Karl Makinen as Richard on The Walking DeadImage Credit: AMC

Now that The Walking Dead is on hiatus for a few months, there are few unanswered questions to ponder…

Like “who was the mysterious stranger spying on Alexandria?” If you take a look at the new trailer for the rest of the season, though, you’ll see there are even more mysteries on the horizon.

A lot of the focus has been on the crazy spiked walker at the trailer’s end. That’s definitely an image that cries out for speculation, but there’s another strange moment earlier in the trailer. There’s a very short segment that shows Daryl punching the living daylights out of another character.

Only the top of the person’s head can be seen, but I’m almost positive it’s Richard, Ezekiel’s trusted lieutenant from the Kingdom, played by Karl Makinen. Let me prove it to you…

All Signs Point to Richard

First of all, if you look at the hair of the person being punched, it clearly resembles Richard. The same salt-and-pepper hair color can be seen, along with the same hairstyle and bald spot.

For further evidence, the scene with Daryl punching the mysterious man is sandwiched in-between two other scenes that clearly feature Richard. Earlier, we also see Rick and the others speaking with Ezekiel, so it’s clear the Kingdom will be heavily featured. And where you see the Kingdom, you find Richard.

So why would Daryl be beating the snot out of Richard? He did have an explosive confrontation with Morgan and Carol in the midseason finale, but so far he’s been an ally. So what changed?

There are a couple of possibilities that I can see, and unfortunately, they both feature the deaths of one or more favorite characters…

Richard the Worst

Jared and Richard on The Walking DeadImage Credit: AMC

We know from Richard’s impassioned plea in the midseason finale that he is desperate for Ezekiel to engage the Saviors head-on. We also know from earlier in the season that his defiance got him into a serious confrontation and nearly cost him his life.

In the brief clip just before Daryl punches him, Richard is seen drawing his gun against the same Savior that he fought with in that earlier episode. Morgan stands defensively to his right. Could Richard’s recklessness against the Saviors lead to the death of Morgan’s new protégé, Ben?

If so, it could be the thing that convinces Morgan to rejoin the fight. Daryl could be beating Richard into retaliation on Morgan’s behalf. On the other hand, there’s another character Richard knows who is very close to Daryl’s heart: Carol.

It would be very shocking if Carol were killed, so I’m not going to go down that route (although it’s always possible). Instead, maybe something Richard does endangers Carol to where she could’ve been killed? That would certainly be enough to cause Daryl to want to rearrange his face.

Is Richard a loose cannon or one of the few people who sees the truth? What could he have done to warrant a beating from Daryl?