After Season 6 of The Walking Dead closed in that bittersweet cliffhanger, the wait has been long and excruciatingly hard. The hype was huge for Negan's introduction and what it would mean for the Survivors and, although we did get to see him in the finale, we've been biting our nails waiting for the reveal of Negan's victim. Well, said wait is almost over and the time for talk is done.
There have been predictions upon predictions of who got Lucilled - technically, it's a done deal. Then, there was the Comic Con trailer, and all the breakdowns and easter eggs (SPOILER alert for this link!) that came with it. Now, it's time to jog our memories and get back to that ultra-hyped state for The Walking Dead's biggest reveal ever.
Here are the five most relevant moments from the last season to help you retrace Rick and the gang's steps towards that "pissing our pants" moment when they met Negan for the first time.
9. Rick Is The Boss
Season 6 picked up some time after Rick had shot Jessie's husband - a.k.a. the Porch D**k - and director Greg Nicotero provided some pretty neat black and white flashbacks of that time lapse. After Rick and Morgan discovered the Walkers in the quarry, Rick - now the Alexandrians de facto leader - devised a plan to draw the Walkers away from the Safe Zone.
Everyone was divided into groups, with Daryl, Sasha and Abraham driving off ahead of the Walkers, while the others tried to keep the herd on track. Of course - as is often the case with The Walking Dead - things did not go so smoothly. Even though most of the Walkers were led away, some managed to surround the walls of Alexandria.
8. The Saviors - And The Wolves - Say Hello
Most of the first half of Season 6 was spent setting the mood for the new villains to come, a group led by a very greedy man called Negan. The Saviors ran into Sasha, Abraham and Daryl first, when they ambushed them off the road. The Survivors split up and Daryl had a first degree encounter with Dwight who, at that moment, was running away from the Saviors as well. Eventually, Sasha, Abe and Daryl found each other again but, while Abe scored big time finding a rocket launcher, Daryl lost both his bow and his bike to Dwight.
Meanwhile in Alexandria, people were trying to survive a violent attack by the Wolves. These Wolves managed to tear one of the walls down and create massive panic with their sudden takeover of Alexandria. A few Survivors managed to kill most of the attackers, while Morgan let a group of the Wolves walk out the front gate. Morgan abducted the Wolf leader, which lead to tension between him and Carol. With the walls down, the Walkers surrounding Alexandria were able to roam free into the town.
7. Saviors - And A Walker Herd - Go Kaboom
The 'No Way Out' preview had every single fan calling off their Valentine's Day plans just so they could spend the 14th watching The Walking Dead. The first episode of the back half of Season 6 brought all the Survivors together in epic fashion. For starters, after Sasha and Abe were almost shot by one of the Saviors, Daryl blew their entire roadblock crew to pieces with Abe's rocket launcher. Then, Rick and a few members of his group deployed the 'Walker gut' tactics once more to walk among the Walkers on the street. Once again, things took a turn for the worse and Carl got shot in the eye - courtesy of the soon-to-be-dead Ron.
This was the turning point for Rick and, after delivering Carl to the infirmary, he walked out and started taking the Walkers down by himself. In a surge of hope, the remaining Alexandrians joined him and, with the arrival of Daryl and his new favorite toy - a.k.a. the rocket launcher - the herd was contained and killed. This turmoil eventually subsided into a fairly safe and promising couple of months, with the arrival of new friends and enemies alike.
6. Hail Jesus
Season 6 brought a fan-favorite character from The Walking Dead comics to the screen, with the introduction of Jesus. Although he's based at the Hilltop community, Jesus is the commercial link between the Safe Zones, which now includes Alexandria. Jesus scavenges for food and facilitates the trade of goods from one community to another. He came upon Rick and Daryl as they found a truck loaded with food and, when he tried to steal if from them, Jesus got caught and was taken to Alexandria.
He then took Rick and his gang to meet the Hilltop leader Gregory, and it was there that Rick decided to take Negan down. He offered to relieve the Hilltop of Negan's deal - which claimed that half of the Hilltop's possessions belonged to Negan - and that was when the Survivors ventured on a path to annihilate the Saviors. Rick orchestrated an attack on one of Negan's outposts and killed every single one of the Saviors inside, but it took Rick a while to understand just how wide Negan's control was.
5. Glenn Has Nine Lives
This was a tricky season for Glenn. Between being constantly in danger, presumed dead, found alive and then nearly dying again, Maggie's sweetheart - and daddy-to-be - went through a roller-coaster of perils. He spent three whole episodes out of the show - even his name was taken from the credits! - only so we could find out he survived underneath a dumpster. Talk about rioting fans...
4. R.I.P. Doctor Cloyd
In a very sad twist, we lost the adorable doctor Denise this season. Taking Abraham's death from the comics, Denise was killed by Dwight - using Daryl's bow no less. It was Daryl's desire for revenge that led to his fated encounter with Dwight and to him being shot - in the shoulder - in the last seconds of episode 'East'.
3. Richonne Is Now Official
Although many had already been shipping Rick and Michonne for a while, 'The Next World' finally brought it home with Richonne officially leaving the friendzone behind. Not only was it a sweet and endearing moment for both Rick and Michonne, but Carl took it pretty well too.
2. Carol Is Done With The Killing
Some say it was Morgan's influence; others say that Carol simply couldn't take any more of all the violence and murder she was dishing out. Either way, the fact remains that she took off from Alexandria because she wasn't willing to kill anymore. Morgan made it his responsibility to find her, and they made some very kingly new friends.
The core of the Survivors - with the exception of Carol and Morgan - ended Season 6 kneeling in front of a big man, who had a bat named Lucille, and the intent to kill one of the Survivors. Having gone through Season 6 with a severe case of hubris, Rick finally understood he wasn't dealing with something easy to defeat. The Saviors proved to be stronger and a much larger group than Rick had anticipated.
The Survivors spent most of the finale driving in circles, being constantly roadblocked by the Saviors and led into Negan's trap. In a ten-minute monologue straight from the comic book pages, Negan laid out the new rules and randomly picked out one of the Survivors to serve as an example. The season closed with Negan choosing his victim - which viewers could not see - and bashing the person's head with his barbed-wire baseball bat Lucille.
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Season 7 is just around the corner and it's all we can do to keep a tab on our anxiety. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple has promised a pay-off for his finale cliffhanger, and that's all the fans can hope for. "We can breathe, we can blink, we can cry", but truth is the premiere will have us say goodbye to someone.
The Walking Dead Season 7 premieres October 23, on AMC.
What are YOU looking forward to seeing when Season 7 kicks off? Let me know in the comments below!