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'The Walking Dead': What will season 5 focus on?

Norman Reedus stars as Daryl Dixon on "The Walking Dead"
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

"The Walking Dead" season 4 finale is less than a week away and even though fans are busy speculating on how the season will end, people will soon be talking about what season 5 will focus on. Spoiler reports have stated that this season will end on a cliffhanger and that waiting for the next season will be difficult. On March 25, Latin Times shared a few hints about the season finale, which can also give an idea of what could happen when "The Walking Dead" season 5 premieres.

The setting

Each season the zombie series is set in a particular location for most of the episodes. The exception to this was the first season because it showed Rick (Andrew Lincoln) searching for his family. However, the second season led the group to Hershel's farm, where they stayed while Carl (Chandler Riggs) recovered from his gunshot wound. Then season 3 was set at the prison along with the first half of season 4. The second half of the fourth season has the group separated and out in the world fighting for survival. But since some of the characters have found Terminus, it is only logical to assume that the "TWD" family will be at the sanctuary for at least part of season 5.

Terminus is a mystery to many people, but mostly everyone can agree that it sounds too good to be true. While a few of its secrets may be revealed on the season 4 finale, the episode is also going to focus on Rick, Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Carl, who will be dealing with matters en route to the sanctuary. There simply won't be enough time to go into the whole Terminus story, so this is probably the cliffhanger that they are talking about.

Personality changes for Rick and Carl?

A post on Reddit stated that a man is going to try to sexually assault Carl on the season finale. This attempt will probably put Carl through some personality changes. Will he become angry and lash out? Or will he become depressed and withdraw?

That same spoiler post revealed that Rick would stop the attack and that he will rip the guy's throat out with his teeth. Rick isn't normally a man of violence, so if this actually happens, this is going to really affect him for a long time. Robert Kirkman said in an interview that Rick is going to be pushed to the absolute limit and a sneak peek showed him with a bloody face and he looked frantic and terrified. There is speculation that Joe's group will come face to face with Rick and since they want revenge, Rick could end up fighting for his life. Any of these things would affect someone's personality. If they all happen, then viewers might see a very different character in "The Walking Dead" season 5.

Daryl's possible fate

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) is a fan favorite and viewers are always worried when rumors hit the Internet about his possible death. While Daryl will probably survive the season finale, he will have a choice to make when Joe and Rick's group meet. Will he feel some sort of loyalty for the Claimers and join them in getting revenge? Will he try to fight for Rick when he realizes that he was the person Joe was talking about? Or will he try to do the right thing, but will the Claimers try to stop him? The most likely scenario is that when Daryl realizes that Rick is the person Joe was talking about, he will try to protect his friend from any harm. Rick is like family and while Daryl is closed off a bit emotionally, he trusts Rick and knows that he will never turn his back on him, unlike the Claimers. If it comes down to it, Daryl will fight for those he trusts and respects to the end.

Beth's kidnapping

Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie on the show, recently said in an interview that Beth and Daryl were both in scary situations. It was also reported that Beth's kidnapping was not going to be resolved anytime soon, which sounds like that storyline will carry over into the fifth season. It will be interesting to see who kidnapped her and why. If she ends up being alive by the time she is found (if she is ever found) then the experience will undoubtedly change her thinking and how she interacts with others. Beth (Emily Kinney) could either end up completely broken or the situation will bring out some tough qualities in her.

A new villain?

Gareth will make his debut on the season 4 finale of "The Walking Dead" and while nobody knows what kind of person he is, there is speculation that he is going to be even worse than the Governor. Actor Andrew J. West has been given an option for season 5, so fans may see more of Gareth or they might not.

Dealing with the choices they have made

There is no way to know what the main storyline will be in "The Walking Dead" season 5. However, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd talked about Rick Grimes and the "human choices" the characters have made and will continue to make. She said,

"It’s always a question of how much can you come back from those moments, and those choices. And that’s where season 5 will take us."

It definitely sounds like some characters may be able to come back completely from the choices they are forced to make while others won't be able to come back from it at all. For most characters, there is going to be a middle ground, but it will be interesting to see how those choices will affect their future.

Fans will have a better idea of what is to come once the season 4 finale airs on March 30. Some questions are going to be answered, but as stated before, it is going to end on a cliffhanger.

"The Walking Dead" season 5 will premiere in October 2014. Do you have any theories on what will happen when the show returns?