SPOILER WARNING: Major plot points from both AMC's "The Walking Dead" and the Image Comics series follow.
Although I'm still more than a little annoyed over "The Walking Dead's" ending to Sunday's Season Six finale, that's not going to stop me from making predictions about the identity of Negan's victim! Why care about something that bothered me so much? Why give more power to what might be the most controversial cliffhanger to ever air on an American television show? That's the kind of Stockholm Syndrome this show has given me.
But let's set aside the psychology and personal grudges for a moment. Who do you think Negan killed? According to Executive Producer Greg Nicotero, even the cast was left in the dark, the (anti) climactic scene filmed with only Jeffrey Dean Morgan and a small rig for him to hit with Negan's barbed-wire baseball bat in attendance. And while Norman Reedus claims to know all we know Lucille's victim, for all we know the show's writers could still be deciding themselves.
With all that in mind, here are our power rankings for who bites the big one, from least likely to most likely.
Right before he bashes in the head of the mystery victim, Negan tells his Saviors to take out Carl's other eye if he tries anything stupid, meaning the boy isn't the one he's hitting. Also, if we're going off of what we know about the character in the comics, he usually deplores violence toward children (even though he makes the threat quite often). Carl's safe.
As Negan tells Rick, his plan is to mobilize the people of Alexandria into working for him after his butchery is finished. He'll need Rick to do that. And would the show really have the guts to kill off their lead? Hell no. Rick lives to fight another day (and probably many more afterward).
Earlier in the scene, Abraham volunteers to sacrifice himself as Negan's victim, which the Saviors' leader promptly laughs off. There's no way he's going to give his enemy that kind of satisfaction. Abraham surely survives, even though he'd be more than happy not to.
There's no reason for Negan not to kill Aaron, but the character's so benevolent and somewhat minor that his death would have little impact. It would be a safe move for the show, so it's one that probably won't happen.
Although she's played a bigger part than Aaron, Sasha's death wouldn't have quite the same weight as one of the more veteran cast members, plus it still feels like there's more of her story to tell. Her death is certainly a possibility -- especially if Negan picks up on any kind of visual clue that it would hurt Abraham -- but still unlikely.
The show still hasn't confirmed exactly what's wrong with her medically, but if she's miscarrying, it seems overly cruel for the writers to have her get her head bashed in while going through that. And if she's not miscarrying, that means Negan unknowingly kills her unborn child as well. To be fair though, the comics have had no problem going down similar paths before. That makes Maggie a maybe, but we're still betting against it.
Now we're getting into "probably" territory. "Last Day On Earth" set up this fan favorite for a minor victory lap. He figured out how to get the bullet-manufacturing plant up and running, volunteered to go on the dangerous mission to save Maggie, and had a brief moment of triumph when starting to drive the RV back to Alexandria (this was quickly ruined by The Saviors). While a swift death at the hands of Negan would undermine these successes, his arc also feels somewhat complete, and his demise would definitely be a blow to both fans and the other characters on the series. Eugene's a maybe.
There are many other characters whose deaths would be more impactful, but I'm still guessing the victim is one of the four people already captured by The Saviors at the start of the episode. It makes sense, right? The only times the episode uses a POV shot are when they're sitting inside their makeshift prison and when the camera switches to the vision of Negan's victims. I'm going to put more faith in the show than perhaps I should and assume that it's playing by its own rules. If that's the case, then the victim is definitely Rosita, Glenn, Michonne or Daryl. Of those four though, Rosita feels the most inconsequential.
Highly likely, but it would also be trolling to the nth degree when considering that the writers already tried to trick the audience into thinking he was killed back in "Thank You." Then again, he is Negan's first victim in the comics...
Of all the possible deaths, hers would be the most shocking to fans. Outside of Rick, Carl and Andrea, Michonne remains the longest-surviving character in the comics, plus she's got such a rich backstory and a seeming indestructibility about her. If the writers really want us to feel that baseball bat to the head, they would have Negan go for her.
When The Saviors haul their four captors out of their temporary holding cell, Daryl's the first one at the door, meaning the POV shot we've been seeing throughout the episode is most likely his. Also, there have been rumors of Norman Reedus leaving the show, and he even has "Ride With Norman Reedus" coming up, a new AMC reality series where he travels to different cities on motorcycle. While it's currently slated for only six episodes in June, who knows what his contract for the future looks like. Could he be thinking of leaving "The Walking Dead?" Even worse, did the writers choose to bide their time with a major story decision because of a reality show? At this point, I wouldn't put it past them.
Who do you think Negan's first victim is? Let us know in the comments.