Whoever ends up dying from an acute case of Louisville Slugger syndrome in The Walking Dead’s seventh season premiere, it might console him or her to know that the show the survivors won’t be understaffed for long. Two new characters have been added to the cast, and they seem to be exclusive to the TV series.

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From TV Line’s Michael Ausiello (bullet points added by me for clarity):

• Naomi is a grandmotherly type who, having lost so many loved ones, is now willing to do whatever it takes not to have to bury any more. (Maybe she’s being introduced to counsel Carol about the awful necessities of the post-apocalyptic world… )

• On the flip side is Jennie, a sunny-side-up kinda teenager — oh, Caaarl! — who sounds a lot like Beth 2.0, “kind, with a world-weary toughness.”

Jennie seems generic enough to not warrant further comment, but Naomi sounds exactly like Carol, and it seems... unlikely that the show would feel the need to have two characters who are older women whose instincts have gone from maternal to killer. Although maybe since Carol has lost her edge, Naomi will serve as an example of what Carol was turning into before her epiphany—sort of a Dark Carol, if you will.

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But if Carol had been part of the group captured by Negan, I would already be certain that the introduction of Naomi meant Carol’s doom. But since she hightailed it out of Alexandria (followed by Morgan), she may be safe... for the time being.

[Comic Book Resources]