8:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead': Will Rick Go to War? 18 Burning Questions for the Rest of Season 7
[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season seven premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead, "The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be," as well as the comic book series it is based on.]
Negan's victims have been revealed. But where does AMC's The Walking Dead go from here?
For fans of the zombie drama based on Robert Kirkman's comic book series, that's the biggest question moving forward after the blood-soaked season seven premiere that saw bat-swinging Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) brutally murder Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun). Their deaths leave a broken Rick (Andrew Lincoln), shocked (and pregnant) Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and a seemingly united Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Rosita (Christian Serratos). Then there's Daryl (Norman Reedus), who has been taken by Negan and his violent Saviors.
Elsewhere, Carol and Morgan are hanging out at The Kingdom, the community led by King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), the George Clinton-like former zookeeper with a pet tiger.
While Kirkman's comic book series lays the groundwork for what's to come — spoiler alert: look for the All Out War arc — THR takes a look at some of the other big burning questions for the remainder of season seven.
• How will a broken Rick Grimes respond to Negan's double murder? Will he hold the party line and adhere to giving up half of Alexandria's supplies to the Saviors or will he look to avenge Glenn and Abraham's deaths?
• War is coming — but when? Negan's arrival leads to one of the best arcs thus far in Kirkman's comics: the All Out War arc that sees Rick team with Ezekiel's Kingdom in a bid to topple the Saviors and Negan. Given the world building the AMC series has to do before that can happen — the Kingdom and Ezekiel have yet to see any screen time beyond trailers — the biggest question is when that war will begin. In the comics, Rick sends Jesus to scope out the community and he winds up being intentionally captured and subsequently released as part of Rick's plan to learn how the new group functions. Alexandria learning of Rick's secret plan to take on the Saviors could make for a good midseason finale and the beginning of that battle would set the stage for the already announced eighth season war to begin.
• Is Negan as big of an ass as he is in the comics? In Kirkman's graphic novels, Negan takes on multiple wives and has a thing for irons — specifically taking a hot one and burning the side of the faces of those who dare defy him. (Which explains Dwight's new look.)
• As for Dwight, is he pro-Negan or anti-Negan? In the season seven opener, he jumped at the chance to take Daryl hostage and even offered to kill him after he punched Negan. But in the comics, Dwight is actually a decent guy who wants to help Rick take him down because Negan took his wife as his own. Ouch.
• Will viewers see Glenn and Abraham again? Glenn's last words — "Maggie, I will find you" — is it fair to expect to see Yeun again in some sort of flashback or vision? Rick saw visions of Lori after she died giving birth to baby Judith and safe to say that Maggie's trauma goes beyond that. As for Sgt. Abraham "Suck My Nuts" Ford, we're starting the campaign here for Eugene to adopt his friend's colorful vocabulary.
• Can Maggie and her unborn baby both survive the traumatizing ordeal? With Rick's daughter Judith having outlived her comic book counterpart (who dies in the confrontation with the Governor), is there room on the AMC zombie series for two small children?
• What becomes of Daryl Dixon? Taken prisoner by Negan and his Saviors, the new villain sees something in the guy who had the guts to punch him for taunting Rosita. How will Daryl respond to the new community and being under Negan's thumb? It's brand new territory given that Daryl does not exist in the comics and there is no storyline that mirrors this.
• Will Carl and Negan have as unique a relationship as they do in the comics? In the source material, Carl hitches a ride with the Saviors after they come knocking at Alexandria. He winds up being discovered — but not before he takes out a few members of the community. Negan, meanwhile, does his part to break Rick's son as well — but not before Carl learns the lay of the land.
• Beyond dealing with life with the Saviors, how will Daryl cope with Glenn's death? Will the surviving Dixon blame himself? Will that make him work harder to take Negan down? Or will he give up and think that he deserves whatever Negan has in store for him?
• Will Abraham's death bond Sasha and Rosita? Abe's last love interest and his ex now have their shared loss in common. Individually, they're both strong but together? That could be a fierce partnership. Sasha has already stepped up to become the group's sharpshooter — replacing the role that belongs to a still alive Andrea in the comics. Could Rosita join Sasha in helping to protect Alexandria from Negan's threat?
• Where does Eugene go from here? The recently minted Stage 2 badass (by Abraham) could go one of two ways: revert to the cowardly guy who lied to Abraham about a cure or he could be newly inspired to help provide for the group. Remember, this is the guy who knows how to manufacture bullets and found a place to do so.
• What can viewers expect from Ezekiel? Shiva, the part CGI/part animatronic pet tiger, is definitely coming to the AMC series. The character is first introduced in issue #108 of and is an eccentric, charismatic and theatrical leader who can be perceived as arrogant. Residents of his Kingdom sport protective armor and are known as knights who live in a converted high school. How will the show's version of the Kingdom and Ezekiel compare? Given that both Morgan and Carol are no longer alive in the comics when the Kingdom is introduced, unclear just how they will fit in.
• Speaking of Carol and Morgan, could they be paired off romantically? They're both of the same mindset when it comes to killing and both are in a land of strangers at the Kingdom after Morgan saved Carol from certain death at the end of season six. Plus in the comics, Morgan and Michonne are romantically coupled, while on the series, she's taken the place of the late Andrea as Rick's partner.
• Could Michonne take on a greater role at Alexandria? With Maggie likely headed for the Hilltop given Gregory's (Xander Berkeley) community has its own OB/GYN and Rick likely busy planning his attack on the Saviors, someone will need to become the go-to at the Alexandria Safe Zone and who better than Michonne, who is taking over multiple roles held by Andrea in the comics.
• Is Gregory going to be the same jackass as he is in the comics? As viewers of The Walking Dead have learned, Gregory doesn't really have any of the skills required to survive in the new world — the dickbag even got Rick to take on Negan without painting the full picture of how dastardly Lucille's owner is. Maggie ultimately becomes the No. 1 at the Hilltop, but it's much to Gregory's disdain. It's unclear if anyone from Rick's group of survivors can trust him.
• Who will become the group's moral compass? Before Glenn served as the show's moral center, it was his father-in-law, Hershel (Scott Wilson), who took over that perch after original series star Dale (Jeff DeMunn) held the unique position. Then again, Morgan has been known to hold strong to his convictions.
• Who is the new go-to supply runner? While Glenn was pizza delivery guy and well versed in surviving tight situations (dumpsters!), Aaron (Ross Marquand) also knows his way around the dangerous new world well and could take on that perch. There's also Alexandria's resident Jack Bauer in training Heath, who could get an easy out to allow Corey Hawkins to segue to Fox's 24: Legacy. We'll also include Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) here as they currently don't seem to have stories yet for season seven.
• Will Spencer (Austin Nichols) be the traitor that he is in the comics? The son of fierce Alexandria leader Deanna, Spencer in the comics winds up being killed by Negan during one of his visits when he tries to turn on Rick.
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