The Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead is only days away.
This Sunday, fans will finally know who Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) beats to death with his barbed wire bat, Lucille.
While everyone prepares for the absolute worst outcome imaginable, here’s everything to know about the Season 7 premiere.
For starters, the biggest question by far surrounds Negan’s victim in the season opener.
Producers have kept the identity of Negan’s victim on lockdown and fans have had an entire summer to theorize.
According to Nerd Core Movement, Negan is going to have to kill off a major character if he wants to get Rick and his group to obey his commands.
Killing off anyone minor wouldn’t get the job done and doesn’t line up with what went down in the comics.
When Negan first appeared on the pages of The Walking Dead, he beat Glenn (Steven Yeun) to death.
It only makes sense that the TV show will follow the same storyline and kill off Glenn, despite how much they teased his death last season.
Daryl (Norman Reedus) is another obvious choice for Negan.
Not only has Daryl evolved into one of the most liked characters on the show, but he’s also Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) right-hand man.
In the most recent preview for the premiere, Negan teases Rick about killing off his “right-hand man.”
Was this a major hint or just another trick to throw fans off the trail?
Daryl’s death would anger many fans, but it would also be the show’s biggest and most controversial death ever.
Of course, Daryl is not in the comics so the producers have free reign on his storyline.
Abraham is another prime candidate for the bat beating.
Abraham has developed into an important leader within Rick’s group, so it would make sense that Negan would kill him to make an example.
That being said, Abraham isn’t on the same level as Glenn or Daryl, so his death wouldn’t be as controversial or cliff-hanger worthy as the other two.
Even worse, there is a possibility that Negan will kill more than one character in the premiere.
Unfortunately, fans will have to tune in Sunday night to find out who gets the bat.
While everyone waits in suspense to find out, The Walking Dead EP and director Greg Nicotero recently sat down with TV Guide and discussed filming the Season 7 premiere.
For starters, Nicotero revealed that the majority of the episode will be viewed from Rick and Negan’s perspectives.
“We start in that extreme close-up of him on the Season 7 sneak peek,” he stated. “We’re right into it, in his eyes, and into Negan’s eyes. We’re right there. We don’t cut wide. You’re there, listening into what they’re saying. That’s the way Rick’s perspective is tremendously important.”
The director also explained how this is the “first time we’ve ever seen Rick Grimes scared in the entire series.”
In the promo, a blood-spattered Rick promises Negan that he’s going to kill him.
Considering how Negan just killed one of Rick’s good friends and holds all the power, this isn’t a smart move. Negan then drags Rick into the RV for another lesson in obedience.
“From Episode 1 onwards, he’s always been in control. He’s never been on his knees in front of anybody,” Nicotero added. “Everybody there, their power has been completely taken away — and they’re all powerful people.”
According to Rolling Stone, Negan’s introduction this season will take things to a darker place than ever before.
Rick and his group have been through a lot over the years, but Negan’s followers are a new kind of nasty. Rick has a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to get out from under them and save everyone in the process.
Indeed, Negan’s presence is so powerful that every other subplot is now on the back burner, including Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan) illness and Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan’s (Lennie James) fate in The Kingdom.
Unlike previous villains, Rolling Stone reports that Negan is a multifaceted villain with a lot of depth. Although Negan has become the most hated villain of all time, he does inspire loyalty amongst his followers.
“This is a very nuanced character that has a lot of different shades to him. There’s a lot of honor to him, a rule system in place. … He’s a leader of a fairly sizable group, and so in order to do those things for as long as he’s done them, he’d have to be very accomplished as a human being,” creator Robert Kirkman revealed.
Meanwhile, it won’t be long before we finally learn who dies in the premiere and some of the other subplots are picked back up.
Fans can only hope that Negan spares their favorite character and Rick finds a way out.
Season 7 of The Walking Dead premieres Oct. 23 on AMC; check out some spoilers below to see who Negan possibly kills.
[Featured Image by AMC]