In the season finale of "The Walking Dead" Season 6, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) selected a member of Rick Grimes' crew and beat them to death. However, the episode cut to black before it revealed who had met their untimely end, leaving fans to stew over it until Season 7 debuts this fall. Speaking to EntertainmentWeekly, director Greg Nicotero discussed the decision to leave the dead character's identity a mystery -- and then suggested that this character won't be the only one to bite the dust in the Season 7 premiere.
"I would have still supported doing it the way that we did it, because of the fact that the story doesn’t end there. If we would have shown the deaths, then they wouldn’t have felt our characters in season 7 the way they need to," Nicotero explained. "And the thing that I think a lot of people will get out of it is how that moment changes the entire makeup of our universe within a split second. And it’s that moment that launches our entire season 7 into that direction."
Notably, Nicotero refers to "deaths" -- that is, more than one. While fans are acutely aware that one member of Rick's group will die in the Season 7 premiere, Nicotero's comment suggests that another character can and will meet their end at Negan's hands.
"So if we would have done it at the end of season 6, it wouldn’t have had the same impact. And I guarantee you people will tell me I’m wrong, and people will tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’m speaking from my perception and my opinion. So I feel like starting season 7 it’s like, we’ll give the audience a better emotional place with which to process what happens and really be able to understand how it changes every single person moving forward," he added.
“The Walking Dead” returns to AMC on Sunday, October 23.