"The Walking Dead" returns on February 12, which is just over one week from now. With season 7B close to premiering, what can fans expect from Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the other characters? Recently, executive producer and director Greg Nicotero spoke about the upcoming season. Expect Rick to be stronger, along with a more dedicated and focused group.

Brutality in season 7 was necessary

There were a lot of complaints about the brutal season premiere. Some fans felt "The Walking Dead" went overboard. However, Greg Nicotero told Entertainment Weekly that it was necessary. Viewers had to understand what kind of world the characters live in.

They also needed to truly comprehend just how vicious Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is in "TWD." The second half won't be as dark. However, to understand and celebrate their victories, fans had to experience their pain.

Rick and Daryl's reunion in 'The Walking Dead'

During the midseason finale, Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) were finally reunited. It was an emotional moment, especially when the two characters embraced. The executive producer commented that it is thrilling knowing that the group will rise out of the ashes. However, he also noted that you can't get to that point without "burning it down" first.

What to expect in 'TWD' season 7B

When "The Walking Dead" returns, Rick and Daryl will plan the war against Negan.

However, they can't do it on their own. They need more people, which will bring them to meet King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) of The Kingdom. They will also make their case to Gregory (Xander Berkeley) of Hilltop Colony. Additionally, they will also need guns and ammo. Due to Negan and the Saviors, they have very few weapons.

Rick Grimes to be stronger

Nicotero also explained that in season 7B, Rick will be stronger. As for the other characters in "The Walking Dead," they will be further bonded. They will also have more dedication and be more focused.

What do you think of what Greg Nicotero had to say about Rick Grimes and season 7B?

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