Let’s hit the pause button. If you didn’t watch the episode, you shouldn’t be here. Turn away, click this window closes and go watch. Being served up spoilers isn’t the problem, really. It’s that you need to see it and experience it for yourself.
Still, that being said:
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Like a skull marking danger on a bottle of poison, don’t say we didn’t warn you. There will be spoilers here and there will be deep hard feels.
Why Abraham and Glenn Had to Die
As we predicted all along, Abraham and Glenn were both killed. There, we said it. If we spoiled it, that’s on you.
But those two guys being on the receiving end of Lucille wasn’t even a shock. We sifted through the logic and it made sense for them to be the two.
Abraham was without a doubt the top choice all along. Go back and watch the season 6 finale. No one was more defiant than ol’ Abe. Heck, watch any episode ever with this dude. He’s just too much of a badass. Negan, as cruel, sick and twisted as he may appear, he’s extremely smart.
I even think there was a disturbing respect play there, as Negan just knew almost immediately that Abraham was the one that had to die. He was big, strong and of the entire group, if there was one character who would never be broken, he was it.
The only way to break Abraham was to truly break him physically, via a bat to the head until he was dead.
Abraham made even more sense than that.
When we first met him, he was losing his mind and will to live. His family was all dead and he was about to kill himself. The Eugene stumbled into his life and – although the reasoning was all a lie – gave him purpose and a reason to trudge on.
After that, Abraham eventually discovered true hope in the group’s unity and closeness, as well as the receptive, loving arms of Sasha. He had come full circle in his TWD journey and, as most characters we see this happen with, he was ready to go.
There is even a third reasons for Abraham getting Lucille’d: He gets killed in the comics. Denise got the arrow through the eye that was meant for him in the comic books, so Abraham’s death was arguably only a matter of time.
For the show itself, one extra piece we noticed that helped us call Abraham as the first death was both his defiance and toughness. Really only one person in that lineup could get back up, stare Negan in the face and draw the classic “taking it like a champ” line.
Abraham’s death made sense and though horrifying and sad, it was completely necessary.
It was necessary for the show, as numerous interesting and powerful characters are coming to the forefront. Obviously, Negan and The Saviors are here now, plus King Ezekiel and The Kingdom will be making their presence known, as well.
Then there’s the case of Glenn’s death.
This is obviously a tribute to the comics, as Glenn initially died by the hand of Negan’s bat and it was a horrific moment even in print. On screen, it was all of the horror we feared it would be, as Glenn’s eye popping out was grotesque and the moment where he called out for Maggie was truly haunting.
That moment and really this entire moment was 100% necessary. Why?
Because we had to feel it.
The Walking Dead show runners wanted to put us there with the group. We had to fear Negan and truly know him and the pain, the consequences and everything that goes along with being under Negan and The Saviors.
Taking away two beloved characters without hesitation was part of that, but it was two-fold. This wasn’t just Negan issuing some payback, but it was also Negan showing the group that he has zero qualms about taking them down a peg or three for any reason.
What to Make of Negan
Negan is the classic catch-22 character. He is a total badass. He’s got the black leather jacket, the slicked back black hair, the grizzled beard, the red bandana around his neck and he beats people up with a barbed wire baseball bat.
He isn’t afraid and he doesn’t really seem to care about proving his point or exercising his power.
You can love or hate that, but his personality is at the very least interesting and you know right away he loves a good psychological battle, and he makes sure right away that he’s not just in total control – but that you are very much aware of it.
Negan is funny, witty and odd. He’s also vicious, cruel and unreachable.
That sinking feeling of two of our favorite characters being gone? That’s thanks to Negan. He decided two people would die so we all knew we weren’t safe.
We’re just the viewers and this is just a television show, but when Negan proves a point, it doesn’t feel so much like a show.
The main point is Negan is a guy you’re supposed to hate. Think King Joffrey in the Game of Thrones. Think Gus Fring in Breaking Bad.
You love how awful this guy is and you want nothing more than to see him dead.
Whether we get our wish is one question, and when we might get it is another. But as much as we find ourselves hating Negan, two things are very clear right away: he’s only getting started and if/when he ever departs The Walking Dead, we’ll probably regret the moment Jeffrey Dean Morgan can’t play him on screen anymore.
Oh, and something tells us that when it’s all said and done, Negan just might go down as the worst/best TV villain ever.
What Happens Next?
Detailing the journey from here on out is a waste of time. If you really want a good spoiler, go back and read The Walking Dead comics.
We’ve handed out the death spoilers, but we’d prefer to resist giving too many specifics away. That, and it’s quite likely the show runners are going to change things up significantly going forward.
For one, the comic universe is still going on and on screen, The Walking Dead is for sure getting at least one more season after season 7. There is so much story to be told, however, especially since it’s quite likely there is still a ton of story to be told from the original source material.
Rick Grimes is the central character and we’ve largely been on this journey with him as the focal point or at least the people directly around him, but TWD creators just killed off two huge characters. Not only does that prepare us for a story tilt with new characters, but it probably tells us no one is truly safe.
There are so many good characters in this series that even Rick Grimes isn’t forever safe (although he’s without a doubt the most compelling character). Grimes probably dies eventually, but even he has a ton of story left to unfold, while his son (Carl) and a litany of characters around them also have story that has yet to unravel.
Heres some quick-hitters we think we can expect in the next two seasons, however:
- Carol’s death
- Carl and Negan’s relationship
- The Kingdom rises
- Rick’s fall and rise
- Daryl vs. Dwight
- All Out War
Again, this is just our own speculation based on what we’ve seen in the comics and/or the direction we feel the show is headed.
- Carol is headed down a dark path. Morgan is trying to save her, but as strong as she once was, she appears pretty broken. Last we saw her, she was even potentially on the brink of death. There has been a teasing of a “suicide storyline” with her and considering she wanted Morgan to leave her for dead, that’s very possible. However, one awesome underlying message in The Walking Dead has always been that you “can go back” to whatever/wherever/whoever in the past. Perhaps Carol is too far gone and has given up, but her fighting back against evil thoughts or mailing it in will naturally be a huge story to follow.
- In the comics, Negan has a weird affinity for Carl. Even though Carl clearly hates him and wants to kill him, Negan can’t help but be impressed with him. How far their relationship goes will be interesting, but it’s likely The Walking Dead touches on it quite a bit.
- The Kingdom and King Ezekiel were teased in season six and we’re going to be introduced to them shortly. How much we see of them and how involved they get with our initial group remains to be seen, but they definitely figure into a more complex storyline moving forward. The Hilltop community and possibly even The Whisperers also figure to be mixed in and obviously with all of these groups, we’re bound to be exposed to a litany of awesome characters, killer storylines and a ton of possibilities. In fact, it would not be shocking at all to see any of these groups earn their own series spinoff on AMC in the future.
- Rick Grimes is such a layered, complex character and even though we’ve seen him be way too passive and over the top like a mad man, we forever find ourselves hoping for him to figure it out and come out on top. He’s a tortured soul, to be sure, and Negan stripped him down as far as we’ve seen him to this point. Rick’s fall won’t last forever because that just isn’t who he is, but season 7 probably isn’t about an immediate bounce back from Rick or many others in the group. It’s about Negan temporarily winning and forcing submission. Rick during that initial period will be tough to watch, but it will only make it more glorious when/if he does rise back up against Negan.
- We’ve gotten a small taste of the Daryl and Dwight rivalry and I feel that’s only getting started. Daryl lashed out in the premier and struck Negan, which got Glenn killed and now has Daryl as a prisoner of The Saviors. He’ll probably get tortured to some degree, but Negan likes his fight and may try to either making him conform or use him as leverage against Rick. Either way, Daryl is a fun character to watch and his wit versus Dwight, Negan and whoever else will be interesting to see play out.
- All Out War, in the comics, is where Rick Grimes is finally confident again and the entire group (and others) wage war with Negan and The Saviors. See, told you there would be spoilers. Exactly when that war comes and how it’s conducted (or won) remains to be seen, but it’s bound to be epic.
- ??? The last thing is what we don’t even know or can dream up. The show has been great at keeping us guessing at every turn and they’ve really crushed it in terms of storytelling and character development. It will be interesting to see how they shift things from the comics and what new characters we see or what new stories are tole. Creator Robert Kirkman always talks about things he regrets from the comics, so we are bound to see new developments.
Abandoning The Walking Dead
One more thing we wanted to spit out, in regards to The Walking Dead season 7 premier; we don’t understand all of the negative fall-out:
People keep saying they’re “done with the show” or won’t watch anymore because the season 7 premier was disgusting and on and on. Those that are ditching TWD at its height are missing the point.
The show did not delay revealing these deaths to mess with us or to merely get ratings. They didn’t have Negan kill two beloved characters or do it in horrific fashion to appease a certain sect of their audience.
This was all done for two key reasons:
- So we felt the pain
- So we could see the new world
By doing this the way they did it, TWD show runners made us part of the moment and showed us just how big of a deal this is for these characters. Not only do they lose two key people in their lives – and that itself is so insanely layered – but they also are being swept up in an entirely new world.
There is an emotional and physical shift in mindset here, as Negan isn’t just flexing his muscles, but he’s completely taking over these people’s lives and rubbing their faces in it.
We haven’t seen a villain this vicious and messed up yet in The Walking Dead. And that’s saying something.
Believe me, we get how grotesque the deaths were. They were gut-wrenching and very tough to watch. But they were supposed to be.
Those two The Walking Dead deaths painted a horrifying picture and it made us feel uneasy about the show. That’s the precise feeling the characters are feeling about their new world. And to that, we say, well done by the TWD creators. Horrifying, but well done, indeed.