Walking Dead fans have heard it all when it comes to who is and who isn’t going to die, not just every season, but every single episode of the zombie apocalypse cult sensation. Rumors have been flying that everyone from Daryl (Norman Reedus) to Glenn (Steven Yeun) might die in The Walking Dead season finale at the hands of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). But, given the writers’ history for The Walking Dead, and the way they love to use cruel irony, did Sunday’s episode “Knots Untie” give fans a hint at who will be Negan’s victim?
While no confirmed spoilers for upcoming episodes follow — which is wise since the producers of The Walking Dead are cracking down on unauthorized spoilers — the theories that follow may be considered spoilers to some. If you like keeping things a mystery, you may not want to read on. In addition to the speculation, there are definitely spoilers to past episodes of The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead creative team seemingly loves to put cruel twists into this show, such as Hershel’s (Scott Wilson) notorious death scene. As he made a fantastic speech about coming back from a place of being cruel and inhumane, it looked like he would save the day, until The Governor (David Morrissey) decapitated him in front of the whole gang, including his two daughters.
Then, there was the cruel case of Carol (Melissa McBride) getting attached to the little girls, only to have psycho Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) kill her sister, leaving Carol with no choice but to put her down Old Yeller-style. And let’s not forget how Andrea (Laurie Holden) had a chance to kill The Governor in his sleep but didn’t. If you’re a Walking Dead fan, you know how that turned out for her. Then there’s Carl (Chandler Riggs) shooting his mom, and Spencer (Auston Nichols) killing his mom.
There are many more examples that could be cited, but if all of that hasn’t convinced you yet on how cruel those Walking Dead writers can be, you’ll likely never be convinced.
On last Sunday’s episode, one thing Walking Dead fans learned from the Hilltop group is that Negan likes to kill one member of a group to show people how serious he is right from the get-go. For the Hilltop group, they said he killed a 16-year-old. That indicates not only does Negan like to kill a member of a group, but he seems to focus in on someone that will especially shock and hurt a community of people; in this case, someone so young who probably had at least one parent present.
While fans of The Walking Dead comic books know that Negan kills Glenn in the comic series, The Walking Dead TV show often deviates from the comics. But, will it in this case? Glenn is definitely a fan favorite and one whose death would particularly affect the group, especially Maggie, who is pregnant with his child. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) also seems to be a likely candidate, as she’s a woman and pregnant. It would be particularly brutal to be beaten to death by Lucille, Negan’s barbwire-covered baseball bat.
And here’s where the potential “cruel twist” could come in for the writers of The Walking Dead. When Maggie and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) were discussing whether they should make the deal to kill Negan for food and supplies from the Hilltop group, Maggie warned Rick that it would cost them. If you’re a Walking Dead fan and you’re not saying “uh-oh” to that one, you need to pay closer attention. That looks like a classic set up. Whoever Negan kills, it will probably be directly related to Maggie or Rick, so that this discussion and decision will come back to haunt them as they see someone they love beaten to death because of their decisions.
On the other side of that discussion, if the writers of The Walking Dead really want to hurt Rick, there’s always Carl or Judith; although, as far as The Walking Dead has pushed the limits of violence and cruelty, having a baby beaten to death is probably a little too much even for them. But, Carl better be watching out. In light of the recent hookup between Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira), one could try to argue that Michonne’s death would be particularly devastating to Rick. Which it would, but Negan picking Michonne doesn’t really go along with him picking someone that will upset the entire community the most, such as someone young or vulnerable.
Going by that theory, that narrows down the most likely candidates to die in the finale of The Walking Dead this season to Carl, Maggie, or Glenn. The fact that Maggie commented on how much this attack on Negan would cost them could be the most important indicator. One could argue that makes her the front-runner for who’s going to die at Negan’s hands. Other than Judith, Maggie is arguably the death that would most affect fans and the fictional characters the most, with her pregnancy and the fact that she has recently been stepping up into a leadership role.
Don’t forget what a total kiss of death it is to become any kind of moral compass on The Walking Dead, and her stepping up to be more of a leader could be yet another indicator that she dies. Plus, think about the ultrasound image of her baby being passed around, just to drive home the reality of her pregnancy and how that picture of the fetus brought smiles to the faces of those who looked at it. Could The Walking Dead writers be cruel enough to set viewers up for Maggie to die like this? There’s also the irony of it being Maggie, instead of Glenn, as the one who Negan kills.
Theories abound and so-called spoilers are everywhere on the Internet, but if you look at it through a writer’s eyes, that moment with Rick and Maggie is probably foreshadowing the price that will be paid. And you can bet that one or the other will feel it more deeply than any other member of the group.
Who do you think will die? Post your theories below.
[Photo by Gene Page/AMC]