This week's episode of #TheWalkingDead might have been mostly Richonne-centric, but it offered some pretty good idea of what comes next after the greatly anticipated fight against Negan comes to pass. Michonne is already thinking miles ahead — defiantly presuming the Survivors will win — and considering some type of new world order which would have Rick Grimes in the forefront.
Well, assuming Michonne is betting on the winning horse here, and the Survivors really do manage to outsmart and defeat Negan, there are some possible scenarios to consider for a post-Negan attempt at civilization. Let's use some insight from #RobertKirkman's The Walking Dead comic books, and have a closer look at what those scenarios could be.
A Richonne Leadership Has Pros And Cons
Obviously, that's something that would greatly benefit the Alexandrians, considering both Rick and Michonne have taken up residence at the Safe Zone. Having Richonne acting as leaders for a newly-formed alliance with the communities — the Hilltop, the Kingdom, the Junkyard and Oceanside — would make Alexandria the center of power for this new civilization.
While being at the center of all power and decision-making might be a good thing at first sight, it could also mean more exposure and, consequently, put the community at a greater risk of attacks. There's a reason why Negan has so many outposts, and so few people seem to know the location of his actual home at the Sanctuary: it prevents full-on attacks from happening at the heart of all power.
A Single Leader: Rick or Michonne
The Walking Dead is no stranger to killing off characters just as things start to look up, be it a main character or not. The fact that Rick and Michonne were having that conversation in this episode — along with Rick's death tease — may signal that one of them might meet their end before the Negan arc does.
Michonne was pretty taken aback when she thought Rick was being eaten by those walkers, and her surrender at that moment makes her an unlikely candidate to be a fit leader if Rick should actually die. But, since we're talking about the actual lead character for The Walking Dead here, maybe it'll be Rick's choice to go on leading his people after he loses Michonne. And, if his speech to her at the end of the episode serves as a hint, Rick doesn't seem to have a problem with it.
A Leader From Another Community
It's a nice idea to pitch one of the Survivors as the possible leader for a new society if it comes to it, but one must not forget that there are other people involved who might want to have a say in the matter. There's King Ezekiel at the Hilltop, Jadis in the Junkyard or even Gregory at the Hilltop, who now stand as the representatives of their communities. If it all turns out alright — and most of them make it, of course — any of those characters could want a piece of the power in the new world order.
The problem with that logic is that the comic books have a whole different story to tell about Ezekiel and Gregory, while Jadis doesn't even feature in the comics.
What Do The Comics Say?
Well, for starters, non-comic readers will be glad to know that there will, in fact, be life after Negan — and it is a good one. Once the threat of Negan and his Saviors is annihilated, the communities join in a military and commercial coalition which is a successful one. According to the books, the Kingdom, the Hilltop, and Alexandria will work as one to ensure the survival of all the communities.
Things will be good for a while, for anyone who manages to survive this All Out War arc. There'll be fresh food and water, jobs, schools and even a prison system (guess who's the first prisoner?) to restart civilized society. The catch with the #comics is that there's a considerable time jump between the end of Negan's rule and the appearance of society, which leaves The Walking Dead producers with a couple of years to fill in with the hows, whys, and whatnots of this rebirth of civilization on the show.
More on The Walking Dead:
- 5 Jaw-Dropping Moments From 'The Walking Dead' Season 7, Episode 12, 'Say Yes'
- 'The Walking Dead': Is Rosita Trying To Get Herself Killed Out Of Survivor's Guilt?
- The Internet Reacts To That Heart-Stopping Rick Moment On 'The Walking Dead' Season 7, Episode 12
Truth is, just as Rick can't seem to forget Glenn's and Abraham's demise, neither can we. Richonne may be thinking of a far away future, where everything is right where it should be and there's no more evil Negan to contend with, but it'll be a while — and a long one at that — until The Walking Dead gives us a grey-haired, happily-ever-after Rick Grimes.