We still have about a month or so before the cast of The Walking Dead descends on Atlanta to begin filming the show’s highly-anticipated fifth season, but we already received some major casting news just hours after the March 30 Season 4 finale. Deadline reports that three cast members — Alanna Masterson (Tara Chambler), Andrew J. West (Gareth), and Christian Serratos (Rosita Espinosa) — have been promoted to series regulars for Season 5.

Alana joined the show near the back half of Season 4, and when her casting news was announced several months ago we noted that her contract included the option for her to become a full-time cast member in Season 5, and now she’s done just that. Way to go, girl! Her character, Tara, was one of The Governor’s (David Morrissey) earliest supporters in his quest to overtake the prison in the midseason finale, but after one-eyed Bri brutally beheaded Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) Tara knew she had made a terrible mistake. In the last half of the season Tara teamed up with Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and made it her mission to bring him and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) back together.

In Season 4, Episode 15: “Us”, Tara, Glenn, Rosita, Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) reunited with Maggie, Bob Stookey (Larry Gilliard Jr.), and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green). Christian’s character Rosita will also be a regular for Season 5, a surefire sign that Abraham’s Army will play a crucial role in TWD’s next chapter. In the comics, Abraham’s Army joins forces with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew and everyone hits the road for Washington D.C. (with all-knowing Eugene) in search of a cure. Could we follow a similar trajectory in Season 5? It sure sounds like it!

Rounding out the trio of new series regulars is Andrew J. West, who plays Gareth. Andrew’s casting was also announced several months ago but Gareth made his first appearance in last Sunday’s season finale. We don’t know that much about Gareth just yet, but he seems to be the leader of Terminus, and is responsible for locking our survivors in a train car. Comic book creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman recently revealed that we most definitely haven’t seen the last of him yet. “I will say that he is a version of a comic book character, as Scott Gimple says he’s a remix of something we did in the comics, so there are elements of the comics that will be brought into the show through Gareth in a different way. I would expect a lot more out of that character when we come back,” he dished.

Are you pleased that Alanna, Andrew, and Christian will be series regulars on TWD Season 5? Tell us your thoughts below!

The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.

Source: Deadline