This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
Contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead season 6.
A number of promises were made in The Walking Dead season six finale. Rick promised Maggie that everything would be okay, Gabriel promised Rick that he’d protect Judith and Alexandria, and Negan promised his victims that before long, they’d all be in tears.
So far, Negan’s is the only promise guaranteed to be kept. Whoever fell afoul of Lucille is sure to be mourned by the group, while the jury’s still out on those other two vows. Will Maggie and her baby make it? Will Alexandria fall to the Saviors?
Whose last day on Earth is it?
The most pressing question, and one we’ve been told will be answered right off the bat in the season seven premiere, is the identity of Negan’s victim from the final moments of season 6.
First, Negan’s line “anybody moves, anybody says anything, cut the boy’s other eye out and feed it to his father” tells us Rick and Carl can be crossed off the list of eleven potential victims. Next, his “taking it like a champ!” comment has set the arrow of internet speculation pointing towards Abraham, who managed to stay powerfully defiant even on his knees while the rest of the group understandably cowered under threat of a bludgeoning from Lucille.
For all your speculation needs, we’ve weighed up the options in full over here.
And according to online gossip, the running death toll for The Walking Dead’s regular characters may rise by more than one in the season seven premiere. That’s not to mention the bloodshed to come in later episodes, about which the words ‘red’ and ‘wedding’ have already been uttered by those behind the scenes…
How many Saviors are there?
“They got numbers” assessed Abraham in the season six finale, looking at a fully staffed Saviors road block. “They not only have people but some big-ass toys and capabilities” added Eugene.
They’re not wrong. However many Saviors were taken out by Rick and the gang in that assault on their base of operations, it barely made a dent. When Negan wanted to send Rick a message, he had no shortage of soldiers to enforce it.
Our regulars have already faced large hostile groups in Woodbury, Terminus, Grady Memorial hospital and the Wolves, but none had the manpower or weaponry of the Saviors, who absorb or destroy whomever they meet, taking half the resources of the groups they leave standing and bulking out their ranks with those they crush. With that modus operandi, the Saviors swell their ranks and arsenal with every clash.
If Rick and co. aren’t able to outnumber or overpower the Saviors, then…
How will Negan’s reign be toppled?
We’ve only seen a glimpse of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character on the TV show so far, but even that showed what an iron grip he has over his people. From the “I am Negan” Spartacus trick pulled during the assault on the Savior base to the fear-struck control over his minions in the season six finale, he’s clearly the man in charge.
Escaping his gang is nigh-on impossible too judging by Dwight and Sherry’s failed prison-break. The Saviors: just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in.
Spartacus, the slave who famously led a revolt, may be the key here. We’ve seen Negan’s all-stick-and-no-carrot recruitment methods. That’s no way to win over people’s hearts and souls; it’s more likely to cause resentment among the rank and file. What Rick’s group, or what’s left of it at least, need to do is fan that spark of rebellion until it’s a flame…
Who are the men who helped Carol and Morgan?
…alternatively, our heroes could team up with another group and go to war. The Hilltop Colony are more farmers than fighters (what happened to Jesus, by the way? Did he have to rush off and harvest his turnips after attacking the Saviors’ base?), which leaves us with the mysterious pair on horse-back wearing makeshift armour and carrying home-made spears who stumbled upon Carol and Morgan in the season six finale.
Seeing that Carol was in dire need of medical attention, the two strangers extended a hand to Morgan and offered to get them some help. What’s their deal? How big is their group? Can they be trusted? Where did they get those horses?
Season seven may well not reveal all of the above in episode one, which is likely to focus on the fall-out from Negan’s attack. If The Walking Dead follows its own patterns, we may expect a whole episode or two to be spent Beth-at-the-hospital-style following Carol and Morgan’s progress with these newcomers.
Will Carol survive being shot?
There are no two ways about it, Carol Peletier is a survivor. She’s walked away from injury after injury in this show. First from her ratbag of an abusive husband (we shed no tears when those hungry Walkers stumbled into his tent in season one), then from the attack on the prison, taking out Terminus, being hit by a car, taken hostage by the Saviors… not to mention the emotional pain she’s had to bear losing her daughter, being banished from the group and having to execute poor, mad little Lizzie. That she’s made it this far is proof of serious mettle.
Can though, Carol survive being shot multiple times by a Savior in the season six finale? Especially seeing as she appeared to have lost the will to live and greeted what she thought was imminent death with a relieved laugh.
A character almost as beloved by fans as Daryl is, Carol dying is pretty much unthinkable for The Walking Dead, which might be precisely why they kill her off…
Is Morgan still a pacifist?
Over the course of six seasons, Morgan has gone from loving father to destroyed husk of a man to honed killer to pacifist. His refusal to kill in Alexandria, a resolution explored in solo episode Here’s Not Here, was a source of real tension in season six. Carol, for one, didn’t trust him.
That may have changed following the series six finale, in which Morgan broke his vow and shot dead the Savior torturing Carol. With one shot, he proved Carol’s point that having people you care about and would be prepared to kill for makes you a killer by default. Will he return to his Aikido philosophy in season seven, or was that the breaking point for Morgan Jones? As Carol has lost the taste for killing, will she now be the pacifist of the group?
Will Gabriel protect Alexandria (and Judith)?
Good as it was to see Rick and Gabriel bury the hatchet with a meaningful goodbye and an “I will not fail you” in Last Day On Earth, who really fancies Alexandria’s chances in the absence of The Walking Dead’s MVPs? If the Savior numbers are such that they come knocking at Alexandria’s gate while all the Lucille business is playing out, that B-list bunch don’t stand a chance.
In terms of character arc, Gabriel successfully defending his community from attack (and potentially dying heroically in the process) would be a satisfying move from the preacher who locked his parishioners out of church and left them to be eaten by the undead. The fact that it’s easy to believe he’ll try shows how far he’s come from those traumatised days and that time he betrayed his travelling companions to Deanna. Dying to protect baby Judith would wipe that slate clean and have him remembered a hero on Alexandria’s wall of the dead.
Alternatively, of course, he may nail it Carol-style, single-handedly defeat the Saviors and welcome back his itinerant pals to a safe zone that’s still safe. What? It could happen.
Will Enid ever get out of the cupboard?
Before locking her in a cupboard for her own safety while Alexandria’s MVPs went to take Maggie to the Hilltop doctor, Carl threw Enid’s catchphrase back at her, and told her to “just survive somehow”. Independent and resourceful, we have to assume Enid will do just that. If The Saviors attack Alexandria in the meantime, that cupboard could prove her sanctuary.
What did Tara and Heath get up to on their supply run?
After the Savior base raid, Tara and Heath drove off on a supply run of indefinite length, necessitated by actor Alanna Masterson’s increasingly obvious pregnancy. Now that Masterson has had the baby, we can assume the show will pick back up with her and Heath in season seven. One thing’s for certain after Denise’s cruel demise, Tara won’t like what’s waiting for her on her return…
Will Maggie and Glenn’s baby make it?
Maggie, whose mother died before all this mess began, has already lost her step-mother, step-brother, father and beloved half-sister, not to mention having her husband Glenn declared MIA last season after a supply run mishap. To have her lose her baby too would surely be a bridge too far.
On any other show perhaps. The Walking Dead might just be cruel enough to do it. This is the series, after all, that had a cute kid stab her little sister to death and then get shot in the back of the head by the woman taking care of her. Then there was poor Sophia, little disturbed Sam, Carl losing an eye, that eerie, empty crib… Being underage doesn’t guarantee you safe passage through this show.
Admittedly, so far, baby Judith has escaped unharmed, either out of decency or fear of the inevitable backlash that would ensue were she to be hurt. I’d say Maggie and the baby will survive. Whether its father will too is another matter entirely…
Is Carl a “future serial killer?”
That’s what Negan called him in the season six finale, perhaps recognising a kindred spirit in young Carl, a child formed in this cruel new world who already has more than his fair share of kills under his belt. Of late Carl has been a dutiful son, a good brother and a brave young man (not to mention a walking target practice for Ron Anderson). In season seven though, might Carl go bad?
Perhaps more importantly, will he ever cut that hair?
Will the internet go mad again?
If The Walking Dead creatives do their job right, it’s guaranteed.