Though 'The Walking Dead' season has wound down following the dramatic conclusion to the show's seventh season a little earlier this year, talk is still rife as to what fans should expect when the series makes its return for the start of season 8 in October.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in 'The Walking Dead'Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in 'The Walking Dead'

While we know that there's an 'All Out War' on the way - which means a lot more for comic book readers than it does for those who are fresh to the story arc - those behind 'The Walking Dead' have often changed the narrative to surprise everybody watching.

Keeping the show fresh, they've now decided to bring three already established characters to the forefront, with the actors who are playing each of them inking new deals that will see them become series regulars in season 8 and beyond.

TVLine reports that Steven Ogg, Katelyn Nacon and Pollyanna McIntosh have received the contract upgrades. Ogg plays Negan's right-hand man Simon, whilst Nacon is Carl's crush Enid and McIntosh takes on the role of trash leader, Jadis.

Each of the characters have been integral to the story told throughout the past season, so it's no surprise to see each of them upgraded. Enid's future is perhaps a little murkier than the other two characters, but a romance in new episodes with Carl wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility.

The news comes after a number of high-profile characters were taken out in various ways throughout the seventh season. The premiere episode in late 2016 saw both Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) killed off by new series Big Bad, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), whilst Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) became the first character in a while to turn into a zombie on screen.

Whether everybody currently involved in the series is safe for the foreseeable future remains to be seen, but we wouldn't hedge our bets on everybody making it through season 8 unscathed...

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'The Walking Dead' season 8 is expected to start in October, 2017, returning to AMC in the US and FOX in the UK.