The highly anticipated seventh season of The Walking Dead finally (finally!) arrives on October 23rd and we couldn’t be more excited, especially after the way the series left us hanging in season six. We’ll remind you what happened, even though you probably didn’t forget because how could you? The psychopath named Negan, with a barbed wire baseball bat named Lucille – yes the baseball bat has a name – played Eenie Meenie Miney Moe with 11 of our favorite characters, who were kneeling before him. The “winner” was to have his head bashed in by Lucille. And, bam, the episode ended right as Negan started his brutal beating.
So, who did Negan kill? Seriously, who did Negan kill? Unfortunately for us, we’ll have to wait until October 23rd to find that out for sure since everyone on the show has been annoyingly tight-lipped about any Negan spoilers. Despite the fact that everyone involved is pretty hush-hush about everything, we have managed to find out quite a few things about the show. From filming locations to comic book spoilers to actors’ contracts, below we have every piece of information the interwebs could provide about season seven.
Oh, about the big question – we don’t know for sure who Negan killed but we do have some clues listed below so you’re welcome. Or, err, you probably shouldn’t thank us since it’s looking pretty tragic.
Also, if you’re not into spoiling things, obviously don’t read ahead.
15. Cast Members Promoted To Regulars
Four cast members of The Walking Dead have been promoted to series regulars, which means we can be expected to see much more of them. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Tom Payne, Austin Amelio and Xander Berkeley are the four who are joining as series regulars.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan we know as Negan, the villain of all villains, who was introduced in the finale of season six. The fact that he is now a series regular means that he will likely be around for a while to terrorize everyone with Lucille. This is not good news. In fact, this is the worst news.
Xander Berkeley plays Gregory, who we also met last season. He’s the weak leader of the Hilltop colony, who awkwardly insulted and came on to Maggie. Whether he becomes a stronger character or a villain in his own right remains to be seen. Tom Payne plays another member of the Hilltop colony named Jesus. This was the first member of Hilltop the group met and he’s become quite the ally, even though Daryl was not a fan of his at first.
14. We’ll Meet Ezekiel At The Kingdom
If you’ve seen the trailers for season seven, you’ve seen a badass dude sitting with a badass tiger. That badass dude is Ezekiel and he’s the leader of The Kingdom, a community that is also not into The Saviors’ rule. Being that they have a common enemy, The Kingdom and Alexandria will most likely become allies in the war against Negan and The Saviors. This would make Ezekiel a good guy, more or less.
The tiger’s name is Shiva, in case you were wondering because, of course, you were wondering about that huge tiger. Ezekiel and Shiva are besties, as he cared for her when she was just a cub and he was a zookeeper. All of this information comes from the comics so there is no telling if the show will completely follow the comic books, as it has creatively veered from them in the past.
13. Rick Is Going To Be Emo, Again
Rick Grimes can be many things: a hero, a father, a husband, a killer and… a blubbering mess. Yep, Rick can sometimes go down a long emotional road and it seems that he may be doing that in season seven.
Of his character in season six, Andrew Lincoln said, “As the season finished, the story was about Rick being broken and realizing that basically everything that he thought has been turned upside down in the space pretty of much of a day. The world that he fought and strove for, for so long, has irrevocably changed.”
He then went on to say, “You meet a man who’s powerless, terrified for his own life and his son’s family’s life, and everybody else beside him.”
Ugh, so Emo Rick will probably be back. If you don’t remember Emo Rick, it was the version of Rick he became following Lori’s death. He got phone calls from heaven and saw visions of Lori. It was dramatically different from the usual tone of the show and it wasn’t all that fun to watch. Of course, dealing with your wife’s death is hard but watching Emo Rick was like pulling teeth. Whoever dies in the premiere will likely have an impact on Rick but hopefully, he’ll only be about 50% Emo Rick, meaning he’ll be sad but won’t be hallucinating.
12. There Will Be “Deaths”
Ah, and we thought we just had to be worried about one beloved character meeting their end at Negan’s hand (by hand I mean bat), but apparently there might be two deaths in the premiere. Great.
After outrage about the cliffhanger season six end, Greg Nicotero, one of TWD’s executive producers, said, “But I’d say in retrospect, I don’t think we would have changed anything. I would have still supported doing it the way that we did it, because of the fact that the story doesn’t end there. If we would have shown the deaths, then they wouldn’t have felt our characters in season 7 the way they need to.”
Deaths! The dude said deaths! Meaning more than one. Also, his statement could lead us to believe that not only will more than one character die in the premiere but that it will likely be at Negan’s hand in the same scene, as Nicotero seems to be implying that they cut the scene right before the multiple deaths.
11. It Will Pick Up Where It Left Off
The Walking Dead has a habit of bouncing around as far as storylines go. They will have a whole episode devoted to a character’s backstory right in the middle of a huge, crazy plot. It’s actually completely infuriating. I mean, remember how long they left us wondering if Glenn died in season six? Yeah, that was seriously annoying.
Because of this, fans have worried if season seven will immediately let us know who “meets” Lucille. Could you imagine if the season starts with Morgan and Carol’s storyline for, like, three episodes before they do the Negan reveal? Well, not to worry. Jeffrey Dean Morgan has said, “Season six ended on that note and season seven’s going to pick up right where we left off.”
10. Rick And Carl Aren’t Negan’s Victims
So, this is just speculation but it’s a pretty obvious clue from the finale of season six. Negan told his guys that if anyone in the group tries anything, they were to take out Carl’s other eye and feed it to Rick. That’s gross, for starters. Also, though, it implies that neither Carl nor Rick will be the victim of Negan’s brutal beating because if he were about to kill them, he wouldn’t make that threat.
To be honest, Carl and Rick seem fairly safe in terms of The Walking Dead. Sure, Rick will likely die one day… in the far, far future. I’m talking season 27 far, far future. Robert Kirkman has even said that Rick will die so we all have that to look forward to, but he’s still alive in the comics so his safety seems guaranteed for quite some time on the show. Of all the characters, Carl may be the safest in the series though, as killing him would ultimately make Rick lose his last shred of humanity.
9. But Glenn Might Be The Victim
Ah, Glenn. He and Abraham seem to be at the center of the Negan victim speculation, and for good reason.
Previous seasons gave us many clues that Glenn may meet his death at the hands of Negan. In season six, he stared at photographs of Negan’s victims, with their bashed-in heads that literally didn’t even have faces anymore. This dark foreshadowing seems to be showing Glenn his fate. Oh, and Glenn is expecting a child. Whenever a character seems to be given even more reason to live, they end up dying. It’s the law of The Walking Dead physics.
There is also the fact that Steven Yeun signed on to a role in Mayhem, a feature film that shoots while TWD shoots. Unless Yeun can be in two places at once, he is not needed on the TWD set.
By the way, there may be a sign that points to Glenn hidden all the way back in the pilot episode. When we first meet him, he is wearing a baseball hat and baseball jersey. Had they foreshadowed his death all the way back then? They certainly may have.
8. We Know Who Negan’s Comic Book Victim
To help us speculate even further about Negan’s victim, we can chat about what happened in the comic books. In the comic books, Negan’s victim is – drum roll please – Glenn. This only points even harder towards Glenn as Negan’s potential victim but, uh, maybe this information can help us all emotionally prepare. Nope, I’m still going to cry all the tears.
In the comics, Negan bashes Glenn’s head in, all while Glenn calls out for Maggie. However, we can still hold on to a shred of hope that it’s not Glenn. In the past, TWD has traded characters in terms of iconic comic book deaths. In comic books, The Governor beheads Tyreese but in the show, he beheads Hershel. Likewise, Denise took Abraham’s comic book death in season six when Dwight’s arrow went right through her eye. So, it could still possibly not be Glenn who suffers the Lucille fate, but it also could play out exactly as it does in the comics.
7. What Else Happens In The Comic Books
Of course, everything may not play out the same way it did in the comics but knowing what happens next could also certainly give us some potential insight into season seven.
After Glenn dies, Maggie is understandably emotional. She blames Rick and starts yelling and hitting him until Carl pulls a gun on her and orders her to stop. The group then makes it to Hilltop, where Rick punches Gregory (the Hilltop leader) for not being upfront about the amount of men Negan has under his command. Maggie ends up deciding to remain at Hilltop and even takes over as a leader there.
From there, Negan and the Saviors prove to be a difficult antagonist to deal with and a constant force in the comics, until Rick and the gang take them down because, y’know Rick is the hero after all.
6. Season Structure, Per Usual
As I would assume most people know who are reading this, The Walking Dead will premiere Sunday, October 23rd at 9/8c.
You, dear reader, probably also know that TWD has been following the two-part structure for its seasons. The second part will be premiering in February 2017, though the exact date has yet to be confirmed. As part of this two-part structure, TWD employs a mid-season finale that usually leaves fans feeling lots of feelings. In past mid-season finales Beth has died due to a seemingly accidental fire, Herschel was decapitated in front of his daughters by The Governor, and zombies broke through the walls of safe-zone Alexandria.
5. Actors Spotted Filming The Second Half
We already know that season 7 will be broken into two halves. Luckily for us, the second half of season 7 has already started filming. This means actors have already been spotted on set, which means that their respective characters are likely alive and well.
Photos have been taken of Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Alanna Masterson (Tara), and Ross Marquand (Aaron) all on set so they should survive at least through the first half of season seven. The Spoiling Dead has also reported sightings of Jesus, Rosita, Daryl, Sasha, Maggie, Morgan, Carl and Father Gabriel on set for the second half. With the assumption that all of these characters are still alive and kickin’ in the second half of the season, that would confirm that eight of the eleven character kneeling before Negan are all fine.
4. Filming Locations
We know that The Walking Dead films at studios in Atlanta but they also shoot on location in the surrounding areas. The use of CGI magic is often required for them to achieve the look of the show… y’know, the whole zombie apocalypse thing. Although, locations like Herschel’s farm were apparently a pretty easy to transition for TWD.
We do know already some of the locations for season seven. Alexandria will still be around and we already know what that location looks like. We’ll also see The Kingdom, which is situated at an abandoned high school in the comics and will likely be in the same location on the show.
While filming the second half of season seven, there were carnival rides spotted on location. Yes, carnival rides, including a Ferris wheel, swing ride and giant slide. Unless this was some sort of staff appreciation day, we’re going to see some creepy carnival zombies in the second half of season seven.
3. Dwight Might Become A Good Guy
Dwight was introduced in season six and quite honestly, he’s a difficult character to figure out. When we first met him, he and two other women took Daryl hostage in the woods. While he didn’t make the best first impression, he also didn’t seem like an all-out asshole.
Next time we meet Dwight, he’s rocking a nasty scar on his face and he’s one of Negan’s Saviors. Since Austin Amelio, who plays Dwight, has been bumped up to a series regular, it is likely that we’ll be seeing much more of his character… but, who really is his character? Well, in the comics books, Dwight actually turns out to be a good guy and an ally. He reveals his hatred of Negan and helps Alexandria bring Negan down.
While the show might not go the same exact way the comic books do, there was a small clue in season six that points to this. While Daryl is being held captive by Dwight and slipping in and out of consciousness, he overhears Dwight say, “He’s probably just a soldier from one of the outposts. He probably hates him, too.” Hates him too, meaning Dwight hates him (Negan).
2. Good News For Maggie’s Baby
As we’ve seen on The Walking Dead, having a baby during a zombie apocalypse isn’t the easiest thing in the world. That being said, Maggie is in quite the difficult situation. When we last saw her, she was on her way to Hilltop due to complications with her pregnancy. If she does lose Glenn in the premiere, it will be utterly tragic to watch her also lose her baby. The Walking Dead isn’t that dark, is it?
Well, the good news is that in the comics, Maggie delivers her baby, who she names Herschel. In the comics, both Maggie and her son are still alive and well. That’s great news… expect TWD doesn’t always translate exactly what happens in the comics to the screen. For example, in the comics, baby Judith is dead and has been for a while. She dies during The Governor’s attack on the prison.
1. Episodes In Which Each Actor Will (Supposedly) Appear
Now, The Spoiling Dead is very, very good at spoilers but, of course, since this hasn’t come directly from AMC we can’t be 100% sure that all of this is true. That being said, The Spoiling Dead released a breakdown for the first half of season seven, letting us know who appears in each episode. This is great because I personally hate when I pop on episode five and, like, two main characters are in the entire thing. Where is Rick, Michonne, Daryl? What is everyone doing? Why am I watching Morgan’s backstory? It’s the worst. Below is the breakdown for your enjoyment.
Episode 1: Negan’s circle of characters. We’ll see Negan’s victim and probably be too busy crying for the rest of the hour to care about anything else.
Episode 2: Negan, Dwight, The Saviors… and Daryl. Being that Daryl will be in an episode with all the baddies, it’s safe to assume that he is probably taken prisoner.
Episode 3: Carol, Morgan and Ezekiel. So, this episode will likely introduce The Kingdom and Ezekiel’s cool ass tiger.
Episode 4: Back to the main gang of Rick, Carl, Michonne and everyone back at Alexandria. Negan will also appear in the episode, likely visiting Alexandria for their first offering.
Episode 5: The Alexandria group and the Hilltop group. At this point, it seems that Maggie and Sasha are living at Hilltop.
Episode 6: Tara and Heath. This is a supply run episode and will likely be one of those episodes that is outside the scope of the main drama, which means I’ll probably hate it. I still love you though, Tara.
Episode 7: Alexandria group and the Negan baddies. There is speculation that Carl will sneak into the Sanctuary and encounter Negan. This story is lifted straight from the comics.
Episode 8: Basically everyone is in this episode.
So, again, this is all speculation but TSD is pretty solid when it comes to spoilers so this list may be spot on. Oh, by the way, TSD reports that Glenn and Abraham will be in episode one… so, there’s that for us to panic about until October 23rd.
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