Possible spoilers for The Walking Dead are below.
Through the introduction of Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan, AMC's The Walking Dead is bringing to life one of the biggest comic book moments of the past decade, but not even Lucille can stop some fans from lamenting the continued exclusion of another major factor from the Walking Dead comics: Rick's missing hand. Things may change on that front in Season 7, though, as hinted at in a recently screened clip from the episode that involves Negan, Rick, and the latter's trusty hatchet. Here's how executive producer and episode director Greg Nictoero teased it.
I think it's safe to say that the axe could play a prominent part in the episode.
As if anyone from the Walking Dead creative team would come right out and say that something fans have been anticipating for years is finally going to happen. Still, it technically wasn't all that long ago that discussions about Rick losing his hand were geared towards "not happening" resolutions, so Greg Nicotero going so tease-heavy in this respect in his interview with ComicBook.com is exciting, even if it all ends up being for naught.
If you'll recall, last week gave the world the "Right Hand Man" clip from the Walking Dead season premiere, and in it, Negan makes references to having a "right hand man," and how it's a whole lot of work to go on without one. And then he takes Rick's hatchet and drags Rick into the RV. Negan obviously isn't going to straight up murder Rick, but it's absolutely possible that he will take a five-fingered souvenir for his time, which would further demonstrate just how defeated and non-competitive Rick will be in the early days of Negan's reign.
Actor Andrew Lincoln is all about losing the hand, too, so maybe he finally talked showrunner Scott Gimple into making it happen. Plus, delaying the limb loss for this long would be justified if it's Negan that does the chopping. Helps to solidify the take-no-shit persona he displays so proudly.
Of course, this is The Walking Dead, so Rick and Negan's RV situation could end without any bloodshed whatsoever, only to be followed by another character getting a hand chopped off. It's quite normal for the show's characters to meet fates that other characters got in the comics, although this one is a little too tethered to Rick specifically. Maybe everybody loses a hand, Oprah-style.
The Walking Dead is finally coming back to kick ass and take names (and possibly hands) when Season 7 debuts on AMC on Sunday, October 23, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see when everything else is coming to your TVs in the coming months, check out our fall TV schedule. You can check out the full clip from the season premiere on the next page.