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WARNING: possible spoilers ahead for AMC's The Walking Dead. Don't read any further if you are not caught up on the series!
It has become a universally accepted truth that no one is ever really safe on AMC's The Walking Dead. Some characters have better odds than others, but everyone's likely to die at some point. This fact of life can cause quite a bit of anxiety among fans, as nobody can ever really know which characters are safe--including series leads. Having noted this, there's usually a way to tell who Robert Kirkman won't kill. During a recent appearance on Conan, Kirkman explained:
I do a lot of interviews and a lot of people don't know that I can't answer the 'who dies next' question. And I get it so often that I just started answering it inaccurately. Every single time the person that's interviewing me is like, 'Oh my God, really?' I get people that are mad at me because I poke fun like that, but I'm just like, 'Guys I'm throwing you a bone.' If I answer the question that means that person's definitely not dying.
During the guest stint on Conan, Robert Kirkman opened up regarding how he answers questions related to upcoming deaths on The Walking Dead. Given the fact that he cannot reveal imminent deaths on the series (which seems obvious but clearly isn't to everyone), he has started to have fun with those questions. Now, whenever he's faced with a question about which member of Rick's crew will bite the dust, Kirkman simply misdirects and offers up a fake answer. If he says Michonne, she's probably safe; if he says Daryl, we can bet that Daryl is safe.
This system will become even more vital for fans of the zombie series over the course of the next week. Negan is currently sitting in Alexandria with Rick's unsupervised children, Daryl's trying to escape his hellish captivity, and it looks like everyone is plotting his or her own form of revenge against the leader of The Saviors. It seems increasingly likely that someone is going to die before The Walking Dead's midseason break, and we're aching to find out who the victim will be.
Of course, it's worth noting that Robert Kirkman has deviated from this system before. Prior to the reveal of Negan at the end of Season 6, Kirkman made an appearance on Comedy Central's @Midnight and very specifically stated that Glenn would die at the hands of the villain; we all know how that panned out. Kirkman's method of misdirection usually allows us to guarantee that a character will make it, but he's clearly willing to mix things up every now and then by dropping an actual spoiler.
Although it's not a perfect system, we will definitely go through all of Robert Kirkman's future interviews to see which names he drops as possible victims. It's all we can do to ease our Walking Dead related stress at this point. The hit zombie series airs every Sunday night at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.
For more information concerning all of the most highly anticipated spring television debuts, check out our handy midseason premiere guide and make sure to fill out your TV viewing calendars accordingly.