Rick's war against the Saviors is off to a rocky start. Well, to be honest, it's not even really off the ground. The return of The Walking Dead Season 7 made it quite clear that not every community is quite so eager to take on Negan, with Rick facing more resistance than he'd anticipated.
The residents of Hilltop went Gregory's head and signed up for Rick's militia, but there's still a few key soldiers missing from his army. Not only is Ezekiel holding back from facing the inevitable, but Carol is blissfully ignorant of the threat of the Saviors, and Morgan is still choosing to be a lover rather than a fighter.
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All Is Not Lost
As difficult as things seem right now, there's still hope. If Season 7b has shown as anything, it's exactly what needs to happen to motivate each and every person under Negan's control to take back the power for themselves.
But revenge comes at a high price. What needs to happen to trigger #TheWalkingDead's survivors to band together, and will it come to fruition?
Morgan And Richard Already Have Their Motivation
Not everyone on The Walking Dead is lacking the necessary anger to drive them into a violent rage. And from what we saw in Episode 10, Richard is definitely one of those people. Back in his camper van of emotions and mystery liquid, he opened a door to reveal what looks like a child's backpack with the name Katy on it; perhaps the name of a daughter he lost. Could Katy be the reason he's so eager to do whatever it takes to eliminate the Saviors?
Morgan may have thought he enjoyed making ethical dietary choices and running private Stickercise classes under the Kingdom's pergola, but that was before someone took something from him: his beloved stick. First his wife and child, and now his stick? This guy cannot catch a break.
The men on The Walking Dead have a tendency to form personal attachments to wooden poles, romantic or otherwise. For Morgan, his Aikido stick symbolizes strength, friendship and any other quality you'd see preached in a Julia Roberts movie. It allows him to infrequently kick ass whilst also sticking to his resolution of honoring the precious value of all life.
Unfortunately for Morgan, anti-Jesus has confiscated his beloved broomstick. Morgan may have just lost an important reminder of why he's not all about that "clear" life anymore, and quite possibly his reason for remaining murder-free. Could we see the return of old Morgan in an epic Savior-slaughtering revenge mission? And more importantly, what will Lucille think of the Sanctuary's new wooden inanimate object?
Daryl's Lie Can't Last Forever
In the zombie apocalypse, it's more important than ever to take only the most calculated risks. Small mistakes can have terrible consequences, which is something everyone on The Walking Dead has had to learn the hard way— though some people have a harder time remembering than others.
This isn't just about Maggie's fake grave, which is sure to send Negan into a vengeful rage when he inevitably does find out the truth. Daryl made the rather hasty decision to tell Carol that everyone was still alive and well after their run-in with the Saviors, because how could that possibly backfire?
Sure, Daryl had his reasons for pretending that Glenn and Abraham hadn't met their demise at the end of Negan's baseball bat consort. But Carol is almost sure to find out eventually, and probably sooner rather than later.
The reason Carol's hidden herself away from the outside world is largely to avoid the chances of having to take any more lives. But if she finds out the truth about what really happened to Glenn and Abraham, she may just feel compelled to avenge her murdered friends.
Will We Lose Carol?
Carol is trying her hardest to alienate herself from everyone who cares about her, but it's not exactly going to plan. Ezekiel keeps dropping by uninvited, bearing everything from pomegranates to cobbler. Pursue a woman who keeps rejecting you and eventually she'll cave in to your advances, right?
As Richard's failed Savior ambush revealed, Ezekiel's Carol obsession is more than just a crush. He cares about her— enough to want to seek revenge on anyone who harms her. It seems a little odd that her death alone would be more of a motivator to engage in war than the future of his entire Kingdom; but it's probably best not to try to understand a guy who speaks in medieval slang in the 21st Century.
He's not the only one who feels fiercely protective of Carol. Daryl made it very clear to Richard — in quite a few ways — that "if anything happens to her, I'll kill ya." Daryl's already headed to Hilltop to "get ready" to take on the Saviors; but we all know what would really motivate him to get serious about assassinating Negan.
As horrible as it sounds, The Walking Dead Season 7b might just be setting up Carol's impending death in order to kickstart an assault on Negan and the Saviors. Is there a Savior capable of taking out this powerhouse of a woman? Or will Richard finish what he started?
Could Sophia's Little Brother Face The Same Fate?
Want to hear a fun but ominous fact? Macsen Lintz, who plays Benjamin's little brother Henry, is the real-life brother of Madison Lintz, who played Sophia in Seasons 1 and 2! Which is great news for their parents, but maybe not so much for the future of young Henry.
Henry is Benjamin's last remaining family, and probably the most important person in his life. Benjamin is also on his own journey to becoming a capable fighter. He's trying to prove that he's a strong warrior, and a man.
Despite excelling quite quickly in his Aikido training with Morgan, Benjamin is still young and inexperienced. He's eager to fight the Saviors, but he's still an awkward teenager. As sadistic as it sounds, losing his little brother Henry would probably make his character grow up, and fast.
Don't forget: this show isn't above putting its child actors out of the job— especially when their last name is Lintz. Nothing motivates a character to become a deadly killer more than the death of a child, and Carol is definitely proof of that.