This feature contains season seven spoilers.
Terrifyingly, we’re nearly at the end of yet another season of The Walking Dead, as it seems like only yesterday that speculation was rife as to which cast member’s contract had come to an end thanks to Negan’s baseball bat. Since the fateful events that night, season seven has slowly been building to a full blown war against The Saviors and everyone knows that war equals casualties. So as various characters embark on suicide missions, defect and come mentally unravelled, we thought it timely to look at who is most likely to fall in battle (or die like a dog), with little chance of making season eight.
Oh, and there are Walking Dead prizes to be won here, if you’re interested…
Those who deserve to die:
Ms Espinosa has sadly never quite been able to break from Abraham’s shadow and become the independent action heroine she’s always promised to be. For someone who entered the show as a military badass, her focus as a love interest seemed to weaken her character, rather than strengthen it (as was the case with Maggie) and when combined with the show’s awesome array of strong women pushed her into the background slightly.
I’ve always had time for Rosita and it was hard not to feel sympathy when Abraham so callously ditched her in favour of Sasha (a telling sign he was on his way out), but since that moment her behaviour has been erratic and, as recently witnessed with the ‘I’m going to kill Negan by myself now, even though we’re heading for war tomorrow’ plot, the show seems to be keen to end her life fairly quickly. If there was no intention to kill her off, Rosita would naturally have learnt from the last time she killed tried to kill Negan and others died by her actions, but jumping back on that idea straight away was stupid and too contrived for it to be bad writing – more likely that Christian Serratos has asked to leave and they’ve obliged at speed.
Interestingly, the show curve-balled the other week by having Rosita shut out by Sasha, but since Sasha is still alive for the moment (more on that later) Rosita’s far from being in the clear.
As I’ve said before, one does not simply shoot and torture Daryl Dixon, kill Denise in cold blood and walk away scot-free. Dwight’s mutiny was only a matter of time and since his beloved Sherry broke his heart by stating she’d rather die than stand by his cowardice, he’s finally chalked up the courage to approach Rick’s group in an attempt to see Negan killed.
Dwight’s problem now is that (as we’ve already seen in the brief trailer for the season finale) Daryl wants to stick a knife through his head, Tara will feel likewise and even Rick seemed poised to end his rotten existence. Since Dwight’s now angling to betray his iron-toting boss, that sets The Saviors against him too, totalling his allies to a grand total zero – it’s really less of case of if he’ll die, but rather how quickly and by which side. The Walking Dead is usually quite liberal with its vengeance, so there would be some poetic justice if Tara got to kill him using Daryl’s crossbow as payback. At least our beloved Mr Dixon can now reclaim his trademark weapon and winged vest.
Xander Berkeley is a legend, pure and simple. He’s an actor that’s always greeted with a cheer in our house, followed by the standard chant of “He did it – don’t trust him!” as when it comes to playing villainous and/or cowardly characters, there are few better. It was fantastic to seem him added to the swelling ranks of The Walking Dead’s cast, but we’d barely cheered his inclusion before ‘he’ was up to his old tricks again.
I speculated before the second half of season seven as to who would be the biggest liability, Gregory or Richard, but since the latter has already played his hand (resulting in the death of a boy, sending Morgan into reverse) I fear that Gregory is going to yield much more damage. As we saw in episode fifteen, his total lack of a spine meant that he couldn’t kill Maggie himself and perceives her as his main threat, so with Simon’s handwritten note in his pocket, it looks like the bastard is off to go and spill his guts finally. What remains to be seen is whether the spilling with be literal – as happened to Spencer when he tried to pull the same stunt – a high possibility when Simon finds out that Gregory has been hiding mutineers the entire time.
Of course, there’s always the chance that Maggie, or one of the others will catch him en route, but he seems far too slippery for that and it would seem a natural conclusion to the Simon/Gregory relationship for them to be together when death comes calling. Either way, Gregory must die.
In terms of repercussive character actions, Eugene’s well past his sell-by date. He’s been given so many chances to rise above his fear, but his moments of bravery have been so fleeting that they’re negligible. Up until the last episode I still had hope that he was playing a double bluff and his new-found comfort in the loving arms of Negan was a chance to come good and take the big man down, after all he still had the extra capsule of homemade poison. Alas, as Sasha has now found out to her detriment (that smug smile was a little pre-emptive) Eugene has proved useless yet again and given her the poison, rather than a weapon.
Considering he’s a character that initially survived on a lie, that he was weak enough to provide Rosita with that damning bullet, only seems to have proved his worth as an asset to Negan (though those fortified metal zombies haven’t scuppered any intruders so far) and appears to be acting solely to save himself from harm, it’s time for that mullet to be chopped.
Those who seem destined to die
Now this fills me with no joy at all to speculate on but Carol’s journey sadly seems to be reaching its natural conclusion. She’s evolved more than any other character, from abused housewife to a one-woman army, capable of mass destruction in the best possible way, but since she’s left the group in a bid to spend her days in isolation and denial, her return to action can’t yield a positive result for our Cazza.
Her mental state has already dictated that an over-exposure to violence, mixed with her own capacity for it, means that she was heading for a full breakdown and it seems likely that a sudden and traumatic re-introduction to it, will send her over the edge. I can’t believe that we’ll lose Carol in anything other than a blaze of glory, as long term and beloved characters always get a suitably ‘good’ death and she’s made it perfectly clear that she can’t revert to happy home maker, even if her most recent suitor does have an impressive tiger.
And so she’s at an impasse. Going back to the group can’t happen, as it would be too regressive, she’s tried solitude but still gets endless knocks on her door and reading from the scene between Carol and Daryl’s dinner, it seemed like a very finite and upsetting reunion for the pair and if they’re together again, I suspect it will be the show’s most heart-breaking moment to date.
Oh Sasha. She’s lost every single person that’s been close to her and has condemned every love interest to death, albeit by circumstances beyond her control. She’s pulled herself back from the brink of insanity, but has proven her dependability in a fight countless times, yet after a catastrophic lapse in judgement that put her uncharacteristically on the same course as Rosita, I can’t see a way that Sasha will walk away from her current predicament.
It will be a real shame is she’s killed as a result of the ‘I love Abraham more than you’ raid, but at the moment her options are suicide or death by bat and I can’t really see another way out for her – possibly Dwight, but that’s an optimistic punt. In the latest teaser we’ve seen her pleading with Negan that no one needs to die, but I’d be willing to bet that as she’s by his side as they approach Alexandria, that she suffers a similar fate to Hershel when Rick’s gang refuse to ‘get things back on track’ with The Saviors.
Unfortunately, if Sonequa Martin-Green goes, that also means poor Kenric Green (her real life husband and Alexandrian) will also have to die by proxy – a Walking Dead two-for-one blowout!
The wild card
“You are not stuck.” So says Ezekiel to a dangerously regressed Morgan, but similarly to Carol, Morgan has now come full circle and his Zen purpose undone by one, tragic death. I can’t quite work out what Morgan’s fate will be at this point, death seems like a waste but we have already seen him Clear and characters rarely take a step back for long without consequence. Hopefully if he survives the oncoming scuffle, he might retreat back to the wilderness to reappear in a few seasons, perhaps for the final ever episodes, so that the show will always have the mighty Morgan to fall back on. Regardless, watching him fighting side by side with Carol and a tiger should prove to be a high point, even if it is his last.