After the brutal and bloody season 6 finale of The Walking Dead, fans were left stuck hanging on to a cliff. The finale may have earned the amount of fan backlash prompting the showrunners to defend their decisions, but fans are still dying to know whose head got bashed in by Negan and his barb-wired bat.
While it's usually an impossible task to keep such a huge death a complete secret in-between seasons of a TV show, it is somehow still a mystery that The Walking Dead has managed to keep under-wraps thus far. Fans who are hoping that the big death reveal will take place sooner than later should appreciate the latest update on the matter, too.
In an interview with EW, Walking Dead executive producer (and season 7 premiere director) Greg Nicotero confirmed that The Walking Dead season 7 premiere will reveal Negan’s victim. However, it might take place a little later than sooner in the 90 minute episode, according to Nicotero:
"Obviously, we’ll find out in the first episode. Truthfully, in terms of the structure of it, we’re still editing it right now. We’re still playing around with that particular episode. It’s not finished yet so I really can’t say."
Nicotero went on to explain that the season 7 premiere will be much different than the season 6 premiere:
"It’s definitely not the season 6 premiere in terms of quarries with 40,000 walkers in it. Every single season premiere is different. Every single season premiere has a different flavor to it, and I think knowing where we ended season 6, and knowing that we’re picking up season 7 in that emotionally drained hostage situation — you’ll get some flavors of a bunch of different aspects of it, but I don’t think there’s anything quite as quarry-like, or like the attack on Terminus, as we’ve done in the past."
And again, why the character's death wasn't revealed during the season 6 finale:
"It’s a much different story because we’re opening a different chapter, and one thing you’ve got to think about is this death changes who our characters are and propels them in a different direction. That’s one of the reasons why we felt that having the death in the premiere episode was warranted. Yeah, it’s a cliffhanger and I get that people were anxious and excited about knowing what happened, and seeing where it goes with the story, but truth of the matter is, that death propels our story forward, and has a direct effect on people. And that’s why you really want it to be the anchor point of our season 7 as opposed to the parting moment of season 6, and then sort of starting already partially into our story."
The first trailer for The Walking Dead season 7 will debut at the show’s Comic-Con panel on Friday, July 22nd in Hall H. Whoever Negan killed will be at the show's panel because AMC is bringing out the entire cast: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Chandler Riggs, Michael Cudlitz, Sonequa Martin-Green, Christian Serratos, Ross Marquand, Josh McDermitt and of course, Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick will moderate as the entire cast and executive producers Scott M. Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, and David Alpert try their best to keep the big death reveal under-wraps.
For the sake of sanity, we are really hoping some that hints are dropped at Comic-Con International this Friday. We can safely assume that the new trailer coming our way in the next few days will show less of the dead character and more of the surviving cast. After seeing the trailer, it might be easy to piece together who lives on in season 7, and which character is clearly missing. At least we know that Morgan is still alive from recent production photos.
The Walking Dead season 7 premieres on AMC on Sunday, October 9th, 2016.