This season of The Walking Dead has fans on pins and needles, waiting to find out who makes it past the finale, which is now only one episode away. The introduction of the series' latest big bad, Negan, will almost certainly be a bloody one, and several cast members have called the finale the darkest one to date. Steven Yeun, the actor who portrays Glenn, is particularly excited for Negan's arrival, though we're not sure he should be.
Alexandria has many residents in addition to the main group, and not all of them are going to make it past season 6. The finale will likely feature the death of major main character, and there’s no reason to suggest that the bloodshed will end there. The survivors of the zombie apocalypse have some truly dark days ahead of them.
Possible show (and definite comic) SPOILERS lie ahead as we count down the 12 Walking Dead characters that may meet their maker by season 6's end.
The old saying goes that time heals all wounds, and Michonne is a clear example. The hero was once a loving mother with a husband and family. When the world descended into chaos, she lost everything. She became a cold-hearted, emotionless killer, completely incapable of connecting with others, as it was the only way she could survive by herself after the loss of her family. In the very recent past, however, she's become Rick’s girlfriend and a surrogate mother for Carl.
Ultimately, The Walking Dead is the story of Rick Grimes’ path through the zombie apocalypse. Losing his wife, Lori, nearly drove him insane. In many ways, the relationship with Michonne is even stronger, because it's battle tested…literally. It’s a dynamic relationship that’s grown through the seasons. They are both damaged and only through each other have they found peace. Her death would deal a major blow to Rick and evoke a strong reaction from the audience, many of whom still can't believe that "Richonne" has finally become a thing. But are the showrunners finally going to allow Rick to enjoy an iota of happiness in his romantic life?
Rick’s infant daughter, Judith, represents not only the group’s innocence and Rick’s soul, but also its future. She’s the next generation. Negan’s arrival has been compared to an “atomic bomb” dropping — everything will change.
Judith's journey into this world was brutal and left her motherless. She’s never known anything but the zombie-filled world of The Walking Dead. What better way to devastate the group — and its leader, specifically — than the death of his baby girl? Grimes has been brought to the brink of insanity and turned into a brutal, cold-blooded killer. Judith’s death could push him over the edge and create the kind of leader that can take on the series' most prolific bad guy to date. Negan is a force of nature, and Rick may need to lose his soul to defeat him. Would Negan be so callous and cruel as to kill an innocent baby? Negan is the closest the show has come to evil incarnate, so it's definitely a possibility. If nothing else, this would be a heart-breakingly effective way for the series to approach the darker tone of the comics that inspired it.
In the comics, Eugene’s intellect makes him a valued and important part of the group in Alexandria. In the series, he’s still a strange, awkward man. His story begins with lying to Abraham about who he was, and he’s still earning trust back, but time may be running out for the no longer mulleted nerd. In the comics, the pair are kidnapped by Negan’s group. It’s the event that leads to Abraham’s death, one that was clearly teased last week.
Given that the show likes to change things up, it’s possible Eugene may die instead. His dying wish could be to have Abraham take care of his crush, Rosita. He’s finally come into his own in recent weeks, showing bravery and fortitude in the face of danger. He might be in a strong enough place to sacrifice himself for the greater good. This would be an excellent way to end his arc, which started from a place of selfishness. Given his intellect and the bullet-making project, which is his forte in the comics, Eugene may just survive the season, but it's far from a sure thing.
Carl is Rick Grimes' only son, and while the relationship hasn't always been an ideal one, their devotion to each other is never in question. The teen is finally regaining his humanity in Alexandria, after drifting dangerously close to becoming a cold blooded killer. His first brush with death occurred when he was shot in the chest back season 2, but recovered back to full health at Herschel’s farm. He lost an eye in this past mid-season finale, but can he survive the coming trials?
Killing Carl would be a reasonable strategy for Negan to hurt Rick and bring him down. Of course, he doesn't know that Carl helps to keep Rick's violence reigned in. The single father carefully tries to be a realistic role model for his son without turning him into a broken, heartless killer. Carl's death would either completely unhinge Rick like losing Lori nearly did, or unleash a bloodthirsty beast. Carl is still thriving in the comics, but for a show like The Walking Dead, straying from source material isn't a problem.
8 Father Gabriel
Alexandria’s resident clergyman has had more than his fair share of cowardice-induced brushes with death. His entire story arc has been about his lacking the courage to act during the zombie apocalypse. He betrayed the group to Alexandria leader Deanna and left the gate open to allow a zombie inside the compound. Gabriel believed the group was brutal and not deserving of such a peaceful community, but he’s since changed his ways. It’s only recently that he’s accepted his role and the necessity for killing in the new world. He’s certainly not going to be the main loss, but he’s a good candidate for a smaller-scale death.
Perhaps he’ll sacrifice himself for the greater good as a shot at redemption. The Walking Dead has a habit of building someone up and then taking them down. Maggie’s sister Beth found her strength when she was kidnapped and then died standing up for herself. A similar fate could lie ahead for the good Father.
Spencer has been in a bad head space since we first met him at Alexandria. The son of Deanna was not very appreciative of the Grimes-led group when they first arrived. He’s made several attempts to be useful, but he hasn't done much as of yet, and he's even displayed a reckless streak at times. After the walker raid that killed his mother, Spencer managed to hunt down and take out his walker mother, which possibly concluded the character’s story arc. There’s no clear direction to take the character, especially considering the fact that he isn't exactly a fan-favorite.
Given his penchant for recklessness, his shelf life on TWD could be short. He's also just started a no-strings romance with the newly single Rosita, and having a relationship in The Walking Dead is like painting a bulls-eye on your back (just look at Denise). Don’t be surprised if he’s one of the auxiliary losses leading up to the big death.
No one would kill a pregnant woman, would they? Sarah Wayne Callies’ Lori died right after giving birth to Judith, so it’s not too far of a stretch. Glenn and Maggie are fan-favorites, but they’ve been a couple for a long time, and are far and away the longest running pair on the series. She’s also a good surrogate for Glenn if producers decide to go with a less obvious (but still crushing) death.
A recent Entertainment Weekly interview with Lauren Cohan also raised concerns, "[Hearing] the word 'finale' gives me a physical reaction, because it's the hardest day on set that I've ever had in my life... I never even imagined that as an actor you could have that experience.” She doesn't sound too hopeful, does she?. Also, Cohan has taken on several film projects, including the recently released The Boy, Batman v Superman and All Eyez on Me. Perhaps the final nail in her coffin is a noticeable hairstyle change, which could be a way of separating herself from the character.
Everyone expects Glenn to die, and that may just be what saves him. In the comics, Negan kills Glenn with his baseball bat, Lucille. It’s a death that has been talked about since rumors of Negan’s arrival began. Glenn is another favorite of the fans. He’s been with the group since season 1, and has always help lift the group up when things got rough. He’s essentially the heart and soul.
If the Negan's introduction to the show follows the comic, then Glenn’s days are numbered, plain and simple. Given his brushes with death under the dumpster and at Alexandria, producers seem to be playing with people’s emotions. They even removed Glenn from the credits after the dumpster fiasco until finally revealing his fate a few episodes later. With the foreknowledge of his comic demise, the impact of his death would be lessened considerably. It’s still one of the most intense scenes in the comics, so the fact that we might see it coming may not be enough to save him.
Morgan has been the moral conscience of the show, often butting heads with other members of the group. His views on killing have caused rifts to say the least, and his latest behavior seems as if the previous madness he suffered in earlier seasons may be returning. He desperately wants the group to put aside its violent ways in favor of harmony and mercy. Could this result in him making yet another a fatal mistake?
He built a cage to hold prisoner, but his previous attempt to look for the good in people was disastrous. While an amazingly skilled combatant, he’s hesitant to kill people, and with Negan’s group, that’s enough to cost him his life. Morgan also dies in the comics after being bitten by a walker. Michonne cuts off the infected limb, but he dies from blood loss. The context in the comics is far different than in the show, so it may have little impact on his fate. He might eek out another season or two.
In the comics, Carol died a long time ago, but the television character is far different from the comic’s version. She’s transformed herself from a battered wife into a fiercely loyal mother figure for the entire group, a true warrior. When people mess with her family, she puts them down. Even when her actions weren’t supported by the group, she justified it because it was always in their best interest. When the illness threatened to decimate the prison community, she murdered and burned the infected. When the group was kidnapped by the Terminus cannibals, she single-handedly took down the compound. When she arrived at Alexandria, Carol put herself in the role of Holly Housewife while playing spy for the Grimes group.
All the endless killing combined with Morgan’s peaceful influence has apparently led to a (overly-forced?) crisis of conscience. She shot one of Negan’s group in the arm instead of killing him, and that merciful act led to Maggie’s and her capture. A similar mistake when facing Negan could get her killed. When you take into account her recent departure from Alexandria and her admittance that she can’t kill anymore, the odds are stacked against her. At this point, death may be something she’s okay with.
Daryl is a creation of the television series and draws the biggest fanbase of anyone on the show. Rumors of his demise have come before, leading to the “if Daryl dies, we riot” movement, but that doesn’t mean he’s safe. He’s been given a significant amount of time on camera since the winter break, including a buddy adventure episode with Rick. The producers are putting him front and center, which could be a bad sign.
Many fans hoped he and Carol would become a couple, but her recent romantic encounter with fellow Alexandrian Tobin might have crushed the chances of that. Furthermore, new character Jesus is similar to Daryl, the resourceful fighter, so does The Walking Dead need them both? The strongest evidence is of course the fact that Reedus is set to star in his own television show called “Ride with Norman Reedus.” An actor needs a lot of time to star in his own reality series. The schedule for The Walking Dead can be grueling, so doing both seems impossible. At the very least, Reedus may step back from the show.
The red-haired muscle of the team has been front and center these last few weeks, and not always in a good way. He broke up with his girlfriend Rosita in a shockingly callous scene, presumably so that he would be free to pursue Sasha. This may have been a move designed to reduce likeability and cushion the blow of his death for viewers. This tactic would ease the emotional impact on the audience, so the sense of loss would be far more dramatic when a main character dies at Negan’s hand. Plus, his heart appears to be set on Sasha, who has a history of tragically losing any men she cares about, including her brother, Tyrese, and boyfriend, Bob.
The biggest factor against Abraham, of course, is that he's dead in the comics. He was killed early in the introduction of The Saviors, and the series is quickly getting to that point in the story. The days of everyone's favorite catchphrase creator could be numbered.
Who do you think is the most likely candidate for the grave? Let us know in the comments.