Here’s what Andrew Lincoln has to say about that gripping final line of “The Walking Dead” premiere — and what it means for the season

Every season and every episode of The Walking Dead leaves us with, like, four hundred unanswered questions. And The Walking Dead Season 8 premiere was no exception.

The episode followed Rick through what seemed like a few different time periods, and one of his lines toward the end of the episode stands out in particular: “My mercy prevails over my wrath.” It’s a great line! And it’s super interesting, because it comes from a (presumably) future Rick.

We don’t have much more information about that. But we do know that present-day Rick is on the warpath, after promising to kill Negan and unleash a bunch of zombies onto the Sanctuary. So being merciful is an interesting shift for him.

Andrew Lincoln addressed that shift when asked about it by Entertainment Weekly.

To him, the line encapsulates the larger themes that we’ll be dealing with this season. It also illustrates how the characters (particuarly Rick) will be questioning their core beliefs. And since Rick seems to do a total 180 at some point, we’re very curious to see how this plays out!

"We have these overarching themes sort of sprinkled in that first episode. I wouldn’t want to speak for any other character, but we have this All-Out War and these are the opening gunshots of the most action-packed season that we’ve ever attempted by far. I think you’d certainly have each character question themselves as to why they’re fighting and what would be the cost of this war."

Executive Producer Greg Nicotero, meanwhile, told Entertainment Weekly that he feels the line really speaks to the series and the challenges it presents the characters — morally and emotionally, on a whole.

"I think that’s definitely one of the strongest themes in the show is okay, well, we have this opportunity to destroy and decimate this threat now, but at what cost? And I think it’s safe to say that yes, those two themes will rear their heads over and over again in the next 16 episodes."

As for showrunner Scott M. Gimple? He was cagey AF.

"Oh God, no! I can’t say that because that’s the story," he responded when Entertainment Weekly asked what the line signifies. "Therein lies the tale."

WE CAN’T WAIT TO FIND OUT WHAT THE TALE IS. Bring it on, Walking Dead.

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