EastEnders - Who dies at Christmas?

eastenders stacey linda suki kathy denise sharon
EastEnders - Who dies at Christmas? BBC

EastEnders spoilers follow.

We've waited and waited, but we finally know just why EastEnders bosses have been making so much noise about tonight's anniversary special.

The closing moments of the highly-anticipated episode, which saw matriarchs Stacey, Sharon, Linda, Denise, Suki and Kathy come together for a pub lock-in, time-jumped to Christmas Day 2023 – where they were faced with a dead body.

While fans had some idea of what to expect, the flashforward element had been kept out of spoilers prior to transmission (although the arbitrary mentions of Christmas had maybe given us a bit of a clue...) and the episode was scrapped from early release on iPlayer.

And as always, we've been left with far more questions than answers, such as:

Who is dead?

male silhouette eastenders
getty - BBC

It's what we are all asking: who is being bumped off at the end of the year? EastEnders' much-anticipated episode ended on a sinister note, confirming that Walford will be rocked by a shock death in this year's Christmas scenes.

A glimpse of the future gave us a first look at a murder in The Queen Vic – which was dressed for a wedding – involving the very same six women that tonight's anniversary special focused around. Linda could be seen approaching the crime scene as a horrified Suki, Kathy, Denise, Stacey and Sharon all circled the dead body.

The dead man in question appeared to be wearing a suit (more on this in a bit) with a prominent focus on a cufflink – which will no doubt become relevant as the story unravels. But who is dead? Only 10 months to wait to find out.

But who do the cast think it is?

Lacey Turner, who plays Stacey, said: "I have a certain person in mind at the moment, but I think my guess is too obvious and I'm probably wrong."

Balvinder Sopal, who plays Suki, added: "It could literally be anyone. I think it could be Keanu, it could be Rocky, it could be Nish, or it could be somebody who hasn't been in the show for a long time – it could be somebody new who comes in. And I think maybe all of the women might be involved."

Sharing her own thoughts, Kellie Bright, who plays Linda, shared: "Well, I mean this is all guess work on my behalf, but in my mind I haven't done it. But that is just based on nothing other than what I think or felt when we were filming it.

"I've got a feeling, I had a very strong feeling, or more of an idea that the victim was going to be a really big player in this show and I've slightly changed my mind, and I think it might be someone who is not in the show yet. A character that we're yet to meet."

And who killed him?

stacey slater, suki kaur panesar, eastenders

They toasted to men getting what they deserved and it seems that at least one of the Walford women took this very literally.

The tantalising flashforward scene showed Stacey with blood on her hands, while Denise was holding a broken bottle, which we can only assume is the murder weapon.

It's not currently clear who was responsible, why, whether this was a joint effort and what will happen next, but did some of them appear more guilty than others? Maybe. Maybe not.

linda carter, kathy beale, eastenders

And even the actors involved appear to be split down the middle.

"I don't dare say who it is, because I'm quite good at guessing things and I don't want to say it and blow it," Diane Parish, who plays Denise Fox, said. "But in terms of whodunnit, I don't know why but I think it's me. I'm really scared it's me, so I might have to make some plans, because I might be going down.

"It could be any one of us because there's so many strong stories going on with all six of us. We call ourselves 'the six' and with all of us we're all driving towards a very clear point in terms of trouble, problems with the men in our lives, so there's a lot going on for all of us so it literally could be any one of us."

Kellie wasn't so sure, though, saying: "If I had to put money on it, I don't think it's Linda and I don't think it's Denise. I also think it could be a group thing, with the women all protecting each other but who knows, they could be protecting Linda!"

Lacey added: "I feel like it's an accidental death. I don't think it has been done on purpose, and I think that it's more of a group effort rather than one sole person, and if it is one individual, then I think all of the women are covering for them. I think they all might know something they shouldn't know and they are all covering for each other, and maybe the person hasn't been killed?"

Who is Sharon marrying?

keanu taylor, sharon watts, eastenders

Tonight's closing moments also revealed another big twist – Sharon will be getting married at the end of the year.

The all-important flashforward scene showed her in a slightly-blooded wedding dress, seemingly confirming that she will be trying the knot as part of this year's Christmas storyline.

Fans had been busy wondering why EastEnders had confirmed Kat and Phil's festive wedding 10 months prior, when in actual fact, it seems like Sharon could be the one to keep an eye on.

In real-time, Sharon was seen enjoying a passionate reunion with Keanu in the pub toilets – before a later discovery tore them apart again. But will it be Keanu that she is marrying come Christmas? Or is there another romance for Sharon in store?

Has Lola died?

lola pearce, eastenders

Blink-and-you'll-miss-it but the show also appears to have confirmed that Lola won't be around by the end of the year.

Fans already know that Lola's days are numbered after she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour last year so this one may not come as much of a surprise, but the flashforward scenes showed her picture on the bar, seemingly as a tribute.

Does Linda still own The Queen Vic?

linda carter, sharon watts, eastenders

Despite all the recent speculation regarding the pub's future, the flashforward gave us no further insight on who will be running it by the end of the year.

That said, Linda could be seen walking into the bar from out the back, possibly confirming that she's still in charge.

But with so much at stake, and many months between now and Christmas, it's clear that anything – and everything – could still change.

EastEnders airs on Mondays-Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.

Read more EastEnders spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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