When 'The Walking Dead' makes its return for its eighth season next month, fans will be expecting a huge shift of tone when it comes to comparing the new episodes to those that made up season 7.

Norman Reedus makes his return in 'The Walking Dead' as Daryl DixonNorman Reedus makes his return in 'The Walking Dead' as Daryl Dixon

The last season saw a lot of criticism for being incredibly dark and violent, but when it came to the finale, lines were drawn and the foundations were laid out for the infamous comic book story arc known as 'All Out War'.

With Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his band of fellow survivors teaming up with those that would like to live in a world where Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and The Saviors didn't pillage and take whatever they like, there's a ferocious battle brewing between the two sides, with countless casualties already promised by those in-the-know.

Exactly how everything will pan out remains to be seen; we know the show likes to deviate from what the comic books have done in the past, so to make any guesses would be foolish. What we do now know however is that a lot of characters are going to be pulled together that haven't really interacted before, and that more people than ever will be allowed to step into the spotlight.

Speaking to TV Line, showrunner Scott Gimple explained: "Because of the narrative that we’re following... the story this season is really spread out among all of the characters. And the story shifts quite a bit in single episodes between lots of different characters on a consistent basis, which is a little more unusual for the show."

He added: "We’ll see characters affect one another that we haven’t seen affect one another before, or even just thrown together that we haven’t seen thrown together, It’s been really satisfying."

Whether or not this will be the welcome change many of the fans are begging for remains to be seen. 'The Walking Dead' did lose a heck of a lot of viewers last season, but that hasn't stopped it from being one of the biggest juggernauts of the small screen. We imagine, despite the negative impact from season 7, that will long continue.

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'The Walking Dead' returns on Sunday, October 22 in the US on AMC and to FOX UK on Monday, October 23.