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Why is 'The Walking Dead' Season 11 Introducing 8 New Characters in the Final Stretch?

The Walking Dead first premiered in 2010 and has begun airing its eleventh season this year. The 11th season will be the last. The television show is an adaptation of the graphic novel series of the same name. Through the years, people have come into and left the main cast, as the group of survivors travels and makes new friends and enemies.

The main characters are not even immune to leaving; Andrew Lincoln, who played the main series protagonist, left in season eight, for example, and he is just one of many that have come and gone. In the 11th season, The Walking Dead is introducing eight new characters.

Eight new characters are coming in the final season

The final season introduces two new groups: the Commonwealth and the Reapers. The Commonwealth is, according to Insider, an organized and protected group of people, numbering about 50,000. They have their own government, and a working and regulated military for protection from both human and walker enemies.

Most of the new series regulars are from the Commonwealth. The Reapers are a group that we know less about, but they will be causing problems for everyone as the season progresses. Both groups have comic counterparts. While The Walking Dead has taken some liberties, and it is not a direct adaptation, they tend to stay somewhat true to comic canon. 

Laila Robins will play Pamela Milton, who is the governor of the Commonwealth. She is described as reasonable. Josh Hamilton will play another Commonwealth leader. He is tapped to play the role of Lance Hornsby. In the comics, Hornsby was an accountant. Michael James Shaw will be Mercer, who is the leader of the Commonwealth’s army. He is, according to Insider, tough-as-nails, and falls into a relationship with Princess.

Margot Bingham voiced a character who has only been heard via radio so far. Her character said that her name was Stephanie. Another mystery character is Deaver, who will be played by Jacob Young. Deaver does not have a graphic novel counterpart, but Insider speculates that Deaver may be a code name, and he might actually play Sebastian, Pamela Milton’s son. If not that, he could be playing a Reaper who will go after Maggie.

Laurie Fortier will be Agatha. We don’t know much about Agatha except that she will be a survivor with Maggie’s group. Lastly, Ritchie Coster will join the cast as a Reaper named Pope. 

Why are there so many new characters?

The final season of The Walking Dead promises some fast-paced story, with the group of main characters separated into two, and introducing two new factions. 

On top of that, the Commonwealth isn’t just a small settlement. It has a population of nearly 50,000 and is well organized. In order to make that believable at all, new characters have to grace our screens. 

In addition, the main cast is separated into two groups, with separate storytelling (until they inevitably meet back up.) The groups will be dealing with their own problems at first, which means more actors on the screen.

Adding eight new characters in the final season seems odd, but with the scope of the story that The Walking Dead seems to be telling, it may just work out.

Many of the main cast is still around

Many of those who were still around in season 10 will be returning for season 11. According to Insider, the cast is split into two groups. The first group is Eugene, Yumiko, Princess, and Ezekiel. They were captured by the soldiers of the Commonwealth in the season premiere.

The second group is the majority of the cast and includes Maggie, Negan, Daryl, Carol, Father Gabriel, Aaron, and Rosita. You can expect to see all of them in season eleven.

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