'The Walking Dead': Where Will The Show Go Next?

What the comic books can tell us about upcoming plotlines.

After the apocalyptic events of the most recent episode of "The Walking Dead," it's hard to imagine where the show might go next. Lucky for you then that we have a road map for the television show within the pages of the comic books. And even luckier? It seems that after two seasons of heading off in vastly different directions, the show has finally hooked back up with the plot of Robert Kirkman's book.

Here are a few places we expect the show might go when it comes back on February 9. Oh, and spoilers on:

The Road

This is kind of an obvious one, but after a season and a half of being in one place, it's once again time for "The Walking Dead" to hit the road. In the books, after the attack on The Prison, Rick and company take a while to meet up again; and for a while after that have no clear destination in mind. Viewers may say we've tread this ground before (quite literally), but the survivors haven't been without a home since the second episode of season two. That's nearly two-and-a-half years by the time the show returns so expect a little travelin' in our future.

The Farm

This one doesn't exactly come from the comics, and viewers who still get their hackles up after the quagmire that was season two might loathe this possibility. But rumors are that the next stop for Rick and company is Hershel's farm. It makes a certain amount of sense, as Maggie and Beth may want to go home after their father was so cruelly executed. And sadly, it may tie into a storyline from the books that finds Maggie trying to commit suicide.

Still, we don't expect the stop to be a long one. Rumors also state that while at The Farm we'll meet new characters Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita, which will lead to ...

The Capitol

Nope, not the one in Panem (though that would be awesome). Eugene drops a bombshell on the survivors, claiming to be a scientist in touch with the US Government in Washington, D.C. Not only that, but they know how to stop the zombie plague. Though they don't quite make it all the way to the White House in the comics, seeing the remains of Washington might be a shocking, terrifying way to leave us at the end of the season four.

The Hunters

This is a short stop, but one we expect the show will get to sooner rather than later. One of the most horrifying storylines from the comics has Rick encountering a group of survivors who manage to get through the harsh winter by eating people. In the comics, they eat a one-legged Dale, who's been bitten by zombies. In the TV show, Dale died, Hershel lost his leg in his place, and then Hershel had his head chopped off in Tyreese's place. By the transitive law of television, we're guessing Tyreese may guest-star in the world's most terrifying version of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?"

The Safe Zone

There's probably not time to get here by the end of season four, but this is coming, no doubt about it. The current long-running storyline in the comics finds Rick taking the group to the Alexandria Safe Zone, a better version of Woodbury. They take control, and come into conflict with a man even more dangerous than The Governor: Negan. If you're looking for a plot line for season five, and possibly even season six, look no further.

"The Walking Dead" will return to AMC on February 9, 2014.