Holy f*ck, you guys. This week, AMC released a harrowing new clip from The Walking Dead. Presumably from the premiere for the show's seventh season, it shows Negan talking to Rick directly after violently beating one of our favorite characters to death. There are major things to note about the clip: Rick is very much unbroken after the horrifying murder, and Negan's intention was to break him. He also makes reference to having a "right-hand man," and then insinuates that he might have killed Rick's. The most gruesome part, of course, is the final shot, where we see the remains of whoever dies. There's something troubling about this clip, though. When it comes to naming a victim, the evidence points in different directions. That's when it hit us.
What if Negan kills more than one major player in the premiere?
Think about it. Is there any better way to up the stakes from Glenn's grisly end in the comic books? Wouldn't that just grind our broken hearts deeper into the cold, hard ground? It may just be a theory at this point, but there's a lot of evidence to back up our claims. Let's dive into an analysis of the aforementioned clip and a few choice quotes.
So, the clip. The first thing we've noticed, as pointed out above, is that Rick remains stubbornly determined to oppose Negan, even after losing a crucial member of his tribe. It's worth remembering that Negan's reason for killing in the first place is to break Rick, to make him feel powerless. This is, ultimately, why Negan drags Rick back into the camper. And if Negan can't convince him with whatever he does in there? Well, we'd assume he's prepared to kill someone else. Hell, if Rick keeps giving him trouble, we wouldn't put it past him to dispose of everyone . . . although we assume it wouldn't go that far. As far as upping the death tally by one? Absolutely.
The other, more perplexing part of the clip is the remains. On the ground, we see a blanket that looks like the blanket that had been wrapped around Daryl. There's also an object in the guts that looks an awful lot like the ring Glenn gave Maggie. But if Negan killed Maggie, wouldn't Rick have more splatter on his face? If Negan killed more than one person, though, these inconsistencies can be explained. Maybe the blood spatter came from one death, and the remains show another. Or perhaps Daryl lost his blanket trying to attack Negan after the first death — which, by the way, would be an easy way to get a second character killed.
It's not just the clip that has us worried, though. Looking back retroactively at some of the creators' quotes inevitably casts new light on the theory. Back in March, showrunner Scott Gimple teased Negan's arrival to Entertainment Weekly. More specifically, he addressed how Negan's arrival might or might not defer from the comics. "Sometimes we have things from the book that people who read the comics maybe see coming a mile away," Gimple said, "and we try to adjust that so that we can give them the same feeling they had when reading the book, which might have been shock or surprise or fear, any of those things." Well, adding a second person to the mix would add a new level of shock and surprise and fear, right?
Gimple went on and hinted about whether or not they would remain loyal to the comic books and kill Glenn. "It might be wildly different, but it's all to get the same sort of feelings that you got when you read them," he answered. "So will it be different? Absolutely. Will it be the same thing? Absolutely." Suddenly, that final sentiment makes the theory click. It would be the same thing if they killed Glenn. Additionally, it would be absolutely different if they added another person to the tally.
Finally, we have the most damning quote of all from the man who plays Negan himself. During a recent interview with Den of Geek, Jeffrey Dean Morgan offered a pretty blunt take on the whole thing: "Negan's not just going to kill one person in [the premiere]. He's not afraid of bashing in skulls." So, well, I guess that's as explicit as it's going to get. Prepare yourself for a traumatizing bloodbath, everyone.