We've been waiting all summer to find out who Negan murdered with his bat, Lucille, in the Season 6 finale of The Walking Dead, and now we may just have an answer to that infuriating question in a new clip, "Right Hand Man," released at this year's NYCC.
In the clip, we get our first glimpse at Season 7 of The Walking Dead, taking place immediately after Negan executes a member of Rick's group. The member isn't revealed, but Negan's dialogue may inadvertently hint at the identity of his victim.
Here's most of Negan's dialogue from the clip:
"Simon's my right hand man. Having one of those is important. I mean, what do you have left without 'em? A whole 'lotta work. You [Rick] have one? Maybe one of these fine people still breathing? Oh! Or did I [bat knocking sound]?"
Those words could mean a variety of things within the context of The Walking Dead television series, but it's very probable — from the showcased dialogue — that Negan just took out Rick's "right hand man." On The Walking Dead television series, Daryl, Glenn and Abraham could all arguably be considered as filling this position, but in the comics, the position of Rick's lieutenant is much more defined, and only one of the TV characters fills it.
(Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics — and possibly Season 7 of the show — follow.)
Could the 'Walking Dead' Comics Foretell Who Negan's Victim Really Is?
In The Walking Dead comics, Rick's group undergoes several changes to its dynamic, mainly due to members of the group not surviving the post-apocalyptic wasteland. The biggest shift in group dynamic came in the form of Rick's closest lieutenant/right hand man changing.
In the comics history, the unofficial title of Rick's lieutenant has been passed on several times throughout the comics' run. Towards the beginning of the comic series, Shane was Rick's right hand man, and then the role passed over to Tyreese when Shane died, and Tyreese later passed the title on to Abraham at the onset of his death.
Carefully looking at Abraham's comic-book counterpart, several of his character arcs were passed on to Daryl and Glenn in the Walking Dead television series. To say it clearly, Abe would be the right hand man if Daryl weren't around.
Abraham hasn't been featured as much as he should be on the Walking Dead television series, but if Negan's words in the new clip are alluding to Rick's right hand man from the comics, then Negan would absolutely be talking about Abraham.
Abraham Is Positioned In The Splatter Zone
There's also the matter of the blood splatter on Rick's cheek. It doesn't look like he got a lot of blood on him, which means the corresponding distance between Rick and the presumed victim is close but not side-by-side. And Abraham just happens to be in very close proximity, sitting right next to Maggie on the other side of Rick, which means Abraham is becoming a very possible candidate.
Some would argue that Maggie might be the one killed by Negan, but with her kneeling right next to Rick, Rick would probably have more than a little blood splatter on his check. (Rick does seem afraid to look in Maggie's direction during the scene, which could be to avoid eye contact with the bloody mess left in Negan's barrage of bat swings.)
It's reasonable to assume that the victim is close to Rick, but not kneeling right next to him, like Maggie. But the real kicker to Abraham being Negan's victim is not where he's situated in the line-up; it has to do with Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) not being seen on set at any of the filming locations for Season 7 of The Walking Dead.
That in itself is reason enough to expect Abraham to be in Negan's crosshairs when The Walking Dead returns later this month.
The Walking Dead's new season premieres October 24, 2017 on AMC.