THE WALKING DEAD 10-1629624846251
The Walking Dead Image Credit: AMC

It’s the beginning of the end for AMC’s hit zombie survival series ‘The Walking Dead’.

Based on Robert Kirkman’s critically-acclaimed comic book franchise of the same name, the show is all set to culminate with a massive 24-episode arc which will be spread out over the course of 2021 and 2022.

“Coming off of the six additional episodes for Season 10, which focused on smaller, character-driven stories, we’re excited to kick-off Season 11 bigger than ever,” says Angela Kang, showrunner and executive producer of ‘The Walking Dead’, in a press release statement. “The stakes will be high — we’ll see more zombies, tons of action, intriguing new stories, never-before-seen locations and our groups together in one community for the first time, trying to rebuild what the Whisperers took from them.”

THE WALKING DEAD 11-1629624848233
Khary Payton plays Ezekiel, Eleanor Matsuura plays Yumiko, Josh McDermitt plays Dr Eugene Porter in 'The Walking Dead' Image Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

But despite everything they still need to accomplish and all the terrors they yet have to face, there is also hope. “I think that for many of our characters, happiness, joy, peace has been elusive. But there are ways that they find it. It may not always come in the form that they’re expecting. It may wax and wane at times. But yes, there is room for some happiness for some of our people,” said Kang in an interview with review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

Here’s everything you need to know about the final season as it hits TV screens in the UAE on August 23.

Where and when to watch in the UAE

The eagerly awaited final season will begin airing on August 23, premiering exclusively on FoxHD on beIN. Kicking-off with an action-packed eight episodes, the final, expanded season will feature a massive 24-episode story arc, bringing the show’s decade-long successful run to conclusion. The first eight episodes will air weekly, on Mondays, at 10pm UAE Time. Parts two and three of the final season will air in 2022, with exact dates yet to be determined.

THE WALKING DEAD 8-1629624870238
Angel Theory as Kelly and Mellisa McBride as Carol Peletier in 'The Walking Dead' Image Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Where we left off and where it’s going

At the end of season 10, we saw that Alexandria was severely compromised, left a former shell of the home it once was from the carnage and devastation left behind by the Whisperers. Now all who live in Alexandria struggle to refortify it and feed its increasing number of residents, which include the survivors from the fall of the Kingdom and the burning of Hilltop; along with Maggie and her new group, the Wardens. Alexandria has more people than it can manage to feed and protect. They must secure more food while they attempt to restore Alexandria before it collapses like countless other communities they have come across throughout the years. But where and how? Meanwhile, unbeknownst to those at Alexandria, Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Ezekiel (Khary Peyton), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) and Princess (Paola Lazaro) are still being held captive by mysterious soldiers who are members of a larger and unforthcoming group.

The Acheron saga

The first-two episodes of the final season ‘Acheron: Part I’ and ‘Acheron: Part II’ have been shot like an extended film in itself. The episodes are set to feature a sweet reunion, a dangerous mission led by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and some back story reveal about where and what Maggie (Lauren Cohan) has been through over the last eight years she spent on her own. Meanwhile, Eugene and group are seeking answers from a group called the Commonwealth.

What Is the Commonwealth?

When Eugene, Yumiko, Ezekiel, and Princess arrive at the train depot rendezvous at the end of season 10, it is instantly recognisable for those who have read the comics that Eugene and company have arrived at The Commonwealth.

In the show, the Commonwealth exists somewhere in West Virginia, and Eugene and company have just encountered a community of 50,000 people, a supercity in the context of a zombie apocalypse. For comparison’s sake, the combined population of Alexandria, Hilltop, The Kingdom, The Sanctuary, and Oceanside numbers in the hundreds. The Commonwealth is also an extremely advanced society. It has a functioning government led by Governor Pamela Milton. It has distinct military and police forces to keep people safe.

But despite the advances and the perceived luxuries of the group, something is obviously not right with this community, and we’re all set to find out more in this final season.

Get ready for some Maggie vs Negan action

THE WALKING DEAD 4-1629624857348
Lauren Cohan plays Maggie Rhee in 'The Walking Dead' Image Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

For some quick context, while Negan may have reformed his ways and has come to an uncomfortable truce with the residents of Alexandria, Maggie is just coming face-to-face with the man who murdered her husband many years ago, as we see at the tail end of season 10. She wants him dead clearly, and how Negan addresses his past deeds will be interesting to watch unfold.

THE WALKING DEAD 2-1629624850937
Norman Reedus plays Daryl Dixon in 'The Walking Dead' Image Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

How Maggie deals living behind the same walls as Negan is “the whole season,” Cohan said about Season 11 during the virtual San Diego Comic-Con. “That’s what we’re gonna unpack this year. So if there’s a feeling that could be had, we’ll probably spend some time on that feeling, and then we’ll move onto another one. It’s crazy. It’s honestly crazy.”

Cohan added: “It’s been the most fun I’ve ever had on this show, in terms of just cruising through this ocean of what you want to do and what you can do, and where she’s been.”

What fans can expect

When asked about fan expectations for the ending of ‘The Walking Dead’, Kang told Rotten Tomatoes, “I find that our fandom, it stretches across different people with different taste, so depending on the person you ask, I really think you’re going to get a very different answer. I think the core of what holds the fans together is that they care about the characters and want to feel that they’re watching a story about them that allows them to understand more about what they’re thinking and what they’re working through and how hard they’re fighting to survive. And I think obviously they do like that there’s a sense of adventure stakes, like the scares, and, yet, feeling like people can overcome when they need to by standing together.”

“Those of us that work on the show, all of us love the show, we love the comics, we love the genre,” she added. “So I think we lean toward our internal sense as fans ourselves of what’s entertaining for us and what we find moving or scary. Hopefully, those feelings are aligned with the audience, but we don’t always know, and we can’t always control that. We hope that people have a good time and get something out of it.”

THE WALKING DEAD 6-1629624864180
A still from 'The Walking Dead' Image Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC