AMC’s The Walking Dead had a cliffhanger season finale that left many fans reeling. The show has never been afraid to kill off main characters left and right. In the sixth season finale, new villain Negan seemed to smash someone’s head in – but whose head was it? The Walking Dead won’t be back on TV for months, so many fans have made predictions six ways to Sunday (nights at 9PM EST). And AMC is putting its best foot forward to ensure the secret stays safe. But looking at how important the characters are, and what their deaths might mean for the show, can we theorize who is most likely to die?
Aaron (5% Likely)
Honestly, I’ve consistently forgotten Aaron is on the show. And aside from being lined up with the others, Aaron seems like a highly unlikely candidate for execution. What with the hype and intense cliffhanger, The Walking Dead really wants us to feel the impact of this. Aaron is sidelined basically every episode, getting maybe 20 minutes of screen time this season. It’d be a waste of both his character, and a waste of a climactic cliffhanger, to have Aaron in the Batting Cage of Doom. Unless Kirkman is REALLY trying to troll the fans, Aaron’s probably safe from Negan… for now.
Rosita (20% Likely)
Rosita got a bit more screen time than Aaron this season, but she’s also barely relevant. Sadly, Rosita’s almost more of a set piece these days. Her major purpose in the show is yelling at Eugene, which is hilarious, but not super important to the plot. To her credit, she was built up in the episode “Twice as Far,” alongside Denise. And since Denise has been killed already, Rosita may not be far behind. However, it’s highly unlikely Rosita is being given this big of a death. She’ll probably go out quickly and without warning, like Denise.
Sasha (35% Likely)
Sasha is yet another character The Walking Dead has sidelined, for the most part. She is more prevalent than Aaron or Rosita, but mostly because she’s replaced Rosita as Abraham’s love interest. Much like Abraham, Sasha really throws herself into combat. Since the passing of Bob and Tyreese, Sasha has been increasingly cold. Especially as she somewhat wanted to die at the season’s start, maybe this season was her journey to the end. But it feels like she didn’t get enough time to explore these feeling during the season. The show runners hopefully have plans to explore these feelings, one way or another, so she is likely going to be spared.
Eugene (40% Likely)
Eugene’s development this season has been overcoming his fear and doing more physical fighting. He has given himself the monicker “Eugene 2.0,” stressing his heightened role. So if The Walking Dead does choose to kill him in this way, it’s a hilariously cruel joke on the poor fellow. While Eugene isn’t as rough-and-tumble as the others, he is both the big brain and comic relief of the show. Doing double-duty on these character tropes might make him too valuable to the writers. Denise was a female Eugene in many ways, so they probably won’t kill two nerds with one stone/arrow/baseball-bat-wrapped-in-barbed-wire. Eugene likely won’t make it to the show’s end, but it’s unlikely the show chose to kill him at this time.
Maggie (45% Likely)
Maggie’s death would be a huge blow for the group. Her emerging role as a leader has really been stressed this season. Plus, her relationship with Glenn is one of the few constants in The Walking Dead. So while Negan may have killed her, creating the momentous game-changer the show seems to be going for, it might be too much. Being a key part in the non-combative moments makes her central to the show’s narrative. It would also be a shame to bid farewell to the last surviving Greene family member. Not to mention the fact that she’s pregnant at the time of Negan’s attack. It’s hard to imagine The Walking Dead would be so cold as to kill a pregnant character (again). No doubt she’ll live through this Negan encounter, and add a second baby to the mix of the series.
Michonne (50% Likely)
Michonne is probably one of the biggest faces on the show. She may even be one of the top three characters, alongside Rick and Daryl. Therefore, it’s difficult to know for sure what her fate is. On the one hand, her death would shake up the show, and set up a desolate, painful feel for the upcoming season. On the other hand, her death might change the show too much, as she’s been around since season three. Her new relationship with Rick also plays into the pros and cons of her death’s significance. As interesting as it is to kill protagonists, you have to keep some key players around throughout. Even Game of Thrones has reliable faces through the whole show. Her death may not be the strongest choice, but it could quite easily go either way.
Carl (60% Likely)
Carl is one of the show’s longest-running characters. While it’s easy to forget how old Carl is, he’s still only a kid. It’s the kind of big death that would upset and reset the show’s momentum. However, while it would fit for this huge execution moment, it doesn’t seem entirely sensible. Carl just lost an eye, so it seems too soon to lose his entire head. And as Negan stars swinging, he threatens to have Carl’s other eye fed to Rick. That statement seems to strike Carl and his father from the likely victim list. Also, Kirkman’s joked about Carl being the victim, which seems like a light-hearted troll move. Negan seems like the type to kill a kid, no doubt about it. But Carl’s pudding-eating days likely aren’t done just yet.
Rick (75% Likely)
As important as Michonne or Carl are, Rick is THE protagonist, ever since the show began. As the de facto leader, his death would mean that everything has to change. It’s the kind of bold choice you’d expect to see on Game of Thrones, so maybe The Walking Dead is going for the same thing. However, while this death is clearly a big moment, I’m skeptical about AMC going for it. Killing Rick would upset the balance of the show’s narrative too much. It would leave the show feeling very off-centered. Yes, The Walking Dead has focused on its side characters more and more, but Rick is still the leader. His death will likely happen near the end of the show – perhaps in the finale, like another well-known AMC drama. Rick may be too big for this death, but it’s certainly feasible.
Daryl (80% Likely)
Daryl may very well be the face of the show. Many still carry the “If Daryl dies, we riot” battlecry. This huge death would be fitting for such a popular character. Daryl’s put himself in conflict with Negan’s friends several times this season. His death would definitely set a dark tone for Season 7, with the group struggling to fight Negan without their beloved crossbow-wielding biker. Thing is, Daryl’s death might put many fans off, and therefore hurt the show. The only other argument against Daryl, aside from a hit in viewership, is the ending of “East.” In the penultimate season six episode, it seemed like Daryl might have been killed by Dwight. Why would they use that cliffhanger, just to kill Daryl in the next episode? However, outside of those potential reasons, Daryl does seem like a strong contender for taking a Lucille to the face.
Glenn (90% Likely)
Since the finale happened, many fans have assumed Glenn was the death in question. And in many ways, Glenn is the most obvious choice. First off – COMIC SPOILER – Glenn is the one that Negan kills in the comics. Secondly, some altered audio from the finale was released, soon after the finale aired, purporting Glenn is the victim. Glenn was the one who saw Negan’s handiwork, via polaroids, so maybe that was foreshadowing. Glenn standing (or yelling-kneeling) up for Maggie during the big moment may have also pissed off Negan, sealing his fate. And of all the survivors, Glenn has continuously avoided death by the skin of his teeth. This is seen most recently with the aggravating dumpster scene – yet another cliffhanger with Glenn’s life at stake. Glenn may be TOO obvious of a choice, but there’s certainly a lot of evidence stacked against him.
Abraham (95% Likely)
Yes, Abraham. Out of every group member, Abraham seems like the most likely victim. Aside from his funny southern phrases, Abraham is a stone-cold solider, the kind of person Negan would view as a threat. Yes, Negan says he wants the group to work for him, so he might need Abraham. But Negan probably wouldn’t trust them with guns. Therefore, he’d take out the most obvious physical threat – Abraham. Abraham died via arrow in the comics, but in the show, that death was given to Denise. It’s quite possible Abraham was saved from one death, only to suffer another one. Plus, Abraham treads that fine line between primary and secondary character. Abraham hasn’t been around as long as most of the leads, but he’s been around longer than most every side character that’s left. While Glenn may be the obvious choice, Abraham is probably the most sensible choice.
Who do you think Negan’s victim was? Do you even think somebody died? Do you wish it was Gabriel? I do! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!