One mystery has been eating away at The Walking Dead fans for months now. Who did Negan kill at the end of the Season 6 finale? Producers made the controversial decision to make the ending a cliffhanger. So we won’t know the answer until Season 7 begins.
But producers have apparently known for a while who would meet their fate at Negan’s hands. Visual effects guru and Walking Dead executive producer Greg Nicotero talked to ComicBook.com about how the victim was chosen:
“That decision was made last year before we ever even got into the finale,” Nicotero said. “That story, that was all sort of broken within the writers room. If you look back at the history of our show, the death of every single character has provided us with an opportunity to change the direction of the show. Even as far back as Shane and Lori and Hershel and Tyreese and Beth. The show is inherently different after each one of those people was killed. In this instance, the introduction of Negan and the death of this person, it really does provide us with a pretty substantial course change because that’s really what the season was leading up to last year.”
Interesting. Which of the existing characters could change the dynamic of the show with their death? Many have argued that Abraham will be the one to be killed. Abraham is a great character, but it seems unlikely that his death would affect the entire group. The death of Maggie, Glenn (or both) would definitely change things up.
They’ve both been around since nearly the beginning. Another death that would definitely tear up the group? Daryl. Yes, if Daryl dies, we riot. But his loss would have possibly the biggest impact.
Taking Rick Down a Peg
Nicotero also talked about how Negan’s arrival works to humble Rick a little bit:
“Listen, Rick Grimes thinks he’s got a handle [on] things,” Nicotero said. “He thinks he knows what’s in store for him out there. He thinks he knows that he can take on anybody that comes in his way. The truth of the matter is he can’t and he doesn’t. The fact that Rick was overly confident because he underestimated the world and the people out there, they pay for it. It’s a really unique opportunity to change the direction of the show because our world just got bigger and that’s something that we talked a lot about last season. How excited we were to be able to open up the world into the Hilltop and the Sanctuary and the Kingdom and get a much larger view of what the universe of The Walking Dead consists of.”
No matter who dies, it seems the very act of Negan lining them up and killing someone at random would humiliate Rick. There’s going to have to be a lot of healing before the inevitable counterstrike against Negan and the Saviors.
The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere airs on Sunday, October 23, at 9/8c on AMC.