“The Walking Dead” is coming back for Season 9, and some big changes are in store

Die-hard fans of the brilliant AMC flagship series The Walking Dead can attest to the fact that its eighth season has been, well, a lot to handle. And with the soon-to-come death of OG character Carl Grimes, we’re betting the just-renewed Season 9 will have a ton of gasp-worthy moments, too.

The Walking Dead is also going through changes on the back end. Longtime writer and co-executive producer Angela Kang will replace existing showrunner Scott Gimple, who will serve as chief content officer for the franchise. But don’t fret, Dead lovers. The show is likely to be in good hands with Kang, who has written nearly 20 episodes of her own since 2011.

As chief content officer, Gimple will be in charge of managing all aspects of the brand. And yes — that includes Fear the Walking Dead, future games, and any other potential spinoffs. We can’t wait to see what else Gimple has in store for the Walking Dead universe.

It should come as no surprise that The Walking Dead is going through some changes. Ratings have somewhat declined in recent years, with some viewers complaining about gratuitous violence in Season 7. Blogger Erik Kain called the show’s recent midseason finale a “bad joke.”

The Walking Dead‘s Season 8 will return February 25th — and it’ll be a doozy.

The midseason finale revealed that Carl was bitten by a zombie, signaling his impending demise. Viewers were stunned, as Carl (spoiler alert!) is still very much alive in the comics.

But don’t worry: No one’s forgetting about Carl anytime soon.

“Carl’s presence is felt very deeply throughout the story. It’s a critical aspect of the season, Gimple told Entertainment Weekly.

It’s bound to be an emotional episode, considering we’ve seen Carl’s portrayer, Chandler Riggs, practically grow up on the show.

Is it too early to stock up on tissues?