The first half of The Walking Dead’s seventh season was quite the roller coaster ride — from the gratuitous opening scenes to the puzzling Oceanside episode — it’s no wonder that the show’s rating plunged to a four-year low. But where the sixth season finale failed in leaving audiences with a gut-wrenching cliffhanger, the season 7 mid-season finale at least offered audiences a glimmer of hope by finally bringing the members of Rick’s group back together at the Hilltop.
Aside from a few offshoots, the first eight episodes of this season have largely followed the comics. In fact, a ton of Negan’s dialogue was lifted straight out of the source material (minus a heavy sprinkling of F-bombs, of course). Where the story seemed to branch off was during Negan’s last visit to Alexandria, which, believe it or not, ended much more violently in the comic.
Though we’ve been told that the Whisperers will appear earlier in the show than they do in the comics, it’s still anybody’s guess whether or not they’ll show up this season. Therefore, we’ll largely be looking at the 12-issue arc of the comics, titled “All Out War,” and examine which moments will likely make it onto the show, and which moments probably won’t. Here is our list of The Walking Dead Season 7.5 Predictions.
15. Will Happen — Shiva Snacking On A Few Saviors
We know it’s impractical, but having a tiger at your side during the zombie apocalypse is still pretty freaking awesome. And, as it turns out, it can also turn you into the leader of your own personal kingdom. The only reason that Shiva being present on the show isn’t utterly ridiculous is Ezekiel’s theatrical disposition, which is thankfully all a ruse to inspire hope in his fellow survivors. On a show filled with amazing character introductions (Michonne, Negan, etc.), Ezekiel’s is amongst the most memorable specifically because of his pet tiger.
But what’s the point of having a tiger in the story if it’s not going to maul anyone? In the show, Shiva has done nothing but snarl at Carol while lurking around the king’s throne, but by this point in the comics, Shiva has already taken down a number of Negan’s men during a scuffle at Alexandria. Though The Walking Dead often takes pride in upsetting their audience, we doubt they’d be so cruel as to introduce a tiger onto the show and not have it slay some bad guys, especially with a war on the horizon.
14. Won’t Happen — Eugene Making Bullets For The Allies
Rosita just had to go and muck everything up. After she forces Eugene to make her a single bullet, she massively screws up her one chance at killing Negan. We can’t help but think that Rosita could’ve done a better job at planning the assassination. For instance, why not have Eugene supply her with a full magazine? Or why not wait until Negan wasn’t holding Lucille right in from of his face? Regardless, the biggest regret to come of this is that Negan has now relieved Rick’s group of their bullet-maker.
In the comics, Eugene isn’t captured by the Saviors for a few more issues, and he’s able to get a team working around the clock to supply Rick’s group with a heavy amount of ammo before he’s imprisoned. But in the show, it is now Negan who has an unlimited supply of ammunition right from the get-go. So even if Eugene was able to escape the Sanctuary with the help of Dwight, the Saviors will surely have control of the bullet factory, meaning Rick’s group will have to resort to other methods of attack.
13. Will Happen — The Allied Forces Attacking First
Following a rough first eight episodes, the cast and crew of The Walking Dead have gone out of their way to let audiences know that the fighting spirit will return for the back eight. The trailers also make it apparent that Alexandria, the Kingdom, and the Hilltop will join forces to take on the Saviors. In the comics, Rick and his followers open fire on Negan during his last visit to Alexandria, signaling the start of their dissent. In the show, however, Negan still remains unsuspecting of any major plot against him.
This means the allies still have the element of surprise on their side, and as far as we know right now, that’s about all they have going for them. Even if Negan caught wind of Rick’s plan to fight back, it would be unlikely for the super villain to reek massive havoc on the communities that nourish him, and Negan would likely resort to intimidation instead. Therefore, it looks like the newly joined forces will be the ones to take the battle to Negan’s turf first.
12. Won’t Happen — Ezekiel Getting A Girlfriend
It’s not that we don’t want to see Ezekiel happy, it’s just that we don’t see romance in the cards for him quite yet. In the comic, Ezekiel is quick to strike up a relationship with Michonne, who is at first massively turned off by his Shakespearean theatrics until she discovers that it’s only an act to give his followers hope. Michonne eventually comes to relate to Ezekiel’s charade, as she’s constantly putting on a front of her own in an attempt to mask her true feelings.
But with Michonne and Rick’s relatively new relationship, it appears as though Carol has taken on the role of Michonne in the show. Might a relationship blossom between King Ezekiel and Carol? It’s possible, but we predict it will be quite some time before Carol fully puts her guard down and is able be intimate with someone again. She’s been all but living the life of a hermit the last few times we saw her. Not to mention that Ezekiel will likely be so preoccupied with preparing his men for battle, that he won’t have time to muster the amount of charm that would be needed to soften Carol.
11. Will Happen — The Allies Using Walkers As Their Weapons
No bullets? No problem! In the world of The Walking Dead there are literally thousands of “weapons” waiting right outside the walls of Alexandria ready to be put to good use. Since Rick spearheaded the migration of walkers from the rock quarry to outside of the safe zone, we already know that his people are more than capable of herding the dead, and since working vehicles are about the only thing Negan has allowed Rick’s people to keep for their supply runs, the group should be able to lead a herd toward the Sanctuary no problem.
The allies use a similar tactic in the comics. After they arrive at Negan’s doorstep, they start shooting up the windows of the Sanctuary to make a racket and draw the walkers toward them. But since they’re out of guns and ammo on the show, they’ll just have to put a little more effort into getting a herd of walkers to the Sanctuary.
This first move will not only make the Saviors waste a bunch of their ammo, but will also buy Rick’s group some extra time by keeping Negan and his men surrounded until they’re able to put the horde down. Sounds like a win-win to us.
10. Won’t Happen — Rick Offering The Saviors A Truce, Twice!
In the comics, Rick arrives at Negan’s doorstep with his army and offers him an alternative to war: surrender your army and everyone else in the Sanctuary gets to live. Of course, Negan laughs in Rick’s face, which Rick was prepared for, as it was all part of his attack plan in the first place. However, in the show the only thing that the allies have going for them is the element of surprise, and announcing their arrival to Negan would give the Saviors too much time to prepare for battle. Giving one of Negan’s snipers the hcance to shoot him also doesn’t seem like a risk that TV Rick is willing to make.
Rick offering Negan a truce doesn’t just happen before the first battle in the comics; it also happens before the final one. Again, Rick uses a speech as part of his battle plan, and in this instance he uses it to get close to Negan so he can cut his throat. Here, Rick offers Negan the chance to be partners and use their network of towns to trade equally with one another, and Negan actually agrees! We definitely don’t see Negan willing to compromise on the show, especially after a war where Rick continues to defy him at every turn.
9. Will Happen — Gregory Betraying His People
Alright, so this entry shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as Gregory basically tried to sell out Maggie and Sasha just a few episodes ago. But we’re predicting the weak and ineffectual leader of the Hilltop Colony will go straight to Negan (or Simon) to rat out his own people in an attempt to save himself before the impending war.
Since the last shot of The Walking Dead was Rick and his group heading into Barrington House, it will be interesting to see how Gregory reacts to the proposition of war. Chances are, his opposition will do little to stop Jesus from rallying fellow Hilltop members into joining, which will prompt Gregory to spill the beans about Rick’s plan. But we also predict that, like anything else Gregory tries to do, his plan to switch sides will have little effect.
8. Won’t Happen — Dwight Killing His Own Men
So far, Dwight is one of the characters that we liked far more in the comic. Though he was undeniably one of Negan’s top men, he put his survival above all else, and wasn’t afraid to go behind Negan’s back in order to help Rick’s group whenever he could. During an attack on Alexandria, Dwight even shot a number of his own men in the back and gave Jesus a few grenades to use in Alexandria’s defense.
On the show, however, the character is far less nuanced. Ever since Dwight returned to the Sanctuary and had his face branded by Negan, he hasn’t shown one ounce of mercy toward Rick’s group. Dwight seems far less interested in helping anyone else, and if he does betray the Saviors, it will be in order to kill Negan out of pure jealousy. Other than that, we don’t see Dwight slaughtering his own men simply to protect Rick’s group anytime soon.
7. Will Happen — Maggie Taking Over The Hilltop
With Gregory holed up in Barrington House with his Scotch and impressive painting (which the Saviors recently confiscated), both Maggie and Jesus have pretty much been leading the Hilltop by proxy for the last few episodes anyway. But now that Maggie has had some time to grieve, we believe she’ll step up and take control of the colony since they’ll need a strong leader, now more than ever. Since King Ezekiel already seems fully on board to take down the Saviors (he served them tainted pig meat, after all), Maggie stepping into place will officially solidify the allied forces against Negan.
Whether Maggie will take over the Hilltop before or after Gregory’s treason has yet to be determined. In the comic, Maggie even lets Gregory live at the colony following his betrayal. We don’t see TV Maggie being quite as forgiving, considering Gregory’s creepy crush and how often he forgets Maggie’s name.
6. Won’t Happen — The Saviors Using “Biological” Warfare
In the TV series, the Saviors come off as a far more foreboding opponent than they do in the comic. They have hundreds of members, multiple outposts, and enough fire to slaughter everyone in Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom, if they so desired. Meanwhile, in the comics, while Negan still leads a formidable force, his numbers don’t even hit triple digits, and they also must rely on primitive weapons in addition to their gun arsenal.
Before the final battle between the two forces, Negan instructs his soldiers to dirty their arrows and blunt-force weapons with walker guts as he demonstrates with Lucille. The objective here is to infect Rick’s army in the instance of an otherwise minor injury. However, with the sheer amount of fire power the Saviors have on the show this seems like a moot point, and if anyone was going to use this tactic in the show, Michonne’s katana or Daryl’s crossbow arrows would be ideal for coating in walker blood.
5. Will Happen — The Saviors Retaliating… With Explosives
It’s an unfortunate fact of life: as civilizations become more advanced, so do their methods of wreaking havoc. Though Negan is undoubtably ruthless, you can’t deny that he is an effective leader who has built the most sustainable civilization yet (even if it was on the backs of other people). Therefore, when it’s time for the Saviors to retaliate, you better believe they will up the stakes of the war and unleash an arsenal well-equipped with explosives.
We already know that Negan has acquired a bazooka from Alexandria’s armory, and in the comics the Saviors have a heavy supply of grenades that they hurl over the wall of Rick’s town. While in the comics, Rick is foolish enough to lead his people back to Alexandria, we hope he has a better defense plan on the show. In one of the teaser trailers for the season it’s even possible to spot a few sticks of dynamite in a shot with Rosita and Tara, so it’s also possible that Rick’s group will end up fighting the Saviors with some explosives of their own.
4. Will Happen — The Death Of Shiva
Though it pains us to say, we believe that Ezekiel’s prized pet will not make it out of season seven alive. Believe it or not, no actual tiger was used in any of the episodes where we got a glimpse at Shiva, because having a tiger on set mere feet away from actors is undoubtably an insurance risk. We have to admit, the CGI tiger was impressively well done, which also means that it was extremely hard (and probably very expensive) to produce.
Even in the comics, where the addition of a tiger wouldn’t effect the cost or length of production at all, Shiva’s life is fairly short-lived. She only takes down a few Saviors and eats a number of zombies before sacrificing herself to a hoard in order to save Ezekiel. Just as it’s impractical to have a pet tiger, it’s also impractical to have one as a character on a live-action show. We just hope the showrunners give Shiva the chance to shine before they put her down.
3. Won’t Happen — Multiple Fights Between Rick And Negan
By this point in the comic, Rick and Negan have already exchanged a few blows, once after Glenn’s death and then again in Alexandria. In the show, however, the two arch enemies have largely kept their hands off each other, despite Rick promising that he will one day kill Negan and Negan’s constant prodding for Rick take a swing at him. The closest thing we’ve gotten to a fight so far is Rick charging at Negan with a hatchet, only to have Negan stop him dead with the threat of a machine gun.
On the show, tensions seem far too high for Rick and Negan to partake in a few lower-stakes fist fights. If the two are going to go at it, it’s going to be to the bitter end, or at least until one group has definitively overtaken the other. Therefore, we think it’s safe to assume that the two will only have one ultimate throw down near the war’s end.
2. Will Happen — The Allies Retreating To The Hilltop
In the comic, after Rick attacks the Sanctuary and the Saviors unleash their explosives on Alexandria, the allies retreat to the Hilltop for one final battle between good and evil. This is where Rick and Negan have their final showdown, which begins with Rick offering up a truce before pulling a knife and nicking Negan’s throat.
Though anything is ultimately possible in the next eight episodes of the series, the move to Hilltop Colony still seems logical enough. After all, once the war gets started, Negan will likely seek revenge on Rick’s community first, and between the Kingdom and the Hilltop, the latter seems to have the best defenses, as higher wall and a better vantage point are always preferable when it comes to guerilla-type warfare.
While assembling all of their groups together at the beginning of the war would make them too easy of a target for the Saviors, we expect Rick’s forces will have to come together once the numbers on both sides begin thinning out. We’ve also noticed that footage from the Hilltop has also been more prevalent in the teaser trailers for season 7.5.
1. Won’t Happen — Rick Begging To Save Negan’s Life
So far, when Rick promises to kill someone, he hasn’t gone back on his word. However, in the comics, Rick undergoes a serious change near the war’s end. He gets serious about rebuilding the world as it once was, and while Negan is near death on the battle ground, Rick commands his men to save his life before he receives any treatment of his own. Rick goes on to imprison Negan, keeping him locked up in his own basement in Alexandria where Negan is forced to watch for years as Rick rebuilds and flourishes.
It will be interesting to see if the showrunners decide to keep Negan alive following the war’s end. After all, Morgan has already built a nifty jail cell in his basement at Alexandria. But even if Rick decides to keep Negan alive, we highly doubt that Rick will be the one begging to save Negan’s life in the midst of war. Rick has had daggers in his eyes for the past nine episodes, and he’s going to need serious convincing from his followers if he’s ever going to extend some mercy to the man who killed some of his closest friends.
So what do you think will happen in season 7.5 of The Walking Dead? Do you think Oceanside will join the fight against the Saviors? Be sure to place your bets before it’s too late!