The premiere of The Walking Dead season 7 is still a little over two months away, which leaves fans just a bit more time to argue over it was Negan beat to death in that agonizing and supremely controversial cliffhanger. Practically everyone has a theory about who met the business end of Lucille, but with AMC having filmed multiple outcomes and the increased security on set, it's unlikely anyone can predict who is Negan's victim with any certainty. Even The Walking Dead's Comic-Con trailer was carefully constructed so as to avoid spoiling the victim's identity, choosing to instead focus on season 7's newcomers.
Once season 7 premieres, however, we'll all know who was the unfortunate soul Negan chose with his taunting game of "eenie meenie minie moe," after which the mourning can begin. And we will mourn, because if the way in which this death occurs in the comics is any indication, witnessing Negan “beat the holy hell out of” a beloved character will be brutal and traumatic.
Actor Ross Marquand, who plays Alexandria resident, Aaron, certainly shares the sentiment, explaining in a recent interview with PopSugar:
"Everyone is expecting it to be devastating, and it is. It's a rough, rough exit, you know? That being said, I think it's a great episode, too. I think it's an episode that people will watch and talk about for years to come, honestly."
Calling having your brains bashed in by a barb-wired baseball bat "rough" is an understatement, especially since whichever actor plays the ill-fated character has presumably had to discuss the death in interviews without giving away their upcoming departure. There should definitely be some sort of pay bonus for pretending you're not going to get killed in the first episode of the next season.
If you're thinking it'd be great to have been on set the day the horrible murder was filmed, you'd be wrong. Marquand explains:
"It was not fun. None of us were having a great time during those scenes. For people in the audience, sitting at home on their couches watching it, they're going to be feeling all the feelings that we felt. It was an absolute loss of someone that we really care a lot about. We say this time and time again, but it's not just a TV show for us — it's a family. When you lose a family member, it's extraordinarily difficult. We felt that death was like losing someone that you really care about."
If the moment of truth was truly that unbearable for those involved, we can only imagine how hard it will hit audiences once the season 7 premiere airs. Until then, there's still time to place your bets on who from The Walking Dead's family we'll lose. It's worth betting on Daryl for the reason there couldn't be a more devastating pick (outside of Glenn, but copying the comics might be too obvious). Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan wants us to think it's neither Daryl or Glenn, but then again, can we really believe him?
The Walking Dead season 7 premieres Sunday, October 23 @9pm on AMC.