Our predictions for who Negan killed in the season 6 finale of The Walking Dead
After hinting at a new villain throughout the second half of season six, the The Walking Dead finally introduced Negan, who is well known among comic fans as the most notorious villain of the seires. The season finale left us with the most shocking cliffhanger to date, leaving viewers wondering what will happen next and eagerly anticipating the new season. We last saw leader, Rick Grimes, and several members of his group on their knees before Negan and his weapon of choice, a baseball bat adorned with barbed wire that he lovingly refers to as “Lucille”. Determined to punish the group for killing several of his men, The Saviors, Negan delivers a lengthy and ominous speech before choosing which member of Rick’s group will get the honor of having the holy hell beat out of them by Lucille. As a means of choosing his victim, Negan plays a deadly game of Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe. One of the characters met their demise in the final moment of the episode, and our editorial team weighs in on who we think Negan’s victim is.
In the season finale of Talking Dead, host and super-fan Chris Hardwick told the producers and cast, “I watched so many times, trying to figure out the angle of where everyone was and where he came.” Many fans have done the same, presenting innumerable theories and predictions. Scott Gimple’s, who serves as showrunner for the series, responded to Hardwick by saying, “It’s a bit impressionistic, there’s a bit of jumping around there. Because we knew that people would be zaprudering it.” What this likely means is that the characters were presented unsystematically in relation to the rhyme, making dissecting the scene somewhat of a moot point. It’s also worth noting that the death scene was not filmed until production began for season seven, indicating that the writers may not have decided who the victim was at the end of season six. This makes predicting the outcome rather challenging, and although many viewers are angry and frustrated about the decision not to reveal which character will die, one thing remains undeniable: theorycrafting is fun.
For the sake of our arguments, our team will disregard Gimple’s statements and use the final scene as well as many other factors to influence our predictions. Below you will find our choices for the top three most likely victims. Be warned that this article includes spoilers from the comic series.
Chosen and written by Jennifer Izykowski
Negan first appeared in The Walking Dead comic series in issue #100, much in the same fashion as in the season six finale. The comic, however, did not end on a cliffhanger. The victim was revealed in the final pages in some of the most horrifically graphic panels of the series thus far.
While the television series has done a spectacular job at adapting the comic deaths for television to keep fans of the source material on their toes, often swapping characters or changing circumstances altogether, this may be one of the few times that they choose not to do so. Part of the reasoning behind this theory is that this particular death is an absolutely critical point in the overall story, and therefore must have a major impact on not only the audience, but more notably the other characters.
As a number of the characters in the lineup haven’t been given much in the way of significant character development, let alone on screen interaction with one another, logic could indicate that the victim will be a core member of the group whose loss will be immeasurable. While many of the main characters are both loved by their adopted family and popular among fans, Glenn has continually been the moral compass and heart of the group. These are qualities that haven’t boded well for many other characters, seemingly limiting their longevity within the series. Also, having been fairly recently married to Maggie and with a baby on the way, his death would undeniably shake the group to it’s very core and leave a lasting impression.
It’s also worth pointing out that many fans feel that Glenn is safe, due to the fact that his death was implied last season only to be revealed that he narrowly escaped. Inferring that it would be preposterous to kill him so soon after, well, not killing him. This rationale, combined with the fact that he was also Negan’s victim in the comics, makes it seem that he may be too obvious a choice and therefore could be excluded from the list of likely victims. However, this could very well be a clever ruse on behalf of the writers and producers, possibly making him a suitable candidate. Afterall, sometimes the unlikely choice is the most devastating one.
The Walking Dead producers have continually insisted that nobody is safe, though in recent seasons they have rarely lived up to that, choosing instead to kill off more minor characters that have barely been developed and therefore whose deaths have less of an impact. And although losing a beloved character such as Glenn would be catastrophic, it’s about damn time the series makes good on that threat.
Chosen and written by Oliver Ducker
As much as I would love the show to stick to the source material in this particular instance since Glenn’s death would offer, perhaps, a more gut-wrenching sight to behold (Glenn is most definitely one of the more innocent characters on the show by far), there is one factor that leads me to believe that he will not be the latest victim of the blood-thirsty Lucille – When Negan is finishing off his monologue, he gives a look to his left, a look to his right, and finally back to his left. The angles he looks around at don’t suggest that he is looking up at his people, but rather that he is looking at the various folk kneeling before him. As you can see in the image above, Glenn is actually at one end of the line-up so who would Negan be looking down at? There is nobody.
Abraham, however, is surrounded on both sides by potential victims, and he is in just the right place for Negan to glance towards Rick just before he commits his terrible deed. I have no doubt that Negan would flash Rick one final glance before pummelling one of his friends to death. Let’s be honest here – Abraham is the smartest choice for Negan! Just look at that fucker! He’s a tank. Other than Rick (who would most likely become a martyr just as comic-Negan states), who do you think looks like the biggest threat? As Negan stands before Abraham, Abraham raises himself high. He is probably shitting himself, yet he is not prepared to let his captor see his fear. Negan probably knows this guy is dangerous to both him and his people and must be dealt with.
Compared to his comic-counterpart, Abraham is living on borrowed time. Sure, only by two episodes but it is still a lot more than comic-Abraham. Personally, I’d love for Abraham to not be the sorry soul that is meeting his maker, but I simply do not think it is anybody else. Abraham in the comic got a fuckin’ amazing death, completely unexpected and so incredibly underwhelming for a character such as him. Yet it’s that underwhelming nature that made it so great – in real life, Death doesn’t give a crap about who you are or how amazing you are, we can all die in the same ways (within reason). Perhaps the writers were saving Abraham for this very moment?
There is one more piece of evidence that I have to support my claim – TV tropes! If there is one thing guaranteed to mark you for death it’s discussing your future and toying with the idea of starting a family. What was it that Abraham was discussing with Sasha? That’s right, bringing new life into the world. Damn it, Abraham! Don’t you know that if you are on a potentially life-threatening mission, you do not discuss plans for the future?! You may as well have grabbed Lucille yourself and bashed your own head in, man.
There are four characters in the line-up that I reckon are 100% safe – These people are: Michonne, Maggie, Rick, and Carl. They are all just too important to future plotlines, and yes, I am aware that plots can be given to alternative characters, I mean, that’s the subject we’re discussing at this very moment, but not with these guys. I don’t think that will happen. Everyone else is sadly fair game. I suppose another possible victim is Daryl, but he has the world’s greatest plot armour equipped, so even if Negan did pick him, Lucille would probably bounce off of his skull and hit somebody else. Daryl I give a 90% chance of survival purely because of his plot armour; but hey, if he had to go, this particular moment is a memorable out.
Chosen and written by Christopher Hart
One chief gripe among television fans, in recent times, has (rightfully) been that many of their favourite shows are prone to killing off LGBT characters (particularly lesbian characters). The reason that many fans suspect this is by design rather than coincidence is that the writers often execute said characters just after consummation of their relationship (The 100 is a prime example of this).
The Walking Dead is, unfortunately, one of these shows. In season six, episode 14, the writers decided to kill off Denise (Merritt Wever), just as she was beginning to have a flourishing relationship with Tara (Alanna Masterson). The arrow through the eye death in the comics actually happened to Abraham, not Denise. This means that the writers quite literally decided to swap the gay character in for the straight, white male character.
I suspect this this might happen again, but with Aaron. In the comics it is Glenn who is Lucilled at the hands of Negan. Furthermore, the character of Jesus has not long been introduced into the show and Jesus – as comic fans will know – is gay. I’m not saying that just because Aaron and Jesus are both gay that they should date each other, but we are saying that they would make a very cute couple and that we would like to see this happen. Aaron lost his boyfriend Eric a while ago, so we can see merit in Aaron finding love again, with Jesus. Therefore, as cynical as it might sound, this particular prediction is formed on the basis that I have such little faith in the writers to do the right thing and avoid another LGBT upset.
I also carefully watched the way that Negan’s shadow falls over Rick’s face, in that important finale scene, and to me it looks like the person that Negan kills is someone to Rick’s left. This means that the victim is either: Sasha, Aaron, Carl or Eugene. I don’t think that it will be Sasha and I know that it won’t be Carl, due to Negan’s order “take the boy’s eye out” (which implies that Carl is alive and not a victim of Lucille). Eugene is a prime candidate, due to how heavily the writers leant on him in the finale. There so much focus on him in that episode that it felt like a farewell (they even had him pass his bullet-making knowledge on), and Robert Kirman did state on Talking Dead that there are clues within the episode as to who is killed.
Personally, I feel that the writers might have initially intended to take the obvious route of killing Eugene and that they have since changed their minds. Following fan backlash over the cliffhanger the writers promised to come up with something “amazing” for the season seven premier. Having the victim be Eugene would cause an upset, due to the obvious nature of this choice. Having it be Aaron would cause an entirely different kind of upset – one in the LGBT community – and it’s one that would be a big mistake to make. I wish that I had more faith in the writers, but I simply don’t. Aaron’s time might just be nigh.
With San Diego Comic Con right around the corner, new posters and teaser images are forthcoming, as well as the very first trailer for season seven. However, we still have several months to go before the series returns in October, making our wait to learn who Negan’s victim is long and tedious. It’s anyone’s guess at this point, so please feel free to put forth your own theories and predictions in the comments section below!
Image credits: AMC