If you’re a Walking Dead fan, your theory on who Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) killed in the season finale probably changes from week to week with each new spoiler theory. So let’s look at the five top theories on who Negan killed in that controversial final scene of The Walking Dead, starting from the least likely, to the most likely, so perhaps Walking Dead fans can make up their minds once and for all.
Are We Ready for a New Leader?
One can make a very strong case that Rick (Andrew Lincoln) would be the most logical choice for Negan to kill, as he’s currently the leader of the group, although given how scared Rick looked on the execution line, many Walking Dead fans think he posed less of a threat to Negan than some other characters. Last season’s Walking Dead cast promo featured Morgan (Lennie James) as prominently as Rick, so could the creative team be preparing us for a whole new leader if they kill off Rick?
After seeing the Walking Dead’s finale, it appears now that when Lauren Cohan — who plays Maggie — talked about a history-making final episode, she was likely referring to the cliffhanger that did not identify Negan’s victim, not the possibility of The Walking Dead killing off its lead character. While that certainly doesn’t make Rick “safe,” at this point the greatest evidence that Rick dies is how Lincoln talked about being physically ill when he had to come to set the film that episode. Since the actual death was not filmed yet, that could indicate his dismay at spending his last day on set if he’s being killed off.
Killing Rick would be a real Walking Dead fan shocker, but it doesn’t seem terribly likely at this point.
Taking Out The Big Guy?
If you’re Negan, should you take out the group leader, or take out the guy who doesn’t seem the least bit intimidated by you? If you are a Walking Dead fan who answered the latter, you’re probably feeling the theory that Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) was who Negan killed. When Rick’s group was lined up for Negan’s inspection and death selection, Abraham didn’t back down one iota, staring the man with the bat straight in the eye.
Michonne (Danai Gurira) also gave them some fierce attitude, however, so even though Abraham is the biggest, meanest looking dude on the line, Michonne’s fearlessness takes a little bit of the wind out of this theory’s sails. Still, we’ve got the fact that Denise (Merritt Wever) took Abraham’s death from the comic books in the TV version, making Abraham now overdue to die on The Walking Dead, plus Abraham just found some peace in this post-apocalyptic world with his new relationship with Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green.) But perhaps the most compelling argument that Abraham was chosen by Negan was that touching scene between him and Eugene (Josh McDermott) that seemed like their characters’ dramatic goodbyes.
To play devil’s advocate, however, many Walking Dead fans don’t really consider Abraham a “beloved character” like one of the original members of Rick’s group. They love him, they just don’t love him like Rick, Glenn, or Daryl.
Could Negan Really Be This Evil?
Short of killing baby Judith, the most horrific death in The Walking Dead cast would be the pregnant Maggie, although with Maggie in the throes of what appears to be a miscarriage, Negan already threatened to choose her to “put her out of her misery.” That prompted Glenn (Steven Yeun) to break ranks in an emotional outburst. Compelling arguments for Maggie as the victim include the fact that she was stepping up into a leadership role and serving as a sort of moral compass like her dad, which never bodes well on The Walking Dead. Maggie and Rick had a moment where they talked about the price they would pay for agreeing to go after Negan and his gang, was set up a case of foreshadowing if Maggie or Rick fell victim to that bat.
From Negan’s perspective, if he’s figured out that Maggie’s pregnant, taking her out would have the most brutal emotional impact on Rick’s group. But is that going too far? In the comic series, Negan is known for not advocating violence against women and children, but that’s no guarantee that same trait will carry over into the television version of The Walking Dead.
Perhaps the most compelling case that Maggie dies is her recent move into feature films with The Boy and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the fact that she is the other cast member besides Lincoln who talked about the extreme emotional impact of reporting for duty that last day on set to film the Negan scene.
We’ll Riot If You Kill Him!
Any Walking Dead fan worth their salt knows which character comes next at the mere mention of a riot. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) always comes up in spoiler theories about characters that are going to die on The Walking Dead. And yet, he carries on, season after season, which is probably a good thing given the declaration by many fans that “If Daryl dies we riot!”
One compelling theory that applies to both of the last two potential victims broken down here is the “point of view” theory. The season finale of The Walking Dead opened from the point of view of one of the four already captured by Negan’s men, and a very logical conclusion made by one Walking Dead fan was that the point of view at the end of the episode was the same person. From a writers’ room perspective, that makes a whole lot of sense. That theory would narrow it down to Michonne, Daryl, Glenn, and Rosita (Christian Serratos.)
You can pretty much disregard Rosita as a viable option, and while Michonne was one of two that stared Negan down, if that was enough to provoke the man, it’s still more likely he’d choose Abraham. While some Walking Dead cast members claim they don’t even know who Negan kills, Reedus has said in multiple interviews, he knows what happens and who died. Does that mean that Daryl will finally die, and fans will finally riot?
Reedus does have a new reality show coming out, and if he seems to be the only cast member of The Walking Dead who knows who dies, that makes a pretty compelling case it’s him. While Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick reminds fans again and again that while it’s tradition for characters who die to appear on Talking Dead afterwards, being announced as a guest on the next show does not mean your character dies. While Norman Reedus was on the season finale Talking Dead show which could follow the tradition, fans could also argue that whoever was killed will be on the Talking Dead episode following the next season premiere when the cliffhanger is revealed.
Some Walking Dead fans also claim you could see the back of Daryl’s head in the point of view shot when the four captives are pulled out of the van in the last scene, eliminating Daryl in that theory. Draw your own conclusions, but either way, it wouldn’t hurt to get out that riot gear and have it ready.
If This Were Vegas, The Odds Would Be On This Guy
If you were paying attention to that last theory, you know which Walking Dead character seems most likely to be Negan’s victim. Yes, while The Walking Dead has deviated from the comic book series many times throughout the television series, the evidence suggests this is one time where they won’t. In addition to being the character that Negan kills in the comic book series, Glenn fits the point of view theory as one of the four previous captives, plus he kind of drew attention to himself with his outburst when Negan threatened Maggie.
While many Walking Dead fans claim they can’t make out any names or words in the leaked audio before the last episode aired, a clear audio file of that leaked season finale scene had much louder screams and reactions then the final television edit, and several times, it sounded like the name “Glenn” was screamed by female voice. That, along with the point of view theory, makes Glenn the most likely victim of Negan and Lucille in that horrific Walking Dead season finale.
So, Walking Dead fans, which of these five do you think is the most likely victim of Negan, or do you think it someone entirely different? Some still think Eugene, Michonne or Carl, but those seem to be a real long shot. Post your theories below in the comments.
[Photo by Gene Page/AMC]