Congratulations to AMC’s The Walking Dead for putting out what may be one of the most heart-wrenchingly suspenseful season finales in television history. If your heart couldn’t hold up to another infamous Walkling Dead finale and you just wanted to hit the internet for an answer to the “Who died?” question to brace yourself… I’m sorry.
Thanks to a brilliant first-person perspective of the death scene, we really have no idea who’s dead.
Unfortunately, somebody died at the very end of the Season 6, Episode 16, titled “The Last Day On Earth,” and it will be an agonizingly long time before we have absolute confirmation of their demise. Thanks to the way that shocking moment was filmed, it could have been practically anyone, including one of the series’ core favorites.
Do we have any clue as to who was killed? Well, this is where things get tricky (and potentially spoiler-ish). According to the New York Post, the Walking Dead comics made it quite clear which of Rick’s crew died at the hands of the villain Negan and his bat “Lucille.”
Yes, that is poor Glenn Rhee getting the business from Negan, the ruthless leader of the Saviors. If the show’s writers want to stay true to the comics, then he’s the person we’ll find out is dead when The Walking Dead returns for a seventh season. There’s certainly strong evidence that this is the case, because the final scene echoes Glenn’s cruel comic book death almost verbatim.
Even so, there’s also a chance that the entire reason the season finale death scene was filmed in a particular way is because the showrunners fully intend to kill someone else for shock value. A predictable death isn’t shock value; a popular character whose death nobody saw coming? That’s what gets people angry, and talking — and possibly back for more.
But if The Walking Dead didn’t kill off Glenn, the predictable question becomes, “Who’s actually dead?” The need for maximum shock value puts a couple of beloved candidates on the chopping block.
Many fans have predicted for a couple of seasons now that it would be long-time Walking Dead favorite Daryl Dixon who dies. It’s even possible to argue that the death of Daryl would have a much stronger impact than that of Glenn, which would make it a sadistically perfect choice.
Despite such a bold move, his might also be the kind of unanticipated demise that costs The Walking Dead a chunk of its viewership. This is no Beth Greene hospital scene moment; the fallout from a dead Daryl could have serious consequences for the series.
Michonne is another popular character who’s proven her worth since joining up with Rick Grimes — a man who recently became her lover. As anyone who’s watched this show knows, things tend not to end well for women attached to Grimes romantically.
Michonne could be the latest woman on The Walking Dead to exit the series via the “woman in the refrigerator” trope. She’s popular enough that her death would cause a bit of reaction. The only thing that might protect her is that the trope has been done a couple of times already. If the Walking Dead writers are hoping for a truly stunning premiere death revelation, there are a couple of alternatives.
It would be a strange twist of fate to substitute Glenn’s death with that of his wife, Maggie Greene. Again, this would satisfy the “woman in the refrigerator” cliché, but the fact that she’s also pregnant would certainly raise the stakes concerning horrifically shocking television.
It would probably top the brutal stomach-stabbing of Robb Stark’s wife, Talisa, in Season 3 of Game of Thrones. We knew for all of five minutes that Talisa was pregnant before she died. With Maggie, we’ve known for some time and have had a chance to adjust to the horrible risk of her not surviving her pregnancy.
It would easily be the most upsetting of deaths, and brutally beating a pregnant woman to death with a bat would arguably push the Walking Dead into the realm of poor taste.
The selected victim could be Carl. Why? After choosing someone to die, Negan issued the following threat.
“Anybody moves, anybody says anything, cut the boy’s other eye out and feed it to his father. And then we’ll start!”
The move to kill young Carl would certainly inspire violent protest among the survivors, but the vulnerable and weapon-less group would only make the teen’s potential death that much more painful. The emphasis on “then” could mean Carl would still die, but he’d just be completely blind.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, that statement could be a vital clue that both Rick and Carl survived Negan’s deadly game. It’s also entirely possible that the selling point of Season 7’s premiere is suspense and suspense alone, with no one of consequence dying. What that means is we’ll get a horrible death, but it will be the death of a character who won’t cost the Walking Dead viewers.
This show loves its cop-outs, and despite the brilliance of the show’s camera angles, I think if your favorite is a core member of the cast, you’ll be relieved when the Walking Dead comes back.
Who do you think died on the Walking Dead series finale? I’m genuinely interested in your theories, so please share them below!
[Image via AMC]