SPOILER ALERT: If you have not yet watched the Season Six finale of ‘The Walking Dead’ you may want to turn back now. Also, this article mentions elements from the comic book source material which may be considered spoilers for Season Seven.
Last night, fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ finally met Negan, the new Big Bad whose name has been teased since the end of Season Five and constantly since. Portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the villain definitely lived up to the hype, instantly charming viewers with his extended monologue which was lifted almost directly from the comic books. (As many have pointed out, the F-bombs were omitted, but it has been promised that the version on Blu-Ray will include ALL the expletives.)
The scene that played out is almost exactly the same as that in the comic book, but whereas the comic scene only featured a handful of characters, the TV sequence included almost all of the show’s regular cast, increasing the pool of possible victims.
Usually the season and midseason finales of ‘The Walking Dead’ feature major events, huge fights and major deaths. This one broke from tradition and offered the cliffhangerest cliffhanger ever! Just as he did in the comics, Negan played a game of “Eenie Meenie Miny Moe” to determine which of Rick’s crew to beat to death with his barb wire-wrapped baseball bat Lucille, then delivered a series of deadly blows, with blood covering the screen. The catch? Viewers don’t know which of the crew was the victim and won’t find out until the show returns in October!
Let’s take a look and consider who would logically be the victim of Negan’s bat. We know that the victim is someone whose death will impact all of the survivors. So that actually saves a few characters. We also know, thanks to Negan’s dialogue, that Rick and Carl are safe for the time being.
Other than that? Let’s see:
Aaron (played by Ross Marquand):
Safe because #whogivesash**? Aaron made a pretty high profile debut, but during Season Six has turned into Alexandrian wallpaper. His sole meaningful appearance was when he accompanied Maggie into the sewers when she was looking for Glenn.
That means she and Daryl are the only characters that have any real connection to him. He’s just not an important enough character that his death would be a game-changer in any way.
Abraham Ford (played by Michael Cudlitz):
I can see Abraham’s death coming from a mile away. He is not going to be on this show much longer… but I do think he will be around for a bit longer. He’s been undergoing an emotional transformation and just began a relationship with Sasha.
As comic readers know, Abraham should actually already be dead at this point, and while I think his time is coming, I just don’t think it’s quite here yet.
Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus):
And now we have our first likely candidate. Let’s be honest, Daryl is arguably the most popular character on the show, which is ironic because he is a character that doesn’t exist in the comics. But does that make him safe?
There is an old adage in fiction writing: Kill your darlings. Having a character that is unkillable because he’s popular can be seen as a hindrance or crutch. Taking him out goes back to the premise that this show was built on: no one is safe.
Though Daryl is quiet, he has been part of the crew from the very beginning. His death would definitely impact the majority of characters, including Aaron, who otherwise seems tacked onto this excursion.
Well “If Daryl Dies We Riot”-ers… time to put up or shut up.
Eugene Porter (played by Josh McDermitt):
The one useful thing he had to offer was his knowledge of how to make bullets, but he gave those instructions over to Rick, which sort of negates the necessity to keep him around.
But story-wise, it doesn’t make sense to have Negan kill him. In an uncharacteristically brave move, Eugene volunteered to go on a suicide mission to distract the Saviors and save the others. If they were going to kill him off, that would have been the way; letting him go out in a blaze of glory.
Also, like Aaron, his only real connections are to Abraham and Rosita, so once again #whogivesash**?
Glenn Rhee (played by Steven Yeun):
Working against him is the fact that Glenn actually is the character that Negan killed in the comic book. But the show constantly deviates from the source and after last fall’s uproar when fans weren’t sure if Glenn had died or not… and didn’t find out for almost a month, it seems highly unlikely that they’d turn around after such a tease and then actually kill him.
Then again, that’s not to say they won’t still do it. After all, fans have already mourned him once. was that to cushion the blow?
Glenn, like Daryl, touches on nearly all the other characters, even some not present like Heath, who Glenn spared from having to kill another human, when the gang infiltrated the Saviors’ outpost. His death would send a shockwave through the cast and would indeed be a game-changer.
Maggie Greene Rhee (played by Lauren Cohan):
How do I put this? Um, bye girl!
That’s just a guess, but like I said, they often deviate from the comics on the show and swapping out Glenn for his pregnant wife would make sense. She’s another character that has a personal connection to nearly every other, so her death would devastate them and be a complete game-changer.
And the fact that they were on this errand in an effort to save her life, would make her death doubly painful. The fact that she’s pregnant makes it triply painful!
But seriously, they need another crying baby why?!
Michonne (played by Danai Gurira):
Michonne is another character whose death would devastate the group, particularly Rick, with whom she just became romantically involved and Carl, to whom she has become something of a big sister figure.
Her death isn’t out of the question, but it’s slightly less likely than some of the others’. Like Daryl, she’s super popular and brings a needed badass quality to the show that no one else can match.
Except maybe Jesus. Wait… with Jesus around, do they still need Michonne? Hmmm…
Rosita Espinosa (played by Christian Serratos):
Safe. She’s the one character even less developed than Aaron, even though she’s been around for longer.
She’s done nothing but serve as Abraham’s girlfriend and Eugene’s babysitter. Now that she and Abraham are no longer an item, her potential is just now opening up.
Sasha Williams (played by Sonequa Martin-Green):
Relatively safe. Sasha seems to be slipping into Andrea’s comic book role as the group’s sharpshooter and honestly she hasn’t had that much interaction with the individual group members despite having been around for several seasons. She has just begun a romance with Abraham, that will obviously impact Rosita, a character she regards like a sister.
But that’s about it. Once again, her death wouldn’t exactly cripple the group as a whole.
So of those, there are only a few that are real contenders to be Lucille’s latest kill. And we won’t find out who until for seven long months.
Who do you think was killed in the season finale? Comment below!