When The Walking Dead returns to AMC for Season 7, it's going to be great to catch back up with Morgan and Carol, and meeting up with Ezekiel and his Kingdom warriors will be great. But that's all just a cherry on top of the very dark and disturbing banana split that is Negan's Introduction - with barb wire around the banana, naturally - and we have yet to learn just who it was that took the eternal fall.
One of The Walking Dead's most interesting elements on the comic book page is the relationship between Rick and Negan, two leaders with completely different ideals for how to keep civilization intact. Could the AMC drama pull a fast one on everyone by killing off THE main character on The Walking Dead for the sake of the shock? Yeah, sure, but it's definitely not happening. Rick isn't going to die on the TV series until the last episode, if it happens at all. Even if it made complete sense plot-wise, though, actor Andrew Lincoln has been seen all over the set and has been talking up how much Rick will be changed as the season goes on.
The Walking Dead's mini-Rick is only slightly less likely than Rick to get brained by Negan. For one, Carl is another survivor that has been around since the very beginning, and his comic book longevity pretty much guarantees he'll be around the TV show for as long as it exists. (Assuming it doesn't end in 30 years.) Negan used "taking Carl's working eyeball" as a threat if anyone moved while he killed his victim, so that took the teenager out of the running right there, and he's also been spotted on the set in the months after the premiere was filmed. He's got a big Negan connection coming soon, too, so he'd better not die.
If we were just using the current TV landscape as our general guide here, then Michonne would definitely be closer to the top of this list, considering she's both black and a woman. But as one of The Walking Dead's most popular characters in both mediums (and also video games), Michonne is a lock to stick around the post-apocalypse for a while yet. She's definitely not immortal, but I expect she will stay alive long enough to hit her next comic arc and outlast her relationship with Rick, as not to keep the whole "all of Rick's women are boned" pattern going. She hasn't been seen on set all that often, but that may be tied into another plotline.
As dutiful a character as they come on The Walking Dead, Aaron has been a trooper since his earliest days on the show, and while it would be well within this show's motivational spectrum to kill off such a genial and standout survivor, we're pretty sure Aaron is safe. It's a mixture of the character not quite being important enough to stand alone as a victim of such an iconic moment combined with actor Ross Marquand hypothetically revealing recently how Aaron will be changed by that big death. Aaron would be a good secondary victim to tack onto whoever definitely gets skullcrushed, but I still don't see even that happening.
Because Glenn is the character that got his cranium broke open in the comics, it was theorized that The Walking Dead's creative team might decide to flip the script by taking out Glenn's better half on the TV show. But come on. She's pregnant, and while Lori might seem like it would cancel that out, Maggie isn't about to go into labor, allowing the adult character to die while the child can live on. I don't see The Walking Dead killing off a mother and fetus, especially when Maggie and that baby are destined for important story arcs in the future. That would be a gut punch like no other, though.
Rosita getting beaned by Lucille would be shocking, certainly, but mostly because she's so middle of the road when it comes to how these plots play out. (No fault to the actress or anything, of course.) Negan killing Rosita is a blow, for sure, but not one that would completely cripple Rick's group or turn anyone into mush to see her gone. Perhaps that's coldly worded, but the season premiere is being built up entirely too high to assume that Rosita's death will kick things off. Then again, Negan may not know who's the most important character in the group beyond Rick, so if he's really doing things randomly, Rosita could be a goner. (Spoiler: TV characters don't do things randomly.)
One season ago, Sasha would have been lower down on this list, but she managed to come into her own in Season 6 thanks to the fractured storyline that had her out and about with Daryl and Abraham. She and Abraham shared something, and while it was more of a something in the comics, maybe Season 7's debut is where that relationship ends for good, with Abraham once again mourning the loss of someone he has feelings for. I imagine Rosita would be kind of sorry to see Sasha go, but probably wouldn't offer Abraham a shoulder to cry on or anything. Sasha seemed to seek out death in the past, and maybe it will catch up with her.
Good ol' Eugene. We all want Eugene to stick around for as long as possible, because even though he started things off by lying to everyone and inspiring false hope, he's more than made up for it in terms of quotable lines and southern charm. And so it is, perhaps, the perfect time for him to go. I only see Eugene's death as more plausible than probable, but he has been given his due diligence in the courage department, both in taking on the undead and in standing up to Abraham. But the next steps in his comic story will likely come together as Season 7 goes forward, if rumors are to be believed, meaning a mullet-free seventh season may not be something to worry about.
I'm not ashamed to admit I'm wearing a tinfoil hat here. Daryl's death would arguably be the craziest decision ever made by The Walking Dead's creative team, but his fan-driven security is precisely what would make his death as meaningfully pummeling as anyone else's. It's been rumored that Daryl is getting elements of Carl's comic relationship with Negan, and set reports floating around the Internet seem to corroborate that, as actor Norman Reedus has been seen fleetingly, and only when Negan is around. But showrunner Scott Gimple and others aimed to fool onlookers seeking quick answers, and this would be a great way to put spoiler-hungry fans on their asses, having Reedus on set to film parts of scenes never meant to make it into episodes. Maybe there are aliens, too.
Like few others on The Walking Dead, Abraham looks death in the face and smiles. That alone doesn't make him a goner, obviously, but it's not the only piece of quasi-evidence. Let's not forget that Abraham recently had some big thoughts rattling around his ginger head as he ended his relationship with Rosita and started talking about starting a family again. As well, his shocking comic book death was transferred to Denise on the show, and not in the best way, so that needs to be rectified. Negan could always take two victims right away, especially if Abraham tries to stop another person's murder. I don't see him starting another family, though, no matter how it goes.
Pardon me while I pull out this megaphone...GLENN IS GONNA DIE, Y'ALL! Obviously there are lots of arguments that could be used against Glenn meeting his comic book fate in live-action, but almost all of them are trash. In the same way that actor Steven Yeun wasn't seen or heard from last season during the Dumpster Debacle, the actor has been completely off the radar for almost the entirety of Season 7's first 8 episodes. Granted, that could all be a big Gotcha! from the crew, with Glenn's scenes being filmed completely in secret outside of the Walking Dead's Georgia set. Which would be cool, assuming it would be done well, but I'm not optimistic that will be the outcome. R.I.P. Glenn.
The Walking Dead will finally return to rabid audiences on Sunday, October 23, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see when everything else will return to bludgeon you over the imagination, check out our fall TV schedule.