Jeffrey Dean Morgan finally made his debut in The Walking Dead as Negan in the Season 6 finale “Last Day on Earth,” and immediately brought the pain. As predicted, Negan used his barbed wire slugger Lucille to do what she does best: Killing. Negan’s pissed he’s lost a lot of men by Rick’s doing, and he’s looking for retribution. And now we’re looking to figure out who got up-close and personal with Lucille.
Surprisingly, even the cliffhanger ending caught everyone off guard, including Morgan himself. “I didn’t know it was going to be a cliffhanger until I watched the show,” Morgan explained in an interview with Variety following the episode. “I don’t know if any of the cast knew how exactly it was going to end, which caused a lot of the uncertainty and emotion to be going on.”
He added: “I have to trust these writers and show runners, they know what they’re doing.” He also assured Season 7 will definitively reveal who got their head bashed in.
Because The Walking Dead likes to tease its audience, the identity of Negan’s first victim won’t be revealed for another six months, until the show returns for its seventh season this fall. Hope you like waiting! The Walking Dead makes its viewers do that, a lot.
However, we can at least try to deduce who was the most likely to get the kiss of death from Lucille. We can likely rule out two potential candidates: Carl (Chandler Riggs) and leader Rick (Andrew Lincoln). Pay attention to what Negan says right before he swings for the fences:
“Anybody moves, anybody says anything, cut the boy’s other eye out and feed it to his dad.”
Negan, of course, is referring to Carl who lost his right eye in the midseason premiere, and his father, Rick. The character is as gross, twisted, and frankly insensitive as he was in the comics, and we wouldn’t have him any other way. But who does that leave open for the kill?
We should also rule out Morgan (Lennie James) and Carol (Melissa McBride), who fans were guessing would be killed by Negan in the finale. A subplot forced those two to separate from the rest of the group, so they’ve been spared. For now.
If you’re guessing Glenn (Steven Yuen) you may be on the right track. Glenn was Negan’s victim in the comic book, and in the finale he nearly fulfilled that destiny by bursting out of line to protect Maggie (Lauren Cohan). The Walking Dead totally knows you know about Glenn’s death in the graphic novels, and it’s been gleefully toying with viewers all this season, putting the poor guy in front of so many near-deaths.
But what if it wasn’t Glenn? The most expendable of the lot is easily Aaron (Ross Marquand), but The Walking Dead wouldn’t take someone who doesn’t matter. It will be six months before we find out, and if it was Aaron, you can bet Walking Dead viewers would change the channel, maybe for real this time. As I guessed last week, it could be Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Michonne (Danai Gurira), or Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) because no way would Negan let the group keep its most formidable soldiers. Side note: Wasn’t it so weird to see Abraham and even Daryl (Norman Reedus) be vulnerable for once?
Speaking of Daryl: Nope, it’s unlikely that Negan killed him. Not only is Norman Reedus too much of a ratings attraction, they likely wouldn’t let a fan favorite go out in such a dramatically unsatisfying way. It’d be a major shock, but beyond that it’s not even a good story. Daryl doesn’t have much to lose except disappointing Walking Dead fans for not being there. Not that fans aren’t already disappointed anyway.