Ever since Season 6 of The Walking Dead came to a close almost a lifetime ago, for all we know, fans have been speculating about which one of their dearest favorite cast members will be grotesquely bludgeoned to death by Negan‘s barbed bat, Lucille.
Fans of the comic book series are hip to the fact that this iconic and brutal scene is where fan-favorite Glenn Rhee meets his demise, but the AMC series tends to give the old one-two-fuck-you to the source material whenever it sees fit. It’s my opinion that this should not be one of those cases, and that Glenn‘s character has been through enough of a crescendo (even a faux-death during the same season) to warrant this satisfying and horrific final note. Considering that half of the Season 6 finale was shot through Glenn’s first person perspective, and then we see the character’s death through first person perspective, I think the verdict is pretty obvious. But I’ve been wrong before.
Show runners nixed Abraham‘s comic book death by giving another character the arrow-through-the-eye, leading many to suspect that he will be the character who is made an example of. These are really the only two options that have any kind of source-material plausibility. But some are led to believe that Darryl, a character created solely for the show could be the one who gets Lucille’d. Darryl is a major fan-favorite, and for many, the only reason they’re still watching the show despite its lulls in pacing and excitement. Darryl is also the only other male character that could plausibly be the first person view we were seeing in the Season 6 finale, and he has a counterpart in Dwight–a character who could replace Darryl–as a redemption story arc.
However, ending Darryl’s career at the bloody spikes of Negan’s bat doesn’t seem like something that show-runners would do. He’s too marketable, and his dynamic within the series sells merch like no other.
But there is one other possibility. And that’s Chad.
You’ve likely never heard of Chad, and that’s likely because he doesn’t exist…yet. Chad is any particular random character that the show decides to introduce at the start of Season 7. Speculation is already high that the season premiere will be a look back at the events leading up to Negan’s triumphant reveal, and this is where Chad comes in.
What if the Season 7 premiere is just an entire backstory about Chad, a humble farmer in the Hilltop or Alexandria, or shit, maybe he’s been a background character since Season 1 that nobody even cared to notice! Someone who minds his own business, but winds up getting wrapped up in all Rick Grimes’ bullshit…only to be kidnapped by The Saviors.
Picture this scenario: We get an entire episode of Chad that ends where the Season 6 finale ended. We finally get to see who Negan chooses at the end of his “eeny meeny miney moe” routine. We then see a scene we didn’t see in the finale, when Negan returns to his trailer and pulls out a hog-tied CHAD (gasp!).
He beats poor defenseless Chad to death, sending the real message that none of them are safe. It’s not about punishment for killing Negan’s men, it’s about fear. And then, we’ll all get to see a tearful and red-faced Chris Hardwick bawling about how he’s going to miss Chad and how he’s been the best all the way from the beginning.
…that’s right. Chad. The character you never expected. Chew on that, nerds.