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As intense and macabre as a show like The Walking Dead can be, the actors and crew members of the series have discussed time and time again how they are like a real family on set, and a new gallery of behind-the-scenes photos from the first half of season 8 show the cast and crew having fun like a family during breaks on set that include tickling, a chess match, and, of course, buckets of fake blood.

The Walking Dead will return for the second half of its 16-episode eighth season on Sunday, February 25th at 9:00 pm EST. In the meantime, you can reflect on the eighth season's first half in the behind-the-scenes photo gallery below, and check here to catch up on our previous season 8 coverage, including the preview video for the second half of the eighth season.

Season 8 synopsis: "Last season, Rick Grimes and his group of survivors were confronted with their deadliest challenge yet. With the comfort of Alexandria, they let their guard down, only to be reminded how brutal the world they live in can be.

Feeling powerless under Negan's rules and demands, Rick advocated the group play along. But seeing that Negan couldn't be reasoned with, Rick began rallying together other communities affected by the Saviors. And with the support of the Hilltop and Kingdom, they finally have enough fire power to contest the Saviors.

This season, Rick brings "All Out War" to Negan and his forces. The Saviors are larger, better-equipped, and ruthless -- but Rick and the unified communities are fighting for the promise of a brighter future. The battle lines are drawn as they launch into a kinetic, action-packed offensive.

Up until now, survival has been the focus of Rick and our group, but it's not enough. They have to fight to take back their freedom so that they can live. So that they can rebuild. As with any battle, there will be losses. Casualties. But with Rick leading the Alexandrian forces, Maggie leading the Hilltop, and King Ezekiel leading the Kingdom -- Negan and the Saviors' grip on this world may finally be coming to an end."

Photos courtesy of Gene Page / AMC:

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