As has become something of an annual tradition, The Walking Dead has promoted two of its recurring cast members to series regulars. This year, those honors go to Avi Nash and Callan McAuliffe, one of which was expected while the other comes as something of a surprise.
Nash plays Siddiq, the character inadvertently responsible for Carl’s death and now a doctor on The Hilltop, who will presumably help look after Maggie during her pregnancy (if Lauren Cohan stays on the show beyond season 9). Siddiq is a fairly significant character in The Walking Dead comics, so this doesn’t come as a shock, although it is nice that the series now can boast a Muslim-American character as a series regular.
The other promotion goes to Callan McAuliffe, who plays Alden on the series. Alden was something of an afterthought in season eight. He was the Savior locked up by Maggie who decided to switch sides and play for The Hilltop, which is what he will presumably continue doing in season nine as Maggie and Jesus rebuild in order to take on Rick and Alexandria. Alden is not a character in the comics and was a mostly forgettable one on the series, so this does come as a surprise.