[Warning: Major The Walking Dead spoilers ahead.]
If you’re someone who uses the Internet, you’ve probably seen articles about Negan, the latest villain on AMC’s The Walking Dead. In The Walking Dead comic, Negan did an extremely awful thing to an extremely beloved character when he first appeared in Issue 100, so fans are understandably freaking out about what’s going to happen on the TV show.
Showrunner Scott Gimple has promised an equally devastating introduction when Jeffrey Dean Morgan steps into the role during the Season 6 finale on April 3 — as this teaser image released today of Negan and his “girlfriend” Lucille implies:
But who will Negan actually kill? While Gimple has largely followed the events of the comic arc leading to Negan, he has remixed individual elements, recently swapping one character’s death for another (RIP Denise). And there are numerous characters on the show (Daryl, Carol, and Morgan, just to name a few) who weren’t in the comic at all by Issue 100.
So it’s anyone’s guess who Negan will introduce to Lucille during the finale (or during the first episode of Season 7, if the rumors hold up). Read on for Fandom’s own expert predictions — and if you’ve got your own guesses, let us know on Twitter over at @getfandom.
Brett Bates, Senior Writer
Most Likely: Carol
Last week, I was all set to put Daryl as my top choice. Sure, Daryl devotees would revolt, but The Walking Dead loves to punish its characters even more than its viewers, and it would be a fitting lesson for Carol — who’s left Alexandria because she can’t beat to kill for the people she’s come to love — if she was forced to watch the person she loves most meet his gruesome end.
Then Daryl went and got shot at the end of last night’s episode. I find it hard to believe that Gimple would end with a Daryl cliffhanger here only to kill him in the next episode. As with Glenn (see below), I feel like his “death” is a subtle hint to fans that he’s actually safe.
So I’m taking my former runner-up off the bench and giving her top billing: It’s going to be Carol. Like Daryl, Carol is a character who’s been with us since Season 1, so her death will absolutely leave a mark — both on the show’s characters and on fans. But losing her will I think make people sad without causing them to swear off the show entirely. Plus, comic fans know she’s been on borrowed time since Season 2…
This would be the safest option, but also the least satisfying. Morgan’s technically been around since Season 1, but he was absent for such a long stretch that viewers haven’t been had time to form an emotional attachment to him. His death would be a bummer, but viewers would likely most miss his stick-fu. His death would mainly reinforce the notion that attempting to spare life in the new world will only bring you death.
Least Likely: Glenn
After the elaborate fake-out regarding Glenn’s fate earlier this season, I just can’t see Gimple killing him off eight episodes later. That would be worse than cruel — it’d be pointless. And it’s pretty clear by now that Gimple doesn’t feel the need to follow the comic down to the last panel. So Glenn fans: Rest easy…for now.
Karma Savage, Fan Contributor
Most Likely: Maggie
It’s got to be someone that the viewer is attached to and has grown to love; Maggie fits the bill. Fans have enjoyed her evolution into a strong potential leader — and the fact that she’s pregnant would bring added shock value to her death. The harsh world of The Walking Dead hasn’t shied away from violence involving women and children, and Gimple would be able to convey that brutal realism when Negan introduces himself for the first time to Rick and the group and picks Maggie as the “chosen one.” The disgust and outrage that would likely pour forth from fans would be the exact reaction Gimple and his writing team are looking for.
In Episode 6, “The Same Boat,” Carol showed her deep and renewed connection to her faith. Negan will look at Carol’s rosary bead rubbing as an invitation to his party. He will find that very entertaining. And while yes, it would be sad to lose Carol and her no-holds-barred approach, but her loss will likely heal over time and, in the end, be accepted by the fans.
Least Likely: Glenn
Simply adhering to the comic too easy of an option. Plus, Glenn recently had a close call with death, and boy did the fans react. Once again, the writing team knew exactly how to keep its audience inquisitive and on its toes. It was a “too close for comfort” moment when we almost lost Glenn at the beginning of this season. If Maggie is the one to be offed, wouldn’t it be nice to see how that would change Glenn as a character? Would he eventually be the leader of the Hilltop Colony? In any case, I think Glenn will live on to fight another day.
Annette Cardwell, Managing Editor
Most Likely: Carol
I feel like the build-up to Carol meeting a violent and perhaps welcome end has been going on for a few seasons now. Her going off on her own several seasons ago felt like a depressive act albeit one that seemed like a struggle to prove her strength and ability to survive. But her leaving Alexandria last week felt almost like a suicide mission, pushing her headlong into the closing arms of the Saviors. Carol certainly seems to still have lots of fight in her, as evidenced by the truck massacre. But she clearly still has a death wish, as she wanders off deeper into enemy territory. While one of the four captured at the end of the episode seems more like a obvious pick to meet Negan’s bat Lucille, all those characters are (a) far too popular with fans and (b) too obvious. The finale feels like the end for this OG character who’s been with us since the start.
Maggie’s baby is clearly in danger, and the lone doctor in Alexandria, Denise, just met her own very sad end two weeks ago. While I know that the Glenn and Maggie of the comic are captured heading to Hilltop in search of a better life for their bun in the oven, Glenn’s been captured separately in this storyline. Resourceful Maggie will likely head out on her own to Hilltop to save their child. I’m with Karma above in also thinking the show runners will play on your attachment for Maggie and the promise for new life in her child-to-be. It would be brutal to end two signs of hope in one horrific act, but I wouldn’t put anything past The Walking Dead at this point. Also, it’s likely to be made more sadistic by having it performed in front of captured Glenn. Many tears will be shed.
Least Likely: Daryl
My reason for believing Daryl survives are pretty simple: Daryl is by far the single most popular character on this show. Honestly, when Dwight tells Daryl he’ll “be fine,” you’d think that that’s a sick joke on viewers that your beloved fave will be anything but; however, I’m hoping that is a literal reassurance. Granted, Daryl — like Carol — seems to have a death wish, going out alone on a revenge hunt. But he’s too important to this show’s movement forward. Also, why shoot him only to have him be executed by Negan’s bat? Just call it a hunch. I don’t see big D going down just yet.
Carson Parmelee, Wikia Staff
Most Likely: Heath
I think Heath is the most likely to meet his end at the hands of Negan. He was there when Glenn found the Polaroids of Lucille’s damage: foreshadowing! And I’m not sure if the show is prepared to let Glenn go — especially so soon after his fake-out death earlier in the season.
Carol. It would make sense that when you head out on your own and end up killing a group of the Saviors, they’ll find you and get revenge. But I think Carol may be too big of a character to kill off at this point.
Least Likely: Daryl
The end of last episode basically guarantees that Daryl will keep on kicking because — as the others mention above — why shoot him only to have Negan kill him with Lucille in the next episode?