The Walking Dead is about to plunge into Season 7, and spoilers indicate that fan-favorite Daryl Dixon might be the one who dies at the hands of the new super-villain.
Fans of the show just endured an often brutally difficult Season 6, with the front end of the season subjecting viewers to several weeks of wondering whether Glenn Rhee had been killed at the hands of a horde of walkers. The back half of Season 6 was about the looming entrance of villain Negan and a cliffhanger ending in which he will kill one of the major characters.
The abrupt ending to last year with Negan raising his barb-wire-covered baseball bat to kill an unseen person has built up anticipation going into Sunday’s premiere of Season 7.
[WARNING: Potential Walking Dead Season 7 spoilers are ahead]
While there are plenty of clues about which person Negan has killed, AMC is holding The Walking Dead spoilers close to the vest going into Sunday’s episode. As Rolling Stone noted, the network won’t let any of the actors give interviews before the premiere in order to avoid spoiling the secrets.
“Fans have been engaging in speculation all summer, examining set photos and commercials for the new season, tracking blood-spatter and looking for clues in social media posts by the cast. But given the way [showrunner Scott Gimple] and his writers operate – in a show where anybody can die at any time – it’s impossible to guess who’s a goner. It could be somebody fairly minor, like Aaron; or it could be somebody who’s been in the story from the start, like Daryl. AMC won’t be making the new season’s premiere available for critics, so don’t expect the secret to leak early.”
But some critics have still been reading the clues, and there are spoilers pointing to Daryl Dixon as the victim of Negan’s rage. As ComicBook.com noted, the cliffhanger ending to Season 6 dropped some heavy clues that the beloved Norman Reedus character will be offed.
“The first clip from The Walking Dead‘s Season 7 not only featured blood spatter on the side of Rick’s face which Daryl was knelt on but, more importantly, the blanket Daryl was wearing is front and center,” the report noted. “Right next to a pile of someone’s skull is Daryl’s blanket. This fact alone makes Daryl a frontrunner candidate for meeting Lucille.”
There had been rampant rumors throughout Season 6 that Daryl might be the one killed, with many pointing to a new reality show for Norman Reedus as a potential sign that his character would be gone. But the show, Ride With Norman Reedus, completed its filming in The Walking Dead‘s off-season.
Others note that there are no signs from the set of the show that Reedus is absent, but the producers might have thought ahead on this one. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the comic book creator and executive producer, Robert Kirkman, said they’re using every trick they have to keep fans off the trail of the real victim.
“We’ve employed body doubles in places to make people think that people are in places that they’re not. It’s pretty exciting to try and hide certain things,” he said. “This is a big season, so we’re not just protecting things that happen in the first episode; there are things that happen in the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth episode and beyond.”
The spoilers for The Walking Dead could go beyond Negan’s victim. There are still other plot lines to cover, including the medical crisis for the pregnant Maggie. Rolling Stone predicted that the show would address that and other unresolved story lines, such as Carol’s departure from the community, and Glenn wrestling with killing the Saviors, but it will all take place under the long shadow of Negan’s control.
“It’s important to remember that the Saviors don’t want the Alexandrians dead; they’d rather that the community work to fatten Negan’s coffers,” the report noted. “So as the show’s main characters start to adjust to the new reality, they should have plenty of time to worry about who’s sleeping with whom, and to manage their various individual crises of confidence.”
But viewers expecting to see The Walking Dead Season 7 spoilers immediately and learn the fate of Daryl Dixon could be out of luck. The show has been known to drag out the suspense on its cliffhangers as fans learned last year when it took more than a month to learn that Glenn survived his near-death experience, so the payoff might not come until the final minutes of Sunday’s episode.
[Featured Image by AMC]