“All Out War” is over on The Walking Dead, but it looks like a civil war is just beginning. Is Maggie planning to square off against Rick and Michonne, or will killing Negan be enough to ease her rage and grief? Here’s how the season 8 finale’s ending could really play out, according to the comics.
Rick has finally put an end to Negan’s reign of terror, but rather than giving Negan a taste of his own medicine, Officer Friendly chose to throw the villain in jail as an example of a more civilized future. Maggie, understandably, was distraught and felt betrayed by Rick’s actions. Mrs. Rhee promised Jesus and Daryl that Rick and Michonne would be shown the error of the ways, which naturally has fans worried about what that vague threat means.
If this storyline plays out the way it does in the books, this could actually be a massive misdirection. In The Walking Dead comics, Maggie is equally as upset with Rick over his decision to spare Negan. But she doesn’t kill the fallen Savior, nor does she take her vengeance out on Rick personally. She simply chooses for the Hilltop to dole out justice in a different manner than Alexandria. Rather than allowing her prisoners to take up residency in permanent jail cells, Maggie reintroduces corporal punishment to The Walking Dead universe. In her mind, she is still helping to further civilization, since the death sentence was around long before walkers ever were. She just sees justice in a more “eye for an eye” sort of way than Rick does. Unsurprisingly, she begins with the Hilltop’s former leader, Gregory – executing him by hanging for his endangerment of her people.
There are already signs that this could be the direction the series is planning to take. Season 8 spent a lot of time focusing on Maggie’s mistreatment of the people imprisoned in the Hilltop. She was quick to cut their rations and shut down their requests for a little time outside their pen. Though she did relent in the end, it’s not a stretch to say the mercy Rick showed Negan could have rehardened her heart toward those she sees as criminals.
The season 8 finale did certainly seem to imply that a civil war is brewing in the near future, but this franchise has proven that it isn’t above faking out viewers to create a little buzz. Take Glenn’s widely-despised season 6 dumpster dive, or Morales’ basically pointless season 8 return. While some viewers may have been confused or even disappointed by the seemingly out of character heel turn presented by Maggie, Jesus, and Daryl in the finale, they may be even more upset if the storyline proves to have nothing to do with Rick or Negan in the slightest.
Then again, perhaps the show really will stray from the comics, and we’ll see Rick having to fight the enemy within when The Walking Dead returns.
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