This Walking Dead article contains MAJOR spoilers for the show and comics.
It’s been a long summer for Walking Dead fans.
For the last few months, fans have waited (not so) patiently for The Walking Dead‘s biggest reveal in the show’s history: who did Negan kill at the end of season 6? As Negan swung for the fences, we watched from the mystery character’s POV as the screen grew red with blood and then turned the black of death.
While there have been many attempts to find the answer to the show’s most burning question, we still don’t quite know who’s life Negan took with his barbed-wired bat. In fact, AMC has been so careful about not letting anyone leak the big reveal that death scenes for each character in the lineup were filmed ahead of the premiere. That means that Maggie, Abraham, Daryl, Sasha, Carl, Rosita, Eugene, Glenn, Michonne, and Aaron are all potentially dead by the time of the premiere. Rick is the only person we know survived the execution for a fact, thanks to a sneak peek of the episode:
The loss of each potential victim is more terrifying than the last, with a number fan favorite characters’ lives hanging in the balance. So allow us to play bookie for a moment and provide a handy dandy guide to who we may have lost in the season 6 finale of The Walking Dead. Who is the likely victim and what will it mean for the show movie forward? Debate away.
Likelihood: Very likely
The heart and soul of the survivors, the always humanistic Glenn survived by the skin of his teeth this season, with more than one scene teasing audiences with this beloved character’s death. Has Glenn’s luck finally run out? If so, what about Maggie? In the comics, it is in fact Glenn who is killed during the fateful first meeting with Negan. On TV, Glenn’s death was possibly foreshadowed when Maggie’s beloved saw those Polaroids of Negan’s victims with their brains bashed in. But would Kirkman, Gimple, and company be so cruel as to fake out fans for half a season with Glenn’s demise, give him back, and then take him away again—in the most violent way possible—in front of a suffering, pregnant Maggie?
Consequences: Fans almost revolted when Glenn fake-died earlier in the season. It’s hard to imagine the series without this character, but the comic is doing just fine without him. Be very nervous.
The Walking Dead might be cruel, but it’s not smashing out the brains of an ill pregnant woman. Right? There’ a great deal going on with Maggie. She is being primed to be a leader of the survivors and this whole pregnancy thing has to be paid off. It’s hard to imagine Maggie’s story ending without giving birth to that child. It seems she could be safe. Although, Negan’s message would indeed be punctuated if he killed two survivors for the price of one.
Consequences: You thought the fan blowback Game of Thrones got for some of its brutality to women was bad—imagine if dear, powerful, layered, and brilliant Maggie spills brains to kick off season 7? Things are gonna get ugly.
While Negan pontificated, Daryl was injured and scared. But don’t be fooled—everyone’s favorite crossbow-toting biker was already plotting his revenge. The only thing Daryl has going against him is that he’s not in the comics at all. The overall original narrative of The Walking Dead can continue without Daryl, but he’s become such an iconic fan favorite, it’s hard to imagine the series without him. And Daryl still has unfinished business with the rat-faced Dwight. It’s hard to imagine Denise going unavenged. Daryl has a score to settle.
Consequences: If it is Daryl, prepare for a fan riot and a lot of plot threads left untied.
Likelihood: Very likely
I didn’t like that look Negan gave Abraham. When Abraham tensed up, volunteering himself to take Lucille, it made Negan very aware of the potential danger Abraham could represent. By killing everyone’s favorite berserker, Negan will be eliminating a clear threat to his authority. At that moment, with Rick terrified and Daryl injured, Abraham was clearly the alpha male of the survivors. It might be a strategic move for the cunning Negan to eliminate an obvious militaristic threat. And you know when Abraham and Sasha were discussing their bright futures earlier in the episode—yeah, that’s never good.
Consequences: Losing Abraham would certainly put Rosita and Sasha in an interesting place. Both women have feelings for Abraham. It would be interesting to see them step up and fill the void left by Rick’s most capable soldier.
Again, Abraham and Sasha, talking about having kids—that’s just a death sentence, man. Sasha has been through so much, but she has conquered her fears and become a sharpshooting warrior. She’s gotten past her brother Tyrese’s death and has forged new relationships with the survivors. But storywise, is there anywhere new for Sasha to go?
Consequences: Losing Sahsa would make Abraham even more determined to take Negan down, and as the group’s keenest military mind, this extra motivation could be what the survivors need to overcome Negan. Plus, Sasha’s death would create an interesting dynamic between Abraham and the recently spurned Rosita.
Rosita hasn’t done much this season, so her death would kind of fall flat as far as being impactful goes. But how guilty would it make Abraham feel if the loyal woman he spurned died so horrifically? If it is Rosita, she spent a whole season getting dumped and then getting killed. Tragic.
Consequences: Abraham and Sasha’s little bit of family planning would certainly be tainted by the death of Rosita, wouldn’t it? It would make Abraham realize what he left behind and awaken the warrior within. Same with Sasha, who might want to make up for emotionally hurting the fiery Rosita by dedicating herself to taking down her killer.
Likelihood: Highly unlikely
Good old Carl has been through so damn much this season. It just can’t be him. He lost an eye, he met a girl, and it’s really hard to imagine all that being cut short by Lucille. There are so many story miles still to go for Carl (and his girlfriend is still locked in a closet), so it’s very difficult to imagine Carl’s narrative being smashed into little mushy pieces.
Consequences: If Carl dies, Rick dies. Period. There is no way Rick sits there and just allows Carl to be murdered. So if Carl goes, Rick goes too, and that’s just not possible. Not both.
Likelihood: Very Likely
Listen, I dig Aaron and everything, but in that death circle, Aaron is the closest thing we have to a Redshirt. Aaron doesn’t have much going on in terms of ongoing storylines and he’s so affable that his death would certainly resonate. It’s sad to think that the death of such a likable dude would cause the fanbase to breathe a sigh of relief, but that’s exactly what would happen if Aaron was murdered instead of, oh, let’s say Glenn. We love ya, Aaron, but we’re not in love with you. Sorry.
Consequences: We already lost one gay character in a horrific manner when Denise got an arrow through the eye. Expect some blowback if The Walking Dead so brutally dispatches another LGBT survivor.
Likelihood: Very likely
When Denise got that aforementioned crossbow bolt through her peeper, she learned that without a killer instinct, one doesn’t last long in the world. Eugene might have gotten a bit harder, but he isn’t hard. He’s loyal, brave when he needs to be, and brilliant. He’s one of the last innocents in the world of The Walking Dead and his loss would really make Negan seem like a prick heel.
Consequences: Other than Glenn, Eugene would probably ignite the biggest sympathetic reaction amongst the fanbase. Most fans aren’t ready to leave Eugene’s hair party just yet, and hopefully, Negan won’t force us to.
Likelihood: Highly unlikely
Michonne’s death might turn Rick into Frank Castle (kind of like Shane, I guess), but I just can’t picture Michonne going out like that. You just get the feeling that Michonne will be swinging that sword as long as The Walking Dead is on the air. If Rick did lose Michonne, he would still keep fighting for Carl, though. Still,the series has just built too great a character to have Michonne go out so suddenly.
Consequences: Michonne’s death would give Rick another reason to fight, but really, there’s just no way Michonne’s sword isn’t crossing with Lucille at some point in the near future.
So, who is it? Whose fight has Lucille ended? Eeny, meeney, miney, moe, it’s clear that one of our family has to go.
Don’t forget to listen to Den of Geek’s Walking Dead podcast, No Room in Hell!
A version of this article originally appeared on April 5, 2016.