Warning! Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics ahead!
The Walking Dead's viewers have had more than their fair share of complaints about the show lately. Too violent, not enough action, underwhelming CGI, Carl needs a haircut. The list goes on and on. In fact, it got so bad that even Norman Reedus had to issue a statement beseeching fans to give it a rest.
But one glaring issue which seems to have been relatively overlooked is the matter of Rick's intact hand. If you've read the comics, then you'll be aware that Rick lost his right hand at the hand (see what I did there?) of the Governor back in issue #28.
Comic readers have been waiting for this plot point to emerge in the show for some time now, and the writers have certainly teased it more than once. Rick cut his hand on a shard of metal poking out of a walker during season 6, and then again in Season 7 when he was fighting Winslow, the Filthy Garbage People walker.
The loss of his hand was also teased during the first episode of Season 7 when Negan had his hatchet, and soon after it looked like Carl was going to lose a hand instead— by Rick's doing, no less.
But false alarms aside, did the Season 7 finale finally hint at the fate of Rick's hand?
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Rick's Hand Came Under Threat Yet Again During The Finale
Just before Shiva did some next-level big cat mauling, Negan was right on the brink of giving Carl the Glenn treatment. But before that, he said something very ominous to Rick:
"I'm gonna kill Carl, and then Lucille here, she's gonna take your hands."
Rick's cocky retort of "you can take my hands" probably didn't help his cause, but it nonetheless reminded us of something significant from the comics: that Carl might not be the only Alexandria resident missing a body part in the future.
How And When Will Rick Lose His Hand?
The loss of Rick's hands has been drawn out for so long that it seems like it might never happen. But if that was the case, why would the writers keep teasing it? Could it be happening sooner rather than later?
Let's take a look at the most likely ways Rick could lose his hand in the near future:
Negan might have abandoned the battle against Alexandria and taken Lucille with him, but we know he'll be back— and Lucille will definitely still be thirsty. If Rick's right hand is going to run into Lucille again, it's probably going to go down in Season 8.
Granted, Rick getting his hand crushed by Lucille wouldn't be quite as gruesome as what happened to Glenn or Abraham; but it would probably offend a few sensitive viewers nonetheless.
Shiva may be a pretty bad ass edition to the show, but let's be real: tigers are dangerous and unpredictable. Ezekiel is confident that he can control her, but can anyone really control an animal that's not fully domesticated? It's only a matter of time before Shiva bites the wrong person— and that person might just be Rick.
Not to mention that CGI tigers are very expensive. No doubt a large part of #TheWalkingDead's budget is allocated to the ferocious big cat— CGI money that could be spent on Rick's missing hand.
In the comics, Shiva is killed during a raid of a Savior outpost in preparation for war against the Saviors. If Shiva's going to bite off Rick's hand, it'll most likely happen during Season 8.
A war against the Saviors is exciting, but you know what's an even more exciting storyline from the comics? The Whisperers. These skin-masked weirdos are seriously creepy, and even more menacing. They've proven themselves to be perhaps an even bigger threat than even the Saviors, especially to Rick. If anyone could de-hand the might Rick Grimes, it's them.
It's going to be a while until we get a look at the Whisperers; it's likely that a full-blown war with the Saviors will occupy most of Season 8. This would mean Rick's hand could be safe until the end of Season 8 or maybe even 9.
How do you think Rick will lose his hand?
[Poll image credit: Image Comics]