In case you've miraculously avoided all forms of electronic communication since The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere, bear in mind that there are obviously going to be some huge spoilers for The Walking Dead coming up. You've been warned!
It took 202 days and a whole lot of anxious hand-wringing, but this week, we finally discovered who Negan killed in the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead. Although a number of fans predicted that Glenn and Abraham would be the ones to die, people's response to the episode has still been decidedly mixed.
Check out the most shocking deaths on the show below:
For every fan who thought that 'The Day Will Come When You Won't Be' was one of the most harrowing and gripping episodes of the show yet, there are others who felt cheated by Negan's decision. After all, we'd already been led to believe that Glenn had died once before earlier on the show, so when his actual death did arrive, some felt that the scene mirrored the comics in a manner which was far too predictable.
It was commendable that The Walking Dead decided to kill off multiple characters though, and truly hammering home the idea that no one is truly safe — well, aside from Rick, of course. However, the death scene would have arguably held far more impact if a more important character had died in Abraham's place.
With that in mind, let's take a look at three central cast members who should have become more closely acquainted with Lucille instead of Abraham or even Glenn, everyone's favorite eye-popping delivery boy.
Daryl Should Have Died
After Abraham's death, Daryl lashed out and attacked Negan in an uncontrollable burst of rage. While this was an understandable reaction, Negan returned the favor by deliberately sparing Daryl so he could watch Glenn die instead, forcing him to live with the unbearable guilt.
As a result of this reckless action, there are those who feel that Daryl should have been murdered instead, blaming him for Glenn's death. However, Negan's decision to punish Daryl for his outburst actually made perfect sense, when you bear in mind that his sole aim was to crush Rick's band of survivors psychologically, breaking them down in order to maintain control.
Saying that though, we still think that Daryl should have been killed, but not because we believe Glenn should have been spared. No, Daryl should have died, because fans genuinely wouldn't have seen it coming. As Norman Reedus's character is one of the few without a comic book counterpart, the show runners have more freedom to play around with his future. By deviating from the comics and killing Daryl instead, The Walking Dead would have made a truly bold statement, confirming that even the most beloved characters aren't really safe.
Obviously, Norman Reedus is one of the best things about The Walking Dead, but the death of his character Daryl Dixon could have made 'The Day Will Come When You Won't Be' the greatest episode of TV in years.
Michonne Should Have Died
Out of everyone who's ever taken out a zombie or two on The Walking Dead, Michonne is arguably the most iconic character. After all, who can forget the first time we laid eyes on Michonne holding a katana with her two zombie protectors in tow?
The idea of losing Rick's kickass lover is a traumatic one for fans who have loved her ever since she debuted in Season 2, but Michonne's death would arguably be even more powerful than Daryl's. The idea that Negan could kill a woman in cold blood like that is a concept rarely explored in shows of this magnitude. Of course, women have died on The Walking Dead before, but never in such a protracted, visceral way. Andrea's death in Season 3 wasn't even shown on screen.
Michonne's murder would be problematic if people perceived her death as yet another example of women dying in order to further male story lines — i.e. Rick's suffering following her demise. But if the show could have navigated this successfully, then the death of Michonne would have proved that Negan is a monster unlike any other.
Carl Should Have Died
Most fans have wanted Carl to die ever since he first caused Dale's death a few seasons back, and his pudding-eating antics did little to alleviate the situation. The Season 7 premiere would have been the perfect time to finally bite the bullet and take him out completely.
The Walking Dead is so popular now that it no longer needs to worry about offending people. The idea of showing a child die in such a cruel and sadistic fashion would undoubtedly draw a lot of negative attention to the show, but if handled right, this could have been the best way to move forward.
Obviously, killing a child simply for the shock factor would have been harmful for the show, but if Carl had been murdered, it would have created two extremely powerful story developments moving forward;
1) Carl's death would have proved that Negan truly is a monster, breaking the ultimate taboo by murdering a child in cold blood.
2) Parents mourning the death of their children is an understandably harrowing topic that's rarely explored in media of any form, let alone genre TV like The Walking Dead, but such a story deserves and needs to be told.
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The death of any beloved characters is bound to generate controversy, particularly on a show as popular as The Walking Dead — but what's most important is that the death serves a purpose beyond the initial shock factor, driving the narrative in increasingly powerful and interesting ways. Did Glenn and Abraham's death achieve that? Keep up with Season 7 of The Walking Dead to find out in the coming weeks.