‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6: Has Nicholas Really Changed Or Is He Just A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing?

In Season 5 of The Walking Dead, Nicholas was the character everyone loved to hate for what he did to Noah and Glenn. But in the Season 6 premiere, fans got to see a different side to the character. Could Nicholas really be trying to fix the mistakes of his past?

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about the Season 6 premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet watched Episode 1 (entitled “First Time Again”)

The second half of Season 5 of The Walking Dead saw the introduction of Nicholas (played by Michael Traynor). This character was a member of the supply run group for Alexandria. After Rick’s group arrived, Glenn (Steven Yeun) joined Nicholas on supply runs and very quickly came to loggerheads with him over his actions. As a result of this, Nicholas’ cowardly behavior lead to the dead of Noah (Tyler James Williams). Not long after this, Nicholas tried to kill Glenn which saw the both of them severely injured. Basically, Nicholas was a character Walking Dead fans hoped would come to a grizzly end.

Michael Traynor as Nicholas and Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee - The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 16

The Season 6 premiere of The Walking Dead, however, has seen a different side to Nicholas. After it was revealed that Glenn didn’t rat on Nicholas for trying to kill him, Nicholas started to toe the line. It was like he had seen the error of his ways and was trying to atone for his previous sins. For many fans, the Season 6 premiere of The Walking Dead gave a chance to see the beginning of redemption for a character they despised.

As Michael Traynor told Entertainment Weekly, in Season 6 of The Walking Dead, Nicholas has come to realize he is not the warrior he thought he was and has much to learn from the likes of Glenn and the rest of Rick’s group. Traynor even likened Glenn as someone who can guide Nicholas, his “Obi-Wan,” if you like.

“When he sees these actual true hardened warriors walk though the gates of Alexandria, the truth of who he is just slapped him across the face. That’s why he tried to kill Glenn a few times. We attack those in our world who force us to realize our worst aspects. And I think after that truthful moment, he’s come to Glenn — ‘You saved my life so now I want to be a better person and I need your permission to let me do that.'”

Michael Traynor as Nicholas, Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee and Corey Hawkins as Heath - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 1

Another aspect that could have brought Nicholas around since the Season 5 finale of The Walking Dead is seeing Pete (Corey Brill) get killed by Rick. Perhaps he learned that Rick’s group is not to be messed with. Did he realize just how lucky he was to have a run in with Glenn on The Walking Dead and walk away with his life? Imagine if it had been Rick on that supply run. On some level Nicholas may have known if that were the case, he would not be alive now. A certain level of humbleness can arise from learning you are lucky to be alive.

But some Walking Dead fans are not as convinced. There are many theories out there that suggest there could be a darker side to Nicholas still. Let’s have a look at some.

  • At the end of the Season 6 premiere of The Walking Dead, a horn was sounded that caused the walkers they were herding away from Alexandria to change direction and head straight for the town. Could it have been Nicholas sounding the horn? While it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have Nicholas try and bring walkers to the place he calls home, it does lead into another interesting theory;
  • Could Nicholas be a member of the Wolves? In Season 5 of The Walking Dead, we saw the introduction of the Wolves, but still not a lot is known about them. If he is, could he be laying low until he saw an opportunity to bring down the entire community so the Wolves could take over Alexandria as their own?
  • Another similar theory to the one above involves Nicholas being a member of Negan’s group. If you haven’t read the comics, Negan is a character who makes the Governor look like a lolcat meme. Once again, having a massive herd of walkers marching past Alexandria would be the perfect opportunity for someone else to try and take over the safe community.
  • Is Nicholas just biding his time until he can kill Glenn and make it not look like he didn’t do it? The best way to avoid suspicion is to befriend your enemy and wait until an opportune time arrives to get rid of him.

Or are Walking Dead fans just jaded when it comes to not trusting the new locals when Rick’s group encounters them? After all, not every community they encounter in The Walking Dead will be bad, surely? Only time will tell though.

Season 6 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 2 (entitled “JSS”) on Sunday, October 18, 2015.

What do you think, is Nicholas really trying or is he a wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing? Let us know your thoughts and theories by commenting below!

[Image credits: AMC/Gene Page]