Could The Walking Dead Actually Kill Off Maggie?
Spoilers for The Walking Dead TV series and comic books are below.
Guys, remember some months back when we were all up in a tizzy wanting to know what happened to Glenn? Of course you do. Tonight’s episode put more than just one survivor in peril, though, and one of those people was Glenn’s other half, Maggie. The Saviors’ kidnapping is obviously a different situation and doesn’t directly imply that Maggie is about to die, but it does raise questions over the arguable unlikeliness of that character coming into truly mortal danger anytime soon. Could The Walking Dead actually kill Maggie off? Absolutely.
Understanding the myriad reasons why Maggie’s current situation within the show nearly guarantees her survival, I don’t think that any of those reasons are insurmountable. Let’s start with what is the most “obvious” reason from a moral and human perspective: Maggie is pregnant, and killing a pregnant woman is abhorrent. I can’t quite argue that, of course, but I don’t think the act itself is beyond the depressingly dramatic expectations that The Walking Dead has instilled in viewers. The show breached that kind of ground when Lori died giving birth to Judith – a scene that made Maggie portrayer Lauren Cohan want to leave the show briefly – and this scenario is the next step on the ladder of horrifyingly morose circumstances.
Actually, creator Robert Kirkman brought that exact kind of sickening death to the comics in recent issues, as a pregnant character was murdered. (No point in saying who it was here, but it was definitely deflating for all involved.) And while the AMC series and the comic books often change paths and don’t always reflect each other, creator Robert Kirkman and showrunner Scott Gimple often do shift around which comic moments happen to which TV characters. It also isn’t often that events so far in the comic’s future are brought to the show, but it’s not out of the question is all I’m saying.
Speaking of the source material, another understandable argument against Maggie’s demise is that her comic character is still going strong, and is in fact one of the most important characters. The Walking Dead is definitely opening that side of the story up as we speak, getting audiences more acquainted with the Hilltop Colony and Gregory. But anyone who watches this show knows that there are few things more interesting to the creative team than blowing fan assumptions out of the water with what happens on screen, and suddenly chopping Maggie down in the middle of her ascent to leadership would be a defining gut check for viewers. Some would certainly cry out that killing off another major female character is unfair, but that would be a great way to loop Carol into Maggie’s comic plotline, allowing her to become more comfortable as a leader in the public eye. So nothing about Comic Maggie’s life assures anything on the show.
Now let’s turn the focus to Maggie’s life with Glenn, particularly during a point in the story where the psychopath Negan is waiting in the wings to take someone out with his treasured bat Lucille. After everything that happened with Glenn this season, not to mention his near-death moments in every other seasons, it seems very unlikely that he will be the one to get his head bashed in. Though it’s not a beautiful or ideal alternative by any means, the best way to mirror Glenn’s comic fate on the show would be to have him bear witness to her death. And there are few quicker ways to extract disgust for Negan out of viewers than by having him monstrously destroy Maggie. Lauren Cohan did come out and say that this season’s finale, thought to be when Negan’s big moment happens, was the hardest day of Walking Dead she’s ever had. That could be for a ton of reasons, but getting bludgeoned in front of a group is one of them.
To look into real life again, fans got tempted to worry about Maggie’s fate when Cohan started showing off a new haircut that wasn’t in tune with Maggie’s ‘do on the show. Haircuts are never necessarily indicative of a television character’s demise, as she might just want a new look after some other terrible thing happens before the finale’s credits role. (Though not with the hair-styling skills of Jessie Anderson, since that ship has sailed.) Still, this is another (hair)piece of the puzzle, should there actually be a puzzle.
For my final point, I offer up Maggie’s family lineage. Within The Walking Dead, the Greene family has delivered some major blows to fans. It started with the Barn of Reanimated Relatives, and got way worse with Hershel’s tragic and vicious decapitation. Beth became an eventual casualty, shocking fans everywhere by getting killed following a peak character development period. Perhaps Maggie will still be one of those still living when the show ends, or maybe she’ll be at the end of Negan’s bat to sit on the throne of Most Awful Greene Family Moments. (I don’t know why it has a throne.)
I definitely don’t want to see Maggie die, and I don’t even know if it would be a smart or a stupid decision to make that happen. It would be a gamechanger, without question, but the game that followed might not be quite as fun. Just picture all the times Glenn’s sad face would be seen. Picture it.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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