Fans were surprised when the Governor didn’t cut off Rick’s hand like he did in The Walking Dead comic, but now could Negan be the one to do it?
AMC’s The Walking Dead has never billed itself as a straight adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s comic book series. From the very beginning, changes have been implemented — most notably the addition of the Dixon brothers, Daryl and Merle. Producers have said some of the changes are necessary due to the different medium, while others are there to keep fans on their toes.
The Governor Takes a Piece of Rick
One of the biggest changes involves Rick Grimes’ hand. All the way back in issue #28 of The Walking Dead comic book, Rick has his first real confrontation with the Governor. In a show of power, the Governor takes a knife and cuts off Rick’s hand at the wrist. Obviously, this change has affected Rick all the way up to the current run of the comic.
Many fans expected to see the same moment on the TV show when the Governor appeared, but it didn’t happen. Actor Andrew Lincoln says he was all for the idea. “You know, I campaigned two seasons ago when the Governor was around… I was saying, ‘You’ve gotta do the hand guys!’ And Victor [Scalise], who was in charge of special effects, just said, ‘No, no no no. Anybody else but not you. It’ll cost a fortune with green screen and blue screen.'”
Not the Governor, But Maybe Negan?
Now, it looks like he may be about to lose his hand after all. Only, it won’t be the Governor who takes it. New clues suggest Negan may be the one to slice off Rick’s hand.
A few weeks ago, AMC released a sneak peek at the upcoming Season 7 premiere. It’s presumably a scene from early in the episode. Negan has just finished murdering one of Rick’s group when the two have a tense conversation:
After he tells Negan that he will one day kill him, Negan calls for Simon. He describes Simon as his “right-hand man.” He goes on to tell Rick that it’s important to have a right-hand man. He says it’s a lot more work without one. Simon hands Negan Rick’s axe, and Negan places it through his belt loop.
Negan then grabs him by the collar and drags him back to the RV. He says he’ll be back, maybe with Rick. And if not, they’ll just have to turn Rick’s people inside-out.
The Cast and Crew are Staying Mum
So could Negan be planning to chop Rick’s hand off with the axe? Executive producer Greg Nicotero isn’t revealing any secrets. But he knows what everyone is thinking and turns the teasing up even more.
“I think it’s safe to say that the axe could play a prominent part in the episode,” Nicotero said.
Nicotero was then pressed as to whether what happens in the RV will be even more shocking than the death of Rick’s group members. “I don’t know if shocking is the right word, but the episode is a roller coaster of emotions. I can tell you that.”
Whether or not he loses his hand, he will still lose some of his standing as a leader. Actor Ross Marquand said, “I think it’s the complete emasculation of Rick and you get to see a huge power shift in the group. What you’ll see is that the entire way their society has been structured, the power and the leadership roles, will now be completely thrown on their head.”