Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Maggie and Beth Greene Cry After Hershel Is Decapitated on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 8: “Too Far Gone”

Here we go! AMC just released a nearly 4-minute video previewing the second half of The Walking Dead Season 4. The next eight episodes start with Episode 9 on Sunday, February 9, and the sneak peek video offers new footage of what's to come, with the cast and producers talking about the future of their characters and Team Prison as a whole.

• As producer Dave Alpert teases the second half, "It's gonna be about how do we get everybody back together, how do we stay safe, and how do we find sanctuary?" (Don’t forget that “sanctuary” radio tease from the first half;’ that will come back into play.)

• Producer Gale Anne Hurd reminded us there are a lot of people out there on foot, since characters like Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Beth Greene (Emily Kinney), and Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and the kids had to run out of the prison after the battle. "They are seeking to reunite, some of them decided to leave others behind."

Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) said, "It's a terrifying world that we inhabit again. ... We're weakened because we're split from each other." Andy added that the back eight feels like a whole new season. "We're moving into a much more psychological horror." His character, Rick, is psychologically damaged (again) and also physically beat up after the prison battle. He not only lost the prison, he thinks he lost his baby girl, Judith. He'll be more scared and that will come out as a more "aggressive" and protective father figure for Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs).

(At one point, we see Carl standing over his father, telling him, "I saved you." The Carl/Rick stuff may all be from Episode 9, which should have a big focus on them.)

• Producer Denise Huth added, "That's such a theme of the show over and over and over again — whenever you create a home, it will not last long. It will always change, and you will always suffer more loss, and what will you do?"

• Producer/director Greg Nicotero said, "What's great about the second half is there's really personal moments between our characters. [...] As they begin to cross paths, whether they actually connect or don't connect, we realize that the world is spreading, and the world's getting larger."

• Showrunner Scott Gimple said, "Fans can look forward to seeing the emotional ends to these story. We'll see characters change a great deal from where they started." He also scared us with this one: "There's a lot of relationships that are cemented and some that are broken, and how are they going to be facing what looks to be an even more brutal world?" (They flashed to Maggie looking at her engagement ring when he talked about relationships being broken. Hopefully that was just misleading!)

Danai Gurira said it's going to be hard for Michonne to process what happened, since she was right next to Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) when he was killed. Lauren Cohan said Maggie Greene is going to channel a lot of her grief straight into anger. Norman said Daryl (who is shown holding a snake) will be changing a lot, since none of the characters are the same as when they started. Steven Yeun said we don't know what happened to Glenn Rhee since he was on the bus and they shot bullets at the bus when it was driving away.

• Producer/comic book writer Robert Kirkman said the second half will have a really "intense" group of episodes. Andy said it's moving the show into a deeper, darker and more grown up territory. "We're jumping off the cliff in this back end."

Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Carl Grimes Looks Back in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 9

It's so much to take in!

Around these words, we see some fascinating images. Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika Samuels (Kyla Kenedy) walk hand-in-hand (alone?) on train tracks. Michonne may be tracking Rick and Carl since it looks like she might end up in the same area where they were. Beth also stands over a huge pile of walkers, and we also see her in an open field (maybe the golf course?).

Watch the video below. What are your impressions? Robert Kirkman warned us the second half of Season 4 would start “bleak” but it should have a “more hopeful” ending by the finale. Are you worried for any characters in particular?

The Walking Dead Season 4 returns with Episode 9 on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Source: AMC