For many, 'The Walking Dead' provides the perfect autumnal and winter viewing each year, delivering twists and turns that shock the millions of viewers that tune in as well as the faithful readers of the original comic book series. Robert Kirkman's story may still be going in the world of comic book fiction, but that doesn't mean his work wasn't given a new lease of life when AMC decided to adapt the story for the small screen.

Will Morgan (Lennie James) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) survivor season 8?Will Morgan (Lennie James) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) survivor season 8?

Now rolling into its eighth season this October, and after losing quite a large portion of viewers through the seventh season, loyal fans could be about to see the biggest shift in tone, character development and storytelling that the series has ever gone through.

With all of that being said, what does it mean for the show's leading characters - especially Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) - who seems to have been the primary focus of 'The Walking Dead' ever since its inception?

Chatting about whether he could see the show leaving Rick behind and the focus then shifting onto his son Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), Lincoln told EW: "Absolutely. It’s beautifully set up for that – for the camera to be certainly his story, and then it just shifts off. If ever there was a landscape or an environment to do that, it’s our show. But whether or not that’s this season... well, you have to find out, don’t you?"

Chandler Riggs' character Carl has done a lot of growing since this scene in season 4Chandler Riggs' character Carl has done a lot of growing since this scene in season 4

Creator Robert Kirkman also thinks it's a possibility, adding: "I think it could. [Andrew Lincoln] is the leader of this show and his dedication to the show is absolutely inspiring. Everyone just looks up to him and he’s a huge part of this show. But we have a very strong ensemble, and there’s a lot of characters that could carry the show. 'The Walking Dead' is a story very much about a world and a bunch of people inhabiting that world."

There would be one big problem in shifting the focus of the show onto Carl - there are a very vocal portion of the show's fan base that don't really like the character all that much. With that being said, chances must always be given; fans can always change their minds if actors and their respective characters are given the right material to work with.

Exactly where 'The Walking Dead' goes from here is anybody's guess, but what we do know is that season 8 will be adapting the fan-favourite comic book story arc 'All Out War', which sees Rick and his loyal band of survivors go up against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the villainous Saviors. In a battle for power, it's possible that both sides could come out with a loss. We predict many casualties and tragedy for both Rick's army and the Saviors...

More: 'The Walking Dead' Showrunner Shoots Down 'Old Man Rick' Theory

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