Season 8 of AMC's The Walking Dead consists of sixteen episodes; it premiered on October 22, 2017, and concluded on April 15, 2018. The show was renewed on October 16, 2016. Scott Gimple continued as showrunner for the fifth and last consecutive season.
Residents of Alexandria, Hilltop and the Kingdom prepare for battle. Carl is at odds with his father, after he scares off a survivor in need of food. Carl believes they can't be suspicious of everyone they come across, but Rick insists that the man could have been a spy for the Saviors.
The group systematically takes out Savior lookouts, the regular location of which Dwight had provided in a note he secretly supplied to Daryl. Meanwhile, Ezekiel's group clears out a larger outpost.
As Rick's group arrives at the Sanctuary, driving a convoy of vehicles that have been armored with sheet metal, Negan steps out with his lieutenants. Rick tells the men -- Dwight, Simon, Gavin, Regina, and Eugene -- that he will spare their lives if they surrender and abandon Negan. None of them accept the offer.
Gregory is brought out by Negan, and the man gives a speech in which he claims that the Hilltop stands firmly with the Saviors. Jesus scoffs at the man's claims, insisting that the Hilltop now stands with Maggie.
Rick tires of the back-and-forth debate, and opens fire on Negan, who flees inside the Sanctuary's main building. Then the main plan is put into effect. Daryl drives along on his motorcycle, setting off a set of explosives, while Gabriel positions the RV, with a much larger charge, by the front gate. The bomb goes off, taking down the gate and allowing a group of recently-herded Walkers to begin flooding onto the grounds of the Sanctuary.
Carl, who wasn't allowed to accompany Rick to the battle, goes back to the spot where he had earlier encountered the survivor. He leaves a couple of cans of food along with a note that says "Sorry". The man watches him as he leaves.
Amidst the chaos, Gabriel sees Gregory surrounded by Walkers. He attempts to save the man, but Gregory takes advantage of his generosity to steal a car and flee. Gabriel, looking for a place in which to hide from the horde of Walkers, manages to get inside a nearby trailer. He is then shocked to discover that Negan has also taken refuge inside the trailer. The two of them are now trapped inside, as hundreds of Walkers swarm outside.
At a Savior outpost in an abandoned insurance office building, one of Rick's groups of combined militia attacks. They slowly cut down the number of Saviors, then watch as the dead turn and finish off the rest. During the attack Aaron's boyfriend Eric is severely wounded. Aaron rushes him away from the scene, as the man continues to bleed out.
Rick, Daryl, and others enter the building from another direction. They go from room to room, searching for the weapons armory. On one of the upper floors Rick has to kill one of the Saviors, then is filled with self-loathing when he realizes that the man had been guarding a baby. He is then caught unprepared, as another man steps out and holds him at gunpoint. It turns out that this Savior is Morales, who Rick hasn't seen since the earliest days of the outbreak. Morales tells Rick that he's called more Saviors on his walkie, and they'll soon be arriving.
Meanwhile, at the Satellite outpost that was once cleared out by Rick's group, another battle takes place. Morgan, Tara, Jesus, and others attempt to remove any resistance. Morgan and Tara want to kill any Saviors they find. Jesus, however, insists that they should capture anyone who is willing to surrender. Although angered by this approach, Tara resists the impulse to kill the Saviors who are gathered. In the end Morgan also relents, although this is put to the test when he sees that one of the survivors is Jared, the Savior who killed young Benjamin from the Kingdom.
Ezekiel and his troops travel through the woods on the way to a Savior outpost. They kill several groups of enemies along the way, and sustain no casualties. After they arrive, Carol helps to sweep the compound, leaving no apparent threats. Suddenly, though, heavy gunfire comes from the main building, cutting down the Kingdom's soldiers.
Meanwhile at the office building outpost, Rick is held at gunpoint by Morales. The two men converse, discussing how their lives have changed and criticizing each other's choices. As Rick tries to get through to the man, Daryl sneaks in behind him and kills him with a crossbow bolt to the head. When Rick asks Daryl if he knew who it was, Daryl say yes, but it doesn't matter. Suddenly, the Savior reinforcements Morales called arrive, attacking the building in force.
Elsewhere, the combined Hilltop and Alexandrian forces are escorting about 30 captured and shackled Saviors who had surrendered after the battle at the satellite outpost. Morgan and Jesus argue, as Morgan still believes that all of the Saviors should be killed. This eventually leads to a fight, after which Morgan leaves the group. Jesus proceeds with his plan to take the prisoners to the Hilltop.
Gregory, having stolen Gabriel's vehicle and fled from the Savior Sanctuary, returns to the Hilltop, where he is questioned by Maggie as he stands outside the locked front gates. The man, ever a politician, insists that he had not meeted Negan in secret, but instead had acted purely in the interests of the Hilltop community. Even though Maggie knows that he is lying, she eventually allows him to enter. Just afterward, Jesus arrives with his prisoners. As planned, he talks Maggie into allowing the Saviors to live. They are to be locked up in several trailers at the edge of the community.
Rick's group manages to defeat the Savior reinforcements, and he takes the baby girl he'd found and gives it to Aaron, who is grieving after his boyfriend Eric succumbed to his gunshot wound. Aaron promises to return the child to the Hilltop. Rick and Daryl then question a surrendering Savior, who tells them that the guns they are seeking have been moved to Gavin's compound. Daryl shoots the man anyway, much to Rick's shock.
Ezekiel bursts out of a pile of dead bodies of his soldiers, and screams in despair. With an injured leg, he walks off with the help of a sole surviving member of his army. That man, however, is then shot by Gunther, a Savior. Gunther then drags Ezekiel along, planning to take him to Negan for a reward. Along the way, he insults Ezekiel and his way of life, telling him the Kingdom is a joke, and he is just a con man in a costume. After he realizes he won't be able to take Ezekiel any further, Gunther decides to kill him and take his head back to Negan. Before he can kill Ezekiel, though, he is bisected by a sword-wielding Jerry.
Carol manages to catch up to the second group of Saviors, as they begin loading the heavy weapons into a truck. Carol attempts to ambush the Savior crew but is repeatedly stymied. Even when she attempts to use a hostage, his own crew kill him. Eventually she sees Ezekiel and Jerry desperately defending themselves outside the gate of the compound. Given the choice between continuing to fight for the weapons or saving her friend, she decides to go with her conscience and give aid to Ezekiel.
Rick and Daryl, having traveled from the office compound based on the intel they got from a captured Savior, pursue the vehicle transporting the weapons. After a lengthy chase, Rick manages to stop the shipment, although he causes the vehicle to crash in the process. He and Daryl then go down to the wreckage to see if the driver is alive and possibly can provide further information.
Carol continues walking back to the Kingdom with Ezekiel and Jerry. Eventually they wind up cornered by Walkers. Ezekiel insists that Jerry and Carol should leave him behind so they can save themselves. Just then, though, Ezekiel's pet tiger Shiva leaps among the Walkers. It kills some, and then is overcome by the herd. In sacrificing its life, however, it allows Ezekiel and the others to escape. They make it back to the Kingdom, but the experience has left Ezekiel emotionally shattered.
Negan and Father Gabriel are trapped in a trailer surrounded by Walkers, within the grounds of the Sanctuary. While initially hostile with each other, they realize their common goal at the moment is getting to safety. Eventually Gabriel convinces Negan to make confession to him. He does this by first telling his own greatest sin, letting his parishioners die outside his church when the outbreak first began. Negan then tells him of his shame at watching his first wife, the one woman he truly loved, die, then not being able to put her down to keep her from turning. With this emotional hurdle cleared, the two men then make plans to make it back into the Sanctuary. They smear themselves in Walker guts and mix among the Walker herd, slowly making their way back to the main building.
Within the Sanctuary, Simon discusses the situation with the other lieutenants, who believe Negan may be dead. They begin to question who will now be in authority, which creates conflict among them. They also discuss the fact that supplies, now not being replenished by the other settlements, are quickly beginning to dwindle.
After the meeting, Eugene suddenly realizes that Dwight is a mole. He chooses to keep the information to himself. Meanwhile the workers, suffering from the heat now that the power has been turned off to conserve supplies, move up onto the second floor, against their normal orders. They know something is wrong, and demand to see proof that Negan is still alive. Violence is about to break out when Negan suddenly appears, alongside Father Gabriel. The people fall to their knees in loyalty.
Gabriel is taken to a cell. Later Eugene checks in on him, and immediately sees that he is falling ill with a fever. Although delirious, Gabriel insists that Dr. Carson needs to be returned to the Hilltop, so Maggie's pregnancy can continue unimpeded.
The stolen weapons having been destroyed, Rick heads to the Junkyard to convince the Scavengers to change sides again and help his people. He shows Jadis photos of dead Saviors in the aftermath of the three outpost battles, and tells her that the Saviors are close to defeat. This doesn't sway Jadis, and she has Rick stripped naked and locked in a cargo container.
At the Hilltop, Maggie is still unconvinced that they should keep the captured Saviors alive. Meanwhile, Jesus sees to their needs. Maggie has a large outdoor holding pen constructed, and moves the prisoners, declaring that they won't be mistreated. She also has Gregory thrown into the pen, as he has proven that he can't be trusted. Later Jesus tries to thank Maggie for her mercy, but she stops him. She says that if the captured Saviors don't prove to be useful for hostage exchange, they will have to die.
At the Kingdom, Carol tries to snap Ezekiel out of his grief-induced depression. She insists that the Kingdom needs him to lead them. However, the man cannot bring himself to "play his role" any more, because he is tired of what he considers to be a position built upon lies.
Carl returns to the woods, in search of the man he met at the gas station. He finds the mysterious stranger, and gives him food and water. He learns that the man’s name is Siddiq. Carl tells Siddiq about his community, and asks him Rick's three screening questions. Feeling that Siddiq will be a suitable new citizen for Alexandria, he begins to lead him back to the settlement. On the way, they come across a small group of Walkers feeding on a dead elk. After a slight struggle, they kill all of the Walkers, and continue toward Alexandria.
Michonne and Rosita head out for the Sanctuary. They want to see proof that Negan's stronghold is indeed nearing collapse. Along the way they run across a couple of Saviors who have constructed a "sound truck" playing loud music, designed to lead the Walkers away from the Sanctuary and back toward Alexandria. After being discovered by the Saviors, Michonne and Rosita fight them, managing to kill one and cause the others to flee with the truck. Before it can escape to begin its mission, though, it is destroyed by Daryl, who sideswipes it with a garbage truck. He then reveals that he and Tara are also on the way to the Sanctuary. Like Michonne and Rosita, he wants to see that the Sanctuary is about to fall. Not only that, but he plans to use the garbage truck to ensure that the Walkers will be able to flood into the compound.
Tired of waiting for The Saviors to starve out, Daryl and Tara set their own plan into motion. With help from the snipers outside the Sanctuary, they crash a truck into the compound. Walkers then flood in and begin killing soldiers and workers, much to Eugene's horror.
Eugene had previously been having a crisis of conscience. Negan had given the task of finding a safe way out of the Sanctuary. He had also been thinking about Gabriel's request to help Doctor Carson escape back to the Hilltop, and also had recently confronted Dwight with the knowledge that he knew of his treason against Negan.
Once the Walker attack begins, Negan makes his choice. He tells Gabriel that he is on his own; Eugene is now fully committed to Negan's cause. There is some sign that Eugene still has moral qualms however, as he chooses not to let Negan know of Dwight's "fifth column" activities.
Rick continues to be held prisoner by the Scavengers. In a surreal scene, Jadis takes photographs of Rick, while another Scavenger draws sketches of him. Eventually Jadis sentences Rick to death, but he uses the tethered Walker that was to be his executioner to instead fight back. Rick gained the upper hand on Jadis and held a weapon to her throat. He tells the watching Scavengers that he will leave, and then his people WILL come to kill the Scavengers. Furthermore, the Saviors will turn on them, no matter who wins the war. The only smart choice is for the Scavengers to join forces with Rick's group. Jadis reluctantly agrees.
Soon afterward, a garbage truck holding Rick and a fighting force of Scavengers arrives at the Sanctuary. To Rick's horror, however, the horde of Walkers is now gone, and the front gate is wide open.
A visibly shaken Rick tries to contact the snipers surrounding the Sanctuary, but gets no response. Rick leads the Scavengers onto the grounds, only to discover piles of dead Walkers and be greeted by gunfire. The Scavengers retreat, but Rick is rescued by Carol and Jerry.
Enid and Aaron are on their way to Oceanside to recruit the community to fight. After nightfall, Aaron sees a figure in the dark. He and Enid go to check it out. Aaron is attacked, but Enid shoots the attacker. It turns out to be Natania. Other Oceanside residents, including a tearful Cyndie, close around Natania's body... and Aaron and Enid.
Meanwhile, Gavin invades The Kingdom. He gathers up the populace, but Ezekiel, regaining his confidence, distracts the Saviors long enough for his people to escape. Ezekiel locks the front gates and allows himself to be taken prisoner.
As Maggie and Jesus lead a convoy from the Hilltop, they are suddenly blocked by a Savior garrison led by Simon. He is holding Jerry as a hostage. He offers Maggie a choice: either surrender and go back to the status quo (after sacrificing a victim to the Saviors as punishment), or watch the Saviors crash through the gates of the Hilltop and lead a Walker horde in, much as Daryl had attempted to do to the Sanctuary.
Maggie agrees to Simon's terms, with the single request that he give her a coffin to take back to the Hilltop so she can bury a recent casualty. Simon allows this. Once Maggie returns to the Hilltop, however, she enacts her true plan. She has a Savior prisoner, one who has previously attempted escape, taken out of the outdoor cell. As he mocks her attempt to "put on a show", she quickly puts a bullet in his head. She then puts his body in the coffin Simon gave her, and leaves it outside the community's walls. On the lid is written a message: "We have 38 more. Stand down."
In Alexandria, The Saviors arrive and attack. Carl leads a good number of citizens to an escape through the sewer line, and then tries to reason with Negan. He asks the man to kill him, but let everyone else go. Negan is impressed by Carl's request. He asks Carl if he wants to die. Carl says no, but he will if it will save the lives of others. Negan is momentarily shocked into inaction.
As additional Saviors head for Alexandria to back up the attack, they are ambushed by Daryl, Rosita, Tara, and others. Most of the Saviors are killed, but a few escape. That includes the lieutenant Laura, who realizes that Dwight was involved in the attack. Before she can kill him, however, she is forced to flee. As Daryl and the others close around Dwight, he is able to convince them that he sincerely wanted to help. They allow him come with them to Alexandria.
As Negan thinks about what Carl has said, the rescue convoy, led by a garbage truck, crashes through his guard vehicles. Negan flies into a rage, and orders his soldiers to begin firing explosive projectiles into Alexandria. As the city bursts into flames, Daryl and the others rush through, attempting to fight off the attackers. Rick also arrives, and immediately attempts to find Michonne and Carl. Rick is ambushed by Negan, and after a brutal hand-to-hand fight barely escapes with his life. He traces Carl down to the sewers, where the boy had helped others find an escape route from the community. Unfortunately, Rick also learns another horrible truth: Carl has been bitten by a Walker.
In the sewers, Rick and the others are in shock, seeing how close Carl is to death. The boy firmly tells the group that the Saviors had nothing to do with it; it just happened as he was helping Siddiq. He says goodbye to his family and friends. The Saviors above ground, thinking that there are no more survivors in Alexandria, finally head out. Rick's group heads for the surface, as Rick and Michonne remain behind to tend to Carl.
At the Kingdom, Ezekiel continues to be held prisoner by Gavin and a group of Saviors. As the group prepares to transport the King, Carol and Morgan approach by stealth and begin picking off the soldiers one by one. Eventually Gavin realizes what is happening and retreats to the theater. Although Ezekiel tries to convince the man that he can still change, Gavin insists that it is far too late. As Gavin grows increasingly desperate, Carol and Morgan make a final ambush, killing all of his men and forcing him to flee.
Gavin doesn't make it far before Morgan catches him. Morgan is close to killing the man, when Carol and Ezekiel intercede on his behalf. Carol reminds Morgan of his previous words, and his previous ways; this isn't the man he wants to be, or the man he has to be. Morgan seems to be coming close to conceding the point. But then Gavin is killed by young Henry, who had secretly followed Carol and Morgan on their mission. He killed Gavin in revenge for the death of his brother Benjamin.
Back at Alexandria, Rick and Michonne help Carl to reach a burnt-out church. As they try to make his final moments comfortable, Carl tells them that they have to find a way to make peace. There's "got to be an after", so Rick can again be the man he used to be. Carl thanks his father for making him the man he grew up to be. He then shoots himself in the head. Rick and Michonne bury him.
Michonne and Rick continue to mourn Carl as they make their way out of Alexandria. They drive to the Junkyard to help Jadis, as her people are now going to be targeted for trying help Rick. When Rick and Michonne arrive, they find that all are dead, with only Jadis surviving. Simon, Negan's second-in-command, killed everyone, going against Negan's explicit orders.
Jadis, heartbroken and desperate, begs for Rick to take her with him as he prepares to leave. He tells her that he is "tired of her games", however, and abandons her. She is left surrounded by Walkers, in her former safehaven. After briefly considering suicide, Jadis quickly and efficiently disposes of the Walkers, all of whom are her former followers. She then sits alone in her former kingdom.
At the Oceanside, Enid and Aaron stand in judgment for killing Natania. Cyndie almost has them executed, but Enid convinces her that more killing isn't the answer, and ultimately will only lead to more violence. Although Cyndie lets them go, she warns them never to return. Enid leaves, but Aaron insists on staying, saying that he feels that he can convince the community to join forces with Rick's group.
Rick goes through a collection of letters Carl wrote in the time leading up to his death. One of them is specifically addressed to Negan. Rick calls Negan on a walkie-talkie, and tells the man of Carl's letter, and of his death. Rick says that although Carl asked for peace between their groups, it is now too late for that. Rick vows to kill Negan. Negan says that it will never happen, and furthermore blames Rick for Carl's death, saying that in the end Rick was a failure as a leader and as a father.
Dr. Harlan Carson and Gabriel have escaped the Sanctuary, with help from Eugene. They make their way through a wooded area, while Gabriel's eyesight deteriorates from his worsening infection. Gabriel follows what he considers divine guidance, and what Dr. Carson considers a hunch, leading them to a cottage that yields a supply of life-saving antibiotics.
As Gabriel and Carson's journey continues, they are found by a Savior scouting expedition. Carson, in a rare moment of confidence, attempts to escape, and is immediately shot dead. Gabriel is heartbroken and lost. His belief that God had given him a specific mission to accomplish is destroyed. He finds himself taken to Eugene's bullet factory, where he is forced to go to work sorting shell casings
Meanwhile, Daryl leads the remaining survivors from Alexandria to the Hilltop. Dwight provides assistance, showing them a route through a nearby swamp that the Saviors have always considered too dangerous to use for travel. As the group works on clearing out floating Walkers, Tara takes advantage of this as an opportunity to get Dwight alone. Still feeling vengeful because of Denise's death, she plans to kill Dwight. Before she can carry out her plan, a group of Saviors appears. Dwight rushes out of the brush and joins them, pretending that he was simply hiding after an earlier ambush on his group. The other Saviors don't know of his Betrayal of Negan, and so welcome him back into the fold. Still, Dwight carefully doesn't reveal the presence of the Alexandrians, which causes Tara to reconsider her earlier opinion of him.
Daryl is furious when he discovers that Dwight has left the group, but he quickly gets past it, and continues to lead the group to the Hilltop. There, they meet up with Maggie, Carol, Enid, and others. Everyone at the Hilltop now learns of Carl's death.
Stopping by Eugene's bullet works, Negan is disappointed by the slow production speed. After a conversation with Eugene, however, Negan has a brainstorm. He soon reveals to the Saviors a new battle plan: coat all of their hand-held weapons with Walker blood and guts, then go to the Hilltop and make the community "join the team". Soon his enemies will be infected by the Walker virus, and Negan will be victorious.
With weapons covered in Walker blood, The Saviors make their way to The Hilltop. They are seen by an angry and unstable Rick, however, who chases the Savior motorcade and rams Negan's vehicle. After Negan crawls out of the wreckage, he is pursued by Rick into an abandoned building. Simon, who saw what occurred, convinces the other Saviors that they should let Negan handle the situation.
Maggie encounters Georgie, an unusual survivor who offers "the key to the future" in exchange for phonograph records. Enid, still bitter over Carl's death, recommends simply killing Georgie and and taking what she has. Michonne insists that it is time that the Hilltop begin to again gain friends. In the end, Maggie agrees to the trade. She is given a set of plans for windmills, aquaducts, and other engineering feats that will be invaluable for helping the Hilltop to thrive. Georgie says that someday she will return and want more payment for what she has given, although that day may not come for a long time.
After discovering Negan's wrecked car, Simon decides that he can use it was a way to assume command, by convincing the other Saviors that Negan is most likely dead. Dwight, still angry at Negan for past treatment, and also wanting to feel the situation out, goes along with the ruse. He soon regrets it, however, when Simon's first order as the new "Negan" is to not simply teach the Hilltop people a lesson, but go there and wipe out the community completely.
As Rick and Negan play a game of cat and mouse in the abandoned building, Negan offers Rick a deal to end the fighting. Rick refuses, mentioning how the Scavengers were wiped out after THEY had made a deal with him. Negan is surprised, and now realizes that Simon went out of his way to violate his direct orders.
After a scuffle, Negan manages to escape Rick. He is soon captured, however, by an angry Jadis.
That night, Simon leads the Saviors to the Hilltop. Maggie has her people prepared. She first tries to bargain using the lives of the POW Saviors, but Simon writes them off as "damaged goods". A battle then breaks out between the two groups. Simon's group eventually flees, but only after leaving many of Rick's and Maggie's group injured. As the next day turns into night, wounded citizens begin to die and then rise as Walkers. Because none of the victims, including Carol's old boyfriend Tobin, had been bitten by Walkers themselves, the group realizes that the weapons the Saviors used must have bee coated in Walker blood. Many have been infected.
Meanwhile Henry. still seeking vengeance for his brother's death, gets his hands on a machine gun. He goes to the outdoor cell where the Savior prisoners are being held. Not knowing which Savior killed Benjamin, he tries to threaten a confession out of someone in the group. Unfortunately, he makes the poor choice of unlocking the cell. As Walkers begin raising chaos across the Hilltop, the Savior Jared takes advantage of the situation and leads several others, including the traitorous Gregory, in an escape. Alden, however, stays with many other Saviors, helping to close the front gates and prevent more Walkers from flooding into the Hilltop. Once Maggie finds out what Alden has done, she begins to have a small but growing amount of trust in him.
As Maggie attends a small burial service, Carol and Morgan go out in search of Henry, who disappeared after his disastrous attempt at revenge. While standing alone, Morgan sees a vision of the dead Gavin, who taunts him over how his hypocritical behavior caused the current situation.
Jadis has Negan tied to a dolly, as she plans to subject him to torture and execution. Negan explains that Simon was responsible for killing her people, and that Negan feels as betrayed as she. Still, Jadis continues with her preparations, which will begin with burning Lucille.
Negan turns the tables on Jadis, after she leaves him too near a pistol and flare that she was going to employ in the execution. As Negan threatens to burn old photographs that have great sentimental value to the woman, she uses a "Walker Dolly", another weapon she'd constructed, to defend herself and close in. She gets the flare away from Negan, but it falls into a puddle of water. The timing of this is unfortunate, as a mysterious helicopter then appears above the junkyard. Before Jadis can properly signal the aircraft, it flies away.
Later, Jadis has released Negan. She no longer wishes to kill him, but she also rejects his apparently sincere offer to join his group and help him pursue a "new path". As he leaves, Negan vows to settle matters with the perpetrator of the Junkyard massacre. On the way back to the Sanctuary, Negan then picks up a mysterious stranger.
Meanwhile at the Hilltop, Rick is obsessing on several tasks, in spite of Michonne's warning that he needs to deal with his emotions regarding Carl's death. After getting intel from Alden, Rick heads toward a nearby abandoned tavern, where he believes the recently escaped Saviors may be hiding out. Morgan joins him along the way. As they near their destination, however, they are attacked and knocked unconscious.
As Rick wakes up in the tavern, tied up beside Morgan, he discovers Jared arguing with the other Saviors. The men can't agree on what to do with Rick and Morgan. Jared knows that bringing Rick back to Negan alive will score him major points, but he also knows that Rick is dangerous. Rick enters the discussion, quickly convincing many of the Saviors (though not Jared) that the wisest course of action would be to return to the Hilltop, where they could eventually join the community. Before the matter can be settled, a herd of Walkers invades the tavern. The Saviors (mostly) ask for Rick and Morgan's assistance, which they give. As the Walkers are wiped out, however, Rick and Morgan begin killing the Saviors, in spite of their earlier promises to set differences aside. As Jared then attacks Morgan, he is trapped by the man, and is devoured by a couple of Walkers.
As evening falls, Carol is in the woods surrounding the Hilltop, searching for the missing Henry. She eventually finds him attempting to fight off several Walkers. She kills the Walkers and saves the boy. Weeping in joy, she then returns to the Hilltop, where Ezekiel similarly greets the young man. Morgan then returns, and tells Henry that he killed Jared, the man who killed Henry's brother.
Carol sits with Ezekiel, and explains to him that she has not allowed herself to get close to anyone because of the person she had been forced to become. The death of her daughter made her a different person, stronger, but also colder. She would like to live another way, although she doesn't know if it will always be possible.
As Rick gets cleaned up after the day's events, he apologizes to Michonne for his earlier distant behavior. She tells him no apology is necessary, and that she loves him. Rick then reads Carl's letter to Michonne, which she had earlier offered to share with him.
Cyndie and her crew find Aaron in the woods near Oceanside. Cyndie says that it isn't their problem if Aaron wants to starve. He continues to fight off Walkers in a weakened state, and repeatedly wins. Cyndie's group eventually returns, and he makes one more attempt to convince them to join the fight.
Daryl and Rosita decide to kidnap Eugene, to get intelligence and prevent more bullets from being made. Eugene attempts to explain himself, but Rosita dismisses his words, saying he's a coward who would sacrifice his only friends in order to live. Eugene later escapes, and makes it back to the bullet factory. There he orders the final order of ammunition to be finished for a trap that Negan has set.
Negan returns to the Sanctuary, where he allows Simon to trap himself and reveal that he is attempting a coup. In a fight in front of all of the Saviors, Negan first beats, and then strangles Simon. Later, Negan reveals to Dwight that he had picked up Laura on the way back to the Sanctuary. She told him about Dwight's betrayal. Negan has deliberately given Dwight false information, which Dwight gave Gregory to rush back to the Hilltop. Because of this, Rick's group will now be walking into a trap that will wipe them out and finish the war.
As Rick, Maggie, and Ezekiel's combined forces make their way to the meeting spot, Negan calls out on a bullhorn, announcing that he has arranged an ambush. He then reveals a massive army. As his people open fire, however, their weapons malfunction. Their guns explode in their hands, thanks to Eugene and Gabriel's tampering. Seeing this opening, Rick's army charges.
Most of the Saviors quickly surrender, but Rick and Negan continue their fight. Although Negan at first has the upper hand, Rick tricks him into letting his guard down. At that point Rick slashes his throat. Thinking about Carl's last wish, and how Negan had insisted that Carl was wrong, Rick orders Siddiq to save Negan. Maggie violently objects, as her people hold her back. Rick orders the surviving Saviors to return to their home, and proclaims that Negan's rule, and way of life, is over. From this day forward all of the communities must work together to fight the Walkers, the true threat to a normal existence.
At the Hilltop, Saviors invade, while most of the community's population escapes into the woods. Alden and Tara head back to distract the invaders, only to find Oceanside soldiers throwing Molotov cocktails at the Saviors, wiping them out.
Post-war moments reveal Rick's militia delivering supplies to the Sanctuary to help them re-build. Daryl spares Dwight, on the condition that he find Sherry and never return. Maggie, not pleased with Rick's decision to spare Negan, conspires with Jesus and Daryl. Morgan invites Jadis to move to Alexandria. He, however, plan to stay at the junkyard, as he now feels that he is too unstable to be around the rest of the Hilltop community. Negan recovers in the infirmary, where Rick and Michonne inform him that he will rot in a cell for the rest of his life.
- Gordon (Zombified, Off-Screen)
- J. Top (Off-Screen)
- Little Roy (Off-Screen)
- Dino (Alive and Zombified)
- Gracie's Father
- Miranda Morales (Confirmed Fate)
- Eliza Morales (Confirmed Fate)
- Louis Morales (Confirmed Fate)
- Eric Raleigh (Alive)
- Colton (Off-Screen)
- Daniel (Alive and Zombified)
- Lucille (Alive, Confirmed Fate)
- Siddiq's Mother (Confirmed Fate)
- Siddiq's Father (Confirmed Fate)
- Dean (Alive and Zombified)
- Mikey (Off-Screen)
- Anna (Off-Screen)
- Carl Grimes
- Brion (Alive and Zombified)
- Tamiel (Alive and Zombified)
- Ham Radio Operator (Alive, Confirmed Fate; Zombified, Off-Screen)
- Harlan Carson
- Huck (Off-Screen)
- Tobin (Alive and Zombified)
- Kurt (Alive and Zombified)
- Kevin (Alive and Zombified)
- Dana (Alive and Zombified)
- Wesley (Alive and Zombified)
- Crystal (Off-Screen)
- Craig (Off-Screen)
- Stephanie (Off-Screen)
- Katy (Alive and Zombified)
- Alden's Brother (Confirmed Fate)
- Simon (Alive and Zombified)
- Wade (Off-Screen)
- Cam (Off-Screen)
- At least 64 unnamed members of the Militia
- At least 412 unnamed Saviors
- At least 10 unnamed Alexandria residents
- At least 130 unnamed Scavengers (Alive and Zombified)
- At least 6 unnamed Hilltop residents and refugees
- This season is mainly based on "Volume 20: All Out War - Part One" and "Volume 21: All Out War - Part Two" from the Comic Series.
- This season has the highest amount of extended episodes than any other season, with a total of 13 extended episodes.
- The season 8 premiere marked the 100th episode of AMC's The Walking Dead.
- Below are the changes made to the main cast in this season:
- Following her character's death in "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life", Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha Williams) has been removed from the opening credits.
- Seth Gilliam (Gabriel Stokes) and Ross Marquand (Aaron) have been added to the opening credits after being listed under "Also Starring" in previous seasons.
- Austin Amelio (Dwight), Tom Payne (Jesus) and Xander Berkeley (Gregory) are still listed under "Also Starring", despite being credited as series regulars in the previous season.
- Khary Payton (Ezekiel), Steven Ogg (Simon), Katelyn Nacon (Enid) and Pollyanna McIntosh (Anne) have been upgraded to series regulars after recurring appearances.
- Despite their status as series regulars, they are all listed under "Also Starring".
- Following his character's death in "Worth", Steven Ogg is no longer listed under "Also Starring".
- Following his character's death in "Honor", Chandler Riggs (Carl Grimes) has been removed from the opening credits.
- He is reinstated to the opening credits in "Worth" due to his voice-only role.
- This season has the highest death toll by far, with at least 690 deaths as of "Wrath", beating Season 6 with 134 deaths.
- This season also has a higher death count than every other season combined.
- Despite this, this season ties with Season 2, Season 4 and Season 6 as the season with the least number of main character deaths, with only two main characters - Carl and Simon.
- Coincidentally, all 4 seasons are seasons with even numbers (2, 4, 6, and 8), whereas the seasons with odd numbers (excluding Season 1, which featured no main character deaths) featured more than two main character deaths. (Season 3 had 3 main character deaths, and Season 5, Season 7, and Season 9 all had 4 main character deaths each).
- AMC announced The Walking Dead Play Dead Sweepstakes, which gave four lucky fans the chance to play a walker in the 100th episode (Season 8 premiere) of The Walking Dead. The sweepstakes began with the Mid-Season Premiere of Season 7.
- This is the third consecutive season of Robert Kirkman writing none of the episodes since Season 5.
- This is the last season in which Scott Gimple is showrunner for The Walking Dead.
- The season finale of The Walking Dead is featured on the same night as Season 4 premiere of Fear The Walking Dead.
- This is the first episode of the entire series that is played in Select Movie Theaters, as a part of Fathom Events.
- This marks the first time a new episode of The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead have been aired the on same night.