Ever since The Walking Dead aired its season 6 finale back in April, the biggest question among fans of the AMC zombie series has been, “Who did Negan kill?" Following episodes worth of buildup and an extended monologue, the series’ new villain (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) swung his baseball bat, Lucille, and struck a fatal blow against some regular cast member.
Which cast member has died, of course, remains a closely held secret and will remain one until the series returns for season 7 in October, despite various clues from interviews and other sources in the months since. But who says it’s only one death? Might there be more than one death to come, in this post-apocalyptic series that has never been shy about killing off series regulars? There are now indications that that’s the case.
One of The Walking Dead’s executive producers, Greg Nicotero, in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, referred to “deaths," as in plural, when talking about the cliffhanger. When asked in the interview whether he’s bothered by fan criticism of the cliffhanger, Nicotero said this:
"But I’d say in retrospect, I don’t think we would have changed anything. I would have still supported doing it the way that we did it, because of the fact that the story doesn’t end there. If we would have shown the deaths, then they wouldn’t have felt our characters in season 7 the way they need to. And the thing that I think a lot of people will get out of it is how that moment changes the entire makeup of our universe within a split second. And it’s that moment that launches our entire season 7 into that direction."
It certainly sounds like Nicotero is implying that multiple characters are going to die in The Walking Dead season 7 premiere. Was this a slip of the tongue, and the sort of thing that might get Nicotero in trouble? Possibly, although the EW reporter did not ask a follow-up question of that nature.
Then again, the multiple-deaths theory would go against all of the hype and marketing that the series has done for the last six months, indicating that there’s one death and only one. But even if that is the case, we can be sure that more deaths will soon follow no matter what; this is The Walking Dead, after all. However many deaths there are, we’ll find out for sure who lived and who died soon enough.
The Walking Dead season 7 premieres October 23rd, 2016, on AMC.