When The Walking Dead returns for season seven this October, fans will have to say goodbye to one of their beloved heroes. But who, exactly? That's the question that's been on everyone's mind since Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) raised Lucille (his trusty barbed-wire-covered bat) and took a few devastating swings at ... the camera. It was the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers, one that raised plenty of ire among fans—while also generating the months-long debate the producers were hoping for.
We've still got a few months to go before we learn the identity of the deceased, but AMC's season seven preview special may have just given us our biggest clue yet at who met their maker. Fans of Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) may want to look away now.
Yes, that's Negan's lackey Dwight (newly-minted series regular Austin Amelio). And yes, he's now wearing Daryl's iconic vest, while riding Daryl's motorcycle (which he snatched away in season six). And yes, now we're slightly worried that showrunner Scott Gimple might just ignore the fan rally cry of "If Daryl dies, we riot" and off our favorite archer. If you'll recall, he wasn't looking too hot after being shot by Dwight prior to the big Negan reckoning. (We even ranked him pretty high when considering the finale's death odds—though not at the very top.) Of course, would the powers-that-be really give away the resolution to the cliffhanger that easily? We're going to stay hopeful and say no, they wouldn't. For now, we're keeping Daryl in the "safe" column.
That leaves Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Carl (Chandler Riggs), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Glenn (Steven Yeun), Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Aaron (Ross Marquand), and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) on the chopping block. Who else do we know, for sure, to be safe? Why, the Grimes boys, of course.
When Negan sprung into action in the finale moments of the season finale, he had a special directive for his band of Saviors. "Anybody moves, anybody says anything, cut the boy's other eye out and feed it to his father," he said, pretty much signaling that neither Rick nor Carl were the unlucky loser of the villain's sadistic game of "eenie, meenie, miney, moe." And, though we enjoy them each to varying degrees, we'd be lying if we said we felt that the death of either Abraham, Sasha, Rosita, Aaron or Eugene would be consequential enough to the story that it would cause "the world to explode," as Reedus has claimed. Sorry, not sorry.
That leaves us with the doomed lovebirds (and parents-to-be) Glenn and Maggie. In the finale, complications from her pregnancy meant that Maggie was in a bad way in more ways than one. If she does survive Negan's brutality, wha's stopping her from keeling over from a combination of whatever is ailing her and the shock of watching someone she cares about be brutally murdered? Not much, to be honest, but we've got a sinking suspicion that The Walking Dead won't repeat the "mom dies from childbirth" storyline again after Lori's (Sarah Wayne Callies) demise. And as fans of the comic books know, there's a lot of story left for Maggie should she make it to the Hilltop. (Though that hasn't stopped them from simply transferring said story to another character in the past. Ahem, Andrea.)
It's no secret at this point that, when Robert Kirkman's comic books hit this iconic moment in their story, it was Glenn whose life as snuffed out. And frankly, it still feels as though it's the only death that really makes any sense for the series, all things considered. Did the show bungle things by making us question his survival mid-season six with the whole dumpster disaster? Without a doubt. But it's not enough to convince us that they've chosen to chart new territory here. Until we see any evidence to the contrary, we're still prepping our Glenn Rhee obituary.
Which character do you think won't make it out of the season seven premiere alive? Let us know in the comments below.
The Walking Dead returns Sunday, October 23 at 9 p.m. on AMC.