Ever since being adapted from Image Comics’ hugely popular title, AMC’s The Walking Dead has been a homerun from the moment it ran its pilot episode. With a whole load of hype surrounding it, the pressure was on to give audiences something special – and the show has certainly delivered on its potential over its now seven-season run.
AMC’s walker-tastic juggernaut of a series doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon, and more and more new viewers seem to be tuning in with each season, marking the show down as one of the most successful shows in the history of modern TV. Quite the impressive feat, no?
Of course, key to any such series is the ominous topic of death. And boy, has The Walking Dead seen its fair share of bloodshed and brutality since it began airing in 2010. While death is plentiful in the series, there are some shocking, gripping, and emotionally-draining deaths that manage to stand out above the others. For instance, the deaths of the likes of Dale, Sophia, Shane, Merle, Andrea, Lori, Hershel, Beth, Tyreese, Glenn, Abraham and obviously Tabitha the Goat all still bring a tear to the eye.
So with that said, and with Rick and Negan heading for another almighty (and presumably bloody!) showdown, let’s have a look at who may or may not make it out of Season 7 alive.
On The Chopping Block
There’s always that mantra of “If Daryl dies, we riot” amongst certain sections of The Walking Dead’s fan base, but that’s not to say that you can rule out this fan favourite character biting the bullet at some point in time.
What makes Daryl such a fascinating character when considering such possibilities is that he’s a character who has absolutely no place in The Walking Dead’s comic book series; Daryl was a completely new creation for AMC’s walker-centric TV show, and as such all bets are off when it comes to debating his ultimate fate.
Whereas the show has followed beat for beat the fate of some characters in comparison to their comic book counterparts, AMC’s The Walking Dead has also thrown up plenty of curveballs by changing up certain events and whether/when certain characters are killed off. With Daryl, though, there’ll always be that chance – no matter how slight – that maybe, just maybe, the show makes the mightily ballsy move of killing off arguably its most popular character.
Could The Walking Dead goes as far as killing off an infant? Have the higher-ups at AMC got the balls to do such a thing and be prepared to face the inevitable backlash it would bring? To date, no they wouldn’t and no they haven’t. But that may well change in the future.
With a truly evil villain now in place – which we’ve not really been able to say since The Governor was running wild in the third and fourth seasons – it essentially means all bets are off when considering just what messed up things Negan is capable of. If the show wanted to hammer home even further just what a vile, extreme specimen Negan is, it doesn’t get much lower or shocking than killing a child.
For those well versed in the comic book Walking Dead, poor baby Judith died a long time ago after mother Lori was shot and ended up accidentally and tragically smothering her daughter. In TV land, The Walking Dead has had young ‘uns offed at times over the years, most notably the whole situation involving Sophia’s disappearance during the show’s second season, Carol shooting Lizzie (after she’d killed her sister, Mika), and then last season seeing young Sam fall to a walker as Alexandria was turned upside down.
13 Father Gabriel
It seems as if The Walking Dead’s resident Man of God has been on the verge of being killed off for an age by now. And let’s face it, for the most part, Gabriel would likely deserve whatever he had coming to him. In fact, most viewers would probably even cheer at their TV screens if this Holy Man were to take his final breath.
But still, Gabriel somehow manages to always survive to live another day.
Now though, it could well be that Gabriel’s time and luck are up. Whether it’s walkers, new threats, or angry friends, the Father has always managed to worm his way out of any pickle and has come out of the other end of any nasty situation.
A mainstay of AMC’s The Walking Dead, all has gone a little quiet and bland in the world of Carol these days.
One of the more erratic and eventful characters that the show has dished up during its seven-season run, the mighty peaks and plummeting valleys of Carol seem to have hit a wall and just settled at ‘meh’. All this season has really done with her has been to keep her out of the firing line when it came to who Negan may kill off – as in Glenn and Abraham – and then have her spend some time with Ezekiel at The Kingdom.
By Carol’s standards, this is the equivalent of watching paint dry.
When it comes to comparing Carol to her comic book counterpart, we’re in new ground here. In fact, we’ve been in new ground for a few years. You see, the comic book Carol didn’t last all that long. In that medium, the character was a young woman who merely wanted to be loved and sought plenty of sexual attention. So distraught and lonely-feeling, she eventually let herself be bitten (and killed!) by a walker in order to feel some semblance of closeness to someone. Nice.
If The Walking Dead is looking to kill off another big hitter by the close of Season 7, Carol could well be in the firing line.
At first, you’d think that Sasha is likely to be one of those who will definitely make it to the end of Season 7 and beyond. After all, she seems to have taken on a role similar to that of Andrea in the comics – an Andrea who is still alive and kicking, even though her TV counterpart died several seasons ago.
The master marksman of the group, much like the comic book Andrea, Sasha is a vital cog of AMC’s The Walking Dead. If her longevity and sniper skills aren’t enough to make her important, having Bob, Tyreese and Abraham all die on her has also made her a character who has evolved and had to deal with the harsh slap downs that this gone-to-the-dogs world dishes out.
But what suggests that Sasha may be on borrowed time is two things: that Sonequa Martin-Green has landed the lead role of the new Star Trek series – Star Trek: Discovery – and that all involved in The Walking Dead have moved to confirm that the actress definitely, definitely, definitely will be sticking around.
In years gone by, people making a big deal of how someone definitely isn’t dying is as good as signing that character’s death warrant.
For those of us who have played Grand Theft Auto V, seeing Steven Ogg turn up in The Walking Dead was an awesome sight. Whilst he played erratic Trevor in GTA V, The Walking Dead has Ogg playing Simon – one of Negan’s most loyal and brutal men.
As ever with any sort of war or battle, there will most definitely be casualties on both sides. So, with Negan’s Saviors on a collision course with Rick and the various other communities, some of Negan’s men will have to fall.
To date, we’ve seen a few also-rans and no-name members of Negan’s clan offed along the way, but the next few months of Season 7 needs to see a few bigger hitters bite the bullet. And unfortunately for fans of Steven Ogg, Simon could well end up being part of the collateral damage as The Walking Dead heads towards a bloody and violent few months.
Shown in fleeting glances since her debut, Dwight’s former wife Sherry could soon find herself on the chopping block.
She may now be “married” to Negan, but that doesn’t mean she’s safe when it comes to those who the show could off over the next few months. In fact, it could be that Negan himself is the one who will get his hands dirty when the time comes.
After Daryl’s escape from Negan during the end of the first half of Season 7, it may well be that Sherry is revealed to have hand a hand in this breakout. And if so, expect Negan to move for calculating, clinical vengeance.
Additionally, if we happen to see Dwight revolt against Negan at any point, the death of Sherry could be a pivotal part of that. Really, what better motivation would one of Negan’s right-hand men have to turn against their leader than seeing the love of their live slaughtered?
Ah, Richard. Seemingly this is one of The Walking Dead’s characters who’s not destined for long in this world.
Shown as one of those from Ezekiel’s Kingdom community who is willing to stand up and take the fight to Negan and his Saviors, this brave and bullish attitude may not end all that well for Richard. As the imminent war between Rick’s group and Negan’s group threatens to come to a head over the next few weeks, expect each group and community to suffer their own loses. When it comes to The Kingdom, it unfortunately looks like Richard will be one to bite the dust.
In fairness, the comic book take on the character only lasted a matter of issues before being killed – incidentally, at the hands of The Saviors – and the odds on Richard making it out of Season 7 alive are slim to none. Actually, they’re just none. Zero. Zilch. Mark this one down as yet another casualty of war.
If anyone is a certainty to die before The Walking Dead’s seventh season comes to an end, it’s Gregory!
Since being introduced last year as the leader of The Hilltop, it was quickly established that Gregory is an utter ass who is only out to protect his own backside. If anybody needs helping out, you can guarantee that Gregory won’t be offering assistance unless it saves his own hide or benefits his own personal needs.
So, now that he’s been confirmed as a total d*ck, Gregory is ripe for a trip to the afterlife – especially as the comic book Walking Dead series saw Maggie publicly hang Gregory after she took over leadership of The Hilltop. It seems as if AMC’s show is following the comics’ lead in having Maggie ascending to power in The Hilltop and, as such, you can expect Gregory to bite the dust sooner rather than later.
Safe... For Now
For those familiar with the comic book Walking Dead, you’ll know that Dwight has a huge role to play if things in TV land are to play out even slightly like the comic book landscape.
Like all good bad guys, Negan will eventually get his comeuppance – and in the comics, Dwight is pivotal to how things develop on that front. Now while plenty of bad guys will likely fall by the time Season 7 of AMC’s genre juggernaut comes to a close, it seems a safe bet that Dwight will make it out alive. This is even evidenced by the fact that the last couple of episodes have shown Dwight to not be just a mindless, senseless goon who carries out Negan’s orders merely for the buzz and thrill of being a total b*stard.
No, Dwight has a little more to him, and if his character is indeed to continue to be fleshed out, expect him to be in the safety zone when it comes to Season 7’s potential deaths.
Say it in unison: “Carrrrrrrrrrrrrrl….”
It still amazes to this day just how Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes pronounces his own son’s name. But regardless of how many Rs Rick likes to throw in when calling his offspring, don’t expect to see one-eyed Carl being brutally murdered in Season 7.
In fact, chances are that Chandler Riggs’ Carl is here for the long term, and his comic book character has a major role to play as the comic progresses from storyline to storyline. Of course, AMC’s The Walking Dead doesn’t always mirror its comic book counterpart, but it appears that Carl and his sheriff’s hat won’t be meeting their maker for a long, long while.
In theory, this is a character who should have an ever-expanding role to play as he grows up from a child to a teenager to a man. Killing him off now would be a foolish move, especially as Carl has actually become a vastly improved and enjoyable character over the past couple of seasons. No longer is there the hate for ol’ one-eye that there was during the show’s initial seasons, and so it’s intriguing to see where Carl can go from here – particularly where Negan is concerned.
Ever the cool customer, Jesus has been a charismatic and sincere presence since joining The Walking Dead. With him set to play a huge part in developments at The Hilltop as Season 7 progresses, it seems as if he’s safe for now.
In the comic book world, Jesus goes on to become a mainstay of the core story, and he’s in fact still alive in the funny books to this day. And one key arc that he’s involved in is the changing of the guard at The Hilltop, where Gregory is eventually usurped and replaced by Maggie.
From what’s been seen in the TV series recently, it looks as if the Gregory/Maggie/Hilltop situation is going to follow its comic book roots relatively closely, and as such you can expect Jesus to be alive at least until Season 8 begins. In fact, there’s a good chance that this is one character who’ll be around for a long, long time as the show progresses over the next few years.
One of the show’s longest tenured characters, Maggie still has a huge role to play in The Walking Dead as AMC’s walker-heavy juggernaut moves forward over the next few years.
Widowed and pregnant, Maggie appears to be on the first rungs of the ladder when it comes to climbing to the top of the tree at The Hilltop. In the comic books, Maggie eventually replaces Gregory as the leader of the community, and that looks set to play out over the rest of Season 7 of the TV show.
Comic book-wise, Maggie is one of the most vital characters of the whole Walking Dead phenomenon. This is someone who is one of the figureheads of the books, one of its true leaders, and someone who is a total badass and takes no BS. Lauren Cohen’s TV take on the character is largely in line with her comic book counterpart, and with that in mind it’s safe to say that Maggie won’t be going anywhere any time soon.
So often the anchor of the show, Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes isn’t going anywhere any time soon – if ever! The way that the ever-grizzled Grimes has been depicted and positioned over the years, it seems almost unthinkable for The Walking Dead to kill him off, be that in TV form or in the comic book series.
Sure, Rick may get battered and bruised at times – both in a physical and emotional context – but he always manages to pull through in the end. Whether that’s pulling himself out of a funk, getting inspiration from those around him, having help from his pals, or even just decided to grow a big ass beard and go a tad crazy, Rick always seems to come through in the end.
If The Walking Dead ever was to kill off Rick Grimes, it’d likely be towards the very end of its run. With AMC’s juggernaut of modern television not going away for a long while, don’t be expecting Rick to be killed off at any point in the next couple of years, let alone by the time this current season comes to a close.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan is one of those villains who’s just so entertaining in his vile and vicious ways that he can’t help but amass a substantial fanbase all of his own.
For years, those familiar with The Walking Dead in comic book form have been eagerly hoping and anticipating the arrival of the most ominous and infamous villain that the comic book series has seen to date. And let’s face it, from the moment Negan arrived at the end of Season 6, it’s been near-impossible to take your eyes of this uber-rogue.
If you’re pondering whether Negan’s demise is just around the corner and he’ll get his comeuppance by the time Season 7 comes to a close, it’s pretty much a nailed-on guarantee that Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s charismatic bad guy will be around for a little while longer. Not only is the comic book Negan still alive, but AMC would be plain stupid to bin off such an interesting and entertaining character already… not to mention that the actor himself has already confirmed that he’s been signed up for Season 8.
Sources: walkingdead.wikia.com; www.wikipedia.com; www.amc.com
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