If you haven’t cooled off from the rage that Season 6 of AMC’s The Walking Dead caused, you’re not alone.
“The premiere episode of season 7 is going to be hard on everyone . . . Rick, especially,” said The Walking Dead creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman during a Reddit AMA on Monday.
The director’s answer is still vague, yes, but it does narrow the candidates for Negan’s slugger, Lucille. Rick and his son Carl (whom Kirkman said was his favorite during the AMA) can be ruled out, but who does that leave? Michonne is a fan favorite and Rick’s newest romantic interest — a deviation from Kirkman’s comic book series — which only makes characters like Michonne a target for dramatic TV deaths.
But could it still be Glenn? A majority of fans are continuing to bet on the former pizza delivery boy, now husband to Maggie. His fake-out death earlier in Season 6 have only fueled rumors, in addition to the fact it was Glenn whom Negan killed in the comic.
Further in the AMA session, Kirkman was asked about the response to the finale. While he still remained ambiguous, he did say that the unidentified person’s death will have impact
“I just want to point out that a lot of what you seem to hate about the finale are your assumptions of how season 7 will start,” he wrote. “The death will have no impact now, etc. I assure you it will. You’re welcome to be unhappy with the episode that aired. Was it a misstep? Maybe. Only time will tell.
“Also, there’s a lot of assumptions about why we did what we did, ‘ratings grab’ which also isn’t true,” he added. “Standing by our decision doesn’t mean I think you’re immature in any way or wrong to feel the way you do. I just know how much the fanbase is treasured and respected behind the scenes so it bums me out when people make a lot of assumtions [sic].”
What could have turned into a hostile confrontation between creator and fans became a fun engagement full of self-deprecating jabs and light trolling. He was obviously prepared to bear the brunt of Season 6, and did so with gusto including telling one fan to “Fuck off, nerd.” When one fan asked what his favorite ice cream flavor is, he answered: “My favorite flavor of ice cream is Negan killed Carl.”