DISCLAIMER: This post is going to discuss the Season 6 Finale, so if you haven’t seen it yet, consider this your official SPOILER ALERT and feel free to check back later. I want to make it clear that I haven’t read the series released by Image Comics nor have I scoured the internet seeking other theories or clues. The theories kicking around my brain are merely based on watching AMC‘s The Walking Dead and Talking Dead. You’ve been warned, so here we go…
The season finale aired a week ago today, so I realize this isn’t going to put me on the “fresh take” list, but I wanted to take some time to process the events. As you will recall, Rick & the gang loaded up in what I affectionately call the RV of Doom and were thwarted at every turn (no pun intended) until they wound up kneeling before Negan in the “Eeny, meeny, miny, mo(e)” scene. For the sake of ease, I’m going to use the above promo pic to move through the characters in order to make a case for and against who Negan eventually bludgeons with Lucille.
For Lucille-ing – Probably the easiest argument to make “for” is that Daryl Dixon doesn’t even exist in the comics. Killing off Daryl to bring the series closer to the comics would be easy and would send serious shock waves across TWD’s fanbase. Arguably, other than killing off Rick, Carol, or Glenn, this would probably have the highest emotional impact.
Against Lucille-ing – One thing TWD’s writers have proven is that they’re willing to deviate from the comics. Daryl’s continued existence is proof. Killing off a character that has become such a fan favorite might actually cause a riot. Daryl is the face of the new mobile app TWD game, so it wouldn’t make much sense to kill off the character shilling your new revenue stream unless you’re using that as a method to memorialize the character.
She wasn’t with the crew so, for now, she lives on.
She decided to go solo, so she is spared the Lucille-ing. Then again, with a stab and two gunshot wounds, she’s not much better off. She at least has hope of surviving as she and Morgan are being helped by the armored horsemen.
For and against Lucille-ing – Other than because he acted as the decoy, I can’t really see an argument for Negan killing him. The fact that Negan admits that he can’t decide who gets to be punished and leaves it to what we’re led to believe is random chance, is the only reason I can see for Eugene dying. If Negan somehow knew or learned that Eugene was the brains behind bullet manufacturing, I could entertain an argument against him. Would his death have enough impact on the group to merit killing off the mullet & tail?
For Lucille-ing – She’s a strong-willed badass with a kitana and one of the more popular characters. Given that she and Rick have recently “coupled”, killing her would have significant impact on the tearing down of Rick Grimes. Their relationship is a symbol of hope in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. Smashing that hope is huge.
Against Lucille-ing – She’s a strong-willed badass with a kitana and a tremendous fighter. If Negan could break her will and get her to work within his world, he gains a powerful employee. In the real world, how would fans or critics react if Negan’s target was a woman. And of color. In this world where seemingly everyone is just looking for a reason to be pissed off, could you imagine the backlash if the cry went out that the show’s writers were misogynistic and/or racist? To be clear, I believe the writers have been indiscriminate in who they’ve killed off as people of all ages, races, and orientations have fallen. You just can’t account for some of the nut jobs out there.
For Lucille-ing – If you truly wanted to close a storyline, could you make it any bigger an event than killing off the central character? Rick, it could be argued, has been steadily moving from hero to anti-hero over the past few seasons with every terrible act he’s been forced to do. Have his actions gotten out of control? Is he any different than many of the other leaders the viewers have witnessed? If it had been Negan who woke up in that hospital bed in episode one, wouldn’t we be viewing Rick and his crew as the villains right now? I digress… as leader, Rick is the the primary opposition to Negan’s rule. That alone might be worth offing him.
Against Lucille-ing – Rick, for all the opposition he poses Negan, is a skilled leader, tactician, and fighter. Control Rick and you control the rest of his group. That’s the best leverage he could have. Unless it’s a red herring, here’s why Rick lives. Negan says (referring to Carl), “… hell, cut out his other eye and feed it to his father…” Unless he means zombie-Rick, you can’t really feed something to a dead man.
For Lucille-ing – They’ve mentioned it on Talking Dead several times that Negan kills Glenn in the comics. As with Daryl, if the writers want to bring the show closer in line with the comics, this would be an easy way to do so. Glenn has already come close to dying this season (and fans lost their minds), so perhaps that means it’s finally his time. If memory serves, he was also recently staring at photos of people with their heads smashed, so perhaps it’s a foreshadowing. He and Maggie are about to become parents and have been the show’s longest surviving couple. Happiness in the apocalypse? Can that really exist?
Against Lucille-ing – Glenn’s been around since the beginning and continues to be a fan favorite. We’ve already seen how fans reacted earlier in the year when they thought he died. We’ve also already seen the effect of one family who’s lost a parent and how they dealt with the aftermath. Would the show writers repeat that? How many more family members can they take away from Maggie?
For Lucille-ing – How badly do the show writers want to make the fans hate Negan? Bad enough to kill two characters with a few swings of the bat? Negan thinks Maggie already looks like she’s at death’s door, so how much value would she be to him? If he doesn’t know she’s pregnant, he might even believe it’s a mercy killing. In the real world, do the show writers also want to contend with another child on set?
Against Lucille-ing – Killing an expectant mother, albeit unbeknownst to him, would make Negan an instant monster. I believe all he knows is that she was sick and needed to be carried and that she’s somehow linked to Glenn. If her pregnancy issues persist, she will likely lose the baby anyway and that’s going to impact her heavily. Also, see the Michonne against argument.
For and against Lucille-ing – She and Abraham have finally realized they would like to try having a relationship – that they want to be like Glenn and Maggie. Love is rarely a good sign in an apocalypse. Especially on this show, love or being a moral compass usually leads to death. Is Negan villain enough to kill a woman? Like Eugene, would her death have such a significant impact on the group? This argument could work for or against her. Also, see the Michonne against argument.
For and against Lucille-ing – This character has only recently stepped up into a semblance of leadership. See the Eugene and Michonne against arguments.
For Lucille-ing – There’s a prison adage that could apply here. On your first day in prison, go up to the biggest, baddest person and pick a fight so you show that you’re not to be messed with. Physically, that’s Abraham and, when Negan stopped before him shortly before swinging Lucille, Abraham puffed up. Also, see the above Sasha relationship argument.
Against Lucille-ing – From Negan’s perspective a puffed up military type like Abraham makes a powerful employee. The writers have provided Abraham with some of the best/quotable lines and that would be a sad loss.
Conspicuously absent from this cast photo: Aaron, Carl, Father Gabriel, and Morgan
We already know that Father Gabriel is back in Alexandria keeping watch over Judith and the others. Morgan has broken his oath against killing in order to save Carol and is now heading off with another group in order to get her assistance. What about Aaron and Carl?
For and against Lucille-ing – See the Rosita argument.
For Lucille-ing – Negan knows that he’s Rick’s kid and, as previously mentioned, has threatened to cut out his other eye to feed to his dad. How badly does he want to break Rick? How much value does a one-eyed kid have in Negan’s group?
Against Lucille-ing – Again, how big of a monster do the writers want to make Negan? Killing women or children would seem especially horrible even for the supposedly most evil person the group’s met to date. Do they want to make Negan one-dimensionally evil or do they want the audience to be able to see his humanity and that, like Rick, he’s a leader born from circumstance?
So who do I think is the unfortunate victim of Lucille’s kiss? I’m still undecided as I think it may depend on the reaction that gets back to the writers and what they feel will mine more emotional responses. The writers have rarely shied away from ripping out the group’s heart, so part of me thinks it will be Carl because that would devastate Rick moreso than any other group member. I can also see Glenn or Daryl getting the kiss. The comment section awaits your thoughts.