It's shaping up to be a banner week in my household — I sent my daughter off to kindergarten for the first time, and The Walking Dead just dropped a new teaser trailer. Priorities, people.
Yes, almost as exciting as the fact that my little one is learning simple subtraction and to sing in rhyme is the fact that we fans of TWD now have one more clue about who will meet their demise when Season 7 premieres on Oct. 23.
As you well know, Season 6 ended in a gut-wrenching cliffhanger, with nefarious new guy Negan beating the pulp out of one of Rick's crew with his trusty barbwire-wrapped baseball bat, Lucille. On the receiving end of said wrath was either Abraham, Sasha, Aaron, Glenn, Eugene, Rosita, Rick, Carl, Daryl, Michonne or Maggie.
There has been much speculation about who, naturally. Loyalists to the graphic comic series insist it will be Glenn, as foretold. Some fans are certain both Glenn and Abraham will get Lucilled. And then there is the persistent rumor that fan favorite Daryl will perish, a notion seemingly reinforced by this week's teaser trailer.
In the clip, Negan's henchman Dwight is seen riding Daryl's motorcycle and wearing his signature leather vest. This can't bode well for Daryl, right?
Meanwhile, cast members dropped clues of their own as part of TWD's Season 7 special that aired on Sunday. "Get somebody you care about, and hold their hand. You'll probably cry. You'll probably smash your television set, so surround your room with a lot of happy things," said Daryl's real-life alter ego, Norman Reedus.
"It would be wise if you have someone with you that you love. This premiere is going to be rough," said Melissa McBride, who brings Carol to life. "There's no way to prepare for what's going to come, and if you think you know what's going to happen and the way it's going to happen, you're not prepared for what's coming."
Even showrunner Scott Gimple got in on the action, ominously promising, "Enjoy your summer, because the beginning is someone's end... What happens in one episode will shatter the lives of those that survive."
Based on these new cast comments (and a few more we'll discuss as we go), let's count down the five characters who are most likely to meet their maker.
While it's true Daryl told Dwight he'd ride the motorcycle again over Daryl's dead body, c'mon — would The Walking Dead really just reveal such a damning clip about one of the most beloved characters/actors in the franchise? Doubtful. The fan slogan "If Daryl dies, we riot" might annoy some, but I feel certain network execs don't want to take that chance. Personally, I think Daryl's such a badass that even if he got killed, he'd just come back, and his crew would keep him as a pet.
This seems to be the most popular theory among followers of the Robert Kirkman comics, since it is the way it all shakes out on paper. However, the show has strayed from the comic arc before. At some point, I imagine there has to be a critical juncture where they deviate in a big way to ensure the show's longevity — what better point than this?
In an interview with Andrew Lincoln by Entertainment Weekly, the star seemed to allude to as much, saying, "I know that there is a very vocal, a very opinionated, fervent fanbase that know the comics and can't wait to get to certain characters and places. But we're doing a different thing."
When you read over the comments being made by the cast, it is clear the emotional gravitas of Negan's choice is profound — it would seem he picks off a person from Rick's crew who is essentially irreplaceable to the entire group. Can you imagine if that person is Michonne? Things are going so well for this fierce character right now (helloooooo, Richonne!), and that generally isn't a good sign. Her death would, without a doubt, devastate everyone and emotionally cripple Rick. The fact that no one is really expecting it heightens the possibility. And yea, her dying would damn well make me smash my TV set.
I do not — I repeat, do not — want to see sweet Maggie get her skull bashed in, but perhaps that is precisely why it will happen. No one wants Maggie to be the one who goes... the thought is almost unbearable. In the comics, Maggie goes on to become a leader once Glenn dies. If the roles are reversed and she dies, it would impact everyone on many different levels. They'd lose a strong member of the community, yes, but also a smart one who has proven to be a key asset in clutch situations. Since Maggie and Glenn's unborn progeny represents the last scrap of hope and future of humanity the group is currently holding onto, Maggie's death would take an unprecedented emotional toll.
There's a reason ol' Abe keeps circling the drain in the rumor mill — because his death would be devastating. Not in ways quite so viscerally obvious as the death of Maggie or Michonne would be, but in ways that are strategically crucial to the survival of the group. Since joining Rick's ranks, Abraham has been the fearless roughneck. Rick relies on him often to be the group's muscle. It's a role he happily fills, which Negan could have picked up on when Abe defiantly stared down Lucille. Rosita loved him, Sasha is in love with him, and Eugene depends on him. The fact that he has found happiness and is dreaming of a real life is no bueno in TWD universe.
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