're really gonna need as much manpower as we can get."
If it wasn't already clear, the show is not scaling back as it enters its sixth season. "I think the wattage is somehow 50 percent higher even. I didn't know they made light bulbs that bright. It's crazy," Cohan teased. "It's been such a beautiful and exciting challenge for us because we have these emotional peaks...and the ante of action has been upped. A few of our episodes, we've had longer time to shoot because they're just bigger episodes, a lot of big stunts and big action, but by the same token, the change in character that happens this year has been monumental, especially for Maggie. She's had the biggest sort of sweeping changes, I think, this season."
One thing that won't be changing for Maggie this season? Her solid relationship with Glenn (Steven Yeun). "I just look at these two and I think, 'OK, so, they met and as playful or as flippant as they were about their first interactions, there is something there,' and they both sort grew into their physical and mental strengths very quickly once they were together and I think that they have each other's backs," she said of the pair who managed to, against all odds, find love in the end of times. "And this season, that only increases tenfold. It's been a really, really satisfying thing to play, to play a couple that has that going for them."
As fans of the show's comic book source material are well aware, Maggie—SPOILER ALERT—gets pregnant and has a child, named after her dad Herschel, in the comics. Is this a story thread Cohan hopes comes her way? "I think one of the over-riding factors is that the challenges will always come, and you have to continue to live, not just survive," she said. "[She and Glenn] stay in the moment and they take things one day at a time, but nothing's off the table."
How's that for cryptic?
Season six also marks the first season Rick's friend Morgan (Lennie James) will be around full-time, following his arrival at Alexandria in the final moments of last season, and Cohan couldn't be happier about what the character brings to the show's dynamic. "I love what his character represents and I think he's sort of...It's like he's there even when he isn't there, you know, during the previous seasons because he's kind of this other side of Rick," she gushed. "He's the other half of Rick's mind and the other half of Rick's heart and I love the tension between those two characters. To actually have Lennie now with our group, especially when he was a character that was in such isolation, it's brought really big questions about what it is to be human to the forefront of the conversation. So, it's great. Lennie is just such a great actor, so it's nice that we actually all get to work with him because it's really just been him and Andy through most of it."
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