Now you might be thinking, “Not another 'who did Negan kill' article,” but wait — this one comes on the heels of The Walking Dead executive producer Greg Nicotero talking about the Season 6 finale during a recent interview with EW:
"If we would have shown the deaths, then they wouldn’t have felt our characters in Season 7 the way they need to.”
"Deaths," not "death"? Does this mean that Negan killed more than one person? It might. Nicotero's slip of the tongue (if it was that) is definitely a game-changer when it comes to theorizing who got offed during the finale.
I don't know about you, but I absolutely loathe cliffhanger endings. I barely have the patience for my Hot Pocket to warm up let alone wait months for my favorite show to come back on to give me some resolution. For that reason, my nose has been pressed up against my television screen studying the last 11 minutes of the Season 6 finale since it was released on Blu-ray. I’ve watched Negan swinging Lucille at regular speed, at various speeds, and frame-by-frame, and you know what? It paid off because I believe I have a pretty good idea who Negan killed.
Rick Grimes & The Gang Singing Kumbayah
I had to consider several things before coming to my conclusion. The first thing was where Rick and the gang were positioned in relation to objects and each other. Below is a drawing of mine that details where everyone was positioned and noteworthy objects for reference. Robert Kirkman — if you're reading this — looks like you know who to call if Charlie Adlard can’t draw TWD anymore.
The Dead Tree Next To The Van Down By The River
Just moments before Negan started swinging Lucille we can see that he is standing in front of a bunch of trees. The most notable of those trees is the dead one next to the van, and some spider web-looking trees. Notice that the dead tree is over Negan's right shoulder (the left side of the screen) and the spider web looking trees are directly over Negan's left shoulder (the right side of the screen).
I know what you're thinking: Where's the van? Remember, we are looking at Negan from the perspective of his victim, who is on their knees looking up. So it would make sense that we can't see the van.
Also noteworthy is that we can see that light is shining on the left and right side of Negan's face. This would make me believe that he is standing more towards the middle of the group based on where the headlights are shining from.
The Trees Are The Smoking Gun
The dead tree and the spider web-looking trees showed up in the exact same places earlier in the episode when Negan was looking at Abraham. Too coincidental if you ask me.
Why Abraham Meets Lucille
In the comics, Abraham ends up dying with an arrow through his right eye in Issue 98. Interestingly, earlier in Season 6, Denise died how Abraham did in the comics. I felt as though Denise's death was a way to make us (the comic book readers) feel as though Abraham was safe, but after watching the finale and seeing the trees behind Negan, I'm convinced that Abraham is as good as dead.
Abraham's death would make us feel something for Sasha due to her romantic relationship with Abraham that developed during Season 6. Killing Abraham while leaving Sasha alive would fall in line with what Nicotero said about the deaths making us feel something for the characters in Season 7.
Who Else Is Eligible To Meet Lucille?
The obvious answer is Glenn, but I'm a gambling man so I'm going to go out on a limb (pun intended) and say that my tree theory applies to Maggie as well since she is positioned next to Abraham. Knocked-up-Maggie getting knocked off would send fans into a tizzy and definitely accomplish what Nicotero said about wanting the deaths to make us feel something for those characters that live on.
It hasn't been until recently that Negan has killed a woman in the comics so I don't think it's out of character for him to kill Maggie. In fact, Negan commented during the finale how bad Maggie looked and how he should put her out of her misery.
Killing Maggie would do two things: 1) the audience would feel for Glenn, which is something that Nicotero wants us to experience in Season 7 and 2) Glenn and Rick would have something in common — losing a wife, which could create more story potential.
I'll be honest, Maggie is a waste of space in the comics right now. She doesn't really add anything to the story. If she dies in the show, I think her death would have a greater impact on the overall story much like when Lorri and Judith died in the comics.
Should Glenn get the bat, here's a touching video tribute to all that he's done on the show over the past six seasons: