In "Swear," the sixth episode of The Walking Dead's seventh season, viewers were reintroduced to Tara Chambler, a character absent on a supply run since after Rick and the group's assault on a Saviors' compound in the back half of Season 6.
After an exciting excursion in which she encounters the new Oceanside community, Tara returned to find Alexandria grieving. Her girlfriend Denise, and close friends Glenn and Abraham dead, murdered by #Negan and The Saviors.
Since Abraham's death, fans have speculated that Sasha may inherit the death of a comic book character named Holly, who had been Abraham's girlfriend at the time of his comic demise. Desperate to avenge Abraham, Holly performs a heroic sacrifice by driving a bus into the Saviors compound, paying a terrible price for her actions when she is captured and returned to Alexandria as a Walker.
As Abraham's girlfriend, Sasha would seem the obvious choice to take Holly's place. However, the show has offered some subtle hints that this death may, in fact, go to Tara.
Tara Was Present At The Time Of TV-Holly's Death
A character named Holly does appear briefly in the show, in S06E02, "JSS." Holly is critically injured while fighting the invading Wolves, and despite her best efforts, Denise is unable to save her. Tara is present at the time of Holly's death, reminding Denise to stab Holly through the head. Tara's presence could indicate a subtle passing of the torch, hinting that she will inherit the story that was once Holly's.
Denise Received Abraham's Comic Book Death
In the comics, the sequence of events leading to Holly's demise begins with the death of her boyfriend, Abraham, who was killed via a crossbow bolt through the eye. In the TV series, a similar scenario occurs, but instead of Abraham, Tara's girlfriend, Denise, is killed. Tara's grief over the loss of Denise, as well as Glenn and Abraham (two of her closest friends) could drive her into a sacrificial act similar to Holly's.
Walker Holly Kills Denise In The Comics
While not straight up evidence, this provides another interesting connection. In the comics, the reanimated Holly bites Denise, leading to her death. If this death occurs in the show, another character will need to be substituted for Denise.
But Tara May Still Live, Because
There is an equal argument for why the show should keep Tara alive just a bit longer. As a TV-only character, she is one of the series' few remaining wildcards, albeit a much more expendable one than Daryl Dixon. With no comic book material to follow, whatever fate Tara meets could be a surprise for both TV and comic fans. The potential to surprise viewers is definitely something the show should hang on to as it moves through the episodes to come.