Can you believe it’s been over 5 months since the Walking Dead season 6 finale? As the new season premiere draws closer (only 6 weeks to go), it seems like everyone and their mother has some idea or theory about who was on the receiving end of Negan’s bat.
Copious amounts of text has been meticulously typed on various entertainment sites; the blogosphere is abuzz with tips and clues. Every nerdy YouTube channel has freeze-framed those last few minutes of the finale and studied the shadows and trees in the background to figure out who Lucille’s victim might be.
ComiCon came and went and the cast and crew of TWD were as tight-lipped as ever about the controversial cliffhanger. The producers were extremely careful is selecting the scenes that made it into the Season 7 trailer. Georgia locals keep a keen eye out for sightings, trying to figure out who out of the main cast is missing from shooting. Fans scour the actors’ IMDb pages to see if they’re otherwise engaged in upcoming projects.
The internet exploded once again when Daryl’s nemesis Dwight was spotted wearing the iconic leather winged vest, threats of rioting were reiterated, and every fan you ask has a well-documented theory about who Negan offed in the finale.
The reality is, we’re much closer to finding out than we were during the initial uproar…
… and yet, I don’t really care.
After all the drama, one thing we know for sure is that someone dies. Someone we’ve come to care about a lot over the past six years. Maybe multiple someones, given that the theory gaining the most momentum lately is the one that would have Negan dispatch two victims rather than just one (I suppose the rationale is, double the deaths, double the shock value?).
The thing is, we already know someone dies. We’ve known that for a while. So will finding out exactly who it is make us feel better? No, because it’s all about the loss. Since the very beginning of the show, that has been the main driving force for the characters: loss of life, their loved ones, their security, their homes and the places they temporarily called their homes. Loss of humanity, of trust, of all those things that knock these characters down only to have them come back up again, stronger but decidedly changed.
The story is more about how these people deal with their losses, and undoubtedly season 7 will be all about Rick and co. coping with this major change in their circumstances. Whoever dies, the result is pretty much the same. So does it matter if we can venture an accurate guess a few months in advance? What’s the gain in that? Bragging to our fellow TWD fans that we got it right?
Whoever Negan killed, we’ve had a few months to come to terms with it. The element of surprise is pretty much a goner, but the suspense is still there. In that sense, the cliffhanger wasn’t a total fluke. But TWD has a lot to make up for now. This needs to be a dynamite season.
If not, we riot 😉