The seventh season of The Walking Dead has been one long build-up to the impending war between the armies of Rick Grimes and Negan.
In the season finale, airing tonight (April 2) in the US and Monday (April 3) in the UK, the two enemies will surely butt heads – and with that, inevitably, come a lot of dead bodies. Indeed, showrunner Scott Gimple as said it's "everything".
But while some people are safe – we can't see them offing Rick, Daryl, Carol or Michonne any time soon – we've got our crystal ball out and put together a list of 12 characters who we think should be very, very nervous, ranked from least to most likely to die.
Rick can ill-afford to turn down an inside man, so any death for Dwighty-boy probably won't come this season.
But he was told to kneel at gunpoint in the final scene of episode 15, and we all know that Daryl is thirsty and desperate to deliver some payback. So could the Saviors' traitor be executed before he has a chance to prove his new loyalty?
Also, we can't imagine Negan will be a happy person if he finds out about where Dwight's swanned off to...
Maybe it's because we're dying for the Big Bad to get his comeuppance, but every story needs to see the heroes emerge victorious over the villain, right?
Rick has spent half a season building an army, and if there's one thing we know about Rick, it's that he always, always wins.
On the flip side, actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan seems to think he's sticking around, and given the length of the build-up, to see the Saviors war resolved in just one episode would be potentially underwhelming (and wouldn't follow the comics' storyline). So maybe his time isn't up yet.
The idea that Carl could die does seem rather crazy. That said, when you consider that he's arguably not as integral to the narrative as the character is in the comics, is he really untouchable?
That alone isn't enough for him to be considered a serious contender to be offed – but we do know actor Chandler Riggs's contract is up and that he's been accepted into Auburn College. All of a sudden, speculation surrounding Carl's future becomes very interesting.
There's just something a bit untrustworthy about the junkyard group. While every other community – including Oceanside – has more than enough reason to fight back against Negan, the Heapsters have no such motivation to see the Saviors taken down.
It means they're most likely to betray Rick, and they could very well double-cross Alexandria despite the deal that they've made.
Jadis may not know it yet, but we all know what happens when you make Rick mad...
Rosita has been hellbent on trying to take down Negan, and she won't let anything stand in her way. She's been pretty fortunate so far to still be alive, but it's very possible her luck will run out very soon.
The other interesting detail is that actress Christian Serratos is pregnant in real life.
Not that this necessarily means anything – Alanna Masterson (Tara) took an extended break from the show and has slotted right back in, so if Serratos needs some time off, there's no reason why the writers can't do the same and write around it.
Morgan abandoned his no-killing code for good when he strangled Richard to death. That may not be good news for fans of his character, though, because he has said in the past that Eastman's philosophy is what's kept him alive and sane.
And with the poor guy desperate to fight the Saviors head-on, it could mean a grisly end for Morgan.
Outside of The Walking Dead, Lennie James will be writing and starring in a new Sky Atlantic thriller. That can't be good news for Morgan, either.
You may have seen this guy around in Alexandria. He even tagged along with Rick for the Oceanside trip. His name is Scott – take our word for it.
With the war coming, Alexandria will surely take a few casualties. And who is there more convenient to kill off than a named background character who has been hovering around since the season six premiere?
Sorry, Scott. At least you had a good run.
Simon's great. But – like with Rick's Alexandrians – we can't imagine the Saviors getting through the finale without taking a hit or two.
As the Big Bad's most prominent and trusted lieutenant, Steven Ogg's character would be the biggest blow to Negan's army.
Also? Negan killed Rick's right-hand men in Abraham and Glenn in the season seven premiere. How fitting would it be if in the season seven finale, Rick delivered some payback?
We wonder how much they've spent on the CGI for Shiva. It can't be cheap, especially since the tiger looks awesome on TV. Has it been worth the money?
Many folks have been waiting to see Shiva in action, and what better time than the season finale to unleash the beast? But in a straight-up fight, you would expect – at the cost of a few fatalities, perhaps – armed Saviors to eventually get the better of Shiva.
A dead Shiva also means more funds would be freed up for other CGI. So we probably won't have another repeat of that infamous and widely-mocked deer.
The Saviors are generally not cool people. But we reserve special contempt for Jared, the "rat-faced prick" who shot and killed poor young Benjamin.
Even before he went beyond the point of no return and killed an innocent person, he has shown to be arrogant, smarmy, and a brat. He has to get his comeuppance, surely.
If we're going to see one or two named Saviors being offed, Jared has to be at the top of the list – and the perfect victim for The Kingdom's Shiva to feast on.
The rule goes, if you're a minor character and suddenly get character development or an unusual increase in screen time, death is coming. Spencer. Olivia. Benjamin. And now Eric.
This season, the writers have gone all out to play up Aaron and Eric's relationship. Suddenly, we as viewers are meant to care about them. Not only that, but Eric has just admitted to Aaron that he finally gets why they have to fight the Saviors. Foreshadowing, much?
Eric's death would propel the narrative as well, spurring Rick into waging war and providing a grieving Aaron with a season eight storyline.
If there is one character who we would bet our house on to bite the dust by the season's end, it's Sasha.
In episode 14, she seemed to accept that it was her "time", and in episode 15, while in captivity, she showed that betraying Rick and joining Team Negan is out of the question for her. All the signs are pointing to only one possible outcome.
Thanks for the memories, Sasha.
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